There’s no end of fun things to do in Virginia Beach on a trip there, but let’s have a quick look at the city’s facts and figures before we dive into the good stuff. Virginia Beach is the largest city in the state of Virginia in the south eastern region of the US. VA Beach itself sits in the southwest corner of Virginia in Chesapeake Bay on the Atlantic coast. The city makes up part of the Hampton Roads metro area, which is commonly known as ‘America’s First Region.’ This is because the first landing made by the English in 1607 was made in Virginia in 1607. The main facets of the Virginia Beach economy are tourism, real estate, and defense, and the city has a growing population, totaling around 450,000 people. This swells massively during the summer months and on popular holidays, such as Spring Break.
So, let’s take you on a quick journey and explore all the great things to do in Virginia Beach on your visit.
First Landing State Park
As the name suggests, First Landing State Park is the location of the first landing of the Virginia Colonists, led by Christopher Newport, back in 1607. Due to the historical significance of the park, along with its great facilities, it is the most visited park in Virginia. It was also the very first state park in Virginia. The park offers camping, cabins, swimming, and boating. There is also 19 miles of hiking trails and a public beach. It’s a great thing to do in Virginia Beach with kids as there’s a wide range of activities to undertake within the park boundaries.
Virginia Aquarium and Marine Science Center
Virginia Aquarium is home to thousands of fresh and saltwater creatures, representing more than 300 species. They have the cutest turtles, seals and, dare we say it, Komodo Dragons. We’re not sure if the word cute has ever been used in conjunction with dragons before, but we think they’re lovely. From a safe distance, obviously. They also have huge sharks, but ‘aint no-one ever called them cute. For smaller kids, there are the everlasting joys of the Ray Touch Pool and let’s not forget catching an educational movie about the animals on the largest screen in Virginia. Oh, and when you’re done with all that, head outside and take on the Adventure Park’s zip line. If your kids don’t sleep after a fun-filled day at the aquarium, you should probably get them checked out by a professional. We jest, obviously. Even adults sleep all night after tiring themselves out at the Aquarium and Marine Science Center. It’s one of the top things to do in Virginia with kids.
Tickets required, available online or from the entrance, $7.95-$29.95
Cape Henry Lighthouse
Cape Henry Lighthouse was the first-ever federal project to be built under the US Constitution. It was quoted for a price of $15,200 but, as with all quotes you get for building work, they never actually cover what’s needed. Yes, folks, even back in 1792, it wasn’t possible for Government building projects to be completed within their agreed budgets. Eventually, another $2,500 was shelled out, and the lighthouse was finished. The original lighthouse (and a newer lighthouse, which was presumably built so the first one wouldn’t get too lonely) sit at the southern entrance to the Chesapeake Bay. They’ve both been very successful in keeping ships from hitting the coast, so well done to them both. The Cape Henry Memorial Cross, which marks the site of the First Landing, is located nearby.
Norfolk Botanical Garden
The fabulous Norfolk Botanical Gardens spans an area of more than 158 acres of land and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. One of the best things about the garden (apart from all the flowers, obvs…) is the fact that it’s on the shore of Lake Whitehurst and you can take a boat tour around it. We’re not even kidding. There’s even a monthly Sunset Boat Tour, where you can head out on to the water and learn about all the creatures that live beneath the surface. We’re not sure what kind of lake-dwellers are there, but we do know there are lots of fish, as it’s a popular spot for local enthusiasts who enjoy catching their own dinner. Anyway, back to the flowers. So, the gardens have more than 30 themed areas with species like Roses, Hydrangea, Asiatic Holly (we didn’t even know those were a thing), and all the beautiful flowers that are native to Virginia. It’s a wonderful thing to do in Virginia Beach and a really chilled day out for all the family.
Tickets required, available online or at the entrance, $9-$11
Ocean Breeze Waterpark
Ocean Breeze Waterpark is located just south of the oceanfront in downtown and caters for kids of all ages. Even the tiny little ones that don’t do that much. In Ocean Breeze, these little people are known as Tiny Buccaneers, which we think is way better than our description of them. All kids can enjoy the Adventure River that slides its way through Hideaway Cove and provides more fun on an inflatable rubber ring that anyone ever thought possible. Some of the more adventurous rides for older children include the Earth Shaker, Vortex, and Sea Serpent. For wee ones, there’s Hook’s Lagoon or Buccaneer Bay to splash around in. For adults, there’s even the opportunity to reserve VIP cabanas for the day. It doesn’t get much better than that. The range of activities makes it one of the top things to do in Virginia Beach for all the family.
Tickets required, available online or from the entrance, $26.99-$36.99
Virginia Beach Boardwalk
You can’t really say you’ve been to Virginia Beach unless you’ve visited Virginia Beach Boardwalk. A trip along the boardwalk is one of the best things to do in Virginia Beach, and it’s one of the icons of the city. The historic boardwalk is the hub of the city and runs for three miles and 38 blocks. From 2nd Street to 40th Street, the boardwalk follows the path of the shore and has a separate path for walking and cycling. There are pretty sidewalk cafes and restaurants, as well as vendors for drinks, snacks and bike hire. Don’t forget to stop off to visit King Neptune, a twenty-four-foot bronze statue at the entrance to Neptune Festival Park on 31st Street.
Off-beat things to do in Virginia Beach
We love that you’re on the lookout for odd things to do in Virginia Beach. This section is our favorite part of all our articles because we adore weird, too. Do you recall how, back in the day, women could be accused of being witches for literally just being normal women?? Yeah, well, the women of Virginia Beach were not excluded from this odd (and rather sexist, if we do say) obsession. The very last Virginia woman who was convicted of being a witch has her own statue by Sentara Bayside Hospital. Grace White, A.K.A The Witch of Pungo, was ‘dunked’ in 1706. However, she didn’t die and was, therefore, absolutely definitely a total witch. In a twist of fate (or a sneaky spell?), Grace’s second dunking doesn’t seem to have been recorded, and she lived to witch another day. Well done, Grace. You deserve that statue, girl.
Do you like bunnies? Not a boring old regular sized one; we mean one that weighs in at 25 pounds and is the largest bun-bun in the WORLD. Junior, who is a Continental Giant (quite literally), lives at The Bunny Hutch and is only 3 years old. He’s the biggest ball of squish we’ve ever seen, and he gives the best cuddles ever. So. Much. Fluff. Jnr’s Dad, King Darius, is the current World Record Holder for being the longest bunny on earth, so it’s great to see his son is following in his enormous bunny paw prints. It’s the best thing to do in Virginia Beach. Actually, it’s the best thing to do on any beach because massive rabbits are the greatest.
FAQs About Virginia Beach
We’ve compiled answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about the city and things to do in Virginia Beach. These will help your research, planning, and general education about all this beautiful coastal city has to offer.
What is Virginia Beach famous for?
Virginia Beach is known for having the longest pleasure beach in the world. That’s the entire planet, people. Not too shabby for VB. The city also has the longest bridge-tunnel complex on the face of the earth, as it’s home to the Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel. Suffice to say that Virginia Beach likes to go big.
What is the best time of year to go to Virginia Beach?
If you want to be in on all the action (and the good weather, obvs), then the best time to visit is between May to September. However, this is also peak season, so bear in mind the city will be very busy.
How many days do you need in Kangaroo Island?
To be honest, it depends on how much time you have. To see it fully, three days would suffice, but if you don’t have that much time to spare, you can take a day trip, or join a guided tour.
Virginia Beach is a pretty laid back city, which we think might come down to the fact that’s it’s pretty difficult to be uptight when you live at the beach. The city has a great atmosphere and friendly locals, who are very used to seeing streams of tourists. This is generally seen during peak holiday times when people flock to the area to spend Spring Break or holiday weekends. Surprisingly, Virginia Beach is more conservative than you might expect for a beach town, but it has a long military history and is a fairly religious Southern city. However, as with all Southern cities, it oozes charm, grace and the hospitality they’re so famous for. As with all major cities, it has a good mix of people, cultures, and cuisine. We hope we’ve convinced you of all the amazing things to do in Virginia Beach during your vacation. Did we mention the huge bunny? Oh, OK, we’ll go now.