Virginia Beach



This major East Coast resort attracts college students and other travelers with a bustling boardwalk crowded with ice-cream shops, fast-food outlets, nightclubs and places to rent watersports equipment. There are good beaches north of town and thousands of hotel and motel rooms to suit every budget.

Visit the landing site where the first Jamestown colonists touched shore (called First Landing Cross). A 300,000-gallon/1,135,560-liter shark and stingray aquarium, a nature trail and hundreds of interactive exhibits at the Virginia Marine Science Museum let you experience various marine habitats. In winter, the museum organizes trips to see the humpback whales that congregate off the coast. Nearby, Back Bay National Wildlife Refuge and First Landing State Park are excellent places to ride bicycles, look at the migrating waterfowl and explore coastal dunes.

For something completely different, check out the Association of Research and Enlightenment, devoted to the promotion of spiritualism. The center offers free lectures, tours, movies and ESP training.

Virginia Beach stages seaside events year-round. One of the best known is the annual Neptune Festival with a variety of competitions and entertainment in September.

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