3-Day Virginia Beach Tour
Day 1 You'll See:
- Stroll on the Boardwalk
- Virginia Aquarium & Marine Science Center
- First Landing State Park
- Cape Henry Lighthouse
Day 2 You'll See:
- Nauticus Science Center & Battleship Wisconsin
- American Rover Field Trip Program
Day 3 You'll See:
- Busch Gardens in Williamsburg
Stroll on the Boardwalk - Welcome to the Virginia Beach Boardwalk, voted by Travel + Leisure as one of America’s best beach boardwalks! This 28 foot wide, three-mile-long concrete boardwalk is lined with the best and most treasured Virginia Beach shops, eateries, and activities and is sure to keep your group busy, relaxed, and happy! The boardwalk itself is lined with a bike path perfect for bike or surrey rentals, rollerblading, or strolling along the seaside. The entire area is lined with quaint outdoor restaurants offering you the freshest seafood and coldest drinks to satisfy your hunger, and the niche shops around will satisfy your retail therapy craving as you shop for some of the most unique Virginia Beach souvenirs. And I haven’t even mentioned the most important part of this location, the beach! Be prepared for endless sand, surf, and sun as you take in the most beautiful views in Virginia Beach. Choose from a myriad of watersports, soak up the sun on the beach, or spend some time in the waves. Whatever you choose to do at the boardwalk, your group will definitely not be disappointed!
Virginia Aquarium and Marine Science Center - Get ready for 800,000 gallons of one of the country's best aquariums and animal habitats at the Virginia Aquarium and Marine Science Center just north of the Rudee Inlet. This outstanding marine life learning center houses tons of hands-on exhibits, nature paths, and natural land reserves. Your group will be able to choose from seemingly endless possibilities for fun and learning, and the website suggests saving 2.5 to 3 hours to fully enjoy this location. A quick tour of the aquarium will show your group the touch pools of the Bay and Ocean Pavilion, the aviary of the Marsh Pavilion, an Indonesian volcanic island recreation in the Restless Planet exhibit, and a 70,000 gallon Light Tower Aquarium. After you’ve seen all you can within the building head to the National Geographic Theater or Adventure Park zip line over Owls Creek. You can even choose to take it easy on a nature path that leads to the Aquarium Cafe or Otter Snack Bar. Be sure to stop by the gift shop on your way out to pick up a t-shirt or painting that the harbor seals worked so very hard on!
First Landing State Park - Welcome to Virginia’s most visited state park, the 2,888 acre First Landing State Park, the site of the first landing of Jamestown pilgrims in 1607. The cypress swamps of this location provided fresh water for merchant mariners, pirates, and military ships from the 17th to the 19th centuries. There is even a local legend that Blackbeard himself used the landing to hide from his enemies for a period of time during his lifetime. Your group can learn about this legend and all of the rest of the interesting history regarding this site at the Information Center toward the beginning of the park. This State Park is the easternmost area in which you will find subtropical and temperate plants together, making the scenery unbelievably gorgeous in this park. Your group can enjoy this as they explore the 20 miles of trails and two miles of the Chesapeake Bay beachfront. You can hike, bike, swim, boat, fish, or even picnic at the campgrounds and cabins at First Landing State Park, giving you a perfect mix of forest and beach natural oasis. There are also opportunities for recreational sports, as well as time for exploration of the remarkable habitats such as the lagoons, cypress forest, or maritime forest all throughout this exciting state park! Put yourself into the early Americans’ shoes as you step on the very spots they did upon the first arrival, and take in the beauty that has remained unchanged since then.
Cape Henry Lighthouse - Located on the army base of Fort Story, the Cape Henry Lighthouse is the newer of the pair that have served a great purpose for the Virginia Beach and Chesapeake Bay area. Originally, George Washington commissioned a lighthouse at this base in 1772, today known as the Old Cape Henry Lighthouse. This remarkable sandstone beacon has since provided a century of guiding light to a merchant and government boats traveling through the Chesapeake to larger ports such as Norfolk, Baltimore, and Washington. After being condemned unusable for cracks in the wall and lantern oil soaked steps a new Cape Henry Lighthouse was built across from it, this time made of iron. Still in commission today by the U.S. Coast Guard this lighthouse is private, but a great view of it can be seen from the windows of the original lighthouse. Climb the steps of the original Cape Henry Lighthouse and feel the historic importance of this structure while gazing upon the new architectural wonder under the same name. Views of the army base, the forest it sits on, and the beautiful Virginia Beach oceanfront are all accessible from this well-preserved piece of history, as well as an educational opportunity that dates back to America’s roots. Your group will truly enjoy this seaside trip down Virginia Beach's memory lane.
Nauticus Science Center and Battleship Wisconsin - Prepare yourselves for an exciting tour of the interactive science and technology center, Nauticus. Plan plenty of time to explore at this stop, with a suggested four hours full of hands-on exhibits, HD films, and interactive displays. At the science center, you can explore the commerce history of the Mighty Seaport, learn about the post-civil war decline of the Jamestown exhibit, see first hand NOAA’s underwater parks at the Secrets of the Deep, or experience a powerful hurricane simulator at the SOS Station. You can also visit the Horseshoe Crab Cove, Bamboo Shark Experience, or Living Seashore to learn more about the natural life surrounding this enterprise. Be sure to save plenty of time to explore the Battleship Wisconsin, the second ship of the U.S. Navy which was named after the 30th state. This ship was finished in 1941 and then deployed to the British West Indies in 1944, quickly returning to shore at its current location for repairs. Your group can personally tour this vessel by entering on the second floor of Nauticus, or take a 1.5-hour tour exploring the once sealed off areas such as the captain’s cabin, combat engagement center, and flag bridge. Once you’ve worked up an appetite stop by the Dockside Cafe for some wings or salad at their buffet, and make sure you stop by the gift shop for that perfect Nauticus souvenir on your way out!
American Rover Field Trip Program - Set sail with the American Rover as you and your group embark on a 1.5 or 2-hour educational cruise around the Elizabeth River and Hampton Roads Harbor. The American Rover is a 135 foot, three-masted topsail schooner that is often times just referred to as a tall sailing ship. On your group's educational cruise you will have the chance to set the sails, steer the ship, learn captain’s navigational skills, and hear plenty of mariner history. You will also hear maritime lore, learn to tie sailor knots, and take part in many other hands-on activities that immerse you and your group into a real-life history lesson. As you sail along the harbor keep your eye open for passing shipyards, cargo terminals, the Battleship Wisconsin, and working naval warships as well as private recreational or commercial yachts. All the adventure and history lovers, young and old alike, will love this stop on your Virginia Beach tour, and you’re going to love the relaxation and unbeatable sights this educational cruise offers!
Busch Gardens in Williamsburg - What better way to end your Virginia Beach trip than at the 25-year winner of the world’s most beautiful theme park, located a mere hour away in Williamsburg. Busch Gardens was opened in 1975 in this area and has since then seen millions of guests walk excitedly and happily through its gates. This theme park is centered around a European classic motif with Parisian streets of France, hamlets of Scotland, and Oktoberfest celebrations of Germany. In total, Busch Gardens hosts nine different villages featuring six different countries. Inside the park, you will find world-class roller coasters, live entertainment, kid-friendly rides, and stunning architecture and landscape. While you are here make sure your group gets a chance to see the famous Clydesdale horses, bald eagles, or gray wolves. You should save plenty of time to explore the 350 acres of park, which includes the most thrilling roller coasters the Griffen, DarKastle, Verbolten, and dozens more. Your group can enjoy the stunning views of the James River as you sit down for a meal, grab a quick snack on the run, or just relax in the gorgeous gardens as you end your east coast trip the right way!