Virginia Beach, VA (Vocus) March 4, 2009
During times of recession and economic downturns, vacationers are searching for free and budget-friendly adventures. Regardless of the strength of the markets – Virginia Beach always offers a wealth of activities that are easy on the budget. From exploring the parks and wildlife to lounging on sun-drenched beaches, Virginia Beach beckons you to “Live the Life!” For more information and images, visit http://www.vbfun.com or http://www.vbpressroom.com.
Enjoy the Beaches
With 14 miles of open, public beaches – with no fees – Virginia Beach offers a variety of unique beaches to fit every mood. The newly-landscaped Virginia Beach resort area features live music, street performers, diverse festivals, as well as outdoor cafes and nightlife. If your idea of a “day at the beach” is more relaxed, visit Chesapeake Beach (known to the locals as “Chick’s Beach) for a more tranquil spot along the scenic Chesapeake Bay. Swimmers will enjoy the bay’s protected shallow waters. For a more secluded environment, the Sandbridge area on Virginia Beach’s southern shore is perfect. The pristine shores of Sandbridge are secluded, quiet and just 20 minutes from the main resort area. No hotels. Just breathtaking ocean-view rental homes, condominiums and peacefulness fill the Sandbridge shoreline. Sand sweeps from the shore, the traffic is less and seagulls leave long-lasting footprints.
Back to Nature
With more than 18,000 acres of state parks and a national wildlife refuge, families can embark on many free outdoor excursions. First Landing State Park, the most visited state park in Virginia, offers free monthly educational programs that include hiking, surf fishing, and animal tracking. Bike through Back Bay National Wildlife Refuge or False Cape State Park, and discover miles of unspoiled beaches in an ocean-to-freshwater bay habitat, barrier islands, dunes, freshwater marshes, maritime forests, ponds and ocean beaches. Back Bay and False Cape are home to wild horses, pigs, loggerhead turtles, bald eagles and a variety of migratory birds and endangered species.
Beach Street U.S.A.
The oceanfront comes alive with special themed entertainment along the sidewalks of Atlantic Avenue from 17th to 25th Streets nightly during the summer months. During Beach Street U.S.A., puppets, bands, jugglers, magicians and others entertain crowds right on the sidewalks. Free live concerts and theatrical productions take place seven nights a week along the oceanfront.
Oceanfront Festivals and Events
Virginia Beach celebrates diversity as it pulsates with a myriad of festivals, celebrations, and cultural events throughout the year. Dance to the beat of salsa, merengue, mamba and bachata tunes presented by some of the best national and regional acts at the annual Latin Festival. Explore the African origins of today’s diversified music genres during the Soul Music Beachfest and the Blues at the Beach festival. Groove to Caribbean, Latin, and pop music during the steel band competition at PANorama Caribbean Music Fest. Virginia Beach celebrates the German spirit each year with good food and good drink during Oktober Brewfest. Indulge in pizza, prosciutto and fontina, caprese, eggplant parmesan, lasagna, espresso, gelato and all things Italian at Festa Italiana. Festivals at the oceanfront are free and open to the public so grab your dancing shoes and bring your moves down to the Virginia Beach oceanfront festivals.
Historic homes throughout the city offer a peek into the lives of Virginia Beach’s earliest residents. The Adam Thoroughgood House (circa 1680) stands on land that was part of an original land grant. Other historic homes still standing in Virginia Beach were constructed later in the colonial period such as the Lynnhaven House (1725), the Ferry Plantation House (1740) and the Francis Land House (late 1700s). All homes are open to the public for tours and host special interpretative programs throughout the year. Admission to the Adam Thoroughgood, Lynnhaven, and Francis Land Houses are $ 4 for adults; $ 3 for seniors 60 plus; and $ 2 for students. Admission for the Ferry Plantation House is $ 5 for adults; $ 2 for senior citizens and students are free.
Old Coast Guard Station
Step back in time at The Old Coast Guard Station. Housed in a 1903 former U.S. Life Saving Station, this quaint, oceanfront museum features rescue equipment used by turn-of-the-century surf men to save shipwrecked crews from a watery grave. Learn about shipwrecks that occurred just off the Virginia Beach coast and the history of lifesaving service from World War II to the present day. Take a peek through TOWERCAM, a roof-mounted video camera that zooms in on passing ships dotting the Virginia Beach horizon. The camera affords museum visitors the same view crewmen had from the tower nearly 100 years ago. Admission to the museum is $ 4 for adults and $ 2 for children ages 6-18.
Cape Henry Lighthouse and Memorial Park
Peek into the past at the original Cape Henry Lighthouse. Dating to 1791, it’s the oldest government-built lighthouse in America. Once you reach the summit, enjoy a panoramic view of the Atlantic Ocean and the Chesapeake Bay – the same view once seen by ship watchers more than 200 years ago. Located on the Fort Story military base, the original Cape Henry Lighthouse is open to the public. Across the road, you’ll find the new Cape Henry Lighthouse. Built in 1881, it’s the tallest iron-encased lighthouse in the country, and is operated by the U.S. Coast Guard. Adjacent to the lighthouses, visitors also tour the Cape Henry Memorial Park which includes a replica of the First Landing Cross, planted by the first settlers to give thanks for a safe voyage after arriving on our shore in 1607. Admission to the lighthouse is $ 4 for adults, $ 3 for children ages 3-12, and free for children three and under. Note: Cape Henry Lighthouse is on Ft. Story military base. Access to military bases may be restricted for public tours, and a valid picture ID and vehicle search is required.
Virginia Beach entices visitors to “Live the Life” every season of the year! Virginia Beach is four hours southeast of D.C. by car and within a day’s drive or less from two-thirds of the U.S. population. For visitor information, call 1-800-VA-BEACH (800/822-3224) or visit the Web site http://www.vbfun.com for online trip planning. For media information and digital images, click on http://www.vbpressroom.com.
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