Chances are, when you think of Virginia Beach, you think sun, sand, and summer. But, unbeknownst to many, there’s loads of fun to be had in the in the winter and spring: The charming coastal city boasts a temperate climate and a diverse array of places to eat, stay, and play year-round. Here, three itineraries for three different types of travelers.
A Rustic Retreat
For outdoorsy travelers, the cabins at First Landing State Park are the ideal stay: each has two bedrooms, heat, a fireplace, a screened-in porch, and an outdoor grill. By day, guests can explore the park’s scenic trails, and by night, they can retire home to cozy up in front of the fire. Thrill-seekers will also enjoy the Virginia Beach Adventure Park (at the Virginia Aquarium): An aerial ropes courses park stretching across six acres of tree canopy, the park has more than 20 zip lines—the longest runs 315 feet and crosses Owl’s Creek—and 15 aerial trails. Plus, the park is beginner- and family- friendly: No prior climbing experience is required (kids as young as five can climb), and the trails span six difficulty levels (with the most challenging ones reaching up to 55 feet above the forest floor).
A Luxe Getaway
Craving the lavish life for a weekend? The Oceanaire Resort Hotel, located along the Resort Beach, is the escape to book. The 189-room property offers both studio rooms and high-end suites; the latter have fully-equipped kitchens (think: stainless steel appliances and granite countertops), 42-inch flat screen TVs, and private balconies overlooking the Atlantic Ocean. After braving the chill for a scenic stroll on the boardwalk, guests can warm up with a swim in the hotel’s sleek, adults-only indoor infinity pool. For dinner, head to the nearby Salacia Prime Seafood & Steaks, one of three AAA Four-Diamond restaurants in the city. With a seasonal selection of high-quality surf-and-turf (Salacia is the only restaurant in the city to serve Japanese A5 Wagyu beef) and an expansive wine list, the restaurant is the ideal elegant night on the town.
A Craft Beer Crawl
Virginia Beach is home to a host of breweries that are perfect for hunkering down on a chilly afternoon with a group of friends. A highlight is the Resort Beach’s Wasserhund Brewing Company (meaning “water dog” in German), which aims to bring German beer culture to the city with its selection of high-quality ales and lagers. (It has 12 beers on tap.) The brewery also serves brick-oven pizza, beer sausages, and sauerkraut. About 15 minutes away, near the Chesapeake Bay Beach, Commonwealth Brewing Company is a local favorite. Housed in a historic, recently renovated fire station, the family-owned brewery boasts an expansive beer hall with 28 taps and an outdoor beer garden. And make sure to check the brewery’s calendar when planning a visit—Commonwealth often hosts local food trucks, like the excellent Hashi Food Truck, where chef Ross Riddle combines Virginia foodways and Asian cookery.
New York-based journalist Avery Stone is exploring Virginia Beach all season for Coastal Living. Follow her adventures here, and catch up on her previous discoveries, below!