This post was last updated on July 26th, 2016
There’s no question that Virginia Beach boasts beautiful surf and sand. Known for its fun boardwalk and stellar sunsets, it’s considered one of the best beaches on the east coast. However, there’s so much more to Virginia Beach that makes it a destination hot spot. As the only big city on Virginia’s coast, residents and visitors get to enjoy beach activities as well as tons of big city perks like awesome nightlife, restaurants, shopping, and more.
Since Virginia Beach combines the best of both worlds with fantastic beach and city scenes, it’s better than any other city in Virginia. Here are just some of the reasons why Virginia Beach ranks supreme.
1. The Boardwalk
Image via Flickr by tobyotter
Virginia Beach’s boardwalk is one of the most famous boardwalks in the country. No other city in Virginia has anything like it. Stretching three miles long, it’s always a happening scene with street performers, outdoor cafes, and concerts. On the weekends and throughout the summer, there’s almost always a cool event like laser shows, crab-eating contests, and beer fests. Book an affordable hotel like the Holiday Inn Express Hotel & Suites Virginia Beach near the Boardwalk so that you’re always within walking distance of all the activity.
2. The Nightlife
Whether you’re into laid-back lounges or energetic dance clubs, Virginia Beach will impress you with its wide variety of nightlife. Ultra Martini Lounge offers a sophisticated ambiance for craft cocktails and martinis. If you’re a beer lover and would rather enjoy a casual evening out, Young Veterans Brewing Company is a great spot to sit back and enjoy a craft beer.
Don’t worry about getting around the city, even at night. The Virginia Beach Wave Trolley runs through city, hotel areas, and major attractions. At only $1.50 a ride, this trolley is a steal for those wanting to explore multiple areas on a budget.
3. The Sports
Image via Flickr by FreeWine
Since the city has miles of beach as well as tons of parks and waterways, the opportunities for outdoor activities are endless. From boating to jet-skiing to golf courses, there’s a sport for everyone.
4. The Beaches
Nowhere else in Virginia will you get to enjoy the ocean breeze like you will in Virginia Beach. Also, unlike most beach cities, VA beach encompasses several beach areas, all with their own unique vibe. If you’re a nature enthusiast looking for a tranquil beach, Chesapeake Bay Beach has your name all over it. Sandbridge Beach is also serene and tucked away from the crowds. If you want the fast-paced and fun area, the resort area is a guaranteed great time.
5. The Restaurants
Image via Flickr by larryjh1234
Virginia Beach has the best culinary scene in Virginia, too. Between the new innovative restaurants scattered around town and the always fresh seafood joints, you simply can’t go wrong with any locally owned restaurant. Firebrew is known for its self-serve wine stations as well as its gourmet pub food. Another great spot for delicious cuisine is Blue Seafood and Spirits. The casual joint is known for their crab cakes but all of their seafood dishes come highly recommended.
6. The Nature
Virginia Beach is also better because it has thousands of acres of parks. Some of the noteworthy parks to explore are False Cape State Park and First landing State Park. If you enjoy kayaking, you can explore wildlife while cruising down one of the many outer coast waterways.
7. The History
Virginia Beach is an area steeped in history going way back to the first wave of European colonists. John Smith and his crew landed at Virginia Beach before heading north to colonize what would become Jamestown. Today, there’s many historic sites still available to explore including the Adam Thoroughgood House, the Cape Henry Lighthouse, the Francis Land House, and the Ferry Plantation House. The Ferry Plantation House boasts a museum, educational center, and even “spirit tours” where visitors can hear about the eleven ghosts the haunt the house.
No matter how you look at it, Virginia Beach easily trumps every other Virginia city. From thriving nightlife to serene nature, the city appeals every type of traveler.
Leslie is a freelance writer who has been to Virginia Beach many summers and always enjoys the diverse experience.