Introducing Virginia Beach
With 35 miles of sandy beaches, a 3-mile concrete oceanfront boardwalk and nearby outdoor activities, it's no surprise that Virginia Beach is the largest city in the state (population 438,000) and a prime tourist destination. In recent years the city has worked hard to shed its unfortunate reputation as a rowdy 'Redneck Riviera.' With a $300 million facelift, the beach is wider and cleaner than ever, with dolphins frolicking offshore, and a heightened police presence (and antiprofanity signs!) aimed at keeping loutish drunken crowds in check. The town's appeal, however, is limited: uninspiring high-rise hotels dominate the horizon, while the crowded beachfront and traffic-choked streets leave much to be desired.
The I-264 runs straight to the visitor center and the beach. Surfing is permitted at the beach's southern end near Rudee Inlet and alongside the 14th St pier.
Need to know
Virginia Beach destination guides
Virginia Beach for nature lovers
Image by Virginia Beach Tourism Mini golf, salt-water taffy and lazing on beach towels are all well and good (ok, they're pretty great), but for the nature lover Virginia Beach offers so much more.
From seals to salt-water taffy: Virginia Beach for kids
Surf's up! Image by Danita Delimont (Getty Images).