Virginia Beach has a special spot in my heart. Even though I grew up 3,000 miles away from this lively city, it is the place that brought my family together. My aunts, uncles, and cousins have lived here for decades and this beach getaway was always the perfect place to reconnect and celebrate–from Thanksgivings to summer vacations. With three unique beaches (Sandbridge, Resort, and Chesapeake Bay), water is everywhere…and people enjoy it from every angle. Whether paddleboarding the tributaries, sailing at sunset, or just strolling the three-mile boardwalk, this is a place where people know how to “live the life.”
Returning as a couple, I’m realizing Virginia Beach has so many more sides to explore…nightlife, culinary, adventure, and romantic. (Hey, they say this state is for lovers, right?). Here are some of our favorite places, plus local intel on the hottest spots.
Chick’s Oyster Bar
When you find yourself between the Chesapeake and the Atlantic, you need to eat seafood. To get that quintessential seaside vista, wooden picnic tables, and crab shuckin’ experience…Chick’s is the spot. Go at sunset for sliders or weekends for their unreal Bloody Mary bar.
For organic eats and a super cool vibe, head to Commune. The owner started as a farmer and believes farm to table is the only path to truly wholesome food. Try the roasted veggie Backyard Salad, a side of pickles from their garden, and a Lavender Latte to keep you buzzing.
Commonwealth Brewing Company
What could be cooler than a firehouse turned tap house? The station’s old garage doors are now modern glass and open to a breezy tasting room, beer garden, and event space. Come for live music, food trucks, and 28 taps of fun.
Kayak Back Bay Wildlife Refuge
VA Beach as over 120 miles of scenic waterways to explore, with our favorite being Back Bay Wildlife Refuge. Paddle through a wild range of ecosystems, from Muddy Creek to “Cypress Alley.” Odds are you’ll spot great blue herons, white egrets, and diving turtles.
VIBE Creative District
Vintage décor, industrial design, hand-crafted treats, and just about anything made with love and creativity can be found in this trendy neighborhood, a stone’s throw from Resort Beach. Stroll the 35+ independently owned shops, with a special stop at Found Objects and French Twist.
Beach Street USA
There is a crazy volume of live (and free) music going on in this town. In addition to the major summer shows like FunkFest and the American Music Festival, solid acts rock out along Atlantic Avenue every night of the summer. This eight block corridor is packed with performers across the spectrum…just walk until your feet start tappin’.
Beach Spa Bed & Breakfast
Just two blocks off the boardwalk, this 1937 beach cottage cannot be beat for location, charm, and relaxation. Plus, they just brought in a new innkeeper from the Ritz Carlton, so you know the service is good.
As someone who fell in love with Virginia Beach staying at family homes, I love that Airbnb offers that same familial and laidback vibe. You can rent a whole house on the beach…or, as we love to do, book one room in a house—it’s a fraction of the price and you get to meet the locals…maybe even our cousins 😉
Note: This post is sponsored by Virginia Beach Visitors Bureau, but as always, the opinions expressed are our own.