Virginia Beach is not just any beach town—the largest city in Virginia, it offers a wide variety of activities to enjoy for FREE throughout the year. While the oceanfront resort area of the city caters to tourists, if you are a more cost-conscious visitor or resident, then you can find a wealth of activities that are easy on the budget. Today’s blog post is all about helping you save money while experiencing some of our city’s best free adventures. Go explore!
May as well start here. Virginia Beach has several open, public beaches requiring no fees. The beautifully-landscaped Virginia Beach resort area features unique festivals, street performers, and live music, as well as outdoor cafes and wildlife. (A 34-foot statue of King Neptune, the mythical sea god, stands watch over the oceanfront and is a popular spot for selfies.)
If you prefer a more relaxed setting, then we recommend a visit to Chesapeake Beach (known as “Chick’s Beach,” to locals), a more quiet and scenic area along the Chesapeake Bay with shallow, protected waters for swimmers. Looking for even more seclusion? Check out Sandbridge Beach on VA Beach’s southern shore, just 20 minutes from the main resort area.
If you thought Virginia Beach was entirely suburban in nature, think again. Town Center offers a unique “downtown vibe” in the heart of the city with its array of shops, bars, apartments, new offices, and restaurants. You can park for free in one of Town Center’s garages, and in the summertime, you can frequently enjoy outdoor musical performances at no cost. (As an aside, did you know that the Tiffany Gelzinis Team office is located in Town Center? Stop by and visit us anytime at 1 Columbus Center, Suite 1100!)
It’s not every city that takes a formr landfill and transforms it into a popular park! Located just off of Interstate 264, Mount Trashmore has a skate park and paths along with two playgronds, two lakes, and a pair of man-made mountains. Mount Trashmore—the 60-foot high main mountain itself—is a much-loved kite-flying spot for locals. By the way, all of the following can be checked out for FREE here: footballs, Frisbees, horseshoes, soccer balls, rubber playground balls, badminton equipment, boards and bags for corn hole, and volleyballs/nets. It’s the perfect place to unwind with the kids or enjoy a friend’s company on the weekend!
Virginia Beach Farmers Market
Don’t forget that Virginia Beach can have its touch of rural, too.
Held each month, the Virginia Beach Farmers Market is an open-air, country-style market featuring organic groceries, home and garden gifts, dairy products, fresh and locally grown produce, and a restaurant year-round. May 15th through September 25th, you can experience the Old Beach Farmers Market located at the oceanfront, offering fresh herbs, heirloom tomatoes, wines and other produce just a walk or quick bike ride from the boardwalk. And of course, the best part is, both events are free!
Cape Henry Memorial Park
In 1607, English settlers first landed in Virginia at the mouth of the Chesapeake Bay, where they raised a wooden cross and gave thanks for a safe voyage. Today you can visit the place and a
replica of the cross sitting in a park commemorating the landing, and also catch a glimpse of the oldest government-built lighthouse in America (FYI, an admission fee is required to climb to the top). Visitors can access Cape Henry, which sits behind the gates of a fortified military installation, with identification and a vehicle search. The well-known memorial is worth a visit!
Atlantic Wildfowl Heritage Museum
The Virginia Beach boardwalk is full of treasures, and if you enjoy art and artifacts, then the Atlantic Wildfowl Heritage Museum might be right up your alley. The museum is located in the historically registered DeWitt cottage built in 1895 and displays art documenting migratory wildfowl that pass through Eastern Virginia. Enter with free admission to enjoy a collection of exhibits about the history of VA Beach, decoys dating from historic years to current times, and on-site word-carving demonstrations, along with exhibits of shorebird carvings explaining the development of the art form.
Legends Memorial Walk
Drive on down to the oceanfront’s 13th Street Park to experience the Virginia Legends Walk. The Walk honors Virginians who made celebrated contributions to the country and the world, including such names as Ella Fitzgerald, Edgar Allen Poe, Patsy Cline, Captain John Smith and Thomas Jefferson.
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