Visitors Can Enjoy Wine, Food and Art, Wildlife Sightings, Fun with Flowers and More This January

VIRGINIA BEACH, VA. (Dec. 29, 2014) – Visitors to Virginia Beach can kick off the New Year with a variety of activities that are surely to warm up travelers’ spirits during these cooler months. The area’s sandy shores will welcome a week-long celebration of wine and cuisine during the city’s first-ever Chill Fest, then prepare to welcome humpback and fin whales, which can be seen aboard seafaring excursions. Capping off the month to help prepare for spring is the Virginia Flower & Garden Expo, making for a month full of unexpected winter fun, from the Atlantic Ocean to the Chesapeake Bay. CHILL FEST Travelers in search of a winter wonderland that outlasts the holidays can get their fix during Virginia Beach’s first-ever Chill Fest (Jan. 10-19). Take to the ice while taking in ocean views at  Oceanfront Ice Park (through Feb. 1), then warm up with a delicious meal at a great deal from one of the city’s top restaurants during the 10th Annual Virginia Beach Restaurant Week (Jan. 10-19).  Chill Fest will culminate with the annual Coastal Virginia Wine Fest (Jan. 17-18), where travelers can sample wines from Virginia’s top wineries and stroll through the MOCA Art Trail, a new addition to the event, featuring 100 painters, sculptors, agra-artisans, jewelers and other artists specially selected by the Virginia Museum of Contemporary Art.


December through March, Virginia Beach plays host to the largest creatures on earth as they pass by the city’s shores, where the rich waters of the Chesapeake Bay meet the Atlantic Ocean. This year, visitors have two options to get up close and personal with the migrating whales. They can book the Whales & Wildlife: A Virginia Aquarium Sea Adventure excursion (Now – March 31) through the Virginia Aquarium or hop aboard the Rudee Tours Winter Wildlife Tour (Now – March 15). Either option offers the chance to spot Humpback and Fin Whales, as well as dolphins, seals and sea birds while exploring Virginia Beach’s vast waterways.  The Back Bay Wildlife Refuge is accepting reservations for its popular Winter Tram Tours (Now – March 22, 2015) on select Sundays, taking guests over the Back Bay and through the woods to learn about the area’s history and view the tens of thousands of winter wildfowl, including swans, snow geese and more that make the area their refuge in the winter.


Spring is still a couple of months away, but the Virginia Flower & Garden Expo (Jan. 30 – Feb 1.) can help drive away the winter blues for those who can hardly stand the wait. Professionals and backyard gardeners alike can get expert tips and ideas from over 100 vendors. Green thumbs can meander through the landscape design displays and booths from local artisans, peruse a European-style flower market, take part in the daily floral challenge or just get ideas for creating their own backyard oasis. To learn more about visiting Virginia Beach this winter, explore the city’s year-round offerings or request a complimentary vacation guide, contact the Virginia Beach Convention & Visitors Bureau by calling 1-800-VA-BEACH.