Virginia Beach has long been a haven for sun worshippers, surfers, and foodies. It’s the state’s most populous city and frequently makes the list of the nation’s most desirable places to live. If you’re eager to skip past the typical tourist traps and see Neptune City for the magical place it is, give our three day itinerary a try!
Day 1: Cruise Down the Boardwalk
The Virginia Beach Oceanfront is undeniably the city’s largest draw – and for good reason. The unspoiled shores are incredibly scenic. If you’re dreaming about a traditional beach vacation, start by renting bikes and cruising down the boardwalk. It’s a great way to take in the sights, do some people watching, and get the lay of the land. Be sure to stop and pose for a few selfies with King Neptune himself!
While you’re at the Oceanfront, take advantage of the abundance of delicious restaurants and cocktail bars for sunset. Head to Rudee’s On the Inlet for an orange crush, the area’s signature drink. Feast on steamed shrimp and crab legs at Chix on the Beach. For a truly romantic night on the town, make reservations at the Cavalier Inn’s fine dining restaurant Becca. Their garden-to-table inspired menu is sure to delight.
Day 2: Get Back to Nature
While Virginia Beach might be famous for its happening boardwalk, you’d be remiss to spend the entire weekend there. Just a few miles from the Oceanfront, First Landing State Park feels a world apart. Peaceful lagoons, bald cypress swamps, and a maritime forest make this hidden gem a true oasis amidst the tourist packed beaches. Rent a kayak and explore the spot where English colonists first arrived back in 1607. Keep an eye out for wildlife – you’re sure to spot a tundra swan or ruby-throated hummingbird while on the water!
If marine life is more your thing, book a stand up paddleboard – also known as a SUP – dolphin tour. It’s the best way to get up close and personal with these truly majestic creatures. Dolphins often come within mere feet of the tour, as curious about paddle boarders as we are about them! With both daytime and sunset options available for booking, there’s plenty of memories to be made out on the water.
Day 3: Take a Local Approach
After two days on the sand and in the sun, you might be eager to see what more Virginia Beach has to offer. There’s a reason locals love this city: it’s teeming with charming neighborhoods, funky breweries, and delicious places to eat. Do as the locals do and spend some time exploring the Virginia Beach Farmers Market, where you can pick up fresh seafood, seasonal produce, jams, barbecue sauce, and bouquets of locally grown flowers. It’s the perfect place to grab a taste of Virginia to bring back home with you.
Next, head to the ViBE Creative District, located just a few blocks from the Oceanfront. It’s home to gorgeous murals, sidewalk art and other Instagram-worthy public art projects. While you’re there, grab a cup of java at Three Ships Coffee Roasters, known for their delicious single-origin beans. Then head over to the Virginia Museum of Contemporary Art. Featuring a constant rotation of exciting new exhibitions, there’s always something fresh to see and do there.
Wind down your weekend over beers at Back Bay Brewing’s Farmhouse. It’s situated on 1.5 gorgeous acres of local farmland, with a historic home serving as the centerpiece and gathering place for visitors. Take a guided tour to learn more about the history of the home and property, or just sit around the fire pit and enjoy a cold one.
The Land of Unlimited Possibilities
It’s impossible to cram in all of Virginia Beach’s sights and scenery into a single weekend. While this three-day itinerary is a great starting point, the sky is truly the limit. No matter how you spend your time in Virginia Beach, you’re sure to head home relaxed and rejuvenated!
I'm Chelsea, a freelance writer and Norfolk native. While I'm currently based in North Carolina, I can never stay away from CoVA for long! I take a weekend warrior approach to my frequent visits, packing in as much beach time and restaurant hopping as I can.
Explore Coastal Virginia
About Explore CoVA
Explore CoVA is a travel and lifestyle blog designed to help you find new and local things to do in the region. Follow our journey as we explore, taste, sip, and play our way through Coastal Virginia.