Virginia Beach, a coastal city where the Chesapeake Bay meets the Atlantic Ocean, is a treasure trove of experiences waiting to be discovered.

From its pristine beaches and scenic trails to its vibrant festivals and rich maritime heritage, there’s something for everyone in this East Coast gem. 

Whether you’re a local looking to rediscover the city’s charm or a traveler crafting the perfect beach vacation itinerary, our ultimate bucket list is here to guide you. 

Dive in and let the Virginia Beach vibes sweep you off your feet!

Chesapeake Bay

Chesapeake Bay is a top Virginia Beach draw for locals and tourists alike!

Sunset at Chesapeake Bay.

Chesapeake Bay, the largest estuary in the U.S., is a crown jewel of Virginia Beach, offering a blend of natural beauty and adventure. 

From sailing on its shimmering waters to indulging in the fresh catch of the day, the Bay promises unforgettable memories. 

For those keen on exploring blogger-friendly places in Virginia Beach, this spot is a must-visit. 

Families will find many areas around the Bay welcoming for all ages, and solo female travelers can expect a safe and hospitable environment. 

Dive into the myriad activities available, such as kayaking, bird-watching, and hiking along scenic trails, and let the Bay’s enchanting beauty captivate you. 

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Remember, it’s not just a destination; it’s an experience waiting to unfold.

First Landing State Park

Trees at First Landing State Park.

Gazing up at trees in First Landing State Park.

Nestled on Cape Henry in North Virginia Beach, First Landing State Park spans a vast 2,888 acres, making it a must-visit spot on your Virginia Beach bucket list. 

As you step into this natural haven, you’re greeted with a plethora of activities, from swimming and hiking to boating and fishing. 

Ever tried your hand at crabbing? The park’s popular fishing and crabbing area at the narrows is the perfect spot to indulge in this delightful activity. 

Families and solo female travelers will find the park both welcoming and safe, with over 200 campsites and 20 cabins available for a memorable stay. 

Dive into the myriad of experiences First Landing offers, and let its charm captivate your heart.

First Landing Loop Trail

Tucked within the expansive First Landing State Park, the First Landing Loop Trail offers a captivating journey through Virginia Beach’s natural beauty. 

As you traverse this trail, you’ll be enveloped by lush greenery, with the sounds of chirping birds and rustling leaves accompanying your every step. 

Whether you’re a seasoned hiker or just looking for a leisurely stroll, this trail promises a refreshing escape from the hustle and bustle.

Pungo Loop Trail

Traversing the Pungo Loop Trail will leave you with a sense of accomplishment.

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Nestled in the heart of Virginia Beach, the Pungo Loop Trail offers a serene escape from the hustle and bustle of city life. 

This hiking trail is a hidden gem, winding through lush forests and offering breathtaking views of the surrounding nature. 

As you embark on this adventure, you’ll be captivated by the sounds of chirping birds and the rustling of leaves beneath your feet. 

Whether you’re an avid hiker or just looking for a peaceful stroll, the Pungo Loop Trail promises an unforgettable experience. 

The trail is family-friendly, making it a perfect outing for all ages. So, pack your hiking boots and immerse yourself in the beauty of Virginia Beach’s natural wonders.

Blue Ridge Mountains

The Blue Ridge Mountains are a must-add to your Virginia Beach vacation plan!

You can see how they got the name, can’t you?

Nestled in the Eastern United States, the Blue Ridge Mountains are a breathtaking segment of the larger Appalachian Highlands range. 

While they might technically lie outside Virginia Beach, the sheer allure of these mountains makes them a write-in candidate for any Virginia Beach bucket list. 

Stretching over 550 miles from southern Pennsylvania through several states, including Maryland, Virginia, and North Carolina, these mountains are renowned for their distinct bluish hue from afar, thanks to the isoprene released by trees. 

Visitors are often captivated by the scenic beauty of the Blue Ridge Parkway and the rich biodiversity of the Shenandoah and Great Smoky Mountains National Parks

For those seeking family-friendly adventures or solo female excursions, the Blue Ridge Mountains offer a plethora of activities, from hiking to exploring national forests.

Blue Ridge Parkway

The Blue Ridge Parkway, often called “America’s Favorite Drive,” is a scenic highway that winds its way through the heart of the Blue Ridge Mountains. 

As you cruise along this iconic route, you’ll be treated to breathtaking vistas, lush forests, and a tapestry of colors, especially during the fall. 

Along the way, there are ample opportunities for hiking, picnicking, and simply soaking in the beauty of nature. 

Shenandoah National Park

Shenandoah National Park is a majestic setting for a family trek near Virginia Beach.

While Shenandoah National Park isn’t technically in Virginia Beach, its sheer splendor makes it a worthy addition to any Virginia Beach bucket list. 

Located just 75 miles from the hustle and bustle of our nation’s capital, this national park is a sanctuary of cascading waterfalls, breathtaking vistas, and fields dotted with wildflowers. 

As you explore its vast expanse, you’ll encounter over 200,000 acres of protected lands that are home to deer, songbirds, and black bears. 

Whether you’re hiking its trails, camping under the stars, or simply soaking in the views, Shenandoah promises an experience like no other. 

It’s a family-friendly destination, and solo female travelers will find both safety and serenity within its bounds. 

Military Aviation Museum

The Military Aviation Museum should be on your Virginia Beach bucket list - aviation enthusiast or otherwise!

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Nestled in Virginia Beach, the Military Aviation Museum stands as a testament to the golden era of flight.

It boasts one of the world’s largest collections of airworthy vintage military aircraft, making it a must-visit for aviation enthusiasts and history buffs alike. 

As you wander through the museum, you’ll be transported back in time, witnessing the marvels of aviation from the World Wars. 

A highlight for many during the festive season is the museum’s renowned Christmas lights display, a spectacle that adds to the list of winter activities in Virginia Beach

The museum is family-friendly, offering a range of activities and exhibits that cater to all ages. For solo female travelers, it’s a safe and enriching destination where history takes flight.

Escape2Win Escape Rooms

Boost your Virginia Beach bucket list with an Escape2Win Escape Rooms adventure!

A view inside our sci-fi themed adventure set aboard a space station.

Nestled in the heart of Virginia Beach, Escape2Win offers a thrilling escape room experience that promises to challenge and entertain. 

As we like to say, it’s not just about escaping a room; it’s about diving into a captivating story, solving intricate puzzles, and immersing yourself in a world of mystery. 

From the spine-chilling “Ghostly Encounter” to the space-themed “Lunar Lockdown,” our rooms have garnered acclaim, even being called the best escape room in Virginia Beach and rated among the top games of the world in 2022 by the Morty community. 

Our rooms cater to a diverse audience, ensuring a family-friendly environment, and we pride ourselves on creating experiences that resonate with both solo travelers and groups. 

So, whether you’re a seasoned escape artist or a curious first-timer, we invite you to challenge yourself and see if you have what it takes to Escape2Win!

Strolling along the Virginia Beach boardwalk

A great view of the Virginia Beach boardwalk

Nestled right at the heart of Virginia Beach, the iconic boardwalk is a must-add to any bucket list for those planning a beach vacation. 

Stretching three miles from 2nd to 40th Street, it offers a quintessential east coast experience with scenic views of the Atlantic Ocean and a vibrant atmosphere. 

As you take a leisurely stroll, the rhythmic sounds of live musical acts from oceanfront stages set the perfect backdrop. 

Imagine starting your day with the breathtaking sight of a sunrise on the beach (a top New Year’s Eve attraction in Virginia Beach). 

The boardwalk is not just a visual treat but also ensures a family-friendly experience, making it a perfect spot for solo female travelers, couples, and families alike. 

While specific accessibility details might vary, the boardwalk’s wide expanse generally caters to visitors of all abilities.

King Neptune Statue

Located prominently on the Virginia Beach boardwalk, the King Neptune Statue is a 26-foot-tall testament to the city’s maritime heritage. 

This bronze behemoth, capturing Neptune, the Lord of the Sea, is undeniably one of the most Instagrammable spots in Virginia Beach

Nestled in Neptune’s Park, it offers a perfect backdrop for memorable photos and serene ocean views. 

A must-visit for families and solo travelers, it blends art, history, and the beach’s enchanting allure.

Dining along the oceanfront

virginia beach oceanfront dining

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Virginia Beach’s oceanfront dining is an experience that tantalizes all the senses. Imagine savoring a delicious meal with the rhythmic sound of waves in the background and the gentle sea breeze brushing against your face. 

The oceanfront boasts a diverse range of dining options, from upscale seafood restaurants to cozy Italian bistros, vibrant Mexican eateries, and casual seaside shacks. 

Of course, seafood is the star attraction here, with many establishments offering fresh catches daily, and if you’re keen to explore further, check out some of the best Virginia Beach seafood restaurants, like the Lucky Oyster Seafood Company.

So, whether you’re a solo traveler or with family, the oceanfront dining experience is a bucket list must-do.

Beach camping

virginia beach camping

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Beach camping in Virginia Beach is an experience that promises the perfect blend of relaxation and adventure. 

Imagine waking up to the soothing sound of waves crashing on the shore and the salty breeze. 

Virginia Beach offers many camping options, from the untouched, all-natural campsites at False Cape State Park to the high-end amenities at North Landing Beach RV Resort & Cottages

For those who crave a mix of the rustic and the modern, places like Virginia Beach KOA Campground provide both traditional tent camping sites and cabins equipped with modern conveniences. 

Of course, the highlight remains the delectable seafood dining options along the oceanfront, ensuring that your camping experience is complemented with some of the freshest catches. 

Whether you’re a solo traveler, a family, or a group of friends, beach camping in Virginia Beach caters to all, promising memories that will last a lifetime.

Sandbridge Beach

sandbridge-beach

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Sandbridge Beach, often hailed as one of the offbeat gems in Virginia Beach, is a serene escape located just south of the bustling resort area. 

Unlike its more crowded counterparts, Sandbridge offers a tranquil setting, making it an ideal spot for those seeking a peaceful beach experience. 

Here, visitors can sunbathe on the pristine sands, take leisurely strolls along the shoreline, or engage in thrilling water sports like surfing and paddleboarding. 

The nearby Back Bay National Wildlife Refuge offers a unique opportunity to explore diverse habitats and spot local wildlife. 

Families, solo travelers, and especially female travelers will appreciate the safe and welcoming environment of Sandbridge Beach. 

With its blend of natural beauty and recreational activities, Sandbridge Beach is a must-visit for anyone crafting their Virginia Beach bucket list.

Virginia Aquarium & Marine Science Center

Virginia Aquarium & Marine Science Center

Nestled in Virginia Beach, the Virginia Aquarium & Marine Science Center is a testament to marine wonders, beckoning visitors to dive into the world of aquatic marvels. 

This renowned attraction offers a mesmerizing journey through incredible exhibits, showcasing hundreds of species that captivate both young and old. 

As you wander through, the allure of the underwater world unfolds, from vibrant coral reefs to mysterious deep-sea creatures. 

And if the skies turn gray, fret not! The center is recognized as a top rainy day activity in Virginia Beach, ensuring your adventure remains uninterrupted. 

While it’s a haven for marine enthusiasts, the center also emphasizes its commitment to accessibility, ensuring that everyone, regardless of age or ability, can immerse themselves in this oceanic wonderland.

Attending festivals

Attending virginia beach festivals

Virginia Beach, with its vibrant community and coastal charm, is a hub for lively festivals that draw crowds from all over. These events celebrate everything from music and food to the city’s rich maritime heritage. 

Some of the most popular festivals include:

  • Neptune Festival: Held in late September, this is one of the city’s flagship events, celebrating the culture and community of Virginia Beach with parades, outdoor concerts, and an art & craft show.
  • East Coast She-Crab Soup Classic: A springtime favorite, this April event sees local restaurants compete to serve the best version of this regional delicacy.
  • Pungo Strawberry Festival: Taking place in late May, this festival celebrates the local strawberry harvest with food, entertainment, and family-friendly activities.
  • BayPort Credit Union Holiday Lights at the Beach: A top Christmas attraction in Virginia Beach, this festival lights up the boardwalk with a nautical-themed light display, usually from late November to December.

Whether you’re a local or a visitor, these festivals offer a unique blend of fun, food, and culture, making them a must-add to any Virginia Beach bucket list. 

And while each festival is family-friendly, it’s always a good idea to check specific event details for any age or accessibility considerations.

Ready to start planning your Virginia Beach bucket list?

Our curated guide has taken you through the best that Virginia Beach has to offer, from its untouched natural beauty to its vibrant city life. 

Whether you’re basking in the sun at Sandbridge Beach, challenging your wits at Escape2Win, or indulging in the freshest seafood along the oceanfront, every moment in this coastal city promises memories that will last a lifetime. 

So, why wait? Pack your bags, gather your loved ones, and embark on an adventure that’s quintessentially Virginia Beach. 

Every second spent here is a story waiting to unfold. See you on the beach!

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