Last summer, my husband and I got the rare opportunity to spend some couple time alone. My in-laws drove down and took over caring for our children so that we could make a quick getaway to Virginia Beach. Talk about the best anniversary present ever! I'd been there once as a child and longed to go back to the Atlantic Ocean. Since it's only about 3 hours away from my home, we decided that Virginia Beach would be the perfect getaway spot for us.
|Beach view - take a look at the size of those waves!|
There's even live entertainment to enjoy! Beach Street USA's website keeps a calendar that you can consult while making your plans to visit the beach. We definitely plan to stay at a hotel that's close to the water this time around. Though much pricier, the view and convenience will be worth it to be near the attractions and entertainment. You can sort the list by stage to see who is playing where and enjoy music in the open air, with the water and its salty scent not far away. We didn't stay for bands, instead opting to explore the area more. One day at the beach, and we knew we wanted to bring our kids next time and stay for more than just a day or two. In fact, our kids' school held a silent auction this spring and had several tickets to Virginia Beach attractions that we bid on. We won four of those auctions to secure admission tickets very cheaply and can't wait to explore the area with kids in tow this summer.
|A perfect day for a bike ride on the Boardwalk.|
So, besides the beach, what else would we want to do as a family while in the Virginia Beach area?
|Nauticus is a Naval Museum in the Virginia Beach area.|
|Mount Trashmore - can you make the climb?|
Busch Gardens is a short drive away, as is Colonial Williamsburg. Both are on our short-list for inclusion in our trip itinerary. We're also eying a visit to First Landing State Park and the Aquarium. We know we won't be able to do everything we want to do, so I'm sure we'll be planning our next visit while we're enjoying the sights this summer. For us, a family vacation to Virginia Beach offers us a fun destination that's just a few hours away -- a staycation! We'll be able to balance pure fun with a little bit of a history and science education thrown in the mix.
A few quick tips!
1. If you wear glasses, buy a strap for them. I know... you don't want to look dorky, but the surf can get pretty rough and you don't want to lose your glasses in the ocean. Or worse, have to go into the water without glasses and miss the view.
2. Parking can be pretty tight on a hot, summer day. Get the best spots by hitting the beach early on during the day. This is a good idea for many reasons since hot days usually mean a long line of traffic pointed toward the beach, so you'll avoid some gridlock by being an early arrival. Secondly, it's a good idea to avoid long exposure to the sun during the most brutal hours of the day. Finally, the earlier you go, the less people that are on the beach. Enjoy a few more quiet moments by being one of the first to arrive.
3. There's an admission fee to use the Fishing Pier (15th Street), but you don't need a fishing license.
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I wrote this blog post while participating in the SocialMoms and Virginia Beach blogging program. For more information on how you can participate, click here.
Photos of attractions above were taken on a visit to Virginia Beach in August, 2011 by blog author. Photos taken by blog author are copyrighted.
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