East Coast Diary: Things To Do In Virginia

I have been to Virginia three times. All three of those times were drive throughs, heading to South Carolina or Florida. This past week, I had returned to Virginia, finally stepping foot on its ground and sandy beach.

During my week in Virginia, I soaked up the sunshine while relaxing on the beach. I was able to enjoy the weather and the seascape by editing my manuscript as well as doing some other forms of writing.

When I wasn’t sprawled out on the sand, I did some sightseeing and was able to see some fun locations. I also ate at many delicious restaurants.

If you are looking for the inside scoop of some of the best ways to spend your time in Virginia, look no further!

Here is my day-to-day vacation breakdown.

SUNDAY

We live in Pennsylvania, making the road trip to Virginia Beach nearly six hours. However, after leaving at six in the morning, we made it to Virginia an hour or so quicker than expected.

We arrived to Virginia before noon. We ate at our first location, the Leaping Lizard Cafe. It was about twenty minutes away from our hotel.

The cafe was small, cute, and had its own particular charm and style. Artwork and sculptures of lizards nearly littered every wall. A few were outside and near the parking lot to greet us.

The drinks were delivered in Mason Jars and the food was light, healthy, and homegrown. I had ordered a mushroom and artichoke panini that came with potato salad and cantaloupe.

After checking into our hotel, we unpacked and walked down the beach. Walking to the end, we strolled approximately twenty blocks. The ocean was blue and waves were the perfect temperature.

Similar to lunch, dinner was also light and delicious. We grabbed a meal at Harvest, four blocks away from our hotel. I ordered a salad of kale, quinoa, sweet potatoes, carrots, radishes, pecans, and raisins. The salad came with a citrus vinaigrette. Together, the flavors were exquisite, felt refreshing, and paired well.

Following dinner, we walked down the boardwalk visiting one of the highest rated Virginia Beach attractions; The Legends Walk.

The Legends Walk pays tribute to Virginia-Native individuals who made major contributions to their field, whether through science, exploration, journalism, music, literature, or other.

The night concluded in ice cream from Ben & Jerry’s, a scoop of coconut almond fudge chip, and a six minute firework show on the beach.

MONDAY

Today was our first day on the beach. The sun was fully out and the temperature was pleasantly warm.

We left the beach late afternoon for dinner on the pier. This restaurant was highly rated and recommended for its seafood, location, and views. This eatery is called Ocean Eddie’s. Our small fifteen minute wait for an outside table was definitely worth it!

I ordered grilled shrimp tacos with fries. The dish was remarkably delicious, the tacos drizzled in a cilantro sauce. While an acquired taste for some, I absolutely love it.

With full bellies, my family and I decided to play a round of mini-golf. We decided to try a blacklight course. Unfortunately, the game was not as exciting as we had originally anticipated.

The game only had 10 holes, compared to the tradition of 18, and it was all crammed into one room. The idea was neat and could have been really awesome, but the execution was not quite up to par.

TUESDAY

Today was our second day on the beach. Similar to Monday, the weather was beautiful once again.

Tonight’s dinner meal was further down the boardwalk than last night’s eatery. Chix on the Beach had its own style and was also highly recommended. Uniquely, the restaurant featured bathing suit styles from past generations on its walls.

I ordered a chicken caprese sandwich with a side of fries. The chicken was tender and balsamic was drizzled with the right amount.

We spent the night milling through some shops, catching street acts, such as a flame throwers and magicians, and grabbed some more ice cream.

From Ben & Jerry’s I ordered a milkshake, the flavor inspired by Jimmy Fallon’s The Tonight Show. The flavor called, The Tonight Dough, had lots of chocolate, some peanut butter, and caramel.

WEDNESDAY

We took a break from the beach, visiting Virginia’s aquarium. Since I love aquariums and zoos alike, I was especially excited for this excursion.

We arrived at the aquarium at 9:00am, which is when its doors open. We gazed at many species, seeing swimming harbor seals first, before sea turtles, sharks, fish of all kind, and even two komodo dragons. The dragons happened to be my favorite part of the exhibits.

We caught an early afternoon 3D film, highlighting the known and lesser-known of what occurs beneath our world’s oceans, both deep, deeper, and deepest. We got up close to walruses, otters, sea urchins, and more.

Also at the aquarium were stations to touch stingrays and horseshoe crabs. It always amazes me how smooth stingrays feel! Did you know that when it comes to horseshoe crabs, they have ten eyes?

Outside of the aquarium was a nature walk, the paths weaving around trees and more watery areas. We even saw a wandering turtle, as well as some cranes in the distance. When looked down below out into the mud we could see side-stepping crabs.

After the aquarium, we grabbed an early dinner at a nearby diner, The Beach Bum. It was a simple eatery, nothing over the top. Interestingly, the restaurant was featured in Food Network’s Guy Fieri’s Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives.

Arriving back at our hotel, we had to keep our eyes on the weather as scattered rain and storms moved around us. The evening and night had some light spritzing.

The obvious fans of ice cream that we are, we did the thing we knew best and visited another creamery, The Blue Cow. Located a fair distance away from our hotel, we had to drive to its location.

Here, I ordered a cone of Banana Puddin’, which is vanilla ice cream with carmalized bananas and pieces of waffle.

THURSDAY

We enjoyed our third day on the beach. The weather was much more cooler and cloudy than we were used to or even expecting. The morning skies were foggy, but eventually gave away to the blue and warmth we were hoping for.

For dinner, we dined at the location I was most excited for; The Abbey Road Pub. Located just two blocks from our hotel, the restaurant is decked in all things Beatles related. From menu items inspired by the Fab Four, to all of the decor that covered the walls.

Outside of the restaurant are murals inspired by John, Paul, Ringo, and George.

Here, I ordered the seafood jambalaya. This dish was plentiful and came with a lot of flavor and spice. The spicy sausage was particularly yummy.

Following our meal at Abbey Road, we went to another mini-golf course to make up for the not-so-fun blacklight course. This course was outdoors and had a jungle theme.

After our game, we walked around some more stores where I purchased a Virginia Beach souvenir; a red mug with seashells. We then topped off our final night at the beach with another ice cream run.

This time around at Ben & Jerry’s, I ordered a scoop of the Chunky Monkey in a chocolate dipped cone. This flavor was banana with large chocolate chunks and walnuts.

FRIDAY

Friday was our last day at Virginia Beach. Before driving home, we visited two lighthouses. One of the lighthouses was able to be explored while the other was off limits due to it still being used in conjunction to the military base.

Climbing to the top, we were able to get a view of the ocean and the other lighthouse.

Near the lighthouses was an outlook to more of the water and private beaches.

Next time you travel to Virginia, where will you go?

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