Stroll down the three-mile Virginia Beach boardwalk, from Rudee Inlet and 2nd Street all the way down to 40th Street. Hug close to the outer walkway as you watch cyclists, skaters, and rollerbladers on the inner path enjoying the Atlantic ocean views.
This is why you came to Virginia Beach.
Why visit the VA Beach Boardwalk?
From restaurants with fine dining and boardwalk vendors selling you cold ice cream on a hot summer day, the VA Beach oceanfront has been a place to visit for generations.
Explore the shops, entertainment, opportunities for terrific photo-ops, and plenty of sand along the boardwalk. Just don’t forget to get your toes in that salt water you can smell as you wander.
Planning a trip to the Boardwalk
While a Virginia Beach vacation is a no brainer, making sure you have ample opportunities to get on the boardwalk does take some planning.
Dig into our favorite beachfront hotels, restaurants with a view and the shops and entertainment you can access right off the sand.
Virginia Beach Oceanfront Hotels
Hilton Virginia Beach
- Address: 3001 Atlantic Ave, Virginia Beach, VA 23451
Conveniently located across the boardwalk from King Neptune’s statue, the 21-story upscale Hilton is just south of Neptune Park.
However, its number one draw is its 21st-floor infinity pool overlooking the beach and the Atlantic Ocean. Here there is also the Sky Bar, which turns into a nightclub in the evenings with DJs, live music, and themed parties.
Almost all of the 289 rooms have a balcony and offer a view of the beach.
Turtle Cay Resort
Address: 600 Atlantic Ave, Virginia Beach, VA 23451
Turtle Cay is a Diamond Resort hotel that has a Key West-style. This is the perfect hotel families who enjoy both the beach and a vast family-friendly courtyard with two pools, hot tubs, and plenty of lounge chairs to go around.
Turtle Cay’s large rooms will give you extra space to spread out and a spot to store beach snacks or prepare meals.
The studio rooms come with a kitchenette and two queen beds. While the one-bedroom suites have a full kitchen and a living room with a fireplace.
Holiday Inn and Suites – North Beach
- Address: 3900 Atlantic Avenue, Virginia Beach, VA 23451
The biggest draw to Holiday Inn and Suites – North Beach is its indoor/outdoor pool complex with a lazy river, splash pool, water slides, whirlpool, and a fantastic view of the ocean.
The hotel also offers Splash Kamp, a children’s drop-off program where they have games, crafts, and an African tortoise.
On rainy days or when you just want to chill, head to their 48-seat movie theater to watch a film while you wait for the sun to pop back out to play.
The Holiday Inn is a mid-range hotel but has many resort-style amenities. The rooms have a nautical theme, suites come with kitchenettes, and all rooms have free Wi-Fi and balconies.
NOTE: The north end of the boardwalk is much quieter, but only a short 15-minute walk to the center of all the boardwalk action.
Oceanfront Parking in Virginia Beach
If you are spending the night at an Oceanfront hotel, you will not have a parking problem.
However, if you are camping at one of the local campgrounds, staying at a hotel away from the beach, or just visiting for the day, parking can sometimes be a little tricky.
There is metered parking along many of the streets that use the Passport Parking App. There are parking lots and garages at 2nd, 4th, 9th, 25th, and 31st Streets and Pacific Avenue.
All parking municipal parking is free from November 1 – March 31.
Virginia Beach Boardwalk Restaurants
With over 30 restaurants along the oceanfront, there will surely be something to meet everyone’s needs.
Choose between a picturesque outdoor table or get out of the sun and enjoy dining indoors.
You will find a fine-dining or casual restaurant; you can even stop at one of the fast-food restaurants or food vendors and take your meal back to your beach blanket for a beach-style picnic.
Below you will find several favorite boardwalk restaurants you may want to try.
Chix Seaside Grille and Bar
- Address: 701 Atlantic Ave, Virginia Beach, VA 23451
Known as one of the oldest restaurants on the boardwalk, Chix is a popular restaurant for lunch and dinner. As you dine, enjoy the views from an oceanfront table on the deck, in the dining room, or bar.
Enjoy dining on their seafood specialties like a delicious plate calamari.
Catch 31 Fish House and Bar
- Address: 3001 Atlantic Ave, Virginia Beach, VA 23451
Walk into this restaurant, in the shadow of King Neptune and beside festive Neptune Park, and you will need to figure out where you want to sit.
Do you go with the outdoor terrace? Or maybe the indoor dining room with high ceilings and ocean blue walls? Equally as attractive– a spot around the fire pits for a farm-to-table Coastal Virginia menu.
At Catch 31, plan on a dinner of blue crab cakes, over a dozen types of fresh fish cooked over the hardwood grill, or a meal from the raw bar overflowing with iced shellfish that includes crabs, mussels, oysters and shrimp.
Those who want a truly unique beach drink sip the North End Orange Crush while watching the ocean waves ebb and flow. Our favorite activity here– the people watching as visitors stop for photos at the statue of Neptune.
Waterman’s Surfside Grille
- Address: 415 Atlantic Ave, Virginia Beach, VA 23451
Waterman’s has been serving fresh seafood, and their signature Orange Crush here for 30 years. They have nightly specials of ribs, crab cakes, flounder, shrimp tacos, and jumbo shrimp during weekdays.
If you like to dine to live music, top DJs, and a gorgeous ocean view, then Waterman’s attic is the spot for you on Friday nights at 9:30pm.
Calypso Bar & Grill
Address: 1101 Atlantic Ave, Virginia Beach, VA 23451
On the largest covered patio on the oceanfront, Calypso’s offers visitors a panoramic view, tasty cocktails, and fresh seafood.
Plan on dining on seafood tacos, delicious local seafood or a juicy steak. Just don’t forget the Old Bay hush puppies!
Best Spots to Get Ice Cream in Virginia Beach
Address: 1609 Atlantic Ave, Virginia Beach, VA 23451
After being in the sun all day, what could be better than a Blizzard or a soft-served cone with that famous loop of ice cream at the top?
Kohr Brothers Frozen Custard
- Address: multiple locations
- 1500 Atlantic Ave
- 1704b Atlantic Ave
- 1800 Atlantic Ave
- 2204 Atlantic Ave
Stop at one of four Kohr Brother’s locations for that old fashion smooth frozen custard. Choose between a vanilla cone or a swirl of two of their flavors.
Getting Around the VA Beach Boardwalk
It’s easy to walk along the boardwalk, but make sure you read the signs to know which lane is for walkers. You can easily be run over by someone on a bike or surrey.
Riding your bike along the bike path is a great way to see the beach. You can either bring your own bike or rent one. Cheries Bike and Blades has various locations along the strip to rent a bike, in-line skates, tandem bikes, or a surrey.
Those who wish to ride a longer distance, take the extended bike trail along Atlantic Avenue from 40th Street to 64th Street and explore First Landing State Park.
There are four handicapped-accessible ramps and boardwalks through the sand to make getting to the water easy in Virginia Beach. You can find them in the following locations, many of which are across from the boardwalk hotels.
- 8th Street
- 17th Street
- 24th Street
- 30th Street
Shopping along the Virginia Beach Oceanfront
Not only will you find shopping along the boardwalk, but also on both Atlantic and Pacific Avenues.
In the shops, you will find all your beach day essentials, souvenirs, Virginia Beach apparel, and even a hermit crab to take home.
At 31st Street, you will find more upscale shopping that includes boutiques and art galleries at The Shoppes at 31 Ocean.
Bargain Beachwear, near 9th Street, and Sunsations at 5th Street have the perfect souvenir to take back home.
Forgot your bathing suit or need a new one? Then head to Meg’s Swimwear on Laskin Road, just a few blocks west of King Neptune and Neptune Park near 30th Street.
For those with a sweet tooth, stop in at Forbes Candy at 24th, 28th, or 31st Street and Atlantic Avenue for some saltwater taffy.
Things to do on the Virginia Beach Boardwalk
Throughout the summer months, the four Virginia Beach stages at 7th, 17th, 24th, and 31st Streets offer various live entertainment, like music, magic, juggling, storytelling and more.
Live! On the Atlantic
Check out the Live! On the Atlantic schedule during your beach vacation for a list of festivals and events happening along the boardwalk. Definitely make the time to catch an act or two.
You may be surprised to see who show’s up, especially in Neptune Park. We’ve seen Toad the Wet Sprocket and the Gin Blossoms (old 90s bands) kick off their summer tours right on the public stage.
Fireworks on the Beach
There are also firework shows throughout the summer. The fireworks are set off from a barge off 20th Street.
Landmarks along the boardwalk
Along the Virginia Beach Boardwalk, there are great stops to get those Instagram photos, learn a little history, or take in the various monuments and sculptures that line the strip.
The list below begins at 2nd Street and continues to 40th Street.
Grommet Island Park
- Address: 100 2nd Street, Virginia Beach, VA 23451
When the little ones get tired of playing in the sand and water, Grommet Island Park is the place to head. The 15,000 square foot park is handicapped accessible and offers kids a place to play at the sand tables, check out the sensory boards, and ride the boat.
The surfboard, waves and dolphins are great props for your vacation Instagram pictures too.
The canopy over the park gives shade to those playing and resting on the benches during a hot sunny day.
- Address: 6th Street and the boardwalk
Get your camera ready because the kids will love climbing all over these cute turtle statues. Go on a scavenger hunt to find them (and keep those little legs moving), along with other sea creatures you will find at intersections along the way.
Historic Virginia Beach along the Oceanfront
Take notice of the 27 history panels scattered along the boardwalk at the entrances to the beach. Each display tells of an event that happened along the boardwalk, like the Ash Wednesday Storm, The Cavalier Hotel, and the first landing.
Atlantic Wildfowl Heritage Museum
- Address: 1113 Atlantic Avenue, Virginia Beach, VA 23451
The 22 rooms of the historic DeWitt Cottage are home to the Atlantic Wildfowl Heritage Museum.
Inside, you will find various decoys and shorebird carvings carved with primitive tools from long ago through ones created recently with contemporary designs and artwork.
Memorabilia from various hunt clubs and paintings from a world-famous artist fill the walls. Stop and explore their interactive exhibits and learn a little more about the area fowl and this lost carving art. Outside is a beautiful seaside garden to explore.
The museum gift shop has an excellent selection of books, photographs, wildfowl art, and hand-carved decoys for purchase.
Virginia Legends Walk
- Address: 13th Street between Atlantic Avenue and the boardwalk
Take time to stroll along the path that honors Virginians who have contributed to not only Virginia, but our nation and world.
Virginia Beach Fishing Pier
- Address: 1413 Atlantic Ave, Virginia Beach, VA 23451
- Open: April – October
- Spring and Fall: 8:00 AM – 8:00 PM
- 24 hours a day from Memorial Day to Labor Day
Whether you want to spend an hour or an afternoon fishing, crabbing, or walk the pier, this is a great spot to explore.
Fishermen and fisherwomen do not need a fishing license or equipment; just pay the fee to fish, and you are all set.
There is a small fee to walk out to the end of the pier and sightsee too, but it is worth it.
While you are there, explore the gift shop, grab a bite to eat at Ocean Eddie’s, or rent a bike to explore more of the boardwalk.
Atlantic Fun Park
- Address: 233 15th St, Virginia Beach, VA 23451
Walking along the boardwalk near 15th Street, the Atlantic Fun Park is hard to miss with the 100-foot Ferris wheel, the midway of flashing lights, and screams from the swinging pirate ship.
There are a variety of children’s and family rides to enjoy, along with testing your heart out on the Gravitron, Sea Dragon, go-karts, and rock climbing wall.
Hours are seasonal, but during the summer, they are open seven days a week.
John Wareing Monument
Address: 17th Street Park
John Wareing was a decorated war and founder of Wareing’s Gym. His statue pose features a show of strength.
Virginia Beach Surf and Rescue Museum
Address: 2401 Atlantic Ave, Virginia Beach, VA 23451
Along the boardwalk, the iconic 1903 Coast Guard Station offers visitors two floors of exhibits.
Guest can see nearly 2,000 artifacts and over 1,000 photographs that showcase Virginia shipwrecks, the history of the Coast Guard and U.S. Life-Saving Services, and World War II.
The Norwegian Lady Statue
- Address: 25th Street and the Boardwalk
This statue commemorates the shipwreck of the Dictator in 1891. During the summer entertainment series, be sure to take in the storytellers that tell the tale of both lives lost and saved during the Dictator’s sinking.
Naval Aviation Monument Park
- Address: 25th Street and the Boardwalk
This monument pays tribute to the Coast Guard, Navy, Marine aviation, and the Virginia Beach connection.
Three statues include:
- Eugene Ely that commemorates the first flight off a ship
- WWII pilot and crew
- Pilot and maintenance men of today
The etched storyboards throughout the park tell a story of various historical military events.
- Address: 3001 Atlantic Ave, Virginia Beach, VA 23451
Neptune Park is a picturesque venue where you can throw down a beach towel or plop down in your beach chair and enjoy an outdoor concert or magic show on a summer night.
Virginia Beach Law Enforcement Memorial
Address: 35th Street and the Boardwalk
Gold etching of pride, integrity, valor, and honor around this 19-foot tall memorial honors the lost lives of Virginia Beach law enforcement.
Beneath the three bronze officers representing the Virginia Beach Sherriff’s Office, VB Police Department, and federal and state agencies are the fallen officers’ names.
King Neptune Statue
Address: 31st Street and the Boardwalk
Standing 26-feet tall, the bronze statue of King Neptune is the most photographed statue along the Virginia Beach boardwalk.
See if you can spot the 12 fish, two dolphins, an octopus, lobster, and sea turtle that adorn the statue.
Hillier Ignite Fitness Park
Address: Boardwalk and 36th Street
Try your hand at getting across the swing-a-long-rings or climb the rope climber. This park in the sand has some excellent equipment for strength training.
Also in the park are slackline posts, parallel bars, high and low bars, and a balance beam.
If you are not into all that fitness stuff, watch those who are for a few minutes and be amazed at the talent.
Navy SEAL Monument
- Address: 38th Street and the Boardwalk
The life-sized Naked Warrior statue of a “Frogman” looks out onto the ocean. The monument recognizes the SEALs and their history of ordinary men who serve their country in extraordinary ways.
First Landing State Park
First Landing State Park is at the northern tip of Virginia Beach and several miles north of the boardwalk. First Landing is a great destination to walk, bike, or drive to for a day away from the resort strip.
The 64th Street entrance connects to the 6-mile Cape Henry Trail that meanders through the woods and the 5-mile Long Creek Trail, where you can stroll along the bay and salt marsh.
This area of First Landing also has a little beach called The Narrows. It is also a terrific place to paddle board since it usually has pretty flat water.