Great Escapes: Our guide to Virginia Beach, VA

Planning a getaway? Check out Virginia Beach, VA, a coastal city rich in art, history, outdoor activities + mouth-watering cuisine.

Virginia Beach, VA sunrise-Great Escapes

Catch a sunrise at Sandbridge Beach.

Photo by RALtoday

Planning a getaway? Check out Virginia Beach, VA, a coastal city rich in art, history, outdoor activities + mouth-watering cuisine.

City Editor Cat here. Growing up in Chesapeake, VA, ~24 minutes from Virginia Beach, I spent my summers by the coast eating fresh-caught seafood, soaking in beach sunsets, and biking along the three-mile boardwalk. Act like a local by following this summer getaway guide to VA Beach.

Why go?

  • Explore this coastal city where the Atlantic Ocean meets the Chesapeake Bay with activities fit for the whole family to enjoy.
  • Close out the summer with the Neptune Festival (Fri., Sept. 20-Sun., Oct. 2) along the boardwalk with wine tastings, an air show, sandcastle competition (City Editor Cat’s favorite part), art show, and the Neptune parade.
  • Try these three new foodie spotsLove Song, Three Notch’d Virginia Beach + Granier Bakery.
  • Check out this vacation guide and this travel guide for more recommendations.
King Neptune-Virginia Beach, VA-history-statue-Great Escapes.jpg

Snap a picture with King Neptune at 31st Street.

Photo by RALtoday

Act like a local:

  • Food: Enjoy fresh seafood at The Atlantic on Pacific, right across from the oceanfront. We recommend the baked Oyster Chesapeake (oysters topped with roasted mushrooms, garlic, white wine + fontina).
  • Drink: A taste of home. Visit The Raleigh Room at the Cavalier Resort for afternoon tea. The lounge is a sophisticated spot to sip on tea + cocktails or listen to live music. (Psst… look for Sir Walter Raleigh on the walls.)
  • Outdoors: Rent a pontoon boat for the day from Bay Venture Boat Rentals (a boating license is not required).
  • Coffee: For a cup of joe surrounded by surfer vibes head to Three Ships Coffee Roasters or Java Surf Café & Espresso Bar.
  • Explore: Grab a fresh-made pastry from Sandbridge Seaside Market (209 Sandbridge Rd.) and head to Sandbridge Beach to watch the sunrise.
  • Listen: Catch a free concert at 24th Street Park along the oceanfront (walk a few streets over to see the King Neptune statue at 31st Street).
Oysters-Atlantic on Pacific-restaurant-Virginia Beach, VA-Great Escapes.jpg

Enjoy raw oysters from The Atlantic on Pacific.

Photo by RALtoday

Where to stay:

VRBO-Virginia-Beach.jpg

Adorable cottage in the heart of the Old Beach area, close to the boardwalk.

Photo via Vrbo

Bonus message from our partner: If you’re looking to book this trip, Scott’s Cheap Flights offers all the affordable flight hacks from your home airport. Sign up here.*

More from RAltoday