10 Things To Do in Virginia Beach, United States

USA Travel

Publisshed On 12 February 2024

Virginia Beach and the entirety of Hampton Roads constitute a pretty large area with a good diversity of attractions.

Croatan is a large, pretty and secluded beach south of Rudee Inlet that tends to be where locals go for sun and sand when they need an escape from the crowds and the boardwalk. 

Croatan Beach

It fronts some very ritzy subdivisions (seven digits, folks), which is part of the reason it tends to be a locals-only sort of place—getting here can be a bit of a hassle if you don’t know the way in.

When you come to an Atlantic Ocean beach town, the first place you gravitate to is the Boardwalk, and Virginia Beach’s 3-mile exemplar of the genre is no exception.

Boardwalk

The Virginia Beach Amusement Park is located across from the fishing pier at 15th Street.

Great Dismal Swamp National Wildlife Refuge

We know—Great Dismal Swamp doesn’t sound like your number one vacation destination. But bear with us. Just an hour (40 miles) southeast of Virginia Beach is this refuge of 112,000 perfect acres of wetland bliss.

This museum in Newport News, northwest of the beaches, touts itself as the largest maritime museum in North America. We can’t independently verify that claim, but we can tell you that the Mariners’ Museum kicks plenty of butt.

Mariners Museum

Chrysler Museum of Art

Norfolk has an unexpectedly vibrant arts scene best exemplified by the Chrysler Museum, one of the best fine arts museums in Virginia.

It’s all set up in a large, impressively muscular marble edifice that has almost all the presence of a Smithsonian museum.

Naval Station Norfolk

For all the physical beauty of this area, one of the most impressive sites in Hampton Roads area is entirely an edifice of man: Naval Station Norfolk, the largest naval installation in the world.

Mount Trashmore

The entire park is spattered with public use areas and crisscrossed by public trails, none of which exceed 2 miles in length.

Back Bay National Wildlife Refuge

Yes, Virginia Beach is pretty, but if you really want a sense of how beautiful this area can be, you need to head south of the resort area some 15 miles to Back Bay NWR.

You'll find over 9,000 acres of protected marsh and wetlands, barrier islands, sand dunes, forests and Atlantic Ocean coastline.

First Landing State Park/Chesapeake Beach

The park is located in an area known as Chesapeake Beach, a quieter, smaller strip of sand than the main Resort Beach, framed and shaded by broadleaf and pine forests and acre upon acre of waving marsh grass.

Virginia Aquarium and Marine Science Center

If you're traveling with kids, this is one of the best places to take them, although to be fair it holds plenty of interest for adults, as well.

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