While it may be most known for its family-friendly activities like making sand castles on the beach and picking up souvenirs along the boardwalk, that’s not the only draw to Virginia Beach which welcomes over six million overnight visitors each year. Virginia Beach is the number one vacation destination in Virginia and there are plenty of places to explore during your visit. Let’s go beyond the beach with activities that show you how to live the life in the off season.
Where to Stay
Ocean Beach Resort Hotel
For front row access to the beach and boardwalk consider the Ocean Beach Resort (OBR)- A Gold Key Resort. This family friendly resort offered many activities and amenities including two pools (one specifically for the kiddos and a cascading water wall), Tortugas Café and Tiki Bar, fitness room and game room that includes board games, arcade games, toys and more.
Tip: Be sure to see the concierge to get a listing of hotel activities that include mixology classes and more.
Exploring Virginia Beach in the off-season
Where to Shop
Shopping is one activity that is year round and there are a few shops that make forget about the chilly season while gaining some retail therapy.
Near Oceanfront beach, check out The Creative Wedge, Nectar Home Accessories and Gifts and Shore Gallery & Design. If someone is dying to go to the mall, LynnHaven is the place to be and include trendy stores like H&M, Forever 21, Charlotte Russe and more.
Where to Eat
With so many places to try, don’t be afraid to go beyond the boardwalk. Rockafeller’s Restaurant owned by B.J. Baumann boasts fresh local seafood and has been dubbed a favorite by locals and tourists alike. With soups, desserts and salad dressings made in-house, this restaurant is a must-try.
The view of the ocean at Bubba’s Seafood Restaurant and Crabhouse is just as memorable as their food. This recent Virginian-Pilot Best of Award winner was one of the first seafood places along the beach and has their fish of the day and crabs delivered daily. Be sure to check out their Fall Fest Oyster Roast later this month.
What to do
Virginia Aquarium’s mission is to inspire conservation of the marine environment through education, research and sustainable practices. They do this through interesting exhibits and educational activities. For example, opening on October 18 is a hands-on traveling exhibit called the Adventures of MR. POTATO HEAD which will be featured in the Virginia Aquarium’s Changing Exhibit gallery through April 2015 and they have an Adventure Park that includes multiple zip lines and allows you to see nature at a different vantage point. In addition, they will have one-hour nature sessions called Nurturing Naturalists and other programs around the topics of hibernation, nocturnal animals and even a special day in which they bring the beach indoors.
Upcoming Events in October
Virginia Beach Fall Fashion Show: October 18th
This free event will showcase clothes from retailers at Town Center of Virginia Beach and Pembroke Mall and the theme is “Focus on Fall 2014 – Top Trends and Staples to Keep You Cozy and In Style This Fall!”
Virginia Beach Craft Beer Festival: October 18th & 19th
With over 80 craft beers from over 50 breweries, this festival will be sure to have one of your favorite brews. Plus, with your ticket you’ll receive a commemorative cup, live entertainment and of course, beer samples.
Wicked 10K Run: October 25
Dress up in your Halloween costume and run Hampton Roads largest race and party. The event expects 10,000 people and includes monster mash music, vendors and costume contest along the oceanfront.
Fast Facts about Virginia Beach
- Did you know that Virginia Beach has three distinctive beaches? Chick’s beach is the beach along the Chesapeake Bay, the Oceanfront is considered the resort area and Sandbridge beach which is a quieter beach with beach rental homes.
- Virginia Beach is located 5 1/2 hours from Charlotte.
- The Virginia Beach boardwalk was voted one of the 10 best boardwalks by the National Geographic.
- According to Public Trust Land, Virginia has the 8th best park system in the nation.
Thinking of a Virginia Beach getaway? Get more information at www.visitvirginiabeach.com