Virginia Beach, known for its golden sand coastline, dolphin colonies and culinary scene, is the largest city in Virginia.
It is undoubtedly one of the most popular American seaside resorts for French-speaking travelers. It even holds the record for the longest recreational beach in the world according to the Guinness Book of Records, and its 56 kilometers of coastline facing the ocean offer a wide range of landscapes and experiences. Obviously, many events or discoveries revolve around water, but Virginia Beach is not just a beach or a marine atmosphere. It is a dynamic, cultural, artistic, sports and culinary city, where friendly residents willingly mingle with vacationers. A winning combination that offers to stay the way we love them: fun, sophisticated and rich to discover!
During the year, Virginia Beach hosts many events for both residents and travelers. Its dynamism attracts curious people of all ages and backgrounds. Whether you are traveling alone, alone, with family or friends, whether you love sports, art, gourmet or just crave new discoveries, the city is sure to find a attraction that will delight you. It fascinates first of all with its geographical location. Between the mouth of the Chesapeake Bay and the Atlantic Ocean, the beauty and environment of Virginia Beach is impressive. Forget about the hotel’s waterfront and discover the city on the water, whether along the ocean coast or across the many inland waterways. A kayak is ideal for this. This allows you to approach the largest dolphin community on the east coast of the United States, which has settled here. Clever and especially playful, the dolphin seems to have a natural kinship with humans, and to meet them is always incredible and interesting. Chesapean Outdoors or Kayak Nature Tours organizes guided kayak trips on the coast or in the ocean to watch dolphins in their natural habitat. The sensations are unforgettable, and at sunset the moment is simply magical!
In Virginia Beach, which is also famous for its culinary scene, there is water everywhere. Why not mix the two and indulge yourself? Fish, mollusks and crustaceans are the pride of the inhabitants. In particular, oysters, because Virginia is one of the most important producers in the country. The famous Virginia Oyster Trail, or literally the Oyster Trail, allows visitors to walk the route and meet local farmers who share their passion, thanks to the many oyster farms set up around Virginia Beach. It can also be visited, both instructive and Epicurean. Captain Cheese Ladford, a staunch supporter of water protection and conservation of native marine species, owns the Pleasure House Oysters at the mouth of the Chesapeake Bay. On board his boat sailing along the Lynchhaven River, the captain makes stops to tell you the secrets of Virginia oysters before tasting them, too fresh, in the water! It is mandatory to visit at the end of the day during the “golden hour”, followed by dinner with oysters at sunset in a rural-bohemian setting, created for this occasion right on the water. A real and unforgettable experience.
On the inland waterways of Back Bay, canoes and kayaks allow travelers to experience its flora and fauna. Moving between cypress trees and Spanish moss, the trip heads to the local Pungo area, an area where many local producers and restaurants are located in Virginia Beach. At the end of the walk, guests can go kayaking to Blue Pete’s Restaurant, a local restaurant where you can enjoy fish, seafood and crabs. An important walk for lovers of active recreation and gourmets! For more down-to-earth travelers, head to Repeal Bourbon & Burger to be truly American. As the name suggests, this is a holiday for burgers and bourbons, locals are fans of this place, and it is recommended to book places, especially on weekends. The menu of alcoholic beverages is impressive, including quite rare whiskeys … Just turn your head, watch the tastings! If you are looking for a mix of local and international cuisine where you can choose between fish and meat, head to the Bay Local Eatery. From breakfast to dinner the dishes are hearty and delicious. Try Benedict’s eggs locally: with crabs, of course!
Let’s stay in the interior to discover other atmospheres. A few blocks from the Oceanfront is the ViBe creative district, the Virginia Beach art enclave. A cultural and artistic epicenter, ViBe is also a place where all local and handicraft disciplines are expressed, from music to painting, leather, wood, and there are even roasting and cooking workshops! Every traveler recognizes the surroundings by their unique visual identity. Indeed, ViBe is known for its dozens of murals. Made by local and foreign artists, they give the area a special character and color the streets of the area. There is also a digital map that allows you to navigate and admire the most beautiful murals during a one-mile walking tour, which each visitor can do at their own pace. After a walk, trendy coffee shops, home baking, ice cream parlors, addresses with healthy menus, pizzas on firewood, artisan burgers, local breweries and distilleries – everyone has their own holiday! The variety of colors and flavors of ViBe Creative District will delight any traveler.
Lovers of modern art will find their museum here. The Virginia Museum of Contemporary Art (Virginia MOCA) showcases the work of regional, national and international artists who are constantly changing. Permanent or temporary exhibitions highlight the work of contemporary artists with strong or devoted messages. Thus, from April 21 to September 4, the museum will feature works by American designer and sculptor Maya Lin, known for winning a national design competition in 1981 for a memorial to former Vietnamese soldiers in Washington, DC. Since then, the trip is exhibited in leading museums contemporary art and international galleries of the world. Here, at Virginia MOCA, the artist will present “Ways of Water”, an installation of sculptures and unpublished engravings related to the environmental problem of the region. He will invite visitors to reconsider their relationship with nature at a critical time in our time.
To conclude this discovery at Virginia Beach, let’s have some fun in the direction of the Virginia Aquarium Adventure Park! Lovers of sensations, walks, nature and tree climbing, this course is created for you! Available for all levels, from beginner to advanced, for almost any age (children from 5 years), with family or friends, it is a moment of adventure and fun that awaits participants. For the well-being of everyone, climbers wear seat belts that use “double clip” technology, permanently connected to the safety rope throughout the course in the trees. Over the forest trails of the Aquarium and the waters of Oul Creek, adventurers glide from platform to platform through the treetops. The tracks are set at different levels for everyone to benefit from. More adventurous people will try a spline over Owl Creek for an exciting crossing in the heart of nature!
Preparing for summer in Virginia Beach obviously means attending or participating in a variety of activities that take place on the famous oceanfront and beach. Starting with free concerts organized throughout the summer, from June to August. The Oceanfront Concert Series takes place every Wednesday and invites artists from all over the country. Regardless of the style, all American music is presented during the summer, and vacationers may even be surprised to see some stars and headliners. Whether you dine on the terrace on the waterfront or attend these concerts in front of the stage, the atmosphere is guaranteed for the whole summer!
Do you prefer a little more peace of mind? Do not worry. Prepare your blanket, a picnic or your favorite ice cream and go to the beach on 29th Street to watch a movie in the fresh air, lying on your feet in the sand! On sunny days, from June 23 to August 25, Virginia Beach hosts the Beach Blanket Movie Series. Every Thursday at 20:30, movies, Hollywood super productions or family classics are shown to the delight of young and old! Everything is in English, but we recommend this experience to French-speaking travelers, because, in addition to the session, it is a relaxed and real way to spend an evening in the American style and immerse yourself in a very local atmosphere. !!
Finally, it is impossible to spend the summer here without mentioning surfing. Discipline has been running in Virginia Beach since 1912. That year, James M. Jordan Jr. received an unexpected and amazing package from his uncle, who was on a trip to Hawaii: an impressive mahogany surfboard. When a young resident of Virginia Beach slid a board on the waves of the Atlantic Ocean, surfing was born on the East Coast. Naturally, the competition was created and right now the famous East Coast Surfing Championship is taking place here. The oldest surfing competition in the world, it returns this year from 21 to 28 August, where more than 200 of the best men and women professionals in the world will compete, as well as about 300 surfing enthusiasts. In addition to competitions, visitors can enjoy the pleasant atmosphere on the beach, trucks and live music. There are other disciplines around the championship: beach volleyball, 5-kilometer run along the waterfront and skateboarding and stunt competitions on the ramps. Sports and festive ensemble at the same time!
What if the fascination with champions developing on their boards on the waves awakened your vocation? Virginia Beach is a favorite local activity, so learning to surf is easy. A wide selection of surf shops is available. In fact, local surfing legends Pete Smith and Bob Holland Jr. opened the Smith and Holland Surf Shop on 19th Street, the first surf shop in Virginia. A few years later, another local star, Bob White, founded Wave Riding Vehicles (WRV), which remains one of the leading board manufacturers on the East Coast. In addition to well-known brands, local establishments such as Pungo Board House, Surf & Adventure Co. and VB Surf Sessions, offer everything that vacationers may need, from renting equipment to surfing lessons or how to learn not to sleep in the water. No Time! Finally, enthusiasts can even make their own board. On the “Make and Ride Surf Exchange” you will take part in a master class and, thanks to the expert advice of an experienced shaper, form your own board. From shape to polishing to the choice of materials and colors, what a more pleasant memory of a trip than the one you make yourself… It is precious, unique, and it is located in Virginia Beach!