(BPT) - Where the Chesapeake Bay meets the Atlantic Ocean, the vibrant coastal city of Virginia Beach is where you’ll find warm, inviting waters and a cool, laid-back feel. Home to three distinct beaches, you’re bound to bump into your vibe at one of them. With a delectable seafood-centric culinary scene, rich history and a variety of arts and entertainment, the destination is the perfect getaway whether you’re with the family, looking for a quick escape or flying solo. For some inspiration on vacation planning, here are five new reasons to visit Virginia Beach in 2021.
Captivating family-friendly activities and attractions
This summer, after a $25 million renovation, the South Building at the Virginia Aquarium & Marine Science Center will re-open with several new exhibits, perfect for educational and immersive visits. From interactive play areas to two new touch pools, a gallery with live jellyfish from around the world and an all-new Vet Center wing giving a behind-the-scenes glance at water quality, conservation and veterinary care, a trip to the aquarium will make learning fun. And, Apex Entertainment, a multi-level entertainment complex, the first of its kind in Virginia Beach, lets kids, and kids at heart, blow off a little steam with mini golf, bumper cars, bowling, indoor go karting, laser tag, ropes courses and more.
Check in, and check out Virginia Beach’s newest property
The new Delta Hotels Virginia Beach Bayfront Suites is Virginia Beach’s only beachfront hotel on the Chesapeake Bay. Situated on its own private beach with 295 spacious one- and two-bedroom suites, an outdoor pool and lounge, kayak and bike rentals plus a 24-7 ultra-modern fitness center, guests will also enjoy sampling a local delicacy, oysters, and coastal cuisine at the signature restaurant, Tin Cup Kitchen + Oyster Bar, from an expansive outdoor patio with views of the Bay.
Explore the nation’s early history and diverse waterways
Virginia’s most visited state park, First Landing State Park, holds a special place in our nation’s history. English settlers landed here in 1607 and established the first elective government. These hallowed grounds are also home to 1.25 miles of beach and more than 19 miles of interpretive hiking trails through protected salt marsh habitat, freshwater ponds, dunes and more. For a private tour of Virginia Beach’s biodiverse waterways with a seafood feast finale, Moore to See Photo Expeditions River Crab Feast is not to be missed. Soak up the beauty of North Landing River before landing at a secluded dock surrounded by nature for the freshest locally caught and steamed blue crabs, indulging in a feast unlike any other.
Sip, shuck, repeat
Virginia Beach’s craft beer scene is exploding with an eclectic mix of flavorful suds. Whether you’re a beer aficionado or a seasonal sipper, the Virginia Beach Beer Trail is a new downloadable guide to local breweries and taprooms passionately pouring ale for all. New on the scene: beloved local brewery Three Notch’d Brewing Company, where beer lovers can imbibe fruity sours and hoppy flagship brews, is opening a new flagship this spring in Town Center. And, to truly dine like a local, pair your ale with the irresistible Lynnhaven oysters. Coveted by English Aristocracy, once you experience these little rays of sunshine, you’ll realize a best-kept secret about Virginia Beach: it’s a seafood lover’s paradise.
Whether you’re aiming to close those rings, or you’ve got a daily step count to meet, with more than 200 miles of trails, Virginia Beach has myriad fun activities that will keep you on track. The city is a haven for bikers, and you can experience it from two wheels via a new offering of three distinct self-guided trails: Bike, Brew and Arts Trail; Bike, Brew and History Trail; or the Family Fun Trail. Each has a downloadable map that allows riders to see the city at their own pace. For a fun full-body workout, learn how to ride the waves in the birthplace of East Coast surfing. After engaging muscles you didn’t know you had, a more leisure activity will be best. Take a stroll through ViBe Creative District where the walls come alive with colorful murals and quaint shops burst with creativity. Before you know it, you’ll crush that step count.