The Virginia Beach Boardwalk is one of the most well-known landmarks in the country and one of the top tourist destinations year after year. Visitors can expect a different adventure every time, but do not forget to bring a camera. Named as one of America’s Best Beach Boardwalks by Travel and Leisure, as well as winning awards and making lists by the Discovery Channel and National Geographic, the new Virginia Beach Boardwalk has been delighting guests since 1988.
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It is located along the Atlantic Ocean and is surrounded by 40 hotels and a vast number of restaurants. However, the original boardwalk was built in 1888 with wood planks (it is now made from concrete) after the town of Virginia Beach started to expand due to the new rail transportation system. The boardwalk even once hosted now famous guests like Duke Ellington, Bette Davis, Bing Crosby, and Frank Sinatra.
The boardwalk at Virginia Beach is 28 feet in width and three miles long. It is full of adventures and activities for guests to enjoy while visiting.
On the boardwalk, there is a separate, dedicated bike path so that people who want to use it for biking as well as rollerblading, walking or even skateboarding can do so without worrying about other pedestrians. It is often fun for guests to check out the variety of forms of transportation people use!
Guests should also make sure to check out the nautical themed sculptures that are located on many of the different side streets that lead into Atlantic Avenue. There are dolphins, starfish, and sea turtles. Of those, King Neptune is one of the favorites and one of the largest at 24 feet tall and 12 tons of bronze glory! He stands as the guardian to Neptune Festival Park which is located on 31st Street. It is also one of the most photographed areas on the boardwalk. Also make sure to check out the monuments to famous Virginians like Edgar Allen Poe, Pocahontas, and President George Washington. There is also a Naval Monument Park that features statues and reliefs that tell the historic story of Naval Aviation.
Visitors with disabilities can be assured that the area is very friendly and accessible. There are ramps that lead from the beach to the boardwalk on every block. Also available are eight-foot walkways reaching out to the water. These are located on 8th, 17th, 24th, and 30th Street. There are also disability accessible bathrooms located at 17th, 24th, and 30th Street, and handicapped parking spaces along the main road as well.
Walking Tour - Guests who come prepared with a smartphone, tablet, or other tech device with a QR reader can take the interactive self-guided walking tour experience provided by the boardwalk. Each attraction on the boardwalk has an assigned QR code which will be displayed on the sign. Use the device to scan the code, watch the video, and learn about the attraction! Some of the featured locations are the Norwegian Lady, the Cape Henry Lighthouse, the Atlantic Wildfowl Heritage Museum, and the Naval Air Station Oceana.
The summer months on the boardwalk offer the largest number of events throughout the entire year. There are diverse entertainment acts performing almost every single night, as well as four different oceanfront beach stages set up at 7th, 17th, 24th, and 31st Street that provide other live musical acts. There are also often psychics, palm readers, magic shows, and more that are offered free of charge on the boardwalk.
There are also fireworks that happen on the Fourth of July and a famous holiday lights display called Holiday Lights at the Beach, which is hosted by McDonalds, where guests can stay in their car and drive the few miles to see all the winter delights the boardwalk has to offer.
possibly the biggest event held on and near the Virginia Beach boardwalk is the Neptune Festival, an annual event held from August through October. This non-profit event includes music, food and wine tastings, sand sculpture building contests, and more!
Dining and Shopping
There are an almost endless series of dining options near the Virginia Beach boardwalk with options for every palate. From steak houses, to pizza, to BBQ, even vegetarians will be satisfied. There are also many shops, from small vendors directly on the boardwalk to bigger shops just off the main road.
Virginia Beach Boardwalk, 2100 Parks Avenue, Virginia Beach, VA, 23451, Phone: 800-822-3224