Extend Your Meetings – What to Do in the Off Hours

Discover the Great Outdoors in Virginia Beach

When the meetings end, Virginia Beach offers affordable options for entertainment, dining, attractions and accommodations unlike those at any other host city. With over 35 miles of ocean and bay beaches, Virginia Beach provides plenty of opportunity to frolic in the sea and sand. For nature enthusiasts, fall and winter are wonderful seasons to explore Virginia Beach’s great outdoors due to temperatures that are cooler yet still mild.  And, of course, the resort city has plenty of options for taking in a bit of culture.

Delight in exploring Virginia Beach’s award-winning 3-mile boardwalk at the resort area. Perfect for strolling, people watching, dining al fresco or taking in live music, the iconic boardwalk is a great location to live the true Virginia Beach life. It also offers a separate bike path perfect for the novice or serious cyclist who wants to have a beautiful view of the Atlantic Ocean and enjoy the excitement of the resort area. Visitors can bring their own or rent a beach cruiser to traverse the boardwalk and take in the sights and sounds of the ocean and resort excitement. Cherie’s Bike and Blade Rentals offers surrey, bike and in-line skate rentals at affordable prices along seven locations covering the entire boardwalk: 2nd, 8th, 19th, 20th, 22nd, 24th, 25th, 31st and 34th Streets. While there, don’t forget to swing by and see King Neptune – a thirty-four foot, twelve-ton bronze statue that stands at the gateway to Neptune Park on 31st Street. This is perhaps one of the most popular photo opportunities in the resort area.

Off the sand, meeting attendees can get adventurous and explore 18,600 acres of nature in two state parks and a wildlife refuge, as well as over 121 navigable miles of waterways. Venture out into Back Bay National Wildlife Refuge, False Cape State Park or First Landing State Park where you can kayak, canoe, hike, or bike along pristine land and aqua trails through beach, back dunes, tidal marsh and cypress swamps.

Take the time to experience a Winter Wildlife Boat trip by venturing off the coast on a two-hour boat tour sponsored by the Virginia Aquarium & Marine Science Center. Every winter, thanks to the food-rich waters surrounding Virginia Beach, humpback and fin whales can be seen diving, breaching, spyhopping and lobtailing along the coastline.  Revel in these magnificent creatures, as you observe them in their natural habitat. From April through October, the aquarium also offers dolphin-watching boat trips, perfect for getting up close and personal with these magical mammals.

In addition, with nearly 800,000 gallons of aquariums and live animal habitats, more than 300 hands-on exhibits and a 3D IMAX Theater, the Virginia Aquarium & Marine Science Center is an excellent place to discover nature. Explore the Aquarium’s most recent expansion, Restless Planet, featuring exhibits and animals that chronicle Virginia’s ecological history. Habitats include a Malaysian peat swamp, a Red Sea, a coastal desert and an erupting volcano along with the animals that adapted to those environments such as komodo dragons.

The resort city is an ideal year-round destination for a rich meeting experience. The accessibility, affordability, abundant activities, and southern hospitality are just a few of the added benefits that make Virginia Beach a top destination for meetings any time of the year.

About Al Hutchinson

I'm the Vice President of Convention Sales & Marketing at the Virginia Beach CVB. Feel free to contact me at 757-385-6652 or 800-700-7702 (toll-free). I can also be reached via email at: ahutchin@VisitVirginiaBeach.com.