25 things to do in Virginia Beach

May 19, 2010

1. Stroll through history. Follow the Virginia Legends Walk at 13th Street Park and learn about such commonwealth greats as Thomas Jefferson, Arthur Ashe and Patsy Cline.

2. Go for a spin. Ride the Ferris Wheel at the Virginia Beach Amusment Park along the boardwalk.

3. Relax on the roof. Enjoy the view from Sky Bar at Hilton Virginia Beach Oceanfront, named one of the best rooftop bars in the U.S. by Coastal Living magazine.

4. Meet people. Take in an exhibition or competition at the Virginia Beach Convention Center.

5. Go downtown. Dine, shop or stay at Virginia Beach Town Center, 17 city blocks of entertainment, restaurants and more. (vabeachtowncenter.com)

6. Eat local. Grab some fresh produce at the Virginia Beach Farmers Market. (vbgov.com)

7. Head to the farm. Get up close and personal with chickens, guinea hens and miniature horses at the Hunt Club Farm.

8. Wave and slide. Cool off in the wave pool or on one of the 16 waterslides at the Ocean Breeze Waterpark. (oceanbreezewaterpark.com)

9. Cruise on a yacht. Travel in style along the Chesapeake Bay aboard the 100-foot yacht Virginia's Jewel. (virginiasjewel.com)

10. Tour a landmark. Experience Colonial life at the Adam Thoroughgood House, a National Historic Landmark dating to the 1700s.

11. Be a thriller. Ride go-carts and play miniature golf at the Motorworld Family Thrill Park. (vbmotorworld.com)

12. Spend a night on the beach taking in Beach Street U.S.A., which offers free nightly entertainment along Atlantic Avenue from 17th to 25th Streets.

13. Climb a lighthouse. The Old Cape Henry Lighthouse was the first lighthouse erected by the U.S. government.

14. Explore the planet. Check out the new $25 million Restless Planet exhibit at the Virginia Aquarium & Marine Science Center. (virginiaaquarium.com)

15. Look for dolphins. Go on a dolphin-watching trip aboard the Rudee Flipper, a 65-foot catamaran. (gorudeetours.com)

16. Paddle the park. Take a tour of First Landing State Park by kayak or canoe.

17. Learn to surf. Take surfing lessons at Billabong Surf Camp. (17thst.com/surfcamp)

18. Go for a bike ride. The 3-mile concrete boardwalk is perfect for bicycling.

19. Be a star. Sing karaoke while watching a digitized image of yourself at Dance Heads. (danceheads.com)

20. Hike it out. Hit the hiking trails at False Cape State Park, a mile-wide barrier spit between Back Bay and the Atlantic Ocean. (dcr.virginia.gov)

21. Go wild. See the alligators and snapping turtles at the Virginia Living Museum.

22. Snack and pop. Sample the more than 20 flavors of gourmet popcorn — fudge, too — at Jody's. (jodyspopcorn.com)

23. Trash talk. Frolic in the playground or hit the skate park at Mount Trashmore Park, a 165-acre landfill converted into a park.

24. Listen the music. Watch free concerts at the Sandler Center for the Performing Arts. (sandlercenter.org)

25. Go green. Virginia Green is a program that promotes eco-friendly practices and certifies hotels, restaurants and attractions that take steps to reduce harm to the environment. (virginiagreentravel.org)

Joe Burris, The Baltimore Sun

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