Surf, Sun and Soul in Virginia Beach
Experience the waves washing all over this vibrant community, thanks to a flourishing dining scene, a thriving arts and entertainment district, unique neighborhoods and, of course, the beaches. Located where the Chesapeake Bay meets the Atlantic Ocean, Virginia Beach features a three-mile boardwalk that stretches across 40 city blocks and offers beautiful ocean views.
Day 1 - Take in the View
Climb to the top of the Cape Henry Lighthouse
Located on the northern end of Virginia Beach, the fourth-oldest lighthouse in the country was the first to be authorized by the U.S. government, dating from 1792 and approved for construction by President George Washington. You can climb the same steps taken by Willis A. Hodges, who was appointed in 1870 to serve as the first African American lighthouse keeper. In 1881, a newer lighthouse was constructed 350 feet from the original.
Learn about Company 1371 at Seashore State Park
Just ten minutes away is the site of Seashore State Park, now known as First Landing State Park. This is where the African American regiment of the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) – a New Deal-era jobs program that employed young men ages 17 to 25 – constructed trails, drained marshes, built cabins, and planted trees and shrubs during the Great Depression. The CCC also provided food, clothing, medical care and educational opportunities.
Explore the beach on a walk...
False Cape State Park offers six miles of unspoiled beaches in an ocean-to-freshwater bay habitat. The Park also includes dunes, woodlands, farm fields, salt marshes, maritime forests and wooded swamps. Wildlife abounds and ranges from deer, wild horses, interesting reptiles, 300 species of birds and many more. From April through October, visitors can travel into the heart of the park on a tram and explore on foot from there.
... Or a ride
There may not be a better way to experience the beaches than by renting a fat-tire bike from a local outfitter like Surf and Adventure Company and heading to Little Island Park for a ride along the water’s edge. The park has a 775-foot surfing beach north of the 400-foot fishing pier and a 2,000-foot beach for swimming and fishing south of the pier. If you prefer, canoe or kayak on Back Bay, a park lake that also provides excellent fishing and crabbing.
When you’re ready for lunch, think seafood with Crabby Cali’s Food
As their name suggests, Crabby Cali’s is all about seafood. So, it won’t be a surprise that one of the menu favorites is their seafood platter. With whiting, jumbo shrimp, oysters and a crab cake, as well as fries and hush puppies, this has everything you could want, all cooked to perfection.
If you just can’t get enough of the ocean, spend the night at the Cavalier Hotel
Consider ending your day at the historic Cavalier Hotel, which overlooks the Atlantic from atop one of the area’s highest hills. First opened during the Big Band era, the Virginia Beach icon boasted top-notch entertainers including Cab Calloway and Ella Fitzgerald, hosted celebrities – including Muhammad Ali – and ten Presidents, and is steeped in stories. The meticulously restored historic gem features well-appointed guest rooms, a luxurious spa and signature bourbon distillery onsite, three restaurants, a resort-style pool and access to a secluded beach.
Day 2 - Soak Up Some Soul
A community came together at the Princess Anne County Training School.
Now a museum, the Princess Anne County Training School was the first high school for African Americans in Virginia Beach. It was the result of the Black community in the 1930s working together to raise money to build a school so their children could receive a proper education. Today, the legacy of the school continues at the museum, which shares stories of family, community, sacrifice and the importance of education. The museum is located in Virginia Beach’s Renaissance Academy.
Creators share a vibrant hub at the ViBe.
Artists and spirits. Roasters and restaurants. Wares, museums and more ... the ViBe is where creative businesses have set up shop to share their passion and inspire a sense of discovery for locals and visitors alike. Give yourself plenty of time so you don’t miss out on anything. There’s always something special going on. Weekly and monthly events like the Old Beach Farmer’s Market and Second Saturdays give a taste of the town and invite you to participate in entertainment and community art projects.
Have a passion for fashion? Stop by The Dapper Luq.
A short drive across town brings you to The Dapper Luq. Luqman Haskett established his shop in 2019 to share his love and passion for style with young men. His custom suit line is focused on bringing unique colors and styles in the most convenient way possible. Choose from hundreds of customizations and receive your custom suit within only a few weeks.
When it’s time to dine, consider The Cobalt Grill.
The Cobalt Grill won’t disappoint. Executive chef and owner Alvin Williams has fashioned an exceptionally divine dining experience. Locals and vacationers alike enjoy extraordinary cuisine and a remarkable variety of fine wines assembled from around the globe, all within a truly unique and inviting atmosphere. From a first bite of she crabs or mussels to that last crumb of coconut cake or key lime pie, Williams’ commitment to using fresh ingredients from local farmers and fishermen results in outstanding culinary excellence.
Day 3 - Before you head out…
Start your day happy at the Happy Café
The Happy Café serves up breakfast all day long. The vibe – which includes live music – is as good as the food. Mouthwatering breakfast sandwiches, prawns and hash browns are among the dishes that delight at this cafe. Enjoy cream donuts, bread pudding or French toast, along with great coffee or a smoothie.