Is she Posh Spice to your Sporty Spice… Monica to your Rachel… Saweetie to your Doja Cat… Ethel to your Lucy?
Virginia Beach is the perfect place for a gal-pal getaway – whether a mother-daughter vacation, a BFF trip, a college roommate reunion, a bachelorette party or a fun-in-the-sun weekend escape with all your besties. Think delicious eats, cool hotels, fun places to play and party, unique opportunities to commune with nature, and – bonus! – an incredible three-mile Boardwalk that offers outdoor entertainment, plus ocean views that go on forever. Check out this list of the best places to stay, eat and play in Virginia Beach for the ultimate girls’ getaway.
Where to Stay
The Cavalier Resort
If “quiet luxury” is your vibe, head directly to The Cavalier Resort, the grand dame of Virginia Beach hotels. This beautiful, historic property is located right across the street from the beach and has everything on your “girls’ weekend” wish list. We’re talking sumptuous rooms, beautiful public areas, delicious places to eat, and its pampering SeaHill Spa, which features massage rooms, a nail salon, soaking tubs and a sauna with pink Himalayan salt walls. Niiice!
Moxy Virginia Beach Oceanfront
If your crew is into fun and funky digs, we’ve got just the place: the Moxy Virginia Beach Oceanfront. This 134-room Oceanfront hotel has a swanky-surf style – and a slide from the second floor to the lobby. Book a room with four queen-sized bunk beds, perfect for recreating those girlish sleepovers of yore.
Spacious Beachy Stays in Sandbridge
Need lots of room, or prefer a beach house? Find vacation rentals galore in Sandbridge. This coastal enclave of ocean and sand dunes is close to other pristine natural areas, including the Back Bay National Wildlife Refuge and False Cape State Park (hiking or kayaking, anybody?). With a vacation rental, you’ll have access to your own cooking facility, handy essentials like beach towels and chairs – and plenty of space to spread out. Bring on the gourmet beach picnic, please!
Where to Play
The Adventure Park at the Virginia Aquarium
Did someone say, “adrenaline rush’”? Experts say adventure creates lasting memories and bonding – so why not create a few with your crew? Head to The Adventure Park at the Virginia Aquarium for high-flying fun and heart-racing thrills. At the park, you’ll climb amid the treetops and soar along ziplines on an adventure trail, where routes are rated according to difficulty. Oh, and that high-pitched sound you hear? That would be you… squealing the whole way through.
If you prefer a mellow nature experience, consider a guided kayak nature tour in the calm waters surrounding First Landing State Park. Settle into a tandem kayak with your bestie and enjoy the bonanza of the Virginia Beach bird life, which hosts more than 300 species including kingfishers, herons and ospreys. And who doesn’t love dolphins? Even if they’re not really smiling (although they certainly look like they are), dolphins are fascinating creatures worth trying to catch an up-close glimpse of. Get acquainted with the Atlantic bottlenose variety on a unique dolphin kayaking tour in Rudee Inlet – definitely a must-do.
ViBe Creative District
Get ready, social media feeds! The ViBe Creative District is an Instagram-worthy art-splashed wonderland you’ll want to snap a few photos of. This colorful 15-block hub is adorned with more than 400 works of art – including larger-than-life wall murals. You can also check out the district’s artisan shops, delicious bakeries, craft brew hot spots and the Old Beach Farmers Market, which takes place on select Saturdays from 9 a.m. to noon.
For familiar labels and indie brands alike, Town Center ticks all the shopping boxes. Indulge your fashionista side at favorite haunts like Anthropologie, Free People, Lululemon and Psycho Bunny. When it’s time for a break (shopping torches calories – just ask your Apple Watch), get your fill of delicious sweet snacks at Lamia’s Crepes, Macaron Tart or Town Center Cold Pressed.
Where to Eat
Pocahontas Pancake House
Start your mornings at the kitschy-cool Pocahontas Pancake House – featuring a menu full of your childhood favorites in flapjack form, like Reese’s, Oreo and Nutella pancakes.
The Pink Dinghy
If yours is a “brunch bunch,” head to The Pink Dinghy, a cutesy neighborhood joint that serves weekend brunch. Try offbeat dishes like the yucca tots which come with “pickled things,” the triple stack pancakes with horchata butter – or go for a sweet brunch classic, like one of their famous doughnuts.
The English Rose Tea Room
Channel your inner Kate Middleton and go full-on British at The English Rose Tea Room. The tearoom is the stuff of your tea-time dreams with dainty fine china, floral patterned furniture and embellished tablecloths. The food here is just as detailed: Think crustless sandwiches, scones and petit fours on tiered trays, and tea served in old-school teapots with detailed teacups. Pinkies up, ladies!
Where to go for dinner? For a classic Virginia Beach dining experience with excellent seafood, let us kindly direct you to Catch 31. This multi-level eatery overlooks the Virginia Beach Boardwalk and Neptune Park and features indoor and outdoor seating, fire pits and live music. And did you see that eye-popping tower of seafood coming out of the raw bar? Wowza. King Neptune would approve.
Where to Grab a Drink
In Virginia Beach, we’re all mermaids, honey. Make a toast to your fierce mermaid energy at Mermaid Winery. Savor tastings from their varietals, made with grapes sourced from Virginia and California.
Orion’s Roof Garden & Dining
Feel like the queens that you are as you take in gorgeous panoramic views and sip on inspired cocktails at Orion’s Roof atop the Marriott Virginia Beach Oceanfront Resort. Try one of the crafted drinks, like the Japanese Old-Fashioned made with Suntory Whisky Toki and ginger, or split a bottle from Orion’s sake menu.
For the perfect Orange Crush, the signature cocktail of Virginia Beach, visit Waterman Spirits, a vodka distillery founded by Mariah Standing. Using a coral-filtered process (no living coral is involved) and made with organic corn, orange vodka, fresh OJ and a splash of Sprite – this refreshing beverage is precisely the kind of pick-me-up you and your crew need.
Back Bay Brew House Farmhouse
One thing to know about Virginia Beach locals is that they’re always up for a good time. The proof is in the rollicking scene at Back Bay Brew House Farmhouse. Food trucks, live music, outdoor games, fire pits and rentable cabanas make this a fun place to knock back a farm-style beer or cider and enjoy the night with your friends.
By the way, the local craft beer scene is hopping. If fresh brews are your thing, plan to hit a few spots along the Virginia Beach Craft Beer Trail.
Where to Go for a Fun Night Out
The Shack on 8th
With an average year-round temp of about 70 degrees, #OutdoorLifeRules. Feel like you’ve been invited to someone’s backyard bash at The Shack on 8th, a watering hole-slash-dive bar-slash-event space. Enjoy outdoor games and drinks in a relaxed, patio-like environment.
Sandler Center for the Performing Arts
For a night of entertainment, book tickets to see your favorite performer at the Sandler Center for the Performing Arts at Town Center. (Recent acts include Lake Street Dive and Kathleen Madigan.) If you’re in for a good laugh, check out any of the upcoming comedians and comedy shows.
For a light-hearted night of comedy head to Funny Bone Comedy Club & Restaurant, where “LOL” is the name of the game. Laugh-till-you-cry with acts from national comedians and the hottest up-and-comers in the comedy world. Try to snag a seat at the “Clash of the Comics,” which is always a hoot.
About Our Writer
East Coast-based writer D. Chérie Bair covers travel, food, and outdoor recreation for newspapers, magazines, and online travel sites. She has contributed to several guidebooks for Fodor’s, Michelin, Lonely Planet, and Frommer’s. A global traveler, Bair admits she is “besotted” with Virginia Beach. Her favorite things to do there include paddling with dolphins in Rudee Inlet and loading up on taffy at Forbes Candies.