Eat, Play, Sleep: Virginia Beach

Photo by the Virginia Beach Convention & Visitors Bureau
Photo by the Virginia Beach Convention & Visitors Bureau
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.


Oysters at Chick’s Oyster Bar
Photo by Chick’s Oyster Bar

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.


Virginia Beach Kayak
Photo By: Adventure Kayak Tours

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’.


Virginia Beach Beach Spa Inn
Photo by: Beach Spa B&B

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.

8 thoughts on “Eat, Play, Sleep: Virginia Beach

  • September 21, 2016 at 10:16 pm

    This is a great list of places to visit in Virginia Beach.I am partial to Bed and Breakfasts because they allow you a homey feel over a hotel. If I ever get down there I would love to check out Commune because I love Farm to Table dining.

  • September 22, 2016 at 9:12 am

    My family lives just across the bay from there on the Eastern Shore. We used to go to VA Beach when I was a kid and I loved visiting there. I would love to take my daughter out there someday to enjoy all of the places I used to love as a child. Such a fun place to visit!

  • September 22, 2016 at 11:40 am

    I’ve never been to Virginia Beach – heck being a West Coaster I’ve only been to the East Coast one time – I did love it but this looks like a spot I need to check out if I ever make it back! Maybe it’s because it’s cold where I’m at this morning, but that sun and those oysters just look heavenly!

  • September 22, 2016 at 1:51 pm

    Almost every single year my family vacations in Virginia. We typically head to the Williamsburg area, but always see the VA Beach sign and wish we could make a pit stop! Next time we will have to visit there for a day or two!

  • September 22, 2016 at 6:37 pm

    We love spending time at the beach! So relaxing and just overall fun! Thank you for this great resource for Virginia Beach. We’re always looking for new beaches to explore during the summer. This will definitely come in handy!

  • September 22, 2016 at 7:25 pm

    What a lovely place and a lovely story about it bringing your family together! This is in my bucket list, thank you for the recommendations!

  • September 22, 2016 at 10:54 pm

    I used to live in Virginia Beach – but I have almost no memory of the town because I was very young when we left the city to move to New Jersey

  • October 30, 2016 at 9:39 am

    Virginia Beach is a great place to live or travel and see, everyone should explore the greater Hampton Roads and Virginia Beach area once in their life. There is so much history here and one of the friendliest communities I have ever lived in. With the biggest population (25%) of active duty and retired military folks the area is full of people helping each other out, a lot of great small businesses (like my window cleaning service) and restaurants galore. Some of the best seafood I have experienced straight out of VA Beach, and the beach itself while usually pretty packed in the summer months is still a must experience! Virginia Beach is the perfect mix of high rise buildings and that city feel a little inland to the beach and warm water fun!


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