Top 24 Things to Do in Virginia Beach | 2024 (with Photos)

Natalija Marković

Natalija Marković - Travel Writer

Published: June 29, 2023

Hey there! I'm Natalija, a travel enthusiast excited to share with you the top things to do in Virginia Beach. Having explored this vibrant destination myself, I can't wait for you to experience the rich culture, stunning beaches, and unforgettable adventures Virginia Beach has to offer.

Things to Do in Virginia Beach, Virginia

If you're planning a trip to Virginia Beach, you're in for a treat.

The city is famous for its beautiful beaches and diverse array of attractions. Whether you're traveling with family or friends, you'll find plenty to see and do in Virginia Beach.

We've put together a list of 20 fun things to do in Virginia Beach, so you can make the most of your trip. So, pack your bags and get ready to experience all Virginia Beach has to offer.

Most Recommended Thing to Do

Virginia Beach Boardwalk

Top Choice Hotel

Hilton Virginia Beach Oceanfront

Our Top Choice Restaurant

Terrapin Restaurant

Our Top Choice Bar for Nightlife

Waterman's Surfside Grille

Best Time to Visit

Sunny summers, mild springs, and vibrant autumn foliage.

Average Temperature

Mild climate with varying temperatures throughout the year.

Transportation Options

Buses, taxis, rideshares, bikes, scooters, ferries, walking, private cars.

Average Cost ($, $$, $$$)


My Top Recommendation

Virginia Beach, located in the United States of America, offers a delightful mix of stunning beaches and exciting attractions that will surely captivate any traveler. Stroll along the iconic boardwalk, breathing in the crisp ocean breeze and immersing yourself in the laid-back atmosphere of this coastal city.

For a truly unforgettable experience in Virginia Beach, gather your friends and embark on an adrenaline-fueled adventure by taking part in exhilarating water sports such as jet-skiing or paddleboarding, feeling the rush of the waves beneath you and the sun warming your skin. After a day of fun-filled activities, unwind with a romantic sunset dinner at one of the beachfront restaurants, relishing the mouthwatering local seafood while gazing at the mesmerizing hues of the sky as it dips below the horizon.

What You'll Need to Bring

  1. Swimming essentials
  2. Hat
  3. Sunglasses
  4. Comfortable walking shoes
  5. Camera
  6. Snacks and water for the beach
  7. Money for food and souvenirs
  8. Portable phone charger
  9. Travel-size toiletries

What Not to Miss

  1. Boardwalk and Beach
  2. Virginia Aquarium & Marine Science Center
  3. First Landing State Park
  4. Cape Henry Lighthouse
  5. Neptune Statue
  6. Sandbridge Beach
  7. Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel
  8. Military Aviation Museum
  9. Old Coast Guard Station Museum
  10. Virginia Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA)

What to Avoid

  1. Crowded tourist spots
  2. High-season travel
  3. Beaches with heavy surf or rip currents
  4. Unreliable weather forecasts
  5. Rush hour traffic
  6. Excessive sun exposure without sunscreen
  7. Leaving valuables unattended
  8. Late-night walks in unfamiliar areas
  9. Unfamiliar seafood vendors
  10. Ignoring parking signs and regulations.

1. Explore the First Landing State Park

First Landing State Park

One of the best things to do in Virginia Beach is to explore the First Landing State Park. This is one of the most popular Virginia Beach attractions.

First Landing State Park in Virginia Beach is a stunning coastal park covering over 2,800 acres of land, which offers visitors miles of hiking trails and stunning sand dunes.

The First Landing State Park was the site of the first English landing in Virginia, which adds an educational and cultural element to any visit, with interpretive programs and exhibits available to the public.

2. Stroll Along the Virginia Beach Boardwalk

Virginia Beach Boardwalk

Another of the major Virginia Beach attractions is the Virginia Beach Boardwalk. Any list of things to do in Virginia Beach will include the iconic boardwalk.

The Virginia Beach Boardwalk is a three-mile stretch of oceanfront promenade that runs parallel to the beach. It is a hub of entertainment in VA Beach, with numerous restaurants, shops, and attractions.

Visitors to the Virginia Beach Boardwalk can enjoy biking, rollerblading, and walking, and spot the famous Norwegian Lady Statue. During the summer months, the Virginia Beach Boardwalk comes alive with live music, street performers, and festivals.

3. Take a Tour of the Back Bay National Wildlife Refuge

Back Bay National Wildlife Refuge

Next on our list of things to do in Virginia Beach is the Back Bay National Wildlife Refuge.

The Back Bay National Wildlife Refuge is a stunning natural area in Virginia Beach. It encompasses over 9,000 acres of diverse habitats, including beaches, dunes, woodlands, and freshwater marshes.

Visitors can enjoy the hiking trails or go birdwatching and wildlife viewing. Back Bay National Wildlife Refuge is home to bald eagles, ospreys, and great blue herons, as well as various mammals and reptiles.

4. Visit the Virginia Museum of Contemporary Art

 Virginia Museum of Contemporary Art

The Virginia Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA) is a free art museum in the ViBe Creative District (501 Virginia Beach Blvd), showcasing the work of national and international contemporary artists.

The Virginia Museum of Contemporary Art features over 4,500 works of art, ranging from paintings and sculptures to multimedia installations and digital media. Visitors can also participate in artist talks, workshops, and educational programs for all ages.

5. Watch the sunset at Chesapeake Bay Beach

sunset at Chesapeake Bay Beach

Chesapeake Bay Beach, or Chic's Beach, is a beautiful stretch of sand in Virginia Beach. The beach boasts calm waters and stunning sunsets, making it one of the best things to do in Virginia Beach.

The atmosphere at Chesapeake Bay Beach is more relaxed than the bustling Virginia Beach oceanfront. Visitors can enjoy swimming, kayaking, and paddleboarding in the bay's calm waters. The beach is lined with restaurants and bars, serving up fresh seafood.

6. King Neptune Statue and Neptune's Park

King Neptune Statue

The bronze statue of King Neptune stands tall at 34 feet and weighs 12.5 tons, making it one of the largest outdoor sculptures in the country. The statue overlooks the Virginia Beach Boardwalk and the ocean, making it a popular spot for taking photos.

Neptune's Park, where the statue is located, hosts the famous Neptune Festival. The Neptune Festival in Virginia Beach is one of the largest festivals in town. It includes the North American Sand Sculpting Championship, the Atlantic Regatta, and more.

7. Drive Across the Historic Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel

Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel

The Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel spans 23 miles across the Chesapeake Bay, connecting Virginia's Eastern Shore with the mainland. The Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel in Virginia Beach was completed in 1964 and was an engineering marvel in Virginia Beach at the time.

Today, visitors can drive across the Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel, enjoy breathtaking views of the bay and the Virginia Beach coastline, and visit the observation decks and exhibits that showcase the history of the bridge-tunnel.

When you are visiting Virginia Beach, the Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel is a must-visit attraction. You can even watch the ships glide into Virginia Beach from the vantage point of the Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel.

8. Discover Virginia Aquarium and Marine Science Center

Virginia Aquarium and Marine Science Center

The Virginia Beach Aquarium is one of the best things to do in Virginia Beach. It features over 800,000 gallons of water and over 10,000 animals from around the world, including sharks, sea turtles, and otters.

The Virginia Beach Aquarium also offers a variety of interactive experiences, including animal encounters, behind-the-scenes tours, and hands-on activities for children.

The Marine Science Center is dedicated to educating visitors about the marine environment and promoting conservation efforts.

9. Go on a Dolphin and Whale-Watching Tour

Dolphin and Whale-Watching Tour

Dolphin and whale watching tours are offered in various locations along the Virginia Beach coastline. A boat tour is an exciting way to experience the beauty of the ocean and observe marine life in its natural habitat.

Such a boat tour typically lasts between two and three hours and takes visitors on a journey along the Virginia Beach coastline in search of dolphins, whales, and seals.

Along the way, knowledgeable guides provide information about marine creatures and their natural habitat.

10. Visit the Ocean Breeze Waterpark

Ocean Breeze Waterpark

The Ocean Breeze Waterpark is one of the top Virginia Beach attractions. Located just south of the Virginia Beach Oceanfront, the Ocean Breeze Waterpark is a fun-filled day of aquatic adventures for the whole family.

Thrill-seekers can take on the twists and turns of the "Riptide Express" or enjoy the "Runaway Bay" wave pool, while those seeking a more relaxing experience can float down the lazy river at Ocean Breeze Waterpark or lounge in one of the many pool areas.

11. Explore Mount Trashmore Park

Mount Trashmore Park

Mount Trashmore Park in Virginia Beach was once a landfill but has since been transformed into a beautiful public space with over 165 acres of rolling hills, playgrounds, and picnic areas.

This is a unique and enjoyable Virginia Beach attraction for families with kids. Visitors can enjoy hiking, fishing, and even model airplane flying at Mount Trashmore.

Mount Trashmore Park is home to an impressive skate park and its hills also provide a stunning view of the city skyline, making it one of the best things to do in Virginia Beach for outdoor enthusiasts.

12. Visit Virginia Beach Surf & Rescue Museum

Virginia Beach Surf & Rescue Museum

The Virginia Beach Surf & Rescue Museum in Virginia Beach is dedicated to the rich history of the city's lifeguards. The museum features vintage surfboards, historic photographs, and artifacts from the city's beach safety program.

Visitors to this VA Beach attraction can also learn about the science of waves and the techniques used by lifeguards to rescue swimmers in distress. The museum is housed in the historic DeWitt Cottage, which dates back to the early 1900s.

Hot tip: The Old Coast Guard Station Museum is also dedicated to the history of beach safety and also features exhibits on the area's fishing and boating industries.

13. Visit the Harrison Opera House

Harrison Opera House

The Harrison Opera House in Norfolk, Virginia, is a historic venue that hosts productions of performing arts. Built in 1949, the theater has preserved its elegant Art Deco design and original architecture.

With a seating capacity of 1,632, the Harrison Opera House is the perfect destination for an intimate and immersive theater experience. The venue hosts operas, ballets, musicals, and plays, featuring talented performers from around the world.

14. Stop by JT's Grommet Island Park

JT's Grommet Island Park is a unique and inclusive destination in Virginia Beach, designed to provide children and adults with disabilities with a safe and fun environment to play and interact with others.

The park features accessible swings, slides, and a sensory boardwalk. The park is named after JT Walk, a local teenager who suffered from Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy and was created in his memory to promote accessibility and inclusion.

15. Explore False Cape State Park

False Cape State Park

Next up, we have the False Cape State Park in Virginia Beach.

False Cape State Park is a hidden gem for nature lovers in Virginia Beach. It spans over 4,000 acres and offers miles of hiking and biking trails, as well as beautiful beaches and sand dunes.

The park is home to deer, foxes, and a variety of bird species, making it a great spot for birdwatching. Visitors can also explore the remnants of a life-saving station from the late 1800s.

16. See the Virginia Beach fishing pier

Virginia Beach fishing pier

The Virginia Beach Fishing Pier in Virginia Beach is a great destination for a day of fishing and enjoying stunning views of the ocean and surrounding coastline.

The pier extends 1,000 feet into the Atlantic Ocean, providing ample space for anglers to cast their lines and catch a variety of fish species, including flounder, croaker, and bluefish. The pier also has a restaurant and gift shop.

17. Go on a spooky adventure

The Haunted Hunt Club Farm

The Haunted Hunt Club Farm in Virginia Beach is a spooky attraction that is not for the faint of heart. This popular destination is a Halloween-themed event featuring a variety of haunted attractions, including a haunted hayride, a haunted house, and a creepy carnival area.

The farm is transformed into a haunted wonderland, with special effects, and jump scares around every corner. The Haunted Hunt Club Farm has been named one of the best haunted attractions in the country and is one of the most fun things to do in Virginia Beach.

18. Visit the Two Cape Henry Lighthouses

Two Cape Henry Lighthouses

The Cape Henry Lighthouses at Fort Story are two iconic local landmarks: the Old Cape Henry Lighthouse, which dates back to 1792, and the New Cape Henry Lighthouse, built in 1881.

You can climb the stairs of the Old Cape Henry Lighthouse to take in breathtaking panoramic views of the Atlantic Ocean and the Chesapeake Bay. The surrounding area is part of the First Landing State Park, the site of the first landing of the Jamestown colonists in 1607.

The New Cape Henry Lighthouse sits only 357 feet away from the original. The New Cape Henry Lighthouse is more modern-looking than its red brick counterpart.

19. Check out the Atlantic Wildfowl Heritage Museum

Atlantic Wildfowl Heritage Museum

The Atlantic Wildfowl Heritage Museum in Virginia Beach is a fascinating museum that celebrates the history and culture of wildfowl hunting and decoy carving in the Atlantic region.

The Atlantic Wildfowl Heritage Museum is located within the historic Witt Cottage, otherwise known as the Holland Cottage.

The Atlantic Wildfowl Heritage Museum has a collection of over 1,000 decoys, as well as exhibits that showcase the traditions of the region's wildfowl hunting culture. Visitors can learn about decoy carving and the techniques used in wildfowl hunting.

20. Take Your Family to Atlantic Fun Park

Atlantic Fun Park

The Atlantic Fun Park is a popular destination for families and thrill-seekers alike in Virginia Beach. This amusement park offers a wide variety of roller coasters, a Ferris wheel, bumper cars, and carnival games.

Visitors can purchase ride tickets or wristbands for unlimited access to the park's attractions. The park is also located on the Virginia Beach Boardwalk, providing stunning views of the ocean and easy access to nearby restaurants and shops.

21. Visit the Ferry Plantation House

Ferry Plantation House

The Ferry Plantation House house dates back to the early 18th century and has since been transformed into a museum. Visitors can take a guided tour and learn about its use as a colonial ferry terminal and a stop on the Underground Railroad.

The house also hosts historical reenactments and educational programs for children. The beautiful grounds surrounding the house are perfect for a picnic or a stroll.

22. Surf at Sandbridge Beach

Sandbridge Beach

Sandbridge Beach is known for its natural beauty and unspoiled coastline. Sandbridge Beach is situated south of the resort area in Virginia Beach, providing a peaceful escape from the crowds.

At Sandbridge Beach, you can enjoy swimming and surfing in the Atlantic Ocean, and spot dolphins and sea turtles. The nearby Back Bay Wildlife Refuge offers opportunities for hiking and birdwatching, adding to the natural beauty of the area.

23. Visit the Military Aviation Museum

Military Aviation Museum

The Military Aviation Museum in Virginia Beach is home to a large collection of vintage military aircraft from World War I and II, as well as uniforms, and other memorabilia from the era.

Visitors can take a guided tour and learn about the history and technology of military aviation. The Military Aviation Museum also hosts air shows and historical reenactments.

24. Play a Round at Hell's Point Golf Club

Hell's Point Golf Club

Hell's Point Golf Club is a world-class 18-hole golf course designed by Rees Jones. It is known for its challenging layout and scenic views.

In addition to the golf course, Hell's Point also features a pro shop, driving range, and practice facilities. Whether you're a serious golfer or just looking for a fun day on the links, Hell's Point Golf Club is a must-visit destination in Virginia Beach.

Let's also explore some frequently asked questions related to things to do in Virginia Beach. Set your GPS to Virginia Beach, VA, 23451, and get ready to have a great trip.

What is Virginia Beach popular for?

Virginia Beach is famous for its beaches, lively boardwalk, delicious seafood, and water-based activities. You can also attend events such as the Virginia Wine Festival and Virginia Beach Restaurant Week or go on the famous Spirit of Norfolk Cruise.

VA Beach also has historical landmarks, such as the First Landing State Park, the Military Aviation Museum, and Old Cape Henry Lighthouse. You can also explore Mount Trashmore Park, Grommet Island Park, the Virginia Museum of Contemporary Art**,** and the Naval Aviation Monument Park.

How do I spend a day in Virginia Beach?

You can take a stroll along the Virginia Beach Boardwalk and see the Norwegian Lady Statue on a day in Virginia Beach. Stop by the Virginia Aquarium and Marine Science Center, take the Spirit of Norfolk Cruise, go whale watching, or have fun at Atlantic Fun Park, Ocean Breeze Water Park**,** or Surge Adventure Park. Art lovers can explore the ViBe Creative District**.**

Nature lovers will enjoy the Lake Smith Natural Area, Kiptopeke State Park on the Eastern Shore, or the Back Bay National Wildlife Refuge. Virginia Beach also has great places to kayak such as Knotts Island and Dismal Swamp Northwest River, and an indoor bouldering site called Virginia Beach Rock Gym**.**

Is it worth visiting Virginia Beach?

Yes, it is worth visiting Virginia Beach. This town has a vibrant boardwalk and attractions such as the Virginia Aquarium, Virginia Beach Waterpark, King Neptune Statue, Fort Story, Virginia Legends Walk, the Virginia Living Museum, Virginia Beach Rock Gym**,** Surge Adventure Park, and the Virginia Beach Surf and Rescue Museum.

Virginia Beach is close to other popular destinations for the whole family, such as Williamsburg and Norfolk, where you can visit the Virginia Zoo and the Norfolk Botanical Garden.

Summing Up: Top 24 Things to Do in Virginia Beach, Virginia

With so many exciting Virginia Beach attractions to explore, there's no shortage of things to enjoy during your visit.

From enjoying the art in the ViBe Creative District to whale watching and exploring Back Bay National Wildlife Refuge, there are plenty of activities to make your Virginia Beach vacation unforgettable.

So plan your trip and be sure to check out these top 24 attractions when visiting Virginia Beach to create memories that will last a lifetime.