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15 Attractions to Visit On a Family Vacation to Virginia Beach

Updated on August 3, 2016
Virginia Beach, VA
Virginia Beach, VA | Source

Which is your favorite east coast beach?

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Flipper McCoys
Flipper McCoys | Source
Beach Movie Bistro
Beach Movie Bistro | Source
Pinboys
Pinboys | Source
Nightmare Mansion
Nightmare Mansion | Source
Souvenir Shops
Souvenir Shops | Source

Virginia Beach has been my family’s go-to vacation spot for the last 30 years. Just like at home, we have seen businesses come and go, the landscape change and the culture evolve with the times. Below are some favorite locations and activities that we love to hit that are family friendly and cost effective.

Indoor Activities

  1. Flipper McCoys

Location: 2212 Atlantic Avenue

http://www.virginiabeach.com

/kids/flipper-mccoys

Flipper McCoys is a Chuck E. Cheese-style arcade with ticket games for the kids and pinball machines and pool tables for the adults. We used to save up our tickets and cash them in at the end of the week for the biggest prize we could get. It’s a nice place to go for a half hour or so in the evenings after dinner.

2. The Movies - Beach Movie Bistro

Location: 758 Independence Blvd.

http://beachmoviebistro.com

/about.asp

When it rains, it’s fun to kill a few hours at the movie theater. Virginia Beach has many movie theaters, but more places are popping up that double as a movie theater and restaurant. Beach Movie Bistro used to be a regular movie theater. Now, they will serve you dinner as you watch the movie.


3. Bowling - Pinboys

Location: 1577 Laskin Rd.

http://www.pinboys.com/

Bowling is another good activity for a rainy day when you can’t go to the beach. Pinboys bowling is off the main drag and is your typical bowling alley. Check out their website for rates.

4. Nightmare Mansion

Location: 2008 Atlantic Ave

http://www.youwillscream.com/

This haunted attraction is located on Atlantic Avenue. It’s hard to miss with its giant skull looming over the corner of the building. Several souvenir shops sit directly under it, and it’s fun to walk past the main entrance and listen to the theme from Halloween playing on the speakers between two ghoulish guys guarding the front door.

5. Souvenir Shops

Location: Atlantic Avenue

http://sunsationsusa.com/

Speaking of souvenirs, there’s plenty of places to find t-shirts, shot glasses and postcards at the beach. Atlantic Avenue has the best shops, including Sunsations, Edwards and Ocean Waves. No vacation is complete without the endless search for the perfect souvenir. Grab a Sunny Days book before you shop, and see if you can score some deals on your saltwater taffy.

Motor World - Look for the Giant Monkey
Motor World - Look for the Giant Monkey | Source
Fireworks Night
Fireworks Night | Source
Beach Garden Park
Beach Garden Park | Source
15th Street Amusement Park
15th Street Amusement Park | Source
24th Street Stage
24th Street Stage | Source
Source
Rudee Tours
Rudee Tours | Source
Pirates Paradise Mini Golf
Pirates Paradise Mini Golf | Source

Outside Entertainment

6. Beach Street U.S.A.

Location: Along Atlantic Ave. Mainly the 24th St. Stage 2400 Atlantic Ave 7:30-11pm June-Labor Day Weekend

Beach Street U.S.A. is free, nightly entertainment along the beach. They have everything from singers, jazz musicians, jugglers and magicians.



7. 31Ocean Stage

Location: 31st Street Stage in Neptune Park

http://www.31ocean.com/home.aspx

You can find more entertainment at the 31st Street Stage outside of 31Ocean near the Hilton Hotel. They have nightly musical acts. Also, Neptune Park is nearby on the beach where the kids can play on the jungle gyms. Tourists can also take pictures by the King Neptune statue located along the boardwalk.


8. Rudee Tours

Location: 200 Winston Salem Ave, Virginia Beach, VA

http://rudeetours.com/

Boat tours give you a chance to see a different side of the landscape and catch sight of sea life. The Rudee Tours are a popular tour at the beach. Their routes usually pass by the shore where many tourists spend their sunny days. I also suggest the Chesapeake Bay tours. It’s more out of the way but offers a good chance to see some dolphins.


9. Motor World

Location:
700 S Birdneck Rd

http://www.vbmotorworld.com/

Motor World has your average Go-Kart tracks, mini-golf, paintball and other outdoor activities. They have 11 tracks featuring mini Go-Karts for younger kids and regular sized cars for older kids and adults.


10. Pirates Paradise Mini Golf

Location: 2109 Pacific Ave

www.piratesparadiseminigolf.com/

There are mini-golf courses all over, but Pirates Paradise is just a few blocks from the beach and has play all day rates centered around a pirate-themed course. Check out their website for hours and rates.


11. Fireworks Nights

Location: Atlantic Ocean Boardwalk

Fireworks are regularly shot from a barge on the ocean at night. They can been seen just about anywhere on the boardwalk and are a nice, free activity for travelers out late. Check out their websites for this summer's schedule.


12. Beach Garden Park

Location: Beach Garden Park

Kilbourne Place

Virginia Beach, VA

https://www.google.com/maps/place/Beach+Garden+Park/@36.856387,-75.985231,3a,75y,173.16h,90t/data=!3m4!1e1!3m2!1sFtqXKZSzWF22NShlQmyTfQ!2e0!4m2!3m1!1s0x0:0x39b4f1ba1b9a736d!6m1!1e1

This is just your average playground and picnic area a few blocks from the beach. It’s a quiet place to go when you want to get away from the crowds on the boardwalk. They have a park where the kids can run around and you can bring dinner and eat in peace.


13. 15th Street Amusement Park

Location: 233 15th St, Virginia Beach, VA 23451.

http://www.virginiabeach.com/attractions/amusement-parks/virginia-beach-amusement-park

You can see the Ferris wheel of the 15th Street Amusement Park from the other end of the beach. This park has several rides, games and other basic amusement park features right next to the ocean.

Source

Food

Don't let my short list fool you. There are a lot of places to eat in Virginia Beach. They have breakfast places, seafood places, Beatles-themed restaurants and bars. However, we eat a lot of fast food when we go on vacation. So, the following are the two places that we go to that we can't get at home.


14. Zeros Subs

Location: 17th Street.

Every time we go to the beach, our dinner that first night is always Zeros. This sub shop has several locations in Virginia Beach. The newest and closest location is on 17th Street. The subs are made to order and take a bit longer than Subway to put together, but it’s worth the wait. Check out the link to their menu, and be sure to try their Italian Grinder.


15. Giovanni’s Italian Restaurant

Location2006 Atlantic Ave, Virginia Beach, VA

http://www.viewmenu.com/giovannis-pasta-pizza-palace/menu?ref=google

Giovanni’s is the only sit down restaurant that we go to at the beach. It’s an Italian restaurant located on Atlantic Avenue. Their portions are large, and you get seated right away. I recommend their baked ziti, but check out the menu to see if they make your favorite pasta.

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    • FlourishAnyway profile image

      FlourishAnyway 2 years ago from USA

      Useful information! I live not too far from there!

    • Laura335 profile image
      Author

      Laura Smith 2 years ago from Pittsburgh, PA

      That's awesome. I love it over there.

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