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5 awesome ways to experience Virginia Beach

You could say the American story as we know it began right here in Virginia Beach, when some of the continent’s first English settlers came ashore at the appropriately named First Landing State Park. The rest is history.

Time would turn the dense maritime forest into a coastal city, an artistic hub, a destination for brews and brunch, and a portal to outdoor adventure. With 400 years to grow, Virginia Beach has developed a complexity — and an appealing one, to be sure — other coastal cities simply can’t claim. To be here is to experience something without equal. Here are five ways to do it.

This post is proudly produced in partnership with Visit Virginia Beach.

Outdoor

The windswept sand dunes of Sandbridge Beach. The bald cypress trees of the historic First Landing State Park. The untouched maritime forests of Back Bay National Wildlife Refuge. The calm waters of Chesapeake Bay. In the water, in the trees, on the sand — in Virginia Beach, being outdoors could mean anything.

Culinary

Picking your own strawberries in Pungo, harvesting oysters in the Lynnhaven…here, everything is fresh from the land (and water). Perhaps this is why Virginia Beach’s brunch culture is unrivaled — though a wave-making coffee scene doesn’t hurt, either.

History

Virginia Beach is no stranger to firsts. Here you’ll find the exact spot where English settlers first arrived. You’ll climb America’s first lighthouse. You’ll take to the skies in an original WWII airplane. You’ll walk in the footsteps of Frank Sinatra, Muhammad Ali, and Judy Garland. Beyond the miles and miles of sand and sun lies 400 years of history in the making.

Arts & Entertainment

Theater, art museums, oceanfront festivals, and world-class entertainment — don’t just stop at beaching and brunching. The spots you’ll encounter in the ViBe Creative District, Town Center, and along the boardwalk will rival those of any city five times the size. Watch the artists and artisans who are evolving Virginia Beach’s identity on the streets, in the galleries, and on the stage.

Beer

No city that runs this deep in “locally made” — be it coffee, surfing gear, or that famous “Bloody Blue” — wouldn’t have a craft beer scene to match. A proud military heritage, ingredients from local farms, and the unique marine combination of the Atlantic Ocean and Chesapeake Bay means beers you won’t find else. Shark Tears, anyone?

This post is proudly produced in partnership with Visit Virginia Beach.