Virginia Beach, Virginia
Thanks to its miles of beaches, Navy presence, and affordable restaurants and bars (although you can still find places to splurge), Virginia Beach finds itself as one of the most visited summer beach destinations in the U.S., especially during holiday weekends like Memorial Day and Labor Day.
The beach here is known for being a prime spot for surfing, and the city hosts tons of surfing competitions.
Throughout the warmer months, families should add the Virginia Aquarium to the vacation agenda.
ALSO CHECK OUT
The Ocean Breeze WaterPark
FISHING VIRGINIA BEACH
What Makes Virginia Beach Special?
You may be thinking, “There are a lot of places to go fishing on the East Coast, what makes Virginia Beach special?” Well, quite a lot, actually.
For starters, it sits on the mouth of the Chesapeake Bay, the country’s largest and most important inshore fishery. The bay is most famous for producing 80–90% of the world’s Striped Bass. That’s just one of hundreds of fish that you can find here, all of which swim within kayaking distance of downtown VA beach as they migrate in and out of the bay.
Virginia Beach is also the meeting place of the Eastern Seaboard. It’s where warm water fish like Redfish and Cobia meet northern species like Tautog and Stripers. An incredible variety of game fish visit over the course of the year. In fact, it seems like fish enjoy vacationing here as much as people do.
Lastly, there’s Virginia Beach’s deep sea scene. Long ago, ancient rivers cut scars into the edge of the continental shelf. These underwater canyons are now the hunting ground of huge Tuna, Marlin, Swordfish, and Sharks. Closer to town, Mahi Mahi and Sailfish patrol structure that also holds huge Seabass, Tilefish, and Grouper. In short, VA Beach has it all.
Lynnhaven Bay: These sprawling marshes are just a short hop from town, but they feel a million miles away. They hold Flounder, Speckled Trout, and “Puppy” Drum. Fish the bay itself or work the pilings around Lesner Bridge in the inlet.
Chesapeake Bay Bridge: The bridge is fun from shore, but it’s even better from a kayak. As well as your full range of inshore species, experienced ‘yakers can fish deeper spots for Spadefish, Cobia, Sheepshead, Stripers, and more.
Back Bay National Wildlife Refuge: Looking for some freshwater fun? These sheltered waters hold everything from Bluegill and Crappie to Bass, Catfish, and even Gar. It’s also a great place to escape the infamous Resort City crowd
Rudee Inlet: A classic shore fishing spot just a stone’s throw from many Oceanfront hotels. It can get pretty crowded, but it’s still a good place to fish. Cast from the rocks banking the inlet for Flounder, Spot, Croaker, and Drum.
Chic’s Beach: Chic Beach has something for every angler. Enjoy some of the best surf fishing in Virginia Beach. Cast around the pilings of the Chesapeake Bay Bridge, Either way, expect Sharks, Rays, Drum, Trout, and much more.
Fishing Piers: Spanish Mackerel, Red and Black Drum, and even Cobia show up around the piers. Virginia Beach Fishing Pier is the most convenient. Farther away, Sandbridge Pier has just as many fish with fewer people.
Many visitors may prefer hitting the links at one of the many golf courses.
LIST OF PREFERRED GOLF COURSES – VIRGINIA BEACH
The City of Virginia Beach owns five public golf courses, all of which are leased and privately operated and managed.
For rates and tee times, please contact the courses with the information below.
Red Wing Lake Golf Course (pictured)
1144 Prosperity Road, Virginia Beach, VA 23451 | (757) 437-2037 | Website
Course: Designed by George Cobb, Red Wing Lake has sloping bent grass greens and wide bermuda fairways. New wetland areas and lakes provide beauty and additional challenges.
Yardage/Rating/Slope: Championship: 7,124 / 73.9 / 129 | Blue: 6,653 / 71.9 / 125 | White: 6,133 / 69.3 / 115 | Gold: 5,601 / 66.5 / 109 | Green: 4,841 / 67.2 / 108
Bow Creek Golf Course
3425 Club House Road, Virginia Beach, VA 23452 | (757) 431-3763 | Website
Course: Plays to a par 70, with challenging narrow bermuda fairways and bent grass greens. Demanding par 3s, several dogleg holes and the meandering creek adds to the beauty of this course designed by Fred Sappenfield among mature oak trees.
Rating/slope: Blue: 67.9 / 120 | White: 66.3 / 116 | Red: 69.1 / 112
Kempsville Greens Golf Course
4840 Princess Anne Road, Virginia Beach, VA 23454 | (757) 474-8441 | Website
Course: 5,500 yards, 18 holes, par 70 course with bermuda fairways and bent grass greens that features a challenging back nine with numerous bunkers and water hazards.
Yardage/Rating/Slope: Championship: 5,849 / 67.8 / 114 | Regular: 5,478 / 66.1 / 111 | Women’s: 4,538 / 63.8 / 94
Stumpy Lake Golf Course
4797 Indian River Rd, Virginia Beach, VA 23456 | (757) 467-6119 | Website
Course: A Robert Trent Jones, par 72 golf course which was carved out of woodland and incorporates plenty of natural water hazards and well placed bunkers across its 6,846 yards. The fairways on this course are tree lined and the greens are large. A driving range with both grass and mats is on site, as well as a practice bunker, a chipping area, and a putting green.
Rating/Slope: Red: 67.1 / 97 | White: 70.1 / 115 | Blue: 72.2 / 119
Virginia Beach National Golf Club
2500 Tournament Drive, Virginia Beach, VA 23456 | (757) 563-9440 | Website
Featuring bent grass greens and Bermuda fairways. The facility also offers an all grass range, putting and chipping greens.
OR SIMPLY STROLL THE BEAUTIFUL 3 MILE BOARDWALK
Famed for its scenic sandy shores, acres of lush parkland, and cultural charm, Virginia Beach is a multi-faceted year-round retreat. While a summer stay might be the first thing that comes to mind (it does have Beach in the name, after all), fall is, in fact, one of the best times to visit.
Whether you’re looking for some thrills at 10,000 feet, a sojourn under the stars, or a chance to put your sleuthing skills to the test, this Southern locale offers tons of activities that break the weekend-away mold. Here are six off-the-beaten-path pursuits to ensure you won’t leave with FOMO.
The Military Aviation Museum
Camping on the Beach
If you’ve ever dreamed of falling asleep to the sound of the rolling tide under a starry sky, False Cape State Park affords a sandy stretch of beachfront on which to stake your claim – and your tent.
RV SITES AND HOOKUPS
Situated in southern Virginia Beach, the area is a remote mile-wide parcel between Back Bay and the Atlantic Ocean, where you can camp right on the beach with no one else around. Vehicles are not permitted, so you’ll need to hike, bike, boat, or hop on the Back Bay National Wildlife Refuge beach transport or tram service to get there. Twelve campsites are available, as well as plenty of surrounding trails to trek or bike through dunes, woodlands, farm fields, and salt marshes.
HIGH FLYING ADVENTURES
History buffs will appreciate The Military Aviation Museum’s vast collection of classic military planes from World War I and World War
II on view, but nothing beats the rush of actually taking flight in one. The museum makes it possible to test your wings (with a veteran pilot at the wheel) aboard an authentic aircraft like a Boeing Stearman Model 75 from 1941.
On this open-cockpit, 15- or 30-minute ride, you’ll want to have your camera at the ready as you soar above the Virginia Beach countryside, the Intracoastal Waterway, and the sand dunes of the Back Bay National Wildlife Refuge.
LOVE THOSE OYSTERS
It’s one thing to sample and slurp legendary Lynnhaven Oysters, that have made a home within the waters of the Lynnhaven River since the 1600s, but it’s an entirely different experience to shuck them straight from the sea.
The Pleasure House Oyster Farm takes mollusk-enthused visitors on a boat tour down the Lynnhaven River to see how the oysters are farmed—and, of course, allows for generous sampling of these salty-zingy treasures along the way.
The four-hour Waterman Tour is the most hands-on excursion offered, where true aficionados can slip on some gear and get knee-deep in the water to gather bunches of bi-valves from the depths themselves.
Who doesn’t love a good whodunit now and then? Even better if you actually get to be a part of the story by helping to solve the mystery. At the Get a Clue Murder Mystery Dinner Theater, someone is killed and everyone is a suspect. Maybe it was the underpaid and overworked sister, the shady business partner, or a disgruntled audience member. Here, over a buffet dinner, guests can get in on all the action by interrogating suspects and examining the evidence to help detectives crack the case and figure out Who Killed the Boss. Performances are every Saturday night through Dec. 21.
Best in Brews
Autumn is the ideal time to get crafty by hitting up Virginia Beach’s bigtime craft beer scene. The best way to get a taste of every flavor is by following the Virginia Beach Beer Trail: From the Chesapeake Bay District to the Oceanfront District, more than 25 local taprooms and breweries are overflowing with suds to sample.
Try some tasty fall blends like the MAHI Vanilla Milk Stout, a roasted malt and chocolate mix with notes of vanilla and coffee at Reaver Beach Brewing Co.
Or the seasonal favorite Witch of Pungo Pumpkin Beer, brewed using local pumpkins at Back Bay Brewing Co.
All the Adventure
Exploring the great outdoors in Virginia Beach doesn’t have to be by foot or bike—in fact, you don’t even need to be on the ground at all. Thanks to two renowned zip-line parks, you can fly above the verdant tree line and trails below, scoping the scenery as you go.
The Adventure Park at Virginia Aquarium not only features multiple zip lines up to 150 feet up, but aerial ropes courses of various levels from beginner to expert.
Nearby is AdventureWorks at Virginia Beach, which offers nine zip lines, up to 1,000 feet in length, including a tandem experience, all set amid 60 acres of maritime forests.
ADVENTURE PARK TICKETS AND RESERVATIONS
Throughout the warmer months, families should add the Virginia Aquarium to the vacation agenda.