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5 Virginia Beach Highlights

My recent visit to Virginia Beach was not specifically for hitting all the best tourist attractions -- I was there with 41 other travel writers meeting with destinations around the Southeast -- but I did have a chance to visit some that made a positive impression. So, I thought I'd share a few suggestions in case you are planning to head in that direction in the coming months.

Oh my! If you can afford the splurge to say here, I would definitely do so. From what I understand, off-season, mid-week rates are comparable to other hotels, but in the summertime and on weekends, it could be upwards of $600 per night. It's a fabulous place, so fabulous that ten U.S. Presidents and numerous celebrities have stayed here during its impressive history.

I had brunch in the garden room then had a chance to tour. The art is amazing, and the photos are glimpses of history. Everything is gleaming. The main hotel restaurant even serves afternoon tea on Saturdays and Sundays. I know some granddaughters who would LOVE that!

This place, which is rated among the top things to do in Virginia Beach by, houses the world's largest collection of flying historic military aircraft. Planes from WWI and WWII, many that have been restored to flying condition, are on display. See the planes, take a ride, attend an air show, and visit the gift shop. History buffs will love it.

Think of all you are likely to see in more than 800,000 gallons of fresh and saltwater tanks and displays. From the aquarium, you can arrange boat tours to see whales and go outside for the ziplines. Inside you'll find fish, reptiles amphibians, mammals, birds, and more. The Osprey Cafe is ready to serve mid-morning coffee or lunch, and the Aquarium Store has plenty to enhance your experience and provide a souvenir of your day.

Enjoy a meal at Waterman's Surfside Grille. The crabcakes have put Waterman's on the map during its 40+-year history, but many other seafood items are also on the menu. Dinner is wonderful, but a visit during daylight hours is best for getting the full oceanside effect.

5. Stroll some or all of the Boardwalk

The Boardwalk is 3 miles long and 28 feet wide. It stretches from 2nd Street to 40th Street and hugs the Atlantic Coast. It is a fantastic place for watching the sunrise, jogging, biking, people-watching, getting fresh air, and admiring the public art. Along the way, you'll find a park at 31st Street, the Surf and Rescue Museum, Atlantic Wildfowl Museum, the 26-foot tall King Neptune statue, and hundreds of shorebirds. Temperatures were at or below freezing most of the time I was in Virginia Beach, but I was able to enjoy the Boardwalk one morning. If at all possible, go to Virginia Beach when the weather is warm.

Take note that the East Coast Surfing Championships, the oldest continuous surf competition in the world, will be in Virginia Beach August 21-28, 2022, timed for the beginning of hurricane season when the waves are most likely to be great for surfers.

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