If you’re from the United States and contemplating an easy weekend getaway, then Virginia Beach needs to be on your radar. With a wide variety of activities on offer, from beach days, brunch hopping and getting out into nature, VB is one of those places that can please all parties whether on a girls getaway or a family adventure. Here’s my quick weekend guide on what to do in Virginia Beach.
HOW TO GET THERE
As I see it, you have five solid options to choose from when deciding how to get to Virginia Beach.
- Option 1: Fly into Norfolk International Airport (approx 20 minutes from VB and currently serviced by Delta, American, Allegiant, Southwest and United Airlines)
- Option 2: Fly into Newport News Williamsburg International Airport (1 hour drive from VB, currently only serviced by American Airlines and Delta)
- Option 3: Fly into Richmond International Airport (2 hour drive from VB — the most airline options of options 1-3 and serviced by all airlines listed above with the addition of JetBlue and Spirit)
- Option 4: Fly into Washington DC and rent a car (approximately 4 hours drive from VB)
- Option 5: Take your own car and drive from home
Picking which option is best for you will really depend on where you’re flying from, if you have certain allegiance to an airline, etc. Even if you choose Option 1, I’d still recommend renting a car as things can be quite spread out in Virginia Beach and Ubers aren’t as reliable as they are in major cities. However, if you know that you only plan on sticking to the beach and the main town center, then Uber should suffice if you want to save money on a rental.
WHERE TO STAY
- The Cavalier Hotel – Newly renovated and part of Marriott’s Autograph Collection. This is really the only upscale boutique hotel in the area
- The Ocean Beach Club Resort – Waterfront option with views looking out to the ocean
- Hilton Virginia Beach Oceanfront – Another good waterfront option with a rooftop pool
- Airbnb (if you’re not a member yet, you can get $40 off your first booking by using my link)
WHAT TO DO
Between the area’s coastal geography, military history and agricultural district, there’s quite a mix of activities to enjoy in VB that should satisfy any type of traveler.
- Ride bikes on the boardwalk
- Go to the beach (my favorite stretch is in The North End as it’s quieter and less touristy)
- Explore the ViBe Creative District which is a new neighborhood in VB championing artisans and independent businesses (don’t miss the hole in the wall North End Bag Co. behind Three Ships Coffee)
- Pick up some fresh produce at Cullipher Farms (spring is Strawberry season!)
- Take a ride high above Virginia Beach in an authentic WWII plane at the Military Aviation Museum
- Go on a craft brewery and distillery tour of the area — or lead your own. If self-led, don’t miss Commonwealth Brewery, Chesapeake Bay Distillery and Pleasure House Brewing
- Catch some live music in the summer (some local favorite spots include: The Surf Club Ocean Grille, Murphy’s, Chicho’s, Shaka’s and weekends at Baja in Sandbridge)
- Relive your childhood at the ferris wheel across from the fishing pier (don’t miss Kohr Brothers Frozen Custard next door)
- Go on a walk or jog through First Landing State Park
WHERE TO EAT + DRINK
When figuring out what to do in Virginia Beach, I hope eating is high up on your list because there are some seriously good foodie spots to enjoy here! I was super impressed by many restaurants commitment to farm fresh ingredients and local goods.
- Three Ships Coffee – Must order is the “Pungo Latte” sweetened with local produce
- Commune – Great brunch serving farm fresh ingredients (beware of long waits on weekends)
- Sugar Shack Donuts – Forget Starbucks. This local Virginia chain sells the most insanely tasty donuts and is famous for their cold drip coffee
- Taste – A charming deli/market style eatery that is the ideal pick-me-up for a picnic on the beach. Inquire about their “dune delivery” where they bring food to you on the beach! They also feature live music and a farmer’s market during the summer months
- The Stockpot – Favorite breakfast and lunch spot with a special “ramen night” menu on Mondays
- Esoteric – A curated menu and great craft beer selection led by a husband and wife team
- Eurasia – For a nice dinner out and has a great wine selection from their cellar
- Tinto Wine & Cheese – A hole in the wall wine store that also serves up curated charcuterie and cheeses. Great for a pre-dinner snack or rest between sightseeing
- The Bee and the Biscuit – Located in the Pungo agricultural area of VB, this is one of the most sought after breakfast spots in town and sees wait times of up to FOUR hours (no, that wasn’t a typo). Go at opening time or soon thereafter to get a table and make sure to try their Cinnamon Toast Crunch and Lucky Charms lattes!
- Commonwealth Brewing Company – My favorite brewery we visited in VB, with a great outdoor vibe and food trucks
- Becca at The Cavalier Hotel – Perfect al fresco dining setting in the brand new Cavalier Hotel
- Bay Local Eatery – A local favorite for brunch with a cute atmosphere
Have I convinced you to visit Virginia Beach yet? Start planning your trip by browsing accommodation here.
Live Like It’s the Weekend was graciously invited as a guest of the Virginia Beach Tourism Board, but as always, all my opinions are my own and I would never promote anything I don’t freaking love.
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