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Virginia Beach is a popular travel destination during the summer months. However, the city shouldn’t be dismissed for travel during the winter months since there is still plenty to see and do here. Since the tourist season ends when summer ends, hotels are cheaper and the beach is less crowded in the winter. Have a great winter getaway when you experience these top things to do in Virginia Beach.
Humpback whales visit the Virginia coast every winter, so head out on a whale watching tour to catch a glimpse of these incredible creatures. Sponsored by the Virginia Aquarium & Marine Science Center, the tours typically run for 2.5 hours. You may not only see whales but also other marine animals too, like seabirds, seals, and porpoises. Tours run from late December to early March.
Cape Henry Lighthouse
Head to Fort Story to view Cape Henry Lighthouse, the first commissioned lighthouse by George Washington himself back in 1792. Guests to this lighthouse are able to walk up to the top, which is 72 feet tall. However, if you do make the trek up to the top, you’ll be able to catch great views of the surrounding area.
The boardwalk is a bustling experience no matter if it’s summer or winter. Stretching three miles, it’s a great place to walk and gaze at the ocean. You’ll find entryways to the beach all along the boardwalk too. Take some time to watch the surfers or even grab a meal or coffee along one of the shops found here.
Virginia Aquarium & Marine Science Center
When the weather is bad during a cold, winter day in Virginia Beach, head to the Virginia Aquarium & Marine Science Center for a day of learning and fun. Perfect for a family outing, the aquarium has plenty of hands-on exhibits for little ones. You’ll be amazed during your stay here, as there are sharks, river otters, jellyfish, and much more aquatic and marine life to view. Also during the winter the aquarium typically puts on new, temporary exhibits, so keep an eye out for those.
Holiday Lights on the Boardwalk
In the winter season, head to the Virginia Beach boardwalk to view the annual BayPort Credit Union Holiday Lights Merry Mile. The lights are conveniently placed, so you don’t even need to get out of your car to view them. A perfect way to get into the holiday spirit, the lights are up from late November to early January.
Chesapeake Bay Distillery
Warm up on a winter day with a smooth vodka drink at the Chesapeake Bay Distillery. The distillery has a vodka tasting room where you can pick from a variety of craft vodkas. The Blue Ridge vodka is a fan favorite, but if you’re looking for something a bit different then try the ghost pepper flavored vodka, which goes well in a bloody mary. If you drink responsibly, visitors of drinking age will have a great time here at Chesapeake Bay Distillery.
Horseback Riding on the Beach
The beach may be too cold for sunbathing, but that doesn’t mean you still can’t enjoy it. Instead of wearing a bathing suit, head to the beach for horseback riding with Virginia Beach Horseback. Book a 30 minute or hour-long horseback riding session, where you’ll trot down the beach with an experienced guide. During the winter, horseback riding is offered four days a week.