Virginia Beach

Virginia Beach lies where the Chesapeake Bay meets the Atlantic Ocean. Here, 20 miles of sand and surf are peppered with arcades, amusement parks, shops, and restaurants. Many of these attractions can be found along the Virginia Beach Boardwalk, three miles of fun in the heart of the town.

There’s still more to see beyond the boardwalk. Start with Virginia Beach’s natural wonders, including the Back Bay National Wildlife Refuge, whose miles of marshland attract migrating birds, and False Cape State Park, which has more than 15 miles of hiking and biking trails. Then there are historic sites, such as the First Landing Cross, a memorial that marks the spot where English settlers planted a wooden cross in 1607 before settling Jamestown nearby.

Even in the off-season, there’s plenty to do. Virginia Beach hosts an art festival each fall, and an annual sand-sculpting contest draws visitors to the beach even when it’s too cold for a dip. While looking out at the ocean, it’s also worth looking up—you might catch a Navy jet swooping by on its way to or from one of Virginia Beach’s four military bases.

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