Summer isn’t the only season of the year, right?
Well, Virginia Beach isn’t just a beach, either.
It’s not always about a scorching sun or a cool ocean breeze – even in a beach town. Here are ten things to do during the often-neglected other nine months in Virginia Beach.
1) The Hunt Club Farm (below) is a great starting point to the area’s hidden treasures. 28-acres of farmland can feel like a dreamy departure to a city with “beach” in its name.
Part of our series helping you find the right neighborhood for you, sponsored by Rose & Womble Realty Company.
Hunt Club Farm offers its very own petting zoo, the Fall Harvest Fair, a pumpkin patch, activities for children, and its infamous alter-ego: the Haunted Hunt Club Farm. Just in time for Halloween, visitors can hop right onto the Haunted Hayride, walk through the Field of Screams, or visit the Village of the Dead.
Even if you’re not into being spooked, the majority of the events held on the premises are quite safe for the feint of heart. Take a look at the calendar because you don’t want to miss out.
2) First Landing State Park has long been a classic local’s getaway for residents throughout Hampton Roads.
The scenery is undoubtedly beautiful in the summer, but it peaks at a whole different level in the Spring and Fall months. With the leaves changing and the temperature a bit cooler, visitors may not be able to swim in the surrounding Chesapeake Bay, but can instead enjoy its many other luxuries.
Bring your animals, children, and friends to enjoy hiking, camping, biking, and many other activities in the nearly 3,000-acre environs of the park. Hours of operation, fees, and accessibility information can be found here.
3) Oh, so you’re into art?
The Museum of Contemporary Art is more than enough to keep an individual – artistic or not – inspired for hours. And if you didn’t consider yourself artistic to begin with, you’ll be oozing with creativity and shining a new light by the time you walk out the door.
Not only does MOCA VA rotate its fascinating exhibits to keep you coming back again and again, but they also have quite the listing of seasonal events that make you never want to leave in the first place. The Museum’s exhibition hours and admission fees can be found here.
4) We all know not to judge a book by it’s cover, so please don’t judge Mount Trashmore by its name.
Yes, it’s technically a 60-foot mountain of trash in the middle of a park. But before you hold your nose, make a mental note that you’ll never think of it that way after your first visit.
There is a playground for kids, lakes to fish in, pathways and trails all around, and a skatepark inside of the park – all free of charge (except for the fishing, which does require a permit). The park also holds fundraisers and smaller events year-round. Visitors are encouraged to schedule time to hold their own get-togethers at the park. The park is operated from sunrise to sunset every day (weather permitting).
5) Flipper McCoy’s is one of Virginia Beach’s many unspoken secret weapons to bring people together.
It’s a real-deal arcade. Local’s only achievement unlocked.
There are over 100 different games, ranging from the classics you’ve come to know and love to a realm of new releases. Flipper McCoy’s welcomes solo visits, friend groups, and entire families to stop on by to help you enjoy the setting of flashing lights and buzzers going off.
It could be new or nostalgic to you – but it’s bound to be a good time.
Check the site for hours so you can plan accordingly.
6) Virginia Beach’s Town Center has grown into quite the thriving area for local restaurants, live entertainment, and shopping.
It doesn’t matter what day of the week it is; something is always going on. Wine tastings, food sampling, a theatrical event, and seasonal events can surely be found marked on Town Center’s busy calendar.
But you don’t have to spend a dollar if you don’t want to – just enjoy the scenery. Town Center follows along with the different aesthetics of the year by throwing Halloween and various Fall events throughout the Autumn months, with Christmas decorations to match the December season.
However, the Holiday Lights at the Beach brings the holiday spirit right where the city needs it the most – twinkling next to the Atlantic.
The city encourages you to pack your vehicle with as many people as you (legally) can and drive down the boardwalk to enjoy the sights. You’ll get a glimpse of everything from reindeer over the ocean to a shark swimming in and out of a gift box.
Who knows? Maybe you’ll get to see Santa this year.
8) There’s bound to be something to catch your eye in the 800,000 gallons worth of exhibits at the Virginia Aquarium and Marine Science Center, which is open year round.
Fish are friends – not food – so check the hours and pricing and come on down.
And if you really can’t stay away from the ocean, you’ve got two exciting opportunities from the Aquarium.
9) The Virginia Aquarium also offers a wildlife boat trip on the coast of the Atlantic.
Starting in December and lasting all the way up until March, you get to step inside of a boat for two hours to see things that most people only get to see in movies or on the Discovery Channel. You’ll be able to catch a close-up of dolphins, whales, schools of fish, and other sea-goers. They occupy the Atlantic coastline – and didn’t you hear? They’re just waiting for you to post them on your social media.
Stay on top of the scheduling, fees, and special promotions that they have.
10) The Polar Plunge is an annual fundraising event – now in Virginia Beach – where participants raise money for various important causes so that they can jump into the Atlantic Ocean with one another.
The catch, you ask? The water isn’t exactly warm.
These things certainly help to beat the stereotype of the typical beach town and show the other nine months of the year that they do matter.
It really isn’t all about UV rays and sunscreen in Virginia Beach. The town harnesses these wonderful opportunities for both inhabitants and visitors alike to experience new things with the people that they care about.