June 30, 2014

Top 10 things to do in VA Beach

The Rock 'n' Roll Virginia Beach half marathon weekend is about two months away and we're hoping to see lots of running buddies at this fun summertime race!  If you're not from Virginia Beach, you'll probably be interested in checking out the area and enjoying all of the great summer activities that this town has to offer.  Our family lived in Virginia Beach for 7 years in the late 90s and Christine has been a resident of Hampton Roads for the last 9 years.  So it's safe to say that we know a thing or two about the area and have a few recommendations that will take you off the beaten bath from the traditional touristy destinations.

1. Have an Orange Crush and some steamed shrimp at Chick's Oyster Bar.

2. Go to the beach at the North End - that means north of 42nd street.  You'll be mingling among the locals and will avoid the chaos of the resort area of the beach.  Just be sure you don't park in someone's driveway!

3. Test out your skills with a round of mini golf among the animals at Jungle Golf.  It's cheesy but we love it!

4. Enjoy brunch at Doc Taylor's on 23rd street.  This darling cottage serves fantastic brunch and has great prices on brunch drinks!  It's a locals hangout on the weekends, so be prepared to wait for a table.

5. Visit Jody's Popcorn at the shops at 31st street. Jody happens to be a surrogate mother to Christine, also Christine's best friend's mother. The popcorn shop was a lifelong dream for Jody and she has fabulous popcorn, fudge and other treats. Christine's favorite is the double cheddar and cinnamon toast popcorn. They also offer free samples!

6. Keep your eyes peeled for dolphins.  They're seen in many of the bodies of water around the area and there are special dolphin watching cruises that you can take that leave from Rudee Inlet. 

7. Rent bikes on the Boardwalk.  And provided you have the time, head north along the access road on Atlantic Avenue to see some gorgeous beachy homes.

8. Spend some time in the lobby of the old Cavalier Hotel.  It's a gorgeous old hotel on a hill on 42nd street - you can't miss it.  There's even a small museum commemorating notable visits from Presidents, celebrities and the like.

9. Check out First Landing State Park.  There are some great trails that are good for walking, biking, and of course, running!

10. Grab a Sandwich at Taste Unlimited, a fabulous local gourmet food store.  Our favorite is the Hilltop with lettuce and tomato.  Order it.  Seriously.  You can thank us later. 

So now you get to tell us what you're planning to do or see while you're in Virginia Beach...and based on your comments, we'll pick TEN people who will win a Rock 'n' Roll promotional tee.

Now here's the fine print.
- Each person can gain a single entry by providing a blog comment telling us what you're planning to do or see in Virginia Beach.
- Shirts are available in men's and women's sizes, s-xl.
- Must include email address in blog comment.
- Open to U.S. Residents only.
- Shirts will be sent by Rock 'n' Roll.
- Giveaway ends at midnight on July 2nd!

Good luck and happy running!


  1. I haven't been since I was 5 and I am 39 now! So the beach is a must! We will go on the boardwalk and definitely Jody's popcorn

  2. Can't wait to get back to Virginia Beach for race weekend! Last summer, Jungle Golf ran a parking special where if you played mini golf then you got free beach parking - score! We loved playing a round of mini golf after an afternoon on beach. We've always eaten lunch one day at Big Sam's on Rundee Inlet - their fried seafood, while not good for you, is super tasty! We'll have to be sure to check out Jody's Popcorn this time around.

  3. Thanks for all the insider tips! I will def keep this bookmarked for future VA Beach trips (usually coincided with a run haha). Unfortunately I will not make RNRVA.

  4. A visit to sweet frog was always a must when I went to VAA beach. Now I have one right by my home so it's not such a big deal now!

  5. Ahh Virginia Beach I love! I will truly miss not living there. Great suggestions on what to do. I lived there for three years and some things on the list I have not even been to. Watermans is another great place for an Orange Crush:) ~L

  6. That looks like a fun place to visit, especially the popcorn store! One of these days I'll get there for a race! Have a great time!

  7. Dolphins?!?!?!?! I want to see a dolphin!

  8. I'd check out that gourmet food store you mentioned, my husband and I are sort of foodies, hehe. Renting bikes would also be high on the list.

    Amy Lauren

  9. I wish I could be there for the race. It sounds so fun, and I love the medal too! And that popcorn place sounds yummy!

  10. I wish I could run this race! If I was then the bike ride along the boardwalk would be at the top of my list!

  11. Never been to Virginia Beach, sounds like a fun race!

  12. Don't pick me since I have one -
    But did want to say thank you for this as I have no idea what to do there.

  13. Dolphins and popcorn?!?!? My kind of place! Thanks for the great advice!

    Tamileepronske at gmail dot com

  14. My family used to vacation at Virginia Beach almost every summer! I wish I could get out there again to actually participate in the run!

  15. I've never been to Virginia Beach but it looks beautiful and looks fun! We don't have dolphins in Southern California, we have sharks so I would LOVE to see dolphins in the water instead.

  16. I want to grab an ice cream cone and enjoy it on the sand while waiting to see dolphins

  17. Super cute shirt! And my kids would love that popcorn place!

  18. Hello! we will be visiting Virginia Beach this summer and your blog was really helpful! Thanks a lot!