Things to Do in Virginia Beach: By JUNKET
Did you know Virginia Beach holds the title of the longest pleasure beach in the world? Or that the city’s Fourth of July celebration takes place on the country’s largest landfill? Or that it’s illegal to tickle women here?
Hugging the winding East Coast of the United States, where land meets the sea in a mesmerizing display, lies the enchanting treasure that is Virginia Beach. With its pristine shores stretching as far as the eye can see, this coastal paradise beckons visitors to immerse themselves in its boundless beauty and captivating places of interest.
There is an abundance of things to do in Virginia Beach, ensuring that every visitor will find their perfect activity or adventure. The historic Virginia Beach Boardwalk, adorned with vibrant umbrellas and the joyful chatter of beachgoers, becomes a gateway to a world of delights. Explore the charming boutiques and beachfront cafes, their aromas tantalizing your senses with the promise of culinary delights and treasured keepsakes.
Unwind in the serene beauty of the Norfolk Botanical Garden, or enjoy the thrill of watersports and fishing at Rudee Inlet. Whether you seek relaxation, adventure, or cultural exploration, Virginia Beach presents an enticing tapestry of fun attractions and places to go for lasting memories.
Rhythm of Resort City
An array of captivating places of interest beckons you beyond the beaches of this coastal paradise. Explore the scenic wonders of Back Bay National Wildlife Refuge or thrill your inner child with exhilarating rides and classic carnival games at Atlantic Fun Park.
Awaken your inner aviation enthusiast at the Military Aviation Museum, which showcases a remarkable collection of vintage aircraft from different eras, or explore the ViBe Creative District to appreciate the unique artistic expressions of the community. The Junket Virginia Beach Experience will uncover the hidden local gems that make Virginia Beach a treasure trove of unforgettable experiences.
Amidst this seemingly enchanting beachside paradise, unseen specters lurk in the shadows, hidden from the naked eye. Embark on a journey spanning over three centuries of history, delving into the stories of cultural clashes, notorious pirates, and the restless spirits of the deep blue sea.
As you venture upon the very ground that harbors these ghostly apparitions, prepare to hear bone-chilling and authentic accounts of murder, betrayal, and the tormented souls that linger on the idyllic shores of Virginia Beach. Dive into the city’s spine-tingling darkness with Neptune Ghosts, where you will be beckoned to:
- Uncover the lingering entities of the Old US Coast Guard Station
- Encounter the terrifying sea monster near the Cape Henry Lighthouse
- Unearth the mournful spirits of the Dictator
- Discover the supernatural power of King Neptune
And so much more…
There’s a Junket for everyone – Pick yours!
Virginia Beach History
The First Landing
Nestled along the picturesque coastline of southeastern Virginia, Virginia Beach boasts a rich and diverse history that stretches back centuries. Long before the arrival of European settlers, the area that is now Virginia Beach was home to several Native American tribes, including the Chesapeake, Chowanoke, and Nansemond. These tribes thrived on the region's abundant natural resources, including fertile land, dense forests, and bountiful waterways.
In the early 17th century, English settlers led by Captain Christopher Newport arrived on the shores of what is now Virginia Beach. They established the first permanent English colony in North America at nearby Jamestown in 1607.
As the colony expanded, the settlers began to explore and settle along the coastal areas, including present-day Virginia Beach. The English colonists, led by Captain John Smith, encountered the Native American tribes and navigated complex relationships with them.
As English settlements expanded, Virginia Beach became part of Princess Anne County, named after the daughter of King James II. The area continued to attract settlers, who built plantations and engaged in agriculture, particularly tobacco cultivation, which became a major economic driver in the region.
One of the notable colonial figures associated with the area is Adam Thoroughgood, an English immigrant who arrived in the late 1620s. Thoroughgood played a significant role in the development of the region and is credited with promoting the area's agricultural potential and fostering its early growth.
The history of Virginia Beach intersected with pivotal events in American history. During the American Revolution, the region saw the presence of British forces as they sought to maintain control over the colonies. The Battle of Cape Henry, which took place near the iconic Cape Henry Lighthouse in 1781, marked a significant moment in the Revolutionary War, as French and American forces joined together to repel the British.
The Civil War brought further impact to Virginia Beach. As part of the Confederacy, the region experienced the Union Army's presence, and it became a site of military engagements and fortifications. The Battle of the Monitor and Merrimack, and the Siege of Suffolk are among the notable conflicts that occurred in the vicinity.
During World War II, the city played a vital role in defending the East Coast as military installations were established to protect against potential German U-boat attacks. The military presence in the area continued to grow, and today, Virginia Beach is home to several military bases, including the Naval Air Station Oceana and Joint Expeditionary Base Little Creek-Fort Story.
In the late 19th century, the city became a hub for the fishing and shipbuilding industries. Fishing villages such as Rudee Inlet and Lynnhaven thrived, drawing settlers and establishing a tradition that still exists today.
It was during this time that Virginia Beach underwent a transformative period that set the stage for its emergence as a popular resort destination.
The opening of the Norfolk and Virginia Beach Railroad in 1883 provided easier access to the area, making it more accessible for visitors. The pristine beaches, temperate climate, and tranquil atmosphere drew tourists from nearby cities and beyond, seeking respite from the hustle and bustle of urban life.
To accommodate the influx of visitors, hotels, amusement parks, and recreational facilities were constructed along the coastline. The Virginia Beach Boardwalk, a beloved landmark, came to life with charming shops, restaurants, and entertainment venues. It quickly became a focal point of the city's tourism industry, offering visitors a chance to stroll along the vibrant waterfront.
“It is the most healthful and beautiful spot on the ocean side, and is within easy reach of New York and the other chief centres of population. It has long enjoyed a most enviable reputation among those who seek rest and rational recreation.” – Princess Anne Hotel brochure (1897)
Well into the 20th century, Virginia Beach remained a popular coastal resort destination. The construction of the Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel in the 1960s facilitated easier access to the area, attracting visitors from nearby cities and beyond. The city's beautiful beaches, vibrant boardwalk, and wide range of recreational activities make it a sought-after destination for tourists.
Virginia Beach is a city that embraces its coastal heritage while constantly evolving and adapting to the changing times. It hosts a variety of events and festivals throughout the year, celebrating its history, culture, and community spirit. The Neptune Festival, for instance, honors the city's ties to the sea and showcases its lively arts scene.
Virginia Beach Today
With its timeless beauty and coastal charm, Virginia Beach is a haven where nature and humanity intertwine in perfect harmony. It is an invitation to embrace the simple joys of life, reconnect with the elements, and discover the magic that lies within the embrace of the sea. Explore its enchanting beaches, lively boardwalk, and an abundance of breathtaking places to go that showcase the true essence of this coastal gem.
Immerse yourself in nature at First Landing State Park, a captivating natural retreat that holds historical significance as the site where English colonists first landed in 1607 before continuing their journey to establish Jamestown. Visit the Visitor Center to learn about the park's historical background and explore miles of hiking trails, camping sites, and opportunities for birdwatching, fishing, and boating from its scenic beaches.
Discover the wonders of marine life at the Virginia Aquarium & Marine Science Center, featuring fascinating exhibits, interactive displays, and even opportunities for up-close encounters with dolphins and other marine creatures.
Embark on a thrilling boat ride to observe dolphins in their natural habitat or take advantage of Virginia Beach’s abundant opportunities for fishing, both offshore and inshore, as well as hidden fishing spots known only to locals.
“The city has since outgrown its reputation as a hot spot for sailors on leave… Virginia Beach is as close as you can get to an all-things-to-all-travelers destination.”
– Condé Nast Traveler
But Wait, There’s More
Yet, Virginia Beach is not solely defined by its natural splendor. It is a place where history and culture thrive, interweaving with the very fabric of its existence and offering an array of captivating places to go that beckon exploration and discovery. Journey through time as you visit historical landmarks that stand as testaments to the enduring spirit of this coastal haven and discover the stories that have shaped this land into the vibrant tapestry it is today.
The historic Cape Henry Lighthouse, which dates back to the late 18th century, played a crucial role in guiding ships entering the Chesapeake Bay and offers panoramic views of the Atlantic Ocean. Explore the period-accurate interior and learn about one of the area's early settlers at the Adam Thoroughgood House, a 17th-century brick manor that serves as a testament to Virginia's colonial history.
A must-see destination for art enthusiasts is the Virginia Museum of Contemporary Art. Situated in the heart of the city, this award-winning museum showcases an impressive collection of contemporary art and offers a range of engaging exhibitions and programs.
Virginia Beach is known for its seafood delicacies, including fresh oysters, clams, and shrimp. Don't miss the chance to savor the local flavors at seafood markets and waterfront restaurants like Ocean House.
Get to Know Virginia Beach
Apart from the thrilling Junket Virginia Beach Experience, the city presents an array of entertainment possibilities, spanning from remarkable historic architecture and captivating museums to vibrant art galleries and invigorating outdoor activities. Virginia Beach boasts an abundance of renowned attractions that are sure to captivate visitors, including:
- Virginia Beach Boardwalk: Enjoy a variety of shops, restaurants, art exhibits, and maritime activities along this iconic wooden promenade.
- Virginia Aquarium and Marine Science Center: Encounter some 12,000 animals representing over 700 species at this immersive museum featuring fresh and saltwater displays.
- Cape Henry Lighthouse: Climb 191 steep steps to the top of the tower for breathtaking views of Chesapeake Bay at this monument that marks the first landing site of English settlers on American soil.
- Frances Land House: Admire the Georgian architecture, furnishings, and lifestyle of the early 18th century at this elegant plantation home.
- Virginia Beach Surf & Rescue Museum: Explore the history of surfing, lifeguarding, and water rescue in the area at this museum dedicated to the preservation of Virginia Beach’s maritime heritage.
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