Virginia Beach has the distinction of being listed in the Guinness Book of Records as having the longest pleasure beach in the world. The city of Virginia Beach is located on the coast of the Chesapeake Bay and the Atlantic Ocean in the South East corner of Virginia. It’s the largest city in Virginia so offers many activities in addition to the beach.
The city is well known as a resort community with miles of beaches and an abundance of hotels, motels and restaurants along the coast. It hosts several annual events including the East Coast Surfing Championships and the North American Sand Soccer Championship.
Virginia Beach is home to three distinct beach areas, the Chesapeake Bay, Sandbridge and the Resort area.
The Chesapeake Bay beach area is home to people searching out traditional beach activities such as volleyball, great sand for sand castles and smaller, gentler waves.
Sandbridge is located about 15 miles south of the Resort area and has 5 miles of secluded beach covered with dunes and sea oats. If you are looking for a peaceful and relaxing beach, this is the spot for you.
The Resort area has a park like atmosphere with rollerbladers, live music, vendors and street performers to attract your attention. This is also the area that hosts events such as The Neptune Festival, a large event which takes place in late September.
Each spring the Atlantic Coast Kite Festival is held at various Virginia Beach area beaches. The event is a fairly new event but is growing in popularity and is a sanctioned event of the American Kitefliers Association.
The moderating effect of the ocean helps to classify the climate as humid subtropical. Although winters can have cold periods it rarely snows. Summers are perfect for beach goers with hot and humid days followed by warm evenings. It falls in a spot that is farther south than most storms in the North Atlantic and north of the normal path of hurricanes and tropical storms.
Tourism is a large part of the local economy. Tourism spending is approaching $1 billion dollars per year and there are over 2.75 million annual visitors. It has a large Convention Center and the meeting and event business adds to the large number of hotels and restaurants available for visitors.
There is plenty to do in the area. The Virginia Aquarium & Marine Science Center and the Verizon Wireless Virginia Beach Amphitheater are two of the most popular. The Aquarium has a 300,000 gallon facility featuring sharks, sting rays and other creatures that live in the open ocean along with a 70,000 gallon sea turtle aquarium. The Amphitheater hosts a wide variety of shows and concerts from leading performers.
The abundant coastline offers a wide range of parks and beaches. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service manages the 8,000 acre Back Bay National Wildlife Refuge. It borders the Atlantic Ocean and features sand dunes, maritime forests, fresh water marshes, ponds and of course the ocean beach.
The famous 3 mile long concrete boardwalk travels along the oceanfront and offers days full of activity. It’s lined with over 40 hotels, outdoor cafes and is usually teeming with people during the summer. The boardwalk also features a bike path and bike rentals are easily available. If you prefer to spend your time walking in the sand there are water stations readily available to wash off the sand before heading home.