Things to do in Norfolk - Virginia Beach, VA

Activities, attractions and tours
Sandbridge Beach which includes a sandy beach and surfing as well as a small group of people

Norfolk - Virginia Beach Attractions

Located at the mouth of Chesapeake Bay, the cities of Norfolk and Virginia Beach form a large urban area that’s home to a great choice of activities and entertainment options. From jet skiing, sailing and sunbathing on the Atlantic Coast to exploring the museums, galleries and important sights of historic Norfolk, the area has plenty to offer holidaymakers looking for culture-packed city breaks and families who want to get out, get active and have fun in the southern sun.

Areas & Neighbourhoods in Norfolk Virginia Beach

Norfolk – One of the most historic cities in the United States, Norfolk is home to the world’s largest naval base, a lively nightlife and a vibrant arts scene. Visitors can spend their days exploring galleries, museums and event spaces before heading out to enjoy an action-packed night out in one of the city’s lively bars.

Virginia Beach – Though it started out life as a seaside resort, Virginia Beach has grown into the state’s largest city. Boasting 35 miles of sandy beach and a three-mile boardwalk, the city offers a host of coastal attractions including shops, restaurants, water sports and entertainment.

Black Bay National Wildlife Refuge – This remote and unspoiled part of Virginia Beach is the perfect destination for visitors who want to escape the crowds and enjoy a bit of fresh air. A fantastic place for bird watching and nature spotting, the refuge is also a great location for a picturesque country walk.

Ocean View – Located in Norfolk, Ocean View is one of the city’s main coastal areas. The neighbourhood’s 1,690-foot long pier is the longest fishing pier in North America, while its waterfront offers a choice of entertainment options.

Things to See in Norfolk Virginia Beach

With mile upon mile of sandy beach, two vibrant city centres and protected areas to discover, there’s more than enough to keep holidaymakers busy for the duration of their stay. Prominent sights include the three-mile boardwalk in Virginia Beach, with its choice of attractions, the distinctive Chrysler Museum of Art in Norfolk, with its fantastic collection of classic and contemporary works, and the USS Wisconsin in Norfolk, an imposing battleship that offers tours. Visitors interested in the state’s early history should visit the Adam Thoroughgood House where they can see one of the earliest homes in Virginia and learn about one of the state’s most important settlers.

Things to Do in Norfolk Virginia Beach

Whether they’re looking for a cultural getaway, a relaxing beach break or an active holiday, visitors will find plenty to keep them busy in the Norfolk Virginia Beach area. For museums, galleries, shops and historical sights, holidaymakers should explore the centre of Norfolk where they’ll find a variety of cultural institutions. Activities like golf, jet skiing, kayaking and kite-boarding can be found in Virginia Beach, while Bay Island and the False Cape State Park are perfect for visitors who want to explore the area on foot.

Top things to do in Norfolk - Virginia Beach


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Top places to visit

1. Virginia Beach Boardwalk

The Virginia Beach Boardwalk stretches for 3 miles (5 kilometers) along Virginia Beach. Lined with bars, restaurants and hotels, this concrete esplanade features an adjacent bike path for cyclists and skaters. Enjoy a meal at a charming restaurant overlooking the ocean, watch buskers perform and inspect the sculptures and monuments along the boardwalk.
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Soak up the atmosphere as you stroll along this oceanfront strip, the heart of Virginia Beach’s dining and entertainment scene.

2. Naval Station Norfolk

Get close to destroyers, aircraft carriers, amphibious assault vehicles, submarines and frigates by taking a bus tour of Naval Station Norfolk. Navy personnel narrate details of vessels, their histories and roles, as well as providing a few insights into life at this sprawling military base.
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Tour the world’s largest naval complex and see some of the U.S. Navy’s most powerful ships.

3. Virginia Beach Town Center

When you visit Virginia Beach Town Center, a popular shopping spot in Virginia Beach, you can search for that perfect souvenir. Stroll along the area's seaside or experience its great live music.
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When you visit Virginia Beach Town Center, a popular shopping spot in Virginia Beach, you can search for that perfect souvenir. Stroll along the area's seaside or experience its great live music.

4. Sandbridge Beach

Sandbridge Beach is a serene, golden-sand beach just south of busy Virginia Beach. A secluded alternative to its popular neighbor, Sandbridge Beach is an ideal place to get away from the crowds. Kayak or hike in nearby Back Bay National Wildlife Refuge, dine on fresh seafood and spend an evening stargazing.
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Escape to this quiet, family-friendly beach to enjoy fishing, strolling, dining on fresh seafood or simply relaxing on the sand.

5. Old Dominion University

Enjoy the student vibe with a visit to Old Dominion University, a top university in Norfolk. Experience the area's great live music or attend a sporting event.
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Enjoy the student vibe with a visit to Old Dominion University, a top university in Norfolk. Experience the area's great live music or attend a sporting event.

6. Greenbrier Mall

With a visit to Greenbrier Mall, a favourite shopping spot in Chesapeake, you can find the perfect gifts to bring home. Stroll along the beautiful beaches or attend a sporting event in the area.
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With a visit to Greenbrier Mall, a favourite shopping spot in Chesapeake, you can find the perfect gifts to bring home. Stroll along the beautiful beaches or attend a sporting event in the area.

7. Norfolk Scope

Catch an event at Norfolk Scope during your trip to Norfolk.Amble around the area's beautiful beaches or attend a sporting event.
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Catch an event at Norfolk Scope during your trip to Norfolk.Amble around the area's beautiful beaches or attend a sporting event.

8. Virginia Beach Convention Center

Find out what's happening in Virginia Beach Convention Center during your trip – a top convention centre in Virginia Beach. Experience the great live music or attend a sporting event in this walkable area.
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Find out what's happening in Virginia Beach Convention Center during your trip – a top convention centre in Virginia Beach. Experience the great live music or attend a sporting event in this walkable area.

Popular places to visit in Norfolk - Virginia Beach

Areas of Norfolk - Virginia Beach

Day trip destinations from Norfolk - Virginia Beach