Virginia Beach is one of the premier tourist locations in the United States. It is the largest populated city in Virginia and is located directly on the Atlantic Ocean. The area around this beautiful city is known as “America’s First Region”, full of history, culture, and beauty. Surrounded by miles of beaches, and hundreds of things to do in Virginia Beach, it’s easy to see why it receives hundreds of thousands of visitors each year.
This list of things to do in Virginia Beach features some of the best attractions in the city. From night-life to events, museums, and parks, this list can set you on the right path to enjoying everything this historical, beautiful city has to offer.
1. Take a Walk on the Virginia Beach Boardwalk
One of the staples of things to do in Virginia Beach, the Boardwalk stretches 3 miles through the heart of Virginia Beach. Strolling down the Virginia Beach Boardwalk, visitors get the opportunity to experience the city’s best entertainment, shopping, dining, and culture. It’s free to walk down the 28-foot wide Boardwalk, but you’ll want to be sure to bring some money to sample food, buy souvenirs, and tip the amazing entertainers you’ll encounter. Don’t forget to stop and take a picture of the famous King Neptune.
The Boardwalk is open year-round to visitors and all ages are welcome to enjoy. As it is a long stretch of road, you’ll need your walking shoes and the walk is preferably done in warmer, nicer weather. There’s something on the Boardwalk for everyone to enjoy, from playgrounds on the beach to bars serving the best adult beverages. As long as you can walk it, you can enjoy it.
- Best for: Couples, families, children.
- Season: Open year-round.
- Address: Runs parallel to the stretch of Atlantic Avenue located between its start and Holly Mews Street.
2. Experience the History of Aviation at the Military Aviation Museum
The Military Aviation Museum is one of the premier things to do in Virginia Beach VA. It holds one of the largest private collections of World War I and World War II military aircraft in the world. Located on Princess Anne Road (just over 3 miles from downtown), many of these aircraft are flown throughout the year at various demonstrations and air shows. Tickets to enter the museum are $15 per adult, $13 per senior, and $7.50 per child (ages 6-17). Free entrance is given to children ages 5 and under and to WWII veterans.
The Military Aviation Museum is open year-round. The museum is a place for every kind of visitor to come and learn about this country’s rich military history and experience it first-hand. As there are many, many aircraft here, the building is handicapped accessible and large enough to navigate a large family or wheelchair through. Rain or shine, this museum is available for every member of the family.
- Best for: Children, families.
- Season: Open year-round, from 9 AM to 5 PM each day of the week.
- Address: 1341 Princess Anne Road, Virginia Beach, VA.
3. Take a Break at the Atlantic Fun Park
Certainly one of the most fun things to do in Virginia Beach, Atlantic Fun Park is located directly on 15th Street in downtown. Visitors can find the largest Ferris Wheel in the city there, along with 16 other family-oriented rides. Visitors can tower over the city and the ocean as they enjoy every attraction the park has to offer. There’s plenty to eat, plenty of games to play, and plenty of entertainment to enjoy at this well-known park. Ticket prices vary, as each ride requires tickets. You’ll also want to bring some extra cash for games and great fair food.
As this park features many outdoor experiences, it is open only during the warmer months. While most members of the family can enjoy everything the Atlantic Fun Park has to offer, some of the attractions would not be suitable for elderly people, those who are pregnant, or those with health conditions. The park is typically open from early in the morning until late at night, so visitors can enjoy the lights of the city from their amazing Ferris Wheel.
- Best for: Couple, families.
- Season: Open only during warmer months, hours vary.
- Address: 15th Street & Atlantic Avenue, Virginia Beach, VA 23451.
4. Enjoy Undersea Life at the Virginia Aquarium & Marine Science Center
An amazing 800,000 gallons of water sit at the amazing Virginia Aquarium & Marine Science Center. Hands-on exhibits, marshlands, and nature paths await each visitor at one of the best things to do in Virginia Beach. Located on General Booth Boulevard, their exhibits include boat rides, a theater, an adventure park, and an endless amount of exhibits. Admission to the aquarium costs $22 per adult, $20 per senior, and $15 per child (ages 3-11). This aquarium is also well-known for its conservation and education center, working hard to educate people about and save animals from all over the world.
The Virginia Aquarium is open year-round, although some exhibits or events may not be open at certain points during the year. Most of the aquarium is handicapped accessible and their exhibits are meant to entertain and educate people of all ages.
- Best for: Couples, families, children.
- Season: Open year-round, open from 9 AM every day of the week and close at 5 PM.
- Address: 717 General Booth Blvd., Virginia Beach, VA 23451.
5. Take in the Arts at the Virginia Museum of Contemporary Art
Located just a hop from downtown on Parks Avenue, the Virginia Museum of Contemporary Art is a non-profit organization that aims at understanding the significant art of our time and spreading awareness of this art. This museum has a great educational program, along with the endless amounts of exhibits available for each visitor to enjoy. Paintings, sculpture, video, and glass art are all featured at this award-winning museum. For MOCA members, admission is free year-round. For non-members, tickets are $7.70 per adult and $5.50 per senior/student/military.
The Virginia Museum of Contemporary Art is open year-round. This experience is for all members of the family to enjoy, from the youngest to the oldest. It is handicapped accessible and they even offer free audio tours and assistance for visitors.
- Best for: Couples, children, families.
- Season: Open year-round, closed on Mondays and open at 10 AM every other day of the week. They close at 4 PM on weekends and 5 PM on every other day of the week.
- Address: 2200 Parks Avenue, Virginia Beach, VA 23451.
6. Enjoy Street Entertainment at Beach Street USA
One of the most exciting and free things to do in Virginia Beach is Beach Street USA. This events program is sponsored by the city and takes place at the oceanfront. Throughout the season, Beach Street USA holds festivals, activities, and concerts meant to entertain each and every visitor. Well-known events take place here, like LatinFest, the American Music Festival, and the Mid-Atlantic Hermit Crab Challenge. Beach Street USA offers spectators entertainment of all sorts.
The events that take place at Beach Street USA are only available mid-June through Labor Day Weekend. Some events cater more towards adults, while others are for the entire family to enjoy. Hours of each event varies, but it’s guaranteed that at any given time you’ll be able to find costumed characters, jugglers, musicians, and entertainers of all sorts ready to give you the best entertainment the city has to offer.
- Best for: Adults, couples, families.
- Season: Mid-June through Labor Day Weekend, hours vary.
- Address: 520 S Independence Blvd., Virginia Beach, VA 23452.
7. Get Back to Nature at First Landing State Park
Located in North Virginia Beach on Cape Henry, First Landing State Park features 2,888 acres of park and recreation for visitors. Visitors can enjoy the beautiful scenery surrounding the city by hiking, swimming, fishing, boating, biking, and camping. The cost to enter the park is $4 per vehicle on weekdays and $5 per vehicle on weekends (for day visitors). You can enjoy the beautiful Chesapeake Bay Beach, hike the many beautiful trails, or even rent a cabin for the night or weekend.
With over 19 miles worth of trails and over a mile worth of beach, this park is one of the necessary things to do in Virginia Beach. Open year-round, First Landing State Park is an ideal location for any member of the family. Anyone can enjoy the beach and nature around them. However, those that have difficulty getting around may not be able to enjoy all the outdoor activities that you can experience here.
- Best for: Couples, children, families.
- Season: Open year-round, from 8 AM until dusk for daily visitors.
- Address: 1 Landing State Park, 2500 Shore Drive, Virginia Beach, VA 23451-1415.
If you’re looking to visit one of the oldest and most beautiful cities in the country, Virginia Beach is the place for you. With so many amazing things to do in Virginia Beach, this list of recommendations can guide you on your journey to enjoying the best the city has to offer. After experiencing the food, the scenery, the music, and the people, it is a guarantee you’ll never want to leave.