Must Do's, Travel
Leave a Comment

Must Do’s: My Virginia Beach Experience

I remember going to Virginia Beach for the first time when I was in elementary school. Back then, the oceanfront boardwalk did not even reach its current length and there were only a handful of upscale hotels. The city has invested heavily to make VA Beach a family beach destination. I have fond memories of my parents giving us a few dollars to take the trolley up and down Beach Street USA, to window shop along the main street stores and to watch the free entertainment on the other side of the beachfront properties. The boardwalk expanded to its current 28-feet wide and 3 mile long pathway with a separate bike lane over the years. Each night, one could hear live music from the various venues along this pathway. It has become a tradition to have our family reunion in VA Beach for the last 20 plus years. There are a few things that my family love to do and this is my list of the Must Do’s in VA Beach.



  • Wake up early in the morning and catch the dolphins swimming off the beach.

  • Lay out in the sun around 7th street. This stretch of the beach is near the older end of the boardwalk and I find it less crowded and cleaner than the newer parts. There are also umbrella and chaise rentals if you do not want to haul them to the beach.

  • Rent a bike and bike along the 3 mile bike path. It is the best way to get around.

    Check out the free firework that occurs weekly at 10pm (July 20, 24, 27, 31 / August 3, 7, 10, 14, 17, 21, 24 / September 4, 8)

  • Stroll Beach Street USA at night as there are live performances every few blocks and certain blocks have hourly shows such as magic, juggling, etc. You can check out the calendar for more information.

  • Visit Virginia Beach Amusement Park. This is a small amusement park that is good for half to one hour of strolling around with the kids. They also have vendors selling deep fried Oreo and funnel cake.

  • Try out the water sports at Rudee Inlet. You can go on a fishing trip, rent a jet ski, go parasail, etc. There are so many things to do here.



  • Kayak in the salt marsh habitats. You can easily rent a kayak and explore the various waterways around the marsh that takes you out to ocean.

  • Try indoor skydiving at iFly VA Beach. It is safe and a lot of fun for the whole family.



  • There is also an Adventure Park where you can buy a ticket for 3 hours to try out the 15 trails, 21 zip lines, 6 challenge levels and almost 200 bridges. The ticket for the 3 hours general admission is $55 for 12 years old and up. We were only able to do 3 green and blue courses in one session. It is a fun and challenging workout.


  • Try go-carting at Motorworld. You can try out many different tracks depending on the level of difficulty.


  • Practice putting at Jungle Golf. This is an institution in the area and guaranteed to be fun for all ages at night.

  • Spend several hours golfing. There are many community golf courses nearby and the rates are generally very cheap compared to courses around the tri-state. There are a few nearby golf courses including Bow Creek, Kempsville Greens and Red Wing Lake.

  • Take a family souvenir photo at Old Time Photo where you are dressed in costumes from a historical period. My family has funny photos of us as gangster, flappers, cowboys, etc. over the years.


  • Try your luck fishing or crabbing at the Virginia Beach Fishing Pier by 15th Street.


  • Check out the classic and new arcade games at Flipper McCoy’s.


  • Get frighten at the Nightmare Mansion. This haunted house has been around since I was in elementary school. They have live actors that jump out at you as well.


Many of the hotels on the oceanfront are suites with a kitchen. My family is spread out among the various hotel properties and all of them have kitchen and dining space. We do not end up eating out as much.  When we do go out, we rely on these choices.

  • Brunch at Doc Taylor’s. This restaurant is located in a converted house right off of Beach Street. There is always a long line, but the brunch is worth it. Come early and put your name on the list.

  • Happy hour at Mahi Mah’s. This is my family’s to go place for afternoon eat. They have the best happy hour menu on the boardwalk from 3pm to 6pm which includes 50 cents clams, wings or oysters with daily drink specials.


  • Eat at Waterman’s Surfside Grill. The restaurant has very good seafood for a reasonable price.

  • Enjoy cocktail and fusion tapas at Pacifica.

  • Have a fancy dinner at Catch 31 and Salacia located at the Hilton. These two restaurants are considered upscale and are for when you have something to celebrate.

  • Have drinks at Catch 31 bar and catch live music right outdoor. They even had Bruce Springsteen jamming on the boardwalk last year.

  • If you have access to a kitchen, you can buy fresh crabs at the outdoor market by The Shellfish Company to prepare at your hotel. It’s fresher and much cheaper than eating at the restaurants.


For related articles, visit the TRAVEL page.

Author: Chau Hoang

This entry was posted in: Must Do's, Travel
Tagged with: , ,


Life is full of possibilities made only meaningful with the people we share it with. This site is a place where friends can share our point of view on food, travel and design.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s