Attractions / Things to Do

Things To Do in Virginia Beach

Trying to find things to do in Virginia Beach? From a variety of beaches to shopping, dining and playing on the boardwalk—Best Western Plus Sandcastle Beachfront Hotel is minutes from it all. Retreat to your comfortable room to relax after exploring the area.

Dining

Virginia Beach Restaurants

From seafood to brewpubs, to barbeque and steakhouses—find a diverse selection of Virginia Beach restaurants onsite or near Best Western Plus Sandcastle Beachfront Hotel.
Some of our favorites are listed below.

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Atlantic Avenue Fun Park

Virginia Beach Amusement Park

Take your vacation to new heights and hop on a ride at the Atlantic Avenue Fun Park. This family-friendly amusement park offers fun activities the entire family can enjoy, including 12 midway games, 16 family fun rides, kiddie rides like the flying elephants, and the largest Ferris wheel in Virginia Beach. If you are a thrill seeker, dare to take the journey to the top with famous rides such as the Gravitron, the Slingshot, and the Sea Dragon. Open every day at noon, tickets can be purchased online or in person. Note that Midway Games are charged separately from purchased tickets

Test your driving skills at Atlantic Avenue Fun Park’s sister park, Motor World. Hop in one of their 16 different styled Go-Karts and skid down the heart racing tracks of Skycoaster or take it easy at their Jr. Stock track. But a two-park-pass and gain unlimited access to the Atlantic Avenue Fun Park and Motor World.

Just steps away from the Atlantic Avenue Fun Park, Best Western Plus is conveniently located to many oceanfront activities in Virginia Beach.

 
 

Back Bay National Wildlife Refuge

Explore beyond the sun-kissed beaches of Virginia Beach and visit the Back Bay National Wildlife Refuge. This 8,000-acre refuge rests between the Atlantic Ocean on the east and the Back Bay on the west. You can access these protected habitats by hiking and biking trails, a well-maintained boardwalk, and the nearby beaches.

Visitors can expect to encounter various wildlife such as Loggerhead Sea Turtle, Tundra Swan, and the American Black Duck. Natural habitat that can be seen includes forested land, sandy beaches and rolling dunes – all offering beautiful landscape that is unique to Virginia Beach.

The Back Bay National Wildlife Refuge is located in Sandbridge, at the end of Sandpiper Road.

 
 

Beaches

Relaxing Virginia Beach Activities

As you head to Virginia Beach hotels near the oceanfront, stay at Best Western Plus Sandcastle Beachfront Hotel. We are directly located near the resort side of the beach.

Walk to dozens of boardwalk attractions in minutes from the hotel or head straight to the beach in just a few steps.

Looking for a more secluded beach? Go to “Virginia Beach’s most serene shore” in Sandbridge in less than a 20-minute drive south of the hotel.

This area has five miles of sand dunes, sea oats and a sparkling shoreline. It offers a breathtaking scenery and diverse wildlife. Feel free to explore the marshes and open spaces of Back Bay National Wildlife Refuge and False Cape State Park—great for kayaking, hiking and fishing.

Looking for milder waves and calmer water? Venture to Chesapeake Bay to go swimming, play beach volleyball, or build illustrious sand castles. Finish off the day by dining at a restaurant during sunset.

Retreat to your comfortable room after a long beach day for a relaxing evening.

 

Boardwalk

Exciting Virginia Beach Attractions

Looking for VA beach hotels near the boardwalk? Best Western Plus Sandcastle Beachfront Hotel offers comfortable yet affordable accommodations within steps of the beach and boardwalk attractions. Ever since its original construction in 1888 with the foundation of wooden planks, the boardwalk has remained an integral treasure of the community as Virginia Beach relies heavily on their tourism each year.

One of the first reconstructions was the alteration of replacing the wooden structure with a concrete walkway costing over $220K in 1926.

It was later redesigned in the early 1990s when the Army Corps of Engineers plunged a 30 foot steel seawall into the ground and built a concreted boardwalk on top of it as an effort to survive powerful storms.

Named “America’s Best Beach Boardwalk,” by the Travel & Leisure Magazine this three-mile-long attraction features a diverse selection of restaurants, clubs, live music and more.

If you're feeling active, explore the boardwalk by bike with the abundance of bike rentals available or take the free interactive Discov-QR Boardwalk Walking Tour by downloading the app.

 
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Cape Henry Lighthouse

Known as America’s first lighthouse, the Cape Henry Lighthouse in Virginia Beach is a popular attraction for visitors and locals alike. Located near the “First Landing” site where English settlers first set foot before founding Jamestown, this distinctive lighthouse stands as an homage to the area’s maritime history. Visitors can take part in walking tours, visit the Cape Henry Memorial, enjoy a lunch at the picnic area, and partake in the educational dune talks all at this historic site.

To get one of the best coastal views, make the climb to the top of the Cape Henry Lighthouse for 360-degree views from the lantern room. Walking tours start at $10 for adults.

 
 

Festivals

Virginia Beach Activities

Best Western Plus Sandcastle Beachfront Hotel in Virginia Beach is the perfect destination to enjoy the wide variety of Virginia Beach festivals. From art fairs to live concerts, there are endless events and activities throughout the year for all age groups to enjoy. Not only is Virginia Beach a relaxing vacation destination, but the many festivals are always a source of excitement, entertainment, and culture that really add to the area.

 

 
 

 
 

 
 
 

First Landing State Park

Virginia Beach Places to See

Where history and Mother Nature meet, First Landing State Park in Virginia Beach is a scenic wonderland filled with rich history and a unique coastal landscape. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, this park is where Jamestown colonists first landed in the New World back in 1607. Today the park is a recreational dream for locals and tourists alike.

Visitors can explore the diverse habitats of the bald cypress swamps, lagoons, and lush aquatic forest. With over 20 miles of trails, 1.5 miles of sandy beaches on the Chesapeake Bay, and close to 3,000 acres of beautiful scenery there is plenty to see and do here. With a wide variety of recreational activity such as hiking along the well-maintained trails, camping on the beach, biking, or a leisurely picnic, there are many ways to explore the park. Jet ski, paddleboard, boat, and kayak rentals are available at the park as well for those who want to explore off-shore.

Located only a little over eight miles from Best Western Plus, First Landing State Park Virginia Beach is the perfect day-cation for your vacation.

Don’t forget to explore all of the other green spaces Virginia Beach has to offer, such as False Cape State Park, Back Bay National Wildlife Refuge, or visit here for a full list of all Virginia State Parks.

 
 

Museums

Perfect for a rainy day or taking a break from the beach and boardwalk crowds and explore one of the Virginia Beach museums during your next vacation.

Military Aviation Museum

Home to one of the largest private collections of WW I and WW II era military aircraft, the Military Aviation Museum is one of the more unique Virginia Beach museums to visit. Admission starts at $15.00 for adults.

Virginia Aquarium and Marine Science Center

Educational for the entire family, the Virginia Aquarium offers a chance to experience marine life up close. With over 700,000 gallons of under-water habitat, visitors can expect to see sand tiger sharks, otters, seals, and over 50 different species of fish. Admission starts at $29.95 for adults.

Virginia Museum of Contemporary Art

Admire artwork from over 1,500 contemporary artists that range from a wide spectrum of influences. Visitors can also marvel at the permanent display of the 16-foot glass chandelier by the famous artist, Dale Chihuly. Admission is $7.70 for adults, $5.50 for students, seniors, and military, and children under 4 are free.

Virginia Beach Surf and Rescue Museum

Listed on the National Register of Historic buildings, the Virginia Beach Surf and Rescue Museum stands as a beacon to our coastal history. Honoring and preserving the coastal community of Virginia Beach, visitors can learn about the Life Saving and Coast Guard services. Admission is free but donations are welcomed.

 
 

Ocean Breeze Waterpark

Fun Things To Do in Virginia Beach

Cool off this summer at the area’s only waterpark, Ocean Breeze Waterpark. This family-friendly Virginia Beach water park is the perfect destination for a day of fun in the sun. With 17 waterslides, a million-gallon wave pool, 4-slide monster, and the famous Neptune’s Revenge, this park is the ultimate in summer fun! Get your heart racing on the Hurricane or take a lazy ride down the adventure river, there is sure to be a ride that everyone can enjoy.

Coming with a large group or celebrating a special occasion? Guests can rent cabanas with comfortable seating and lounging plus poolside food and beverage service from one of the four restaurants on site.

Choose from an all-day pass or a season pass if you will be visiting throughout the summer. The park offers free parking, free inner tubes, and free sunscreen for all of the guests. Plus, a free concert series and movie night every Friday night with a season pass or a purchased day-of pass.

Only a 6-minute drive from Best Western Plus, this Virginia Beach water park is the perfect alternative to the beach on a hot summer day.

 
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Virginia Aquarium & Marine Science Center

Attractions in Virginia Beach

See the Virginia Aquarium & Marine Science Center during your Virginia Beach visit. Best Western Plus Sandcastle Beachfront Hotel is only a five-minute drive or 10-minute train ride away.

The Virginia Aquarium & Marine Science Center is both an aquarium and a marine science museum with over 800,000 gallons of fresh and saltwater displays.

In 2009, they underwent a $25 Million renovation designed by Chermayeff & Poole of Boston, to create four habitats: Malaysian Peat Swamp, Coastal Sahara Desert, Red Sea, and Indonesia's Flores Island—doubling the number of species displayed in the aquarium.

Give yourself a minimum of two and half hours to see the two large main exhibit buildings here: the Bay and Ocean Pavilion and the Marsh Pavilion.

A one-third mile nature trail connects these two buildings near Owls Creek Salt Marsh—with the Adventure Park, an eco-friendly zip line and aerial experience above.

The 12,000 animals representing over 700 species here include cownose rays, harbor seals, loggerhead turtles—to name a few. Check out the Blue Crab Corner of this species that populated the Chesapeake Bay for centuries.

Open daily from 9 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.; closed Thanksgiving and Christmas Day. Tickets start at $20.95.

 
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