When you stay in Virginia Beach, all of coastal Virginia (known as “Hampton Roads” after the old shipping lanes that ran through the area) is your oyster. That means you’re just a short drive away from amazing family attractions and historic destinations that make your beach vacation one for the ages.
Virginia Beach shares more than a border with the neighboring harbor town of Norfolk; we share a love of the water and how it connects us to great adventures. As home to Naval Station Norfolk, the world’s largest naval installation, Norfolk has a storied past and a vibrant local arts scene. Whether you’re exploring walk-able downtown Norfolk’s eclectic food scene and high-end shopping or taking advantage of cultural events and destinations like the Chrysler Museum of Art and Norfolk Botanical Gardens, you get the sense of a city that’s constantly evolving. Ever-present is its nautical heritage, which you can explore on a visit to Nauticus and the Battleship Wisconsin or onboard a variety of river cruises. Sports lovers can root for the home team throughout the year as the Norfolk Tides take the diamond and Norfolk Admirals take the ice to enthusiastic crowds each season.
When you’re looking for a trip for the history books, you can travel over 400 years to the past in just about an hour. The settlers who first landed in Virginia Beach in 1607 traveled up the James River to create America’s first permanent English colony in Jamestown. Today, you can walk through the reconstructed settlement to get an idea of what it took to survive during Pocahontas’ time. In nearby Colonial Williamsburg, you’ll experience the pre-Revolution America through a living history area that’s world-renowned for authentic detail. Shopping and dining are just as charming, thanks to cobblestone streets, gracious hospitality and stylish goods inspired by colonial life.
Though there is a certain refinement to the colonial style, it’s not all elegance and candlelight around here. Williamsburg is also known for delivering high adrenaline, fun-loving excitement, thanks to Busch Gardens Williamsburg and Water Country USA. Splashy rides, world-class roller coasters, and entertaining shows bring the thrills all summer, while Busch Gardens’ popular Howl-O-Scream and Christmas Town events offer family-friendly reasons to visit after summer ends.