Oceanfront district is popular with college spring breakers because that’s where a lot of the action is. Consider staying someplace else. For quieter beaches, check out rentals at Sandbridge Beach, which is just north of the Back Bay Natural Wildlife Refuge, or Croatan Beach, just south of the boardwalk area. Or pick a rental near Chic’s Beach, a favorite spot for the locals.
Virginia Beach’s parks are fascinating to meander through because each park is home to a variety of animal life and eco-systems. Run the trails of First Landing State Park, take a bike and set out to ride along the sand dunes at False Cape State Park or hike on the trails of the Back Bay National Wildlife Refuge.
Just because an activity is labeled kid-friendly in Virginia Beach doesn’t mean that the adults can’t enjoy it, too. Check out the hundreds of sea species living in the 800,000-gallon tank at the Virginia Aquarium, or be Snoopy fighting the Red Baron when exploring the various World War II aircraft at the Military Aviation Museum.
The Edgar Cayce Association of Research and Enlightenment runs a holistic health spa that does massage therapy and acupuncture, among other treatments. The meditation garden at the association is lovely to stroll through, too. Or get a spa package at one of the city’s luxurious spas.
Sometimes the best way to get a feel of the area is to eat and drink at beloved local spots. Virginia Beach locals are particularly interested in cuisine that emphasizes locally-sourced ingredients. The bars and restaurants off of Shore Drive in the Bayside area, such as Chick’s Oyster Bar, The Back Deck, Bubba’s, or One Fish, Two Fish, boast both tasty (and sustainable) seafood and stunning views of the Chesapeake Bay. Neighborhoods such as Alanton and Bayside have restaurants that locals love to frequent. Other local favorites include eclectic restaurant and brewery Esoteric, 1608 Crafthouse, and the two locations of Bay Local Eatery.
It might sound counter-intuitive, but taking a tour or checking out the unconventional aspects of historic sites can provide experiences and insights about Virginia Beach that a visitor wouldn’t get from simply sunning the whole day. Rudee Tours offers dolphin tours. Or check out Virginia Beach’s haunted sites. Some of them even offer tours.