Bill is a Virginia Beach native and Debbie has been here for over 30 years (she’ll be considered a native in 20 years or so) and usually we have avoided the Boardwalk area of the Beach during the summer. “It’s so full of tourists!”, we sniffed. We’ll stay to the north with the regular folks.
Well, Debbie’s family decided to have a family milestone birthday celebration at…Virginia Beach! So we packed up and headed to a high-rise hotel in the middle of the tourist district. Not ever having done that, we didn’t know what to expect. We were very pleasantly surprised.
Once situated in our seventh floor hotel room, we stepped out on the balcony and took in the gorgeous view – from the Virginia Beach Pier down to Rudee Inlet. The beach is impressively large and pristine and there’s a lot for your eye to take in – dolphins,
swimmers, sunbathers, beach volleyball players, boardwalk strollers and a variety of bicycles, rollerblades and other touristy wheeled vehicles. While we brought our own beach chairs and umbrella, family members easily rented theirs that were set up by very nice work-study young men and women who represented a number of countries. The beach was filled with visitors, but it never felt crowded.
In the evening, we ventured out for walks on the boardwalk and explored Atlantic Avenue. Virginia Beach is definitely geared to families and there was no shortage of activities, including an amusement park and street entertainers. We felt safe and comfortable well into the evening hours. The resort strip makes for a very walk-able vacation. We did not have to use our car once – except for an excursion to the Military Aviation Museum. Restaurants, shops and entertainment are all within a few easy blocks.
Experiencing Virginia Beach from the eyes of a tourist certainly opened our eyes to the many offerings the Beach has for vacationers. We came away with a renewed appreciation for this resort destination. While we will likely continue to hang-out with the townies in the North End, we will never again snicker at the tourists. After all, they are what make Virginia Beach a great place to visit.