Located on the Atlantic Ocean and nestled at the mouth of the beautiful Chesapeake Bay, Virginia Beach is an ideal beach vacation getaway with miles of beaches, hotels, restaurants, and shopping establishments. The city hosts the annual East Coast Surfing Championships, and is home to an array of beaches and numerous historic sites. Explore this area by dividing the city into three beach areas: The Resort Beach Area, Sandbridge, and Chesapeake Bay.

Guide to Top Attractions in Virginia Beach

Resort Beach Area

This three-mile beach area is where visitors will find the most popular boardwalk hotels and restaurants. Starting at Croatan Beach all the way up to the North End beaches, this is definitely the most social area of Virginia Beach. Popular eating establishments in the Resort Area include: 11th Street Taphouse Bar & Grille, 15th Street Raw Bar and Grill, 33rd Street Café, and 22nd Street Raw Bar & Grill. Hotel recommendations include: Courtyard by Marriott, Hampton Inn Virginia Beach Oceanfront, Boardwalk Resort and Villas, and Comfort Inn & Suites Oceanfront. Alternatively, you can rent a vacation home to be within easy access of beaches with a more local feeling.


Located just 15 miles south of the popular Resort Area, Sandbridge is a more secluded area with 5 miles of beautiful beach. Sandbridge is home to the Back Bay National Wildlife Refuge and False Cape State Park. Both areas are great for wildlife spotting, kayaking, hiking, and fishing. There are various inns and rental homes that visitors can rent temporarily in this area, which is an excellent option for outdoor enthusiasts and nature lovers. Popular eating establishments in Sandbridge include Baja Restaurant, Belanga Fish Company, Blue Pete’s, Boardwok, and Bonnie & Sons Seafood Market.

Chesapeake Bay

Chesapeake Bay is perfect for families looking for calmer water and gentler waves. Chesapeake Bay is also home to First Landing State Park, where visitors can explore lagoons, wildlife, and plants. In addition, visitors to Chesapeake Bay can visit the Cape Henry Lighthouse which has long been an important lighthouse in the area. Popular eating establishments found at Chesapeake Bay include: Bubba’s Crabhouse and Seafood Restaurant, Charlie’s Seafood Restaurant, and Chuck’s Oyster Bar. There are also a lot of historical sites here that are worth visiting, especially with elementary school-aged children.

Pet Friendly Beaches

Visitors that are thinking about traveling with their furry ones will be happy to know that Virginia Beach is very pet-friendly. Pets are welcome on the beaches all year long, and during the Spring and Fall months, dogs are invited to enjoy the beaches and boardwalk area anytime. Pet friendly hotels in Virginia Beach include: Ocean Side Inn, Crowne Plaza Hotel, Econo Lodge Town Center, Founders Inn, Howard Johnson Inn, and Sheraton Oceanfront Hotel.

Virginia Beach’s Top Attractions

For visitors that want to do more than just lay around the beach, Virginia Beach also has a great deal of activities that are great for families:

  • Virginia Aquarium & Marine Science Center – Visitors should be sure to visit this impressive aquarium with the family and see several hands-on exhibits including a nature trail, marshlands, and outdoor aviary. Plus, there’s also an impressive IMAX Theater.
  • Ocean Breeze Waterpark – Two miles south of the Resort Beach Area, Ocean Breeze Waterpark has 16 waterslides, private cabanas, and the Buccaneer Bay Water Playground that visitors of all ages can enjoy.
  • Virginia Beach Fishing Pier – Located on 15th street and the boardwalk, the fishing pier is a very popular spot in Virginia Beach. Visitors can rent rods and go fishing (no license required).
  • Chesapeake Bay-Bridge Tunnel – The Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel connects Virginia’s Eastern Shore with Virginia’s mainland at Virginia Beach which once witnessed proves to be an engineering feat.
  • King Neptune State on the Boardwalk – Virginia Beach’s newest attraction is King Neptune, an impressive, colossal 34 foot high bronze statue at 31st Street and Atlantic Avenue. The statue was built in honor of the annual Neptune Festival held in Virginia Beach every September.

This article was written by Walter Godinez.