Where can you stroll along the world’s longest pleasure beach, go indoor skydiving, tour a working oyster farm and learn to surf from some of the best? Look no further than iconic Virginia Beach. Located on the southeastern Virginia coast where Chesapeake Bay meets the mighty Atlantic, you’ll find tens of thousands of acres of parks and refuges, a thriving farming community, a metropolitan downtown, and so much more. The perfect place to plan your next group excursion!
Not one, not two, but THREE beaches
Each of Virginia Beach’s three main coastal areas has a distinct feel and something for everyone. Whether you’re traveling with thrill seekers, nature lovers or foodies, the perfect beach is just waiting for you.
Classic, nostalgic, iconic – all words describing the charming feel of Resort Beach. Famous for its boardwalk, this beach is ideal for those who like to test their skills in all sorts of fun activities, as well as those thrill seekers among us. Try your hand at the iFly Indoor Skydiving center, where you can experience the rush of jumping from an airplane – indoors. While you’re at it, pay a visit to the Adventure Park at the Virginia Aquarium. A perfect outing for any group, the park boasts the largest adventure course on the East Coast, with 13 trails of zip lines and aerial rope obstacles soaring up to 40 feet among the trees.
Back on the ground, Resort Beach hosts the Virginia Aquarium & Marine Science Center, Atlantic Wildfowl Heritage Museum and Old Coast Guard Station – all excellent outings to learn more about the flora, fauna and history in one of the oldest parts of our country.
At Resort Beach, great for groups of all sizes, other popular excursions are its kayak nature tour, whale watching trips, horseback riding on the beach and standup paddle boarding.
Chesapeake Bay Beach
Looking for a bit of calm off the beaten path? Chesapeake Bay Beach offers plenty for groups of all sizes. Tour the Cape Henry Lighthouse, famous as the first lighthouse commissioned by President George Washington in 1792.
While the beach is most famous for its sandy shores, you’ll be surprised to learn that it is home to seven different ecosystems. Take your group on a hike in First Landing State Park and explore everything from marshes to pine forests. You’ll be modern day explorers taking in the same scenery that the Jamestown colonists first saw when they arrived in the New World in 1607.
One of the beach’s most unique experiences would have to be the oyster farm tours, where groups of up to 12 can tour Pleasure House Oysters’ working farm and learn all about its history and restoration efforts along the bay. And, of course – you can sample some oysters straight from the water.
For even more fun on the water, head to Sandbridge Beach and try your hand at surfing by booking group lessons with one of the many experienced local outfitters – the water may be chilly but you’ll have a blast checking out one of the East Coast’s best surfing destinations.
The area around Sandbridge Beach is secluded and the coast is bounded by grassy dunes that make way for Back Bay Wildlife Refuge. This 8,000-acre freshwater refuge is home to maritime forests, marshes, ponds and wintering wildfowl. The best way to explore this lush area is by booking a kayak or standup paddleboard (SUP) tour through the refuge. Here you can get up close and personal with otters, deer, nutria, raccoon and birds that seek out this area as a winter home.
And, of course, no day out is complete without a local feast – and here the local delicacy is blue crab. The Virginia Beach visitors bureau is happy to help you arrange a crab feast at rentals along the coast, delivering this favorite to your door, complete with all the fixings.
Out on the town
Make your way inland to the beautiful town center and you’ll find 17 blocks of shopping, dining and plenty of entertainment options to make your trip memorable. Take your group to enjoy world-renowned performers at the Sandler Center for the Performing Arts and get a group all-access pass to cast, crew and dress rehearsals to enjoy a unique view that not everyone has the chance to see. We know any trip to Virginia Beach will be full of laughs, but why not make it even better with a trip to the Funny Bone Comedy Club & Restaurant, which hosts national, high-caliber comedy acts along with many up-and-coming sensations. And who can pass up free entertainment? Every Wednesday and Sunday (May-October) there are free live entertainment and festivals in the city plazas – a perfect addition to any Virginia Beach day.
Farm to table
You can’t miss out on a visit to the Pungo farming community, where your group can harvest their own local delights from any of the 16 you-pick farms and indulge in fresh strawberries, kale, blueberries, blackberries, cantaloupe and flowers. There is also the popular Virginia Beach Farmer’s Market full of local and regional food and products and the New Earth Farm, where groups can take classes and tour the educational farm. Complete your tour with a trip to the Military Aviation Museum to check out the world’s largest collection of working WWI and WWII aircraft – a fun and interactive way to spend an afternoon.
Haven’t started planning your visit to Virginia Beach yet? Not to worry – all the fun and excitement is waiting for you. Just check out this video to get everyone in your group excited for the adventures to come: Visit Virginia Beach