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Don’t Miss Out on Virginia Beach
On the Beaten Path
Never been to Virginia Beach? Want a taste of what this beach town has to offer? Below are a few highlights of the things that have made Virginia Beach a go-to family vacation destination for decades.
First Landing State Park
One of the most understated attractions that VB has to offer is the network of nature trails in First Landing State Park. Formerly known as Seashore State Park, the name was changed to reference the first land encounter of the Jamestown settlers in the early 17th century, this network of miles of trails offers biking, hiking, and waterside chilling at any range of distance you feel like traveling!
The narrows trail offers a short mile and a half jaunt to an inlet beach with beautiful open views along the way. The main trail is a bit longer at around 3 Miles and connects the main entrance on Shore Drive to the 64th Street entrance to the park, that dumps out right to the North End neighborhood public beach access.
The rest of the park is riddled with marked and unmarked trails frequented by runners and hikers alike.
The main attraction, and original town limits, of Virginia Beach is the historic Oceanfront. Stretching 40 blocks north and south, this area is a Mecca for events in the summer like the National Sand Soccer championships in June and the East Coast Surfing Championships in August. On the weekends you can regularly enjoy street performers and a bustling nightlife at numerous oceanfront restaurants along the strip. From start to finish there is a bike path that parallels the oceanfront boardwalk allowing for easy travel along the shops, restaurants, and hotels along the way.
The name elicits expectations of a grand Mt.-Rushmore-type spectacle, when in reality Mt Trashmore is a large hill that was a landfill turned public park, and one of Virginia Beach's gathering spots for recreation and fitness. With about 3 miles of walking/running/biking trails and large fishing lakes, it offers a lot for someone looking to enjoy a pretty view while they workout. Couple that with a large kids playground and skatepark, and its no wonder this city park is the most frequented in the entire city.
The Virginia Aquarium is a great place to take the family to explore all kinds of animal exhibits as well as an adventure park with a zipline and an Imax theater. The aquarium also hosts a Craft Brews Cruise for those of legal drinking age that want to enjoy a hop (or two) around the waterway. They also hold tons of seasonal and one-time events. Check their calendar on their website here to see what they have going on lately!
Locally known as the biggest misnomer in town, Chix (sometimes spelled Chicks but short for Chesapeake) Beach is a more quiet, localized area away from the hustle and bustle of the oceanfront. Much like the North End beach, Chix beach is mostly locals relaxing by the Chesapeake Bay, but this area offers a lot more as far as food and night life. Chick's Oyster Bar, Hot Tuna, CP Shuckers, and a collection of other restaurants and bars make up the Shore Drive area. Isolated by the Lynnhaven Inlet on one side, and First Landing State park on the other, this area has developed its own subculture within Virginia Beach, making it a must-stop if you're trying to really experience the city. The Shore Drive side of First Landing State park also offers campsites for anyone trying to get more in touch with nature without having to travel far!