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Things to Do in Virginia Beach

Enjoy the sun and sand at one of the Eastern Seaboard’s most popular beach towns. Virginia Beach sits along the Atlantic at the mouth of the Chesapeake River, with 6 miles (10 kilometers) of public beach fronted by a 3-mile (5 kilometer) historic boardwalk perfect for a stroll or bike ride. No matter what your taste in beaches, you’ll find it nearby.
 
The Basics
Much of the action in Virginia Beach centers on the water. The town is home to First Landing State Park, where Jamestown colonists first arrived in America, as well as one of the country’s oldest lighthouses, Cape Henry Lighthouse. Families appreciate the Virginia Aquarium & Marine Science Center. For active travelers, the Virginia coast is an excellent place for paddling; take a stand-up paddleboarding lesson to learn the basics or rent a board and head out on your own.
 
Things to Know Before You Go
  • Virginia Beach is a popular destination for families and active travelers.
  • Don’t forget to pack a swimsuit, towel, and any beach gear you might need during your stay.
  • Bring sunscreen, sunglasses, and a hat to protect yourself while soaking up the sun.
  • Wear flip-flops to the beach, as the sand can get very hot in the summer.
 
How to Get There
The nearest major airport to Virginia Beach is Norfolk International, located 25 miles (40 kilometers) to the west. The easiest way to get into and around town is by car, but there’s also a daily bus service from both New York and Washington DC.
 
When to Get There
Virginia Beach is a summer destination if ever there was one, and the beachside culture is in full swing from late May through early September. The beach can get crowded during the summer, but you can avoid the biggest peak season by planning your trip for just before Memorial Day or just after Labor Day.
 
Virginia Beach Activities
Whether you’re looking to laze in the sun or get in the water, there’s plenty to do at bustling Virginia Beach. There’s a dedicated bike lane all along the boardwalk, and the wavy water is popular for bodyboarding, surfing, and swimming. Throughout the summer months, venues along the beach host live music and fireworks geared mostly toward families.
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First Landing State Park
5 Tours and Activities

The first British colonists to land in America didn’t arrive on the Mayflower or land on Plymouth Rock. It was at Jamestown where colonists from the Virginia Company first settled in 1607. And the spot where they landed is now First Landing State Park, a National Natural Landmark that is listed in the National Register of Historic Places. There are no manmade vestiges of this history to see here, but visitors can explore the same beaches, waterways and cypress swamps that early colonists encountered on their arrival. Aside from the history, First Landing State Park is also a great spot to enjoy nature, with 1.5 miles of beach, campground, cabins, and nine hiking and biking trails that run for 19 miles through the park’s lagoons, dunes and beachfront.

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