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Virginia Beach

by Susan Barnes

Jul 21, 2018

Photo: Joshua Mcdonough | Dreamstime.com

Destinations / North America

About 200 miles south of Washington, D.C., 100 miles southeast of Richmond and about 200 miles northeast of Raleigh, North Carolina, is Virginia Beach, along the coastal region of the state. In an environment where the Chesapeake Bay meets the Atlantic Ocean, Virginia Beach is an area rich in history, enjoying a growing local culinary and arts scene, with plenty of family-friendly activities to keep everyone happy. Let’s take a look around.

Districts

Not only is Virginia Beach known for (and proud of) its beaches, but for its districts as well, each with its own personality. Starting at the beach, the aptly named Oceanfront district falls along the city’s three-mile-long boardwalk where visitors find live music, street performers and outdoor cafes. Also on the water, the Chesapeake Bay provides its own setting, perfect for more relaxed beach-going fun like building sandcastles and volleyball.

Travel inland a bit to find Pungo, 8,000 acres of farmland on which you and your family can stop and pick your own bushels of strawberries, fresh produce and armfuls of wildflowers. And then there is the district that is in fact named Inland — here you will find boutiques, specialty stores, dining, breweries and even the Virginia Beach Farmer’s Market. Town Center is the heart of Virginia Beach and a terrific place to spend a day or night — or both — filled with high-end shopping, dining and more.

Art enthusiasts pay a visit to the Vibe Creative District, an area where local creatives inspire each other — and maybe you, too. Take the one-mile walking tour of the murals found on the sides of buildings and see the colorful side of Virginia Beach. 

Virginia Beach Boardwalk, Virginia Beach

Virginia Beach Boardwalk, Virginia Beach © Tanyabird777 | Dreamstime.com

Outdoor Recreation

Virginia Beach’s location on both the Atlantic Ocean and the Chesapeake Bay, not to mention the hundreds of miles of inland waters that meander about, provide ample opportunities for outdoor recreation.

Keep your feet on the ground in any of the more than 4,000 acres of city and state parks, and national refuges. With more than 200 miles of bikeways and trails, in addition to the trails found within the parks, the lands are terrific for hiking and bicycling while enjoying the natural surroundings.

Water babies, you’re in luck while visiting Virginia Beach. Swim in the refreshing ocean, or (try to) hang 10 when the perfect wave rolls in. Fishermen and -women can cast their lines on a private charter, or go old school and cast from one of the area’s four fishing piers. Paddlers have plenty of room to move and explore in their kayaks or atop their stand-up paddleboards. If the day ever gets too hot, just jump into the water and cool off.

Festival Fun

It is all about living the life when it comes to Virginia Beach, which may be why the city hosts as many annual festivals and events as it does. Through the remainder of the year, locals and visitors enjoy the Stars & Stripes Explosion on July 4; Chalk the Walk; the Virginia Beach Funk Fest Beach Party; 2018 ECSC Week (surfing championship); American Music Festival; Neptune Festival; Biplanes & Brews; Fall Family Festival; Virginia Beach Craft Beer Festival; and the Holiday Parade at the Beach — and that’s just a sampling!

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