Situated along the Atlantic Coast in the southeastern corner of the state, Virginia Beach, VA, is a popular spring, summer, and fall vacation destination. This coastal community offers miles of beautiful beaches, outdoor recreation, amusement parks, museums, an art district, a town center, breweries, festivals, and a variety of culinary experiences. Virginia Beach is a popular spot for spring breakers, families, couples, beach lovers, and weekenders.
While the Oceanfront is the city’s main attraction, there are also many other enjoyable things to do in Virginia Beach outside the sun and sand. Let’s explore some of the free, popular, and unique experiences this resort city has to offer.
Virginia Beach Oceanfront
Stretching for 35 miles, the Virginia Beach coastline holds the world’s longest pleasure beach title in the Guinness Book of World Records.
Many visitors opt to stay at the Virginia Beach Oceanfront where plenty of hotel, motel, resort, and vacation rental options exist. Restaurants, bars, and entertainment are easily walkable, but if you need a ride down The Strip, the city offers a free microtransit service called Freebee.
The Virginia Beach Boardwalk features hotels and resorts, bars and restaurants, museums, a bike and surrey path, a fishing pier, and Grommet Island Park.
Instagrammers love the King Neptune statue, families enjoy the Atlantic Fun Park, locals endulge in Orange Crush cocktails from Waterman’s, and music lovers take pleasure in the summer concert series and festivals such as Pharell Williams’ Something in the Water.
VB Surf and Rescue Museum
The Virginia Beach Surf and Rescue Museum tells the story of the city’s rich surfing history, from the early days when locals rode the waves on wooden boards to the present day. The museum also chronicles the development of surf culture in Virginia Beach, with exhibits on famous surfers, famous surfing spots, and the evolution of surfboard design.
Did you know that the East Coast Surfing Championships are hosted in Virginia Beach? It’s the longest-running surf contest in the World!
Whether you’re a diehard surfer or just looking to learn more about the sport’s history, the Virginia Beach Surf and Rescue Museum is definitely worth a visit.
Virginia Museum of Contemporary Art
The Virginia Museum of Contemporary Art, also known as MOCA, is dedicated to contemporary art, focusing pieces from the mid-twentieth century to the present day. The museum has rotating exhibitions and a permanent collection of over 3,000 pieces.
MOCA is a great place to see unique artwork from both up-and-coming and established artists. The museum also has an impressive collection of sculptures, paintings, and rotating exhibits. In addition, the museum offers a variety of educational programs and events throughout the year.
Creative ViBe District
Virginia Beach is home to a vibrant and creative community, and the ViBe District is its beating heart. The area is filled with murals, public art, restaurants, and unique shops. The murals in the ViBe District are particularly noteworthy. They add color and personality to the area and provide a canvas for local artists to showcase their talent.
In addition to murals, the ViBe District also features public art installations and sculptures. These pieces add interest and intrigue, and they help to make the area truly unique. If you’re looking for a place to enjoy some art and creativity, be sure to check out the ViBe District in Virginia Beach.
First Landing State Park
If you’re looking for a state park with a little bit of everything, look no further than First Landing State Park in Virginia Beach. The park offers plenty of opportunities for outdoor recreation, including swimming, fishing, biking, hiking, boating, and kayaking. There are also several nature trails that wind through the park’s forests and wetlands, providing a chance to see local wildlife up close. The park’s beach is a popular spot for sunbathing and watching the sunset.
Virginia Aquarium & Marine Science Center
The Virginia Aquarium & Marine Science Center is one of the top things to do in Virginia Beach. It’s home to over 300 species of marine life, from sharks and stingrays to seahorses and jellyfish. Visitors can explore the exhibits or participate in educational programs led by knowledgeable staff. The Aquarium also has a large outdoor area with tide pools, a boardwalk, and a hands-on research center.
The Adventure Park
The Adventure Park at the Virginia aquarium is an aerial adventure park featuring climbing courses and tree-to-tree zipling for all ages.
Ocean Breeze Waterpark
Ocean Breeze Waterpark is a popular place to visit in Virginia Beach. The waterpark has something for everyone, from thrilling slides and rides to a lazy river and a kid-friendly play area. There is also a beach area for sunbathing and swimming, as well as restaurants and snack bars.
The waterpark is open from Memorial Day weekend to Labor Day, and it’s the perfect place to cool off on a hot summer day. With its wide range of attractions, Ocean Breeze Waterpark is a great place to spend a day with family and friends.
Cape Henry Lighthouse
If you’re looking for things to do in Virginia Beach, be sure to add the Cape Henry Lighthouse to your list. The lighthouse was first built in 1792 and has been an iconic part of the Virginia Beach landscape ever since. Visitors can tour the lighthouse and learn all about its history or enjoy the incredible views from the top of the tower.
Military Aviation Museum
Are you looking for something different to do in Virginia Beach? Then check out the Military Aviation Museum! The museum is dedicated to preserving the history of military aviation, and it boasts an impressive collection of over 60 vintage aircraft. Visitors can explore the museum at or participate in interactive activities.
The museum is also a great place to learn about the men and women who have served in the military, and it is sure to leave a lasting impression on all who visit. So if you are looking for educational and enjoyable experiences, be sure to add the Military Aviation Museum to your list of things to do in Virginia Beach.
Breweries in Virginia Beach
Virginia Beach is home to several breweries, each with its unique style and personality. Whether you’re looking for a place to enjoy a cold beer after a day at the beach or are interested in learning more about the brewing process, there’s a brewery for everyone.
Check out New Realm Brewing Co, Commonwealth Brewing Company, or Smartmouth Brewing Pilot House for a taste of the local beer scene. Or, take a tour of Back Bay’s Farmhouse Brewing Co. to learn more about the brewing process. No matter which brewery you visit, you’re sure to enjoy a cold one with friends. Cheers!
False Cape State Park
False Cape State Park is an 8,294-acre park located at the southernmost tip of the city and is a nature lover’s paradise. The park is on a narrow strip of land between the Back Bay National Wildlife Refuge and the Atlantic Ocean. It is home to over 12 miles of hiking trails and wildlife. Visitors can enjoy kayaking, fishing, and bird watching. There are also several cabins and campsites available for overnight stays.
Mount Trashmore Park
Mount Trashmore Park is a great place to hike, walk your dog, or have a picnic lunch. The park has two man-made lakes perfect for fishing, canoeing, or kayaking. There are also several playgrounds, a playground, and a skatepark. The park is large, and there is plenty of space to run around or relax in the sun. Mount Trashmore Park is one of the most popular things to do in Virginia Beach for families!
Are you looking for something fun to do in Virginia Beach? Why not try Top Golf? This unique activity combines golf with a bit of friendly competition. Up to 6 people can play, making it perfect for large groups. And there’s no need to worry if you’re not a skilled golfer – the game is designed so that everyone can enjoy themselves, regardless of their level of experience. So whether you’re looking for a new challenge or just want to have some fun with friends, Top Golf is sure to be a hit.
Town Center of Virginia Beach
The Town Center of Virginia Beach is a bustling hub of activity, packed with things to see and do. With its mix of shops, restaurants, and entertainment options, the Town Center has something of interest to everyone. Visitors can browse the unique shops, grab a bite to eat or catch a movie. The Town Center is a great place to start whether you’re looking for a day of fun or a night on the town.
Virginia Beach is a popular summertime destination for families and couples alike. The city offers various activities to keep everyone entertained, from historic sites and museums to sandy beaches and fun amusement parks. Virginia Beach is also home to many excellent restaurants, shopping opportunities, and nightlife options. With so much to see and do, it’s no wonder that vacationing in Virginia Beach is a popular choice for travelers.
Alexandrea Sumuel is a travel writer and the founder of Wander With Alex, where she provides vacationers and travel enthusiasts with trip ideas, travel guides, news, and itineraries. She travels to experience, eat, and explore-- and, on occasion, escape! Alex’s mission is to help people travel a little easier.