Best Things To Do In Virginia Beach
Virginia Beach is our home. Over 40 years of working, playing, adventuring, eating, and sleeping in this beautiful city makes it very special to us.
We decided to create a list of the best attractions, restaurants, and local spots in Virginia Beach. Whether you’re a longtime resident or just trying to hang like a local during your family vacation, these are the things that everyone should check off their VB bucket list.
We are going to cover many things in our list of Things To Do In Virginia Beach. Feel free to jump around to any section that interests you:
1. Dolphin Tours
Seeing the dolphins from the beach is one thing, but have you rode with them as they swim? Virginia Beach native Captain Eric Meyers offers one of a kind dolphin tours that get you face to face with dolphins.
Cruise with the dolphins on a boat in the bay, have lunch on the boat, and enjoy the sunset all side by side with dozens of dolphins.
2. Cape Henry Lighthouse
Ever wanted to climb to the top of a lighthouse? At Fort Story you can climb up the Cape Henry Lighthouse and overlook the tip of Virginia beach and Chesapeake bay.
The lighthouse was authorized by George Washington and constructed in 1792. Over 200 years later, she is no longer in use but stands high and mighty watching over our precious bay.
3. Henley Farm Strawberry Picking
Fresh strawberries from Henley farm are like no other. The best part is, you get to pick the ones you want directly from their fields. The farm is back in pungo a ways, which is nice because it isn’t super busy all the time and is away from traffic.
If your hungry for more, you can also pick corn, blackberries, broccoli, and more. Henley farm encapsulates what real farming should be, and has a staff that takes pride in the work they do.
4. Fox Brothers Paintball
Let off some steam and lay down some paint on your family and friends at Fox Brothers paintball park. The park is pretty awesome, and is basically a plot of woods with forts, tanks, and acres of open land to run around in.
Engage in fun games such as Capture the flag, attack and defend, and elimination. Playing alongside your friends and family is fun, but we recommend playing against them to keep things interesting.
5. Helicopter Tours
You can tour Virginia Beach on the ground, or from the sky thanks to Hampton Roads Heli tour company. Hampton Roads Heli offers helicopter tours around Virginia beach at an affordable price.
The tours are offered in 30 minute or hour long time spans. You can also get a tour to see the great dismal swamp, or if your into the city Hampton roads Heli offers city light night tours. Experience the city in a totally different way with one of the best things to do in Virginia Beach.
6. Seaglass and Pottery Hunting
Most of us have collected seashells before, but how about seaglass and ceramic pieces? Thanks to all of the trash humans have dumped into the ocean, we now have a significant amount of glass and pottery that watches up on our shores.
The glass starts as sharp, large pieces and over time is withered down by the sand and the motion of the ocean to create beautiful, smokey pieces of art. Some of the rarest glass found can be dated back to the 1600s!
7. Legrand Slam Deep sea Fishing
Legrand Slam Deepsea fishing charters are a great opportunity to catch some big game fish! Set sail out of the Chesapeake bay, and return with tuna, cobia, or whatever is biting.
Captain Dan LeGrand and captain Keith LeGrand have won multiple fishing contests, and are the best guys in town to get you hooked up with a monster.
8. Ocean Breeze
A well known park to Virginia Beach locals, Ocean Breeze water park or “monkey pool”, never gets old. The park is constantly growing, adding new slides to keep things interesting. Our favorite is the “toilet bowl” slide, which quickly drops you into what seems like a toilet bowl, and shoots you out into a pool below.
Race down some mega slides, or try to beat your opponent in a balancing war on a floating log. The park can get crowded sometimes due to high demand so be sure to get there bright and early.
9. Farmers Market
If you don’t feel like picking your produce yourself, there are some local farmers that have already done it for you. At the Virginia Beach Farmers market you can browse through tons of local produce, pies, pickins, n fixins all crafted by Virginia beach locals.
The Virginia beach farmers market is a friendly, local environment and is a great stop to swing by and pick up some fresh foods.
I believe I can fly, I belive I can touch the sky. No really though you can do that here in Virginia beach at pirate parasail. Get pulled behind a fast boat and let your sail set loose and see the Virginia beach oceanfront from a birds eye view.
The best part is you can do it with a partner to experience it together.
It is also affordable, just make sure to make reservations ahead of time. Cell phones make for great projectiles from a few hundred feet in the air, so be sure to invest in a wrist strap or gopro with a mount before taking off.
11. Seashore State park
Seashore state park is a local favorite. Miles of maintained jogging and biking trails and plenty of opportunity to see wildlife make it a huge attraction.
It is also one of the few places in Virginia where you can see Spanish Moss growing from the trees.
We recommend entering the park on the bay side and hiking down fox run trail for first timers.
12. Pungo Aviation Museum
Visit the military aviation museum to see some awesome planes from WWI and WWII. The museaum features a large, open hanger with all of the planes where you can walk around and get up close to the planes.
It’s a pretty cool place too because they even let you fly them. They do the take off and the landing, but while you are in the air you can maneuver around as you wish.
13. Paddle Boarding
Surf and adventure offers guided Stand up paddle tours through back bay at an affordable price. The landscape you paddle through is pretty awesome, and the shore provides protection from the wind which makes it a calm and enjoyable cruise.
For the more experienced stand up paddle boarder, Surf and adventure offers an ocean tour out of sand bridge beach.
14. Whale Tours
It is truly a once in a lifetime experience to be in the presence of such massive and powerful mammals.
Ride out on one of the Ruddee tours double decker boats and watch the whales as they feed in the bay. Don’t drop your camera!
15. False Cape State Park Trails
False cape state park is the largest state park in Virginia Beach, extending nearly 6 miles to the North Carolina border. The park provides the opportunity to explore and see a variety of wildlife. Some of which include coyote, deer, fox, wild hogs, and even seals.
Take a trip down past sandbridge beach, and spend the day hiking, biking, or kayaking around the park.
16. False Cape State Park Camping
Don’t want to leave the park just yet? Well you can stay overnight at several campgrounds located throughout the park. To access the campgrounds, you have to hike in from the Little Island parking lot.
Hike in, make a fire, and enjoy the best backwoods camping Virginia Beach has to offer. Don’t be startled if you hear a pig in the middle of the night.
17. Kayak Tours
For an action packed day full of variety, head over to surf and adventure for Stand up paddle boarding, kayaking, and surfing. These guys have been the only surf shop in Sandbridge for a while, and offer some of the areas best wildlife kayaking tours.
Start the day paddleboarding at the beach, and make your way inland to launch from their dock for a guided kayak tour around back bay.
18. The Adventure Park
If you enjoy climbing, and a good challenge, then the Adventure park climbing course is the adventure for you. The course features a series of ropes bridges, stairs, ziplines, and oddly placed wooden planks among the treetops, creating a fun and challenging course.
Don’t worry, there is a secure line to keep you from falling if you are afraid of heights.
They even offer the opportunity to take on the course at night which makes it even more fun. Great place to have a laugh and test your treetop skills.
19. Mount Trashmore Skate Park
If you’re a skater you have to check out Mount Trashmore Skate Park in Virgina Beach. Rails, boxes, and a massive half-pipe make it a paradise for vert skateboarding. Don’t Skate? Don’t Worry! There is tons of fun things to do for the rest of the family.
In addition to the skate park world-renowned Mount Trashmore Park encompasses 165 acres and is comprised of two man-made mountains, two lakes, two playgrounds, and multi-use paths.
FOOD & DRINK.
20. Bay Local
As the name implies, their food has a big focus on using fresh locally sourced ingredients. Enjoy fresh soft-shell crab, local produce, crispy tater-tots, egg bennies, and luxurious cocktails.
With locations on both Shore Drive and Laskin road, Bay Local is a pillar of the Virginia Beach brunch scene.
Whether you’re a local looking for great a new breakfast spot, or a tourist that wants to eat like a Virginia Beach native. Bay Local is a “must-taste” restaurant, with a unique atmosphere to match.
21. Wasserhund Brewing
Wasserhund Brewing Company, meaning “water dog” in German, was born from a love of the beach, dogs, and German beer. Artisan, hand-made, wood fire pizza is the perfect accompaniment to their delicious brews.
Sip on their signature brew of the week, try an authentic German brat, and witness the art of beer making. Call it what you want, they call it German style brewing with a Beach kick.
22. Glory’s Bakery
Don’t be fooled by hole in the wall aesthetic of Glory’s Bakery. Every day they prepare delicious Filipino staples like pandesal, lumpia, pancit, and more.
Glory’s food and baked goods are delicious, but the one thing that keeps locals coming back isn’t exactly traditional. Its the Pepperoni Bread.
Soft, steamy, gooey, and delicious, the pepperoni bread is a show stopper. If you find yourself in the Tallwood side of Virginia Beach, or in need of a quick Filipino fix, make sure you stop by Glory’s. Plus, who else has pepperoni bread and lumpia?
23. Pho 78
The large Navy population in Virginia Beach makes this a pretty unique place to live. Our diverse population brings many delicious dishes from around the world with it. Vietnamese food is by far one of my favorites. Pho 78 is one place that is serving it up it right, with a smile.
Grab a face full of vermicelli, pho, banh mi, coffee, and more. All made fresh and delivered to your table super fast, with amazing customer service.
24. Salacia Seafood & Steaks
Salacia is an oceanfront steakhouse and culinary adventure perfect for date night or celebrating a special occasion. Nestled under the palm trees of the Virginia Beach Oceanfront. Salacia is proud to offer the highly coveted Japanese A5 Wagyu beef, the only restaurant in Eastern Virginia to serve such a rare cut of cattle.
Winner of the Wine Spectator Award of Excellence for 8 years in a row, Salacia’s wine list has been praised by experts all over the region for its’ exceptional diversity and quality.
25. Brothers Pizza
Chicken wings make the world go round, and Brothers Pizza makes the best ones in Virginia Beach. Cooked to perfection every time. You can’t go wrong with their special house-made bros sauce, or its spicy counterpart evil step brother sauce. All the food at Brothers is just done right.
Have a thing for food challenges? Test your appetite against the “Big Brother Challenge” for a chance to win a free meal, gift-card, and a T-shirt.
26. Java Surf Café
The best café in town, Java surf café takes traditional brunch food to a whole new level. The restaurant prides themselves in using real ingredients, selected daily from fresh local markets, and providing customers with the highest quality.
Our personal favorite is the lifeguard wrap; its been around town for quite some time. The wrap houses delicious grilled chicken, bacon, cheddar, pico, pineapple, avocado, and a tangy siracha mayo.
27. Taste Unlimited
Taste unlimited is perfect place for a beach bound meal or lunch stop. They have some of the best sandwiches around, and also make some killer salads.
The environment at Taste is pretty cool, each individual restaurant is an experience in itself. They also serve some good brews and have an awesome specialty foods market.
28. Smartmouth Brewing Co.
Located in a former post office, just three blocks from the Virginia Beach oceanfront, the fully-renovated Pilot House is home to Smartmouth Brewing.
It’s the ideal pre-beach, post-beach and instead-of-the-beach spot for those looking to enjoy a fresh pint. Drinking at Smartmouth Brewing is hands down one of the best things to do in Virginia Beach.
29. Imperial Palace
Chinese takeout places are convenient, but every now and then its nice to get a taste of high quality authentic Chinese food. That’s just what Imperial palace off of Baxter road strives to provide its customers.
Imperial Palace serves one of a kind dishes that are not only delicious, but an experience. The environment is quiet and relaxing, making it the perfect place to wind down after a long day.
30. Duck Donuts
Donuts are traditionally a breakfast food, but we think duck donuts is an any time of the day donut. Select from a variety of toppings, some of which are: bacon, oreo, and cinnamon sugar. What really makes the donuts so good and unique is the donut itself, which is more cake than donut.
Each donut is custom made to order, so you can get as crazy as you want with the toppings. They also have come out with some new menu items that are pretty awesome, like the donut egg sandwich.
31. Hair of the Dog
The first guys in town to execute chicken and waffles the right way. The restaurant is a great place for breakfast/brunch but also has a nice selection of drinks and lunch food. Think of this spot as a place that takes regular food, and makes it bomb. Shrimp is good, but why not wrap it in bacon and dip it in a little barbeque? A burger is a classic, but why not add a fried egg and serve it on a waffle bun?
The owners at hair of the dog asked these same questions, and then set out to create these one of a kind meals.
32. Commonwealth Brewing Co.
Commonwealth is located inside a fully renovated, former fire and rescue station built in 1962, nestled in a funky beach cottage community (flip flops mandatory) on the Chesapeake Bay in Virginia Beach. The beer garden and tasting rooms are awesome, but the brew is the true all-star.
Be sure to check out their website for details on events like: Pilates & Pints, Bikes & Brews, Books on Tap, and Vinyl Night.
33. Pungo Pizza
If you have ever been in Pungo, you have seen Pungo pizza. To start, the face of the building has a giant replica wooden lighthouse which is pretty cool. Inside, you can work your way past ice cream, down into the arcade room, where there is a great selection of games. Once you’ve played some games, its time to eat. Lets just say, some of the food on the menu is not so typical.
From their Tex Mex stuffed pizza, to the buttery garlic knots. Pungo Pizza has a delicious variety of traditional and non traditional Italian food.
34. Doc Taylors
Southern breakfast done right. Doc Taylors seeks to satisfy that southern classic breakfast craving with fairly priced made to order meals. Corened beef hash, omelets, pancakes, French toast, hash browns, you name it they have it all.
It is located at the ocean front, so after your breakfast you can hop over to First landing state park, or the cape henry lighthouse.
35. Sandbridge Market Donuts
If you are in the mood for a more traditional donut, then the Sandbridge Market is the place to go. The donuts are the softest, largest, and best priced donuts in town. Large meaning the size of your face. We recommend the frosted sprinkles, apple fritter donut, or raspberry filled. You cant really go wrong here.
The shop is located right on the beach in Sandbridge, so you can stop by on the way to false cape or the beachfront.
local fresh ingredients, and great food is the essence of Commune. Their bustling cafe in Virginia Beach’s Vibe District serves local, organic, seasonal, sustainable fare in an open concept and community seating style.
When food is grown with respect, picked at its peak, served close to its source, and prepared with care, the finished plate is a culinary experience that nourishes and satisfies on many levels.
Whether you’re visiting visiting Virginia Beach or a local looking for a great meal, you will enjoy warm hospitality and thoughtfully executed, creative cuisine.
Featured on Diners Dive ins and Drives, Citrus café is one of the more well known Virginia beach brunch locations. Citrus offers a wide selection of loaded salads, soups, sandwiches, egg breakfasts, French toast platters, and benedicts.
One thing that sets them apart from other breakfast places is their fruity juices, mixed drinks, bubblies, and coffee cocktails.
38. Dave’s BBQ
BBQ is Dave’s passion, and he loves to keep it simple. Wood, meat, and fire is all you need for an out of this world bbq experience.
40 years of know how are imparted into every bite of meat, and taste of homemade sauce. If you are in Virginia Beach and find yourself craving some of the worlds best bbq you have to stop by Dave’s
39. Mannino’s Italian Bistro
Mannino’s Italian Bistro is a great local spot for Italian food and great wine. The father & son Chef team of John Rosario and John Matthew Mannino have partnered with Daris Gavin to open “Olde World” Italian Bistros with fresh food and great service.
Fresh house-made recipes are their specialty. Mozzarella, pasta sauces, tiramisu and chocolate truffles are just some of the delicacies you will find here. Whatever you do make sure you try the famous She Crab Soup.
Currently the only place in Virginia beach that offers indoor skydiving, Ifly is a fun place to stop and catch some wind at the oceanfront. Suit up, and float in a propeller driven air chamber that allows you to maneuver around as you hover.
It is cheaper than regular skydiving, and you get to watch your family and friends as they fall in style.
41. The Virginia Beach Rock Gym
We don’t have mountains in Virginia beach, but that’s ok because The Rock gym in Virginia beach brought the mountains to us. Rock gyms facility is pretty much a big warehouse, with tall boulder rock structures.
The spot is ideal for the experienced rock climber, or families looking for something to do that is competitive and fun on a rainy day.
42. American Indoor Karting
Think: Extreme indoor go carting. Race around a track in some high-powered go carts and try to knock people off of the track wall of fame. You may have to take a couple runs to get some decent lap times, but the main objective is to beat your family or friends.
Don’t worry, the trained staff and top notch track makes the experience safe for everybody.
43. Colonial Shooting Academy
Rent a few guns, point your sights down range, and let off a few rounds at colonial shooting academy. It is a great place to have some fun shooting targets inside of their giant facility. Perfect place if you have never shot before, and also a great place for the more advanced shooters.
The well educated staff will make your first time shooting experience great, and the prices are also very affordable.
44. Beach Cinema Alehouse
Your classic movie theater done the right way. This place doesn’t just serve popcorn and candies, they have a full menu of quality food. Dine in, and kick back to watch the newest movie releases.
Our favorite part about Beach Cinema Alehouse is the chairs. Oh so comfy, oh so reclinable.
The largest museum in Virginia beach, the mocha museum has a variety of exhibitions that are always changing to new topics and artists. A lot of the art tours are interactive, such as their “art Crush” tour, wich includes drinks and games.
Stop by to see the newest exhibition, there is something new every month.
46. Flipper McCoys
Flipper McCoys is a family entertainment classic in Virginia beach. Located right on Atlantic at the ocean front, the arcade center has tons of fun new and original arcade style games, and even recently upgraded their upstairs room to have laser tag.
Pinball, ski ball, and pac man are some of the arcade classics you can find hidden inside Flipper McCoys.
47. Top Golf
Lets be real, traditional golf is boring. Maybe were biased, but top golf is the new way to golf. Sit in a booth a couple stories high and hit the golf balls as far as you can down range. That’s the real way to golf.
Plus, its more fun for the kids. Top Golf features a full bar with a great selection of food. The only down side is you don’t get to race around in fancy golf carts.
48. Multivrse Virtual Reality Arcade
Leave Virginia beach and enter into another world at Multiverse with VR video game technology. Choose from a variety of games and modes, and experience the wildest video game fun you have ever had.
We recommend you only stay for a couple hours at the most, as you may begin to forget which world is real and which is fake.
49. The Escape Room Virginia Beach
The Escape Room in Virginia beach is the perfect thing to do for families, friends, and co-workers. Solve cryptic riddles, puzzles, and codes to earn your freedom and escape from one of 4 immersive gaming experiences.
Get a look at how effectively and efficiently your team works together in a challenging environment. Share ideas and strategies with your team to test your abilities to accomplish common goals. The Escape Room is one of the best things to do in Virginia Beach.
50. Atlantic Wildfowl Heritage Museum
The Atlantic Wildfowl Heritage Museum is a “niche” museum that prides itself in preserving and perpetuating a tradition that goes back literally thousands of years.
At the turn of the century wild-flowering was considered “the gentleman’s sport”. Virginia Beach may not have been discovered for the treasure it is without northern sportsman visiting here. The Atlantic Wildfowl Heritage Museum highlights an interesting of our heritage is our legacy.
51. The Virginia Aquarium
Explore over 800,000 gallons at one of the best aquariums and animal habitats in the country. Experience hands-on exhibits, nature path, and marshlands.
With over 10,000 animals representing over 300 species, the Virginia Aquarium has an incredible amount of fun for anyone. Pick a date, get a ticket, and see what’s happening around the Aquarium! From daily movies to keeper talks, there is surely something to make your next visit memorable.