Virginia Beach Attractions

The plentiful sunshine and sprawling beaches are just two of the most obvious attractions in Virginia Beach. And while the surf and sand prove to be just two of the area's biggest draws, there are plenty of other great places to see and experience. Lovers of history will marvel at some of the most meticulously preserved sites that can be found here. Fans of nature will not only enjoy the beaches but the city's parks and other beautifully expansive areas. And of course, there is the inescapable aquatic element of Virginia Beach that is further underscored by the acclaimed aquariums and science centers that, along with everything else, truly qualify as some of the best attractions in the area that you most definitely don't want to miss!

FIrst Landing State Park / Seashore State Park
Without a doubt, the First Landing/Seashore State Park is Virginia Beach's crown jewel attraction. This National Natural Landmark draws more than a million visitors a year, and with good reason. As the state's most popular state park, the area features facilities for such fun activities as hiking, biking, camping, fishing, boating, crabbing and swimming. The facilities for camping are top notch as they include a camp store and laundry facilities. The park was established in the 1930s, and also is noted for being the northernmost point at which temperate and subtropical plants coexist. The park also features handicap accessibility and offer cabin rentals.

Address: 2500 Shore Drive, Virginia Beach, VA 23451 - MAP
Phone: (757) 412-2300
Web: www.dcr.virginia.gov

Virginia Aquarium & Marine Science Center
There is no escaping the beauty of the ocean in Virginia Beach. But instead of just seeing it from the surface, dive in and learn about all of the life that it holds when you visit the Virginia Aquarium & Marine Science Center. The facility offers plenty of chances to get closer to marine life like seasonal whale and dolphin cruises as well as various other interactive exhibits and attractions. In addition to seeing the fish and various invertebrates that are gathered by the aquarium's staff after an ocean trip, you can also enjoy a pontoon boat trip around the Owls Creek Salt Marsh for an even more unique aquatic perspective.

Address: 717 General Booth Blvd, Virginia Beach, VA 23451 - MAP
Phone: (757) 385-3474
Web: www.virginiaaquarium.com

Lynnhaven House
Step back into some of Virginia Beach's dramatic past when you pay a visit to the Lynnhaven House. Amazingly, the house has nearly 90% of its original structure still intact, amazing when you consider the fact that it was built in 1725. This colonial home ranks as one of the country's most well-preserved 18th-century buildings, and that alone means that there are many stories to be discovered here. This attraction is listed on the National Register of Historic Houses and the home stands near a wooded area and vegetable gardens as well as a Revolutionary War family cemetery. A visit to this remarkable signpost of the past offers a rare glimpse at what early colonial life was like.

Address: 4405 Wishart Road, Virginia Beach, VA 23451 - MAP
Phone: (757) 460-1688
Web: www.virginiabeach.com

Mount Trashmore Park
Spending a day in the great outdoors of Virginia Beach wouldn't be complete without a visit to the Mount Trashmore Park. Amazingly, this popular park was once a landfill, but since its reconstruction, it now features 165 acres of children's playgrounds and recreational facilities. One of the more popular features is a state-of-the-art skateboard park, but there are also more conventional amenities available like basketball and volleyball courts, two lakes, picnic facilities and trails. Plus, the park is the site of various special events, concerts, and attractions throughout the year.

Address: 300 Edwin Drive, Virginia Beach, VA 23454 - MAP
Phone: (757) 473-5237
Web: www.vbgov.com

Back Bay Natioanl Wildlife Refuge
Seeing some of the area's wildlife in a controlled environment like a zoo or aquarium is one thing, but experiencing them in their natural habitat is something that is truly special. That unique opportunity is what awaits you when you visit the Back Bay National Wildlife Refuge. This natural attraction boasts a staggering 7,700 acres of beach woodland marsh that features such visually captivating creatures as loggerhead turtles, red foxes, marsh hawks, migratory birds, snow geese, and American Bald Eagles. Plus, you can also enjoy hiking, biking and camping here as well.

Address: 4005 Sandpiper Road, Virginia Beach, VA 23451 - MAP
Phone: (757) 721-2412
Web: www.fws.gov

Cape Henry Lighthouse
History and nature come together in a truly memorable way at the Cape Henry Lighthouse. This lighthouse, established in 1791, has the distinction of being one of the country's oldest government-built lighthouses. The historic attraction played a key role in the commercial development of the area as well as a dramatically historic one–it is located near where the English settlers arrived in 1607. Even though it sustained damage during the Civil War, it was restored and promises a truly breathtaking view when you ascend to its top lookout point. Tours are available. The lighthouse is open all year except from December 1st to January 5.

Address: 583 Atlantic Avenue, Virginia Beach, VA 23459 - MAP
Phone: (757) 422-9421
Web: www.apva.org

Old Coast Guard House
Virginia Beach's Old Coast Guard Station has an interesting past. It was founded as a Life Saving Station in 1903 and then became a Coast Guard Station from 1915 until 1969. The structure sat idle for ten years and faced demolition but was rescued by financial backers who then turned it into the historic facility that it is today. This fascinating maritime museum not only chronicles its own history with various presentations about the Coast Guard, but it also offers many interactive exhibits and attractions that detail the mission of the brave men and women whose job it was to protect, serve and search and rescue those in distress.

Address: 24th Street and Boardwalk, Virginia Beach, VA 23451 - MAP
Phone: (757) 422-1587
Web: www.oldcoastguardstation.com

Virginia Legends Walk
Get a totally different perspective of some of Virginia's most notable natives when you experience the Virginia Legends Walk. This unique walkway commemorates the work of some of the most influential Virginians like Ella Fitzgerald, Patsy Cline, Edgar Allan Poe, Douglas MacArthur, Robert E. Lee, and Arthur Ashe, just to name a few. It was inaugurated in 1999 and new names are regularly added to this fitting and entertaining tribute.

Address: 13th Street, Virginia Beach, VA 23452 - MAP
Web: www.va-legends.com