Virginia Beach Boardwalk by Bruce Emmerling. Wikimedia Commons.
Virginia Beach is one of those seaside resort cities that offer so much that you are spoilt for choice. From scenic beaches to museums, distilleries, tasty seafood, a buzzing eatery scene, and numerous shopping malls, the city has something for everyone.
One of these amazing treats is the Virginia Beach Boardwalk. It is one of the most popular sights and has indeed received awards and accolades. National Geographic has named it one of the ‘Top 10 Best Boardwalks in America.’ First built in 1888 out of wooden planks, it has been rebuilt with concrete, and many amazing facilities established along the boardwalk. It is 28 feet wide, and starts from 2nd Street, stretching 3 miles through to 40th street.
The Boardwalk features a separate bike path, oceanfront stages at 4 streets with live music performances, great seafood restaurants, brunch spots, amazing shopping joints, and of course, scenic beach views of the Atlantic. There are several monuments and sculptures along the boardwalk, including the iconic King Neptune statue on 31st street.
Whether you’re looking for loud, adventurous fun, or just a relaxed time near the beach, the area offers a blend of both. Explore the city’s eatery scene at one or two of the fantastic restaurants along the boardwalk. Seafood is in plenty! Do some shopping for souvenirs or beachwear in the street shops. Take an evening stroll or a bike along the boardwalk as you soak in the scenic beach views. You can also catch a show at 24th Street during summer, the live music performances are one of a kind. There’s just so much you can do around and a day is not enough to get the entire list checked.
Check out the top 15 best things to in Virginia.
Just in case you’re planning to spend some time at the Virginia Beach Boardwalk, we have compiled 15 amazing things to do. See what fits your kind of fun!
1. Take an evening stroll along the Boardwalk
Image by Garth Manthe-Unsplash.
Taking a walk along this 3-mile-long concrete promenade is one of the top fun activities in summer at the oceanfront area. Thousands of visitors and locals alike are attracted to the boardwalk’s convenient location just alongside the beach, offering fantastic views of the Atlantic on one side, the cool breeze on hot afternoons, and dozens of street shops, cafes, and restaurants lined up on its other side.
You can take a solo stroll to clear your head in the evening after a busy day in your hotel room or tag a friend along as you catch up. The boardwalk is reasonably wide at 28 feet, so you have space to walk from street to street without much haggling. It also features a separate bike path, and cars are not allowed. That means you have the promenade to your self! Carry your headphones on your stroll for some relaxing music as you view the sunset. Simply therapeutic.
2. Relax on the beach
Perhaps all you want is some quiet relaxation on the sandy beaches for a day. Right off the boardwalk is a beautiful stretch of the beach, sandy, and vast, featuring blue waters of the Atlantic, and everything else that makes a beach day fantastic. Take a chair and sit across the ocean, watch as the sun sets if you stay around long enough. Or just take a book to read as the breeze cools you down in the afternoon.
Alternatively, swim for some hours in the cool waters, then sunbathe on the beach until you’ve had enough for the day. The area is swarmed with people especially during summer months, attracting thousands of visitors. The weather is beautiful, the energy charming, and perfect for a seaside vacation in the city.
Check out the top 10 best beaches in Virginia Beach.
3. Defy gravity at iFLY VA Beach Indoor Skydiving
Skydiving by Antoine Carrion-Pixabay.
Have you ever thought about skydiving off a plane but then shuddered at the thought of trying it out due to fear of heights? Well, at iFLY, you get to face your fear of free falls in a safe, yet thrilling setup. It is located in 25th Street Municipal Lot, along Pacific Avenue near the boardwalk.
Their state-of-the-art vertical wind tunnel generates tremendously high horsepower, about 1100, creating a cushion of air on which you can freely float. It’s free-falling without jumping off a plane, essentially. It offers an adrenaline-pumping and thrilling indoor skydiving experience for ages 3 to 103. It is therefore a great family activity if you’re bringing your kids along.
The wind from the fans in the tunnel can speed up to 180 miles per hour! Exhilarating would be an understatement when describing the general feeling about this place. The staff is ever ready to help, and your highly trained professional instructor will make sure you’re having fun and safe at the same time. You don’t even need to have prior experience.
The place is ideal for thrilling birthday parties, team building, and STEM educational sessions offered by the establishment. There’s something for everyone, all you have to do is book your flight online and get your adrenaline pumping!
Address: 2412 pacific avenue, Virginia Beach, VA 23451
Open: Monday to Thursday 9.30 am to 7 pm
Friday to Sunday 9.30 am to 9 pm
Call: + 1 757 754 4359
4. Book surfing lessons at VB Surf Session
Surfing by Sebastian Staines-Unsplash.
There’s never an end to learning new stuff, and surfing is no exception. Perhaps you’ve never really been on a surfboard before, but you admire surfers as they glide through the water effortlessly. Well, VB Surf Session is the place you need to be should you consider trying out this skill.
Located in the heart of Virginia Beach oceanfront, they are a professional surf school, offering surf lessons, kayak tours, paddleboard tours, and board rentals. That means you can also take a kayak tour after a surf session or two, all on the same day here. The staff is well-trained and friendly, ensuring you learn while having as much fun as you can.
Within a few hours, you should be able to set out on the water for a simple surfing technique, and who knows? Surfing might easily be your new hobby. The learning here is practical in every meaning of that word. Engage with the owner, Tony, whose professionalism and exceptional customer relations are notable. Learn about surf etiquette, wave formations, and a little history of surfing in Virginia Beach.
Should you consider taking paddleboard or kayak tours, their tours launch from Owl Creek Boat Ramp next to the Virginia Beach Aquarium. They operate on an appointment basis, so be sure to book your session online.
Address: 2100 Mediterranean Avenue, Virginia Beach, VA 23451
Call: 757 633 5330
5. Marvel at the beautiful King Neptune Statue on 31st Street
King Neptune’s statute by Laura A. Macaluso. Wikimedia Commons.
According to Roman mythology, Neptune is accredited as the god of the sea, responsible for controlling winds and storms. The King Neptune Statue thus rises from the Atlantic Ocean to an impressive 34 feet height. It is hard to miss it at the Boardwalk, situated right at the entrance of Neptune Festival Park on 31st Street. The statue was designed and sculpted by Richmond’s renowned sculptor, Paul Dipasquale, and cast in bronze in China. It is approximately 12 tons of bronze, and its massive stature is simply breathtaking.
Neptune is seen holding a trident in one hand and a turtle in the other. There are other aquatic creatures on it, including a dolphin, lobster, and several fish. The Neptune Festival is held every summer, just like Romans held celebrations in honor of the god Neptune. This statue is one of the perfect photo op spots on the boardwalk, so be sure to stop and take some snaps for your Instagram story! You can also sit at the patio of Catch 31 restaurant, overlooking the statue, and sip down your cocktail as you marvel at this work of art.
Address: 3001 Atlantic Avenue, 31st Street, Virginia Beach, VA 23451
No fee needed to admire or take selfies
6. Go Fishing at VB Fishing Pier
There are numerous fishing piers in Virginia Beach, thanks to the food-rich waters of the Atlantic and the Chesapeake Bay. VB Fishing Pier happens to be the only one that’s directly accessible from the boardwalk. Located on Atlantic Avenue, it is open seasonally from April to May, and through summer. One of the sure reasons that make this pier a fantastic pick is its splendid views of the oceanfront, and the ocean’s horizon. You can opt to just stroll through and take in the views, even without having to fish.
However, if fishing gets you excited, then trying that out at VB Fishing Pier is one of the amazing things to do on the boardwalk. They have a bar sitting area for you to rest a while after some fishing and sip a cold drink before resuming. There are rod rentals and a wooden fishing pier available on site. Pick your bait and rod and get fishing! Catch kingfish, rays, trout, croakers, or red drum, whichever picks your bait.
It is fair to say that the experience would be incomplete without savoring some of the fresh seafood coming in from the area. Try some at one of the nearby restaurants after a day out in the water. Head to Ocean Eddie’s Seafood restaurant for tasty fried shrimp, fish tacos, and a raw oyster. It is located at the start of the pier, on 1415 Atlantic Avenue, and opens daily from 11 am to 9 pm.
Address: 1413 Atlantic Avenue, Virginia Beach, VA 23451
Open: 8 am to 8 pm daily
Call: 757 428 2333
Prices: $ 3 to $ 12
7. Attend a free concert at Neptune Park
Located adjacent to the Hilton Virginia Beach Oceanfront, Neptune Park is a 72, 000 square feet beautiful outdoor space. It holds numerous festivals and events all year long, including the Free Summer Concert Series and Neptune Festival. The first you see is the massive King Neptune Statue at the gateway. The rest is a great atmosphere and a buzz of entertainment scenes all through.
Some of the shows usually featured include Neptune’s Art & Craft show, sand sculpting competitions, and volleyball tournaments, among others. There is live music during summer, and it is usually crowded during this time of the year. Fall is a great time to visit. The area is where the beach spirit culminates into festivals and music celebrations all year. There’s live entertainment on many weekends. The Park has available seating as well if you want to relax, and there is never lack of a fantastic dining spot nearby. Try Catch 31 restaurant across the street when the hunger pains hit.
Here’s the best time to visit Virginia Beach.
Address: 2400 Atlantic Avenue, oceanfront Virginia Beach, VA 23451
Call: 757 491 7866
8. Shop the weekend away at the Oceanfront
Image by Gonghuimin468-Pixabay.
Do you want to get some souvenir gifts from your trip to Virginia Beach? Or to buy some swimwear and hit the beach? There are many chic boutiques, souvenir gift shops, and shopping malls lined up in the oceanfront area, and some of these are conveniently located close to the boardwalk. The 31 Ocean district at Atlantic avenue has an array of each of these, so you can take your time and stroll into one or two until you find what to buy.
Beach Pier Gift Shop
This is a cute gift shop at the oceanfront for all your souvenir needs. It also offers some of the best homemade fudge around. Grab some peanut butter fudge while at it, then check in at the counter for affordable deals.
Address: 1415 Atlantic Avenue, Virginia Beach, VA 23451
Open; 9 am to 9 pm daily
Call: 757 428 2480
This is your go-to beach department store, with a huge selection of swimwear, beach chairs, custom t-shirts, beach toys, and souvenirs. Prices are affordable, and it has several stores located in about 7 locations along the beach. Whatever you need for your stay at Virginia Beach is catered for here and the store is up to date with the latest fashion trends hitting the city.
Address: 3300 Atlantic Avenue, Virginia Beach, VA 23451
Open: 9 am to 7 pm daily
Call: 757 422 4321
9. Explore Virginia’s maritime history at the Surf & Rescue Museum
The Virginia Beach Surf & Rescue Museum is a small historic establishment situated on 24th street. Tucked between two restaurants, it is easy to miss it but there’s no good reason why you should, especially if you’re a history fan and shipwreck, surfing interests you. It is a local gem preserving the coastal heritage of Virginia Beach and its communities.
It has fun exhibits, showcasing the history of surfing, lifeguards, and sea rescues. They all tell the tale of the resilience and evolution of the coastal communities in Virginia Beach. There are real-life items as well used to save lives during shipwrecks. Plenty of pictures too showcasing the history and change of surfing on the sea. For just $ 1, you get to experience a journey through this and engage in fun activities such as scavenger hunts while at it. Easy to say it is one of the best deals in the area! After the tour, get a souvenir at the gift shop.
Address: 2401 Atlantic Avenue, Virginia Beach, VA 23451
Open: Wednesday to Saturday 10 am to 4 pm
Call: 757 422 1587
10. Catch some live music fun at 24th Street Park
Singing by Bobby Hendry-Unsplash.
The oceanfront area is a hub of both day and nightly fun, and when it comes to concerts and live music events, the party is never too far from the boardwalk. There are 4 open-air stages along the boardwalk, and 24th Street Park is one of them. It is nestled between 24th and 25th Street. The park has a vast outdoor performance stage for music events, concerts, shows, and movies.
It’s all about laid-back entertainment and fun all summer. Street performers and local, regional, and international artists get to perform for live audiences, and the energy levels here are over the roof. Catch some summer night fun here with scenic beach views in the background and a cool breeze to keep off the heat. Be sure to be on the look for any scheduled events and make arrangements to hop onto the fun.
Address: 2400 Atlantic Avenue, oceanfront Virginia Beach, VA 23451
Call: 757 491 7866
11. Go biking at sunset
Biking by Jonny Kennaugh-Unsplash.
There are numerous biking trails in Virginia Beach, and the one along the boardwalk offers some of the best biking experiences in the city. It is suited for cyclists and all kinds of bikes. You don’t have to dodge cars or pedestrians since the path is specifically built for biking. Early morning or late evenings are some of the best times to bike when traffic isn’t quite high.
Catch the sun rise or set on the ocean’s horizon. There are several bike rentals nearby so no worries, you can come right off a restaurant or the beach, pick a mountain bike, or tandem bike and pedal off. For family and friends group fun, rent a four-wheeled surrey bike. Ride the entire length of the boardwalk bike path, or stop at your favorite spots on your way.
12. Take a self-guided tour of Virginia Legends Walk
This one is for history lovers. It is located at 13th Street Park, between Atlantic Avenue and Pacific Avenue. It is an open-air walk, with free admission any time of day you decide to pass by. The Virginia Legends Walk has plaques of Virginians who have made remarkable contributions to society in various fields such as art, leadership, science, and business.
It honors their efforts and preserves them for remembrance by locals and visitors alike who pass by. Take a self-guided tour along this short, factual historic walk. Read interesting biographies of famous people written on the plaques. Some of the celebrated Virginians include those of 3rd US President Thomas Jefferson, poet Edgar Allan Poe, educator Booker T. Washington, actress Pearl Bailey, and singer Ella Fitzgerald.
Address: 13th Street Park, Atlantic avenue, oceanfront Virginia Beach, VA 23451
13. Get sporty at Rudee Inlet
Jet skiing by Dimitris Vetsikas-Pixabay.
Just a walking distance off Pacific Avenue sits the buzzing waterfront community of Rudee Inlet. It is a hub of fishing and sporting activity. Sport boats are a common sight, and you’ll catch people jet skiing, kayaking, and even parasailing over the blue waters of the Atlantic. If you want to get a little sporty in the water while at the oceanfront area, consider this spot one of the most fitting.
Rent a jet boat or kayak for a day full of fun in the ocean. Catch the thrilling parasailing over the area’s picturesque skyline if you are not scared of heights. Alternatively, if you’re visiting in summer, go on a dolphin-watching excursion. Cream the experience at Rudee Inlet with some seafood dining at Rockafeller’s restaurant.
Rudee inlet jet ski & water sports
Address: 300 Winston Salem Avenue, Virginia Beach, VA 23451
Call: 757 4222 8359
14. Visit the Virginia Beach Aquarium
Aquarium display by Jordy Meow-Pixabay.
This is one of the best aquariums in the country, with over 300 hands-on marine exhibits of 12, 000 plus animals from over 700 species. The glass displays here offer breathtaking views of marine life, including sharks, seals, turtles, whales, and dolphins. There is an exhibition tour of Komodo dragons, one of the largest reptiles in the world. Book your tickets online to experience Virginia’s aquatic life up close, and learn more about the animals while at it. The Aquarium also offers boat tours for dolphin and whale watching in summer and winter respectively.
When you’re done viewing the exhibits, go zip lining at the aquarium’s adventure park, one of the largest and most exciting in the area. It is located at the South building, just a few minutes from the boardwalk. It has 248 treetop platforms and over 31 zip lines. Experience fun-packed ropes course climbing, with different difficulty levels. You can pick which one you’re most comfortable with and advance at your own pace. The instructors are super helpful, and safety is given priority. They have Glow in the Park events in summer, so check their website to book when available. The trees are lit up with LED lights, and music is played as you glide through the zip lines.
10 Great Facts about Virginia Beach Aquarium.
Address: 717 general boulevards, Virginia Beach, VA 23451
Open: 9 am to 5 pm daily
Admission tickets: $ 25 for adults, $ 19 for children ages 3 to 11
15. Take time to sample the seafood at Virginia Beach
Preparing shrimp by Pim Myten-Unsplash.
For a seaside city by the blue-rich waters of the Atlantic, fresh seafood is obviously in plenty. The local watermen regularly service the restaurants with fresh trout, tilapia, oysters, and crabs, name it. The chefs then bring the magic from the kitchen to the table. Some of the city’s best seafood restaurants are located along the Boardwalk. Crown your oceanfront visit experience by walking into one and ordering your favorite seafood dish before calling it a day.
Check out the 20 best seafood restaurants in Virginia Beach.
Waterman’s Surfside Grille
Waterman’s is located at the south end of the boardwalk and has been running for four decades. It is a local’s spot and is well known for its signature drink, Waterman’s Orange Crush. It has a beautiful patio overlooking the ocean, so you not only get to savor the fresh and tasty seafood but also take in the scenic water views. The menu includes burgers and steaks as well, and each dish is specially curated to bring out the best flavors. Don’t forget the orange crush! Reservations are highly recommended.
ADDRESS: 415 ATLANTIC AVE, VIRGINIA BEACH, VA 23451
OPEN: 11 AM TO 10 PM DAILY
CALL: + 1 757 428 3644
Catch 31 Fish House & Bar
For a hot afternoon, catching the ocean breeze in this outdoor dining location is a fantastic idea. Catch 31 is located right opposite King Neptune’s statue on 31st street. It serves beautiful views of the ocean, and you can catch some live music from Neptune Park as you munch on your meal. The restaurant offers a farm-to-table menu. Try their wood oven-baked oysters, or signature crab cake sandwiches ranked as some of the best in town. It has a solid 4.5-star rating on google and numerous positive reviews. The restaurant is open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Great wine and cocktail selection! Sit at the open fire pit tables as you watch the sunset.