With all of Virginia Beach’s endless summertime must-experience attractions, sites and fun on the water, it can be hard to determine what to do, which is why we’ve put together some of our recommendations and locals’ favorites for the ultimate summer bucket list. Grab a pen and get ready to check off your next Virginia Beach adventure!

people swimming and playing in natural park


Zip-line through the trees at The Adventure Park

Zip-line in Virginia Beach at Adventure Park Owl's Creek

Located within the Virginia Aquarium & Marine Science Center, the first-of-its kind aerial challenge course in Virginia, offering varying levels of difficulties and climbing platforms for thrill-seekers of all ages. Feel the rush of wind as you glide high with a bird's-eye view of the Virginia Beach marine life. Whether you're a daring adventurer or a nature enthusiast seeking a unique perspective, the zip-line at the Virginia Aquarium invites you to take flight and create memories that will last a lifetime. The Adventure Park offers over 258 treetop platforms and 33 zip-lines with guided tours or self exploration. 


Take a photo of the historic Cape Henry Lighthouse

Arts & Culture - History & Museums - Cape Henry Lighthouses - Cape Henry Lighthouse 1.jpg

Where stunning coastal views make for a stellar backdrop. Standing tall since its construction in 1792, the original lighthouse has witnessed centuries of history and guided countless ships safely to shore. You can trace the footsteps of generations past as you climb to its top for panoramic views. The old lighthouse was the first public works funded project. The newer lighthouse, adorned in the traditional black and white color scheme, was constructed in 1881 and is not accessible to the public. Before visiting Cape Henry Lighthouse, be sure to read additional information on location, arrival, and rules and regulations.


Touch a stingray at the Virginia Aquarium & Marine Science Center

Virginia Aquarium - Family & Friends

This must-visit spot offers two buildings and scenic trails full of with marine life. Don't miss the Ray Touch Pool, where you can get up close and personal with three species of stingrays – perfect for all ages! It's a fantastic place to learn about marine animals and environments, where you can see otters, turtles, rays, and sharks. 


Go bird watching at Back Bay National Wildlife Refuge

Crane At Sandbridge Back Bay In Virginia Beach

This pristine refuge offers a diverse range of habitats, from marshes and woodlands to beaches and open waters, attracting a rich variety of bird species throughout the year. This tranquil escape for nature lovers and outdoor enthusiasts alike offers stunning scenery and the possibility of spotting bald eagles, otters and osprey.


Claim your piece of paradise by way of hiking trails through False Cape State Park

Hiking - False Cape State Park

From the rugged terrain of the forest to the untouched shores of the Atlantic, hikers can immerse themselves in Virginia's coastal wilderness while marveling at the diverse ecosystems that thrive within the park. Enjoy exploring six miles of pristine beaches that are only accessible by bike or by foot.


Hike (or bike) in the footsteps of history on your trail of choice at First Landing State Park

man and woman biking on a path in the woods overlooking freshwater

Immerse yourself in the natural beauty of Virginia's coast. Named for the arrival of English colonists in 1607, who landed here before continuing on to Jamestown, First Landing State Park is not only a haven for outdoor enthusiasts but also a living testament to the rich heritage of the region. An adventure through maritime forests, serene freshwater marshes, and pristine sandy beaches. With over 19 miles of trails winding through the park's 2,888 acres, there's something for every skill level and interest.


Watch the sunrise and sunset from the same spot at the Chesapeake Bay Beach 

Sun setting on over the waves of the Chesapeake Bay

Providing shallow waters and a tranquil shore making it an ideal spot to relax. This spot is perfect for a sunset paddle. While you’re there, dine at one of the nearby dockside restaurants such as Buoy 44 Seafood Grill or head over to the Lynnhaven Bay and check out Chick's Oyster Bar, The Back Deck, or Dockside Restaurant and Marina.


Build a castle at Grommet Island Beach Park and Playground

Grommet Island Park

This innovative park features wheelchair-friendly amenities, including ramps and pathways, ensuring that people of all abilities can enjoy beach access. Play on state-of-the-art playground equipment designed to accommodate children of diverse abilities. This area is also a surfing hotspot that beckons wave riders of all levels. 


Plan your summer vacation today!