Famous for its miles-long pleasure beach, powerful military presence, and the beautiful wetland surroundings, there’s always plenty to do in Virginia Beach at the peak of its tourism season.

The 3-mile long boardwalk, which is illuminated by the brilliantly-lit up local shops and accompanied by the sound of the rolling ocean waves, music from the nearby outdoor stages, and the millions of tourists who roam the streets.

Though Virginia Beach is the place to be during the summer, what happens to this bustling resort city during the winter? When the streets are nearly empty and the wintry chill of the ocean prevents anyone from drawing close to the beach, what is there to do? Normally, one would write Virginia Beach off as dead during the winter; however, that isn’t true at all.

A quick look around town, and you’ll see that there’s plenty of interesting things you’ll find at the beach this winter. And with fewer crowds and lower prices, Virginia Beach could probably be your ideal winter getaway.

Winter Wildlife Boat Trips
The beaches may be unapproachable, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t have fun on the water. From late December to March--essentially all of winter--you’re able to go on a Winter Wildlife Tour aboard the Rudee Flipper. While on board, guests will be given an in-depth tour of the Chesapeake Bay entrance. Here, you’ll be able to learn more about our local ecosystem and even check out the animals who live in this region. If you’re lucky, you might even be able to spot some Humpback and Fin whales as they migrate along the Atlantic Seaboard. These expeditions are sponsored by the Virginia Aquarium and Marine Science Center.

Virginia Beach Annual Restaurant Week

Between February 18 to 25, 2018, you can explore Virginia Beach’s food scene. Hosted by the Virginia Beach Restaurant Association, participating restaurants will offer three-course meals at special prices. This coming restaurant week, $5 breakfast specials will be included in the event. Restaurant week is a great way to becoming well-acquainted with Virginia Beach’s local cuisine. Some examples include pan-seared tuna, lump crab cakes, fresh rockfish and she-crab soup, a few classic dishes from a coastal city.

While you’re checking out Virginia Beach’s food scene, it also wouldn’t hurt to take a look at their vibrant nightlife in Towncenter. Located near the intersection of South Independence and Virginia Beach Boulevard, and across the street from the newly-renovated Pembroke Mall, Towncenter is a cluster of Virginia Beach’s finest restaurants, clubs, and shops.

Take A Tour Of The Beach On Horseback

From October 1 through May, you are able to take a guided tour along Virginia Beach’s stunning beaches on horseback. However, if you are unfamiliar with horses, you need not worry. This particular activity is more so on the sightseeing side than an actual horse riding lesson. During the holiday season, nighttime rides are also offered. There, the horses will take you past the beautiful holiday lights display along the boardwalk.

Holiday Lights At The Beach

During the holiday season, Virginia Beach’s boardwalk is transformed into a vibrant, magical lights display. According to the city’s site, it’s the only time of the year when cars are permitted to drive on the boardwalk for over 30 blocks. It’s reported that an average of 30,000 cars come to see the holiday lights every holiday season.  What's new this winter in virginia beachPolar Plunge 2018

This annual event will take place February 2-3, 2018 in four different locations in Virginia, Virginia Beach included. Here, hundreds of “plungers” will bravely take a dip in the icy waters in order to help raise money for Virginia’s Special Olympics. The money earned at the Polar Plunge will be used for competition, sports training, leadership opportunities, and health services; approximately 21,000 athletes with varying disabilities will be benefited by this event.

Coastal Virginia Wine Fest

If you’re a big fan of wine, then this event should be perfect for you. On Saturday, January 27, 2018, from 1 to 7 pm, get your fix of wine, food, and great company at the annual Coast Virginia Wine Fest. Held at the Virginia Beach Convention Center on the Ocean Front, attendees are able to sample wine and food while listening to live music.

Make a Trip to Norfolk

Right next door to Virginia Beach, is Norfolk, Virginia. This historic city has an energetic personality, unlike anything you will ever see in Hampton Roads. Here, you can check out Norfolk’s vibrant downtown district, which is located in the Waterside district along the Elizabeth River. Downtown Norfolk has tons of restaurants and live shows that you can come and enjoy while still feeling like you’re in an actual concrete jungle. In Norfolk, you can also visit the Chrysler Museum or even check out Nauticus, a maritime-themed science museum that is right on the water. Either way, Norfolk is another coastal city with tons of character and even more fun activities to do.

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