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Attractions Across Virginia

12 Best Virginia Beach Attractions

Virginia Beach scene
The beach is one of many attractions at Virginia Beach. © Scott Bateman
Virginia Beach attractions will keep just about any visitor (or resident) busy for days.

Although the main draw is the oceanfront, the tourist district has plenty to do, and other major attractions are close enough by car that they take little time to reach.

1. Oceanfront
The Virginia Beach oceanfront is long, popular and covered with golden sand. It has multiple access points and plenty of lifeguards. Anyone who doesn’t stay at one of the many hotels that line the beach will have to find street parking, which is difficult during the weekend and much easier during the week.

2. The Boardwalk
The Boardwalk runs parallel to the beach and in front of the hotel strip. A convenient cycling and rollerblading lane runs next to it. Many of the hotels that line the beach also have restaurants that face the beach and cater to beach crowds. Some of them are open air. The Boardwalk is popular with strollers because of the restaurants, easy access to shops and other things to see.

3. Colonial Williamsburg
Anyone willing to drive a bit should consider visiting Colonial Williamsburg, the world’s largest living history museum covering 300 acres with museums, historical buildings, events and demonstrations of America’s 18-century past.

4. Busch Gardens
Also in Williamsburg is Busch Gardens, the second largest theme park in Virginia but it is first in beauty. And yes, it does have gardens. It also has plenty of rides and entertainment.

5. Neptune Park
One interesting thing for strollers to see is Neptune Park on 31st Street. Guarding the park, and its biggest attraction, is the 34-foot-tall Neptune Statue that was built with donations from the annual Neptune Festival. The park is the site of numerous concerts throughout the year.

6. Old Coast Guard Station Museum
Another attraction for Boardwalk strollers is the Old Coast Guard Station Museum. The museum's two galleries depict the history of the United States Life-Saving and Coast Guard Services and shipwrecks on the Virginia Coast. It houses 1,800 artifacts and more than 1,000 photos.

Some major nearby attractions can be reached by foot or bicycle for energetic tourists staying in the resort area or by car.

7. Virginia Aquarium and Marine Science Center
The aquarium is one mile from the resort area at 717 General Booth Blvd. Energetic visitors who are staying in the resort area can walk to the aquarium or bike there (if they have rented one from a Boardwalk vendor). The aquarium is an extensive facility with numerous animals, exhibits, and “premium experiences” as well as an Imax theater.

8. Ocean Breeze Water Park
Walk, ride or drive just a little farther along General Booth Boulevard to 717 and see the Ocean Breeze Water Park. Take a right onto Ocean Breeze Parkway to reach it. The park features 16 waterslides, a 1 million-gallon Runaway Bay wave pool and the Buccaneer Bay Water Playground.

9. Motor World & Shipwreck Golf
Still looking for something to do? Continue along Ocean Breeze Parkway and look for Motor World and Shipwreck Golf. Motor World features 11 go-kart tracks and 250 karts with 16 different style go-karts. Shipwreck Golf, owned by Motor World, is a 36-hole adventure putt-putt course.

10. The Virginia Zoo
The zoo at 3500 Granby St. is one of two accredited zoos in Virginia. It covers 53 acres and has more than 500 animals.

Two other attractions require a longer drive.

11. First Landing State Park
The 2,888 acre First Landing State Park, located off Route 60 near Fort Story, is Virginia’s most visited park. It has boating, swimming, nature and history programs, hiking, biking, picnicking, a boat launch, cabins and 20 miles of trails. It also has campsites with water and electric hook-ups and nearby access to restrooms and showers

12. Mount Trashmore
Anyone driving to or from the beach on I-264 shouldn’t have any trouble spotting Mount Trashmore near exit 17. This municipal landfill is the first in the country to be transformed into a city park. The park covers 65 acres and includes two hills and two lakes. The largest hill, called Mount Trashmore, is 60 feet tall and 800 feet long. Visitors lounge, stroll or often fly kites on windy days.

Hours and Location

Location: Virginia Beach
Address: 2100 Parks Avenue, 23451
Telephone: 1-800-822-3224
Web site:
Latitude: 36.845319
Longitude: -75.973034
Categories > Hampton Roads > Virginia Beach

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