If you’re looking for a seaside getaway for two that has as much romance as it does variety, head to the shores of Virginia Beach. The coast is home to high-end accommodations for luxe lounging, budget-friendly B&Bs to rest your head after the day’s adventures, or cozy cabins near the beach that offer all the comforts of home.
"Virginia Beach has it all," says longtime local Stacey Shiflet, executive director of the Virginia Beach Restaurant Association. "Sandbridge, Virginia Beach Oceanfront and Boardwalk, and the Chesapeake Bay allow couples the chance to relax and enjoy each other."
Meet the Expert
Stacey Shiflet is the executive director of the Virginia Beach Restaurant Association.
While it's tempting to visit a coastal town only in the summer, Virginia Beach welcomes travelers year-round with perennial activities for any pair. "In the spring, stroll through Redwing Park during the Cherry Blossom Festival to see the Japanese Gardens, or Lotus Garden Park off of Sandbridge Road," says Shiflet. "We are blessed with an extended summer here in Virginia Beach. Summer weather lingers with perfect temperatures leading into fall. You can see the leaves changing colors in our beautiful state parks."
Like most destinations, vacation rates change by the season, but Shiflet shares that the best deals can be found mid-October through early June. She advises budget-minded travelers to book ahead when traveling in the summer season and aim for a Sunday to Thursday stay for the best rates. Don’t forget, she says, that Virginia Beach has many campgrounds, cabins, and cottage rentals available year-round. As far as budgets go, on average, a weeklong getaway for two with moderate accommodations and meals may run you about $1,500.
Shiflet’s top Virginia Beach travel tip? Talk to locals about their favorite dining experiences. "There are unique culinary experiences available throughout the city. Our locals are eager to share and have many hidden spots that you will go back to time after time," she says. "Ask the front desk staff and locals that you meet on the street."
Ahead, read through 15 romantic things to do in Virginia Beach from wintertime whale watching to sipping wine in the spring.
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Picnic on the Beach
Leave the checkered blankets and wicker baskets behind, and indulge in a bespoke boho-chic picnic curated by The VB Picnic Co. This local company will create a dreamy pop-up scene for two that will leave both your hearts and your bellies full.
Sink Your Teeth Into Local Seafood
This creative surf and turf spot offers a romantic ambiance for refined dining just steps away from the sand. At Zoe's Steak & Seafood, the menu changes daily as the chef conjures dishes from only the freshest seasonal fare. Don’t miss the impressive wine list curated by in-house Advanced Master Sommelier Candidate Matt Sauter.
Soak Up Some Bourbon
The Historic Cavalier Hotel, a landmark of luxury that has welcomed legends from Frank Sinatra to Elizabeth Taylor, is home to North America’s first in-hotel distillery. If you don’t get enough of the Tarnished Truth bourbon from the source, you can head to the property’s Seahill spa for a 120-minute Bourbon Reconnecting Infusion that includes a spirits-infused mask, a mineral soak, and an hour massage with your favorite drinking partner.
Embark on a Sunset Parasailing Session
Take to the water with a sunrise parasailing expedition for a birds-eye view of Virginia’s shimmering coastline. Lucky couples may catch a pod of playful dolphins weaving through the water before the day’s end, but even without a sighting, you’ll enjoy the weightless adventure together as you float over the Atlantic while the sun dips into the sea.
Catch a Wave Together
Try something new together and sign up for surf lessons in the birthplace of East Coast surfing, where the seaside community is set to celebrate nearly 100 hundred years of wave-riding history. For more advanced couples looking to hang ten together, plan your visit around the area’s competitive ECSC Weekend or the quirky Logstradamus Festival of Vibes.
Take a Creative Tour of the City by Bike
The ViBe Creative District is Virginia Beach’s artsy enclave nestled into the oceanfront area. One of the best ways to explore the eclectic city’s art scene is by bike so you can leisurely take in the sights or stop at the many creative businesses for funky shopping or local bites.
Climb America’s First Lighthouse
Time travel together with each step up to the top of America’s first lighthouse. History buffs will appreciate the story behind the Cape Henry Lighthouse, from President Washington’s appointment of the keeper to the first lamp-lighting of the structure in 1792. Others will simply enjoy the breathtaking 360-degree view from 90-feet above the water table.
Take a Stand at The Chef’s Table
With this unconventional chef’s table experience, you’ll be knee-deep in the water for a dinner unlike any other at Pleasure House Oysters Farm. This unique dining adventure starts with a boat tour and ends with a table set up in the Lynnhaven River. You and your S.O.—clad in waders—will sip wine and sample oysters as they are pulled from the waters beneath you.
Wind Down With a Flight of Wine
Virginia is for wine lovers. There’s no shortage of vino here with over 300 wineries across the state’s wine trail, but on the beach, you’ll find one of the commonwealth’s first urban vineyards at Mermaid Winery. Tour the grounds and have a taste of their limited production wines or book seats at their restaurant and explore over 800 bottles from around the world.
Crush on Each Other With a Local Cocktail
Belly up to a seaside bar together and knock back a couple of Virginia Beach’s signature Orange Crush cocktails to kick off a day-drinking date. The local libation is said to have originated at Waterman’s Surfside Grille, a family-owned haunt that has been serving up the signature beverage since 1981, so you may want to start there.
Create a Love Nest in the Canopies
Adrenaline junkies will bond over the rope course tours in The Adventure Park at Virginia Beach. The park is made up of "aerial trails" threaded throughout the canopies, all of which are color-coded for climbers of all levels. For an adventure-turned-date-night, plan this as an evening excursion during Glow in the Park and climb from tree to tree surrounded by twinkling fairy lights.
Savor Chocolate Fondue for Two
Seduce each other with chocolate fondue at The Royal Chocolate, a charming locally owned confections shop. Pick four dipping fruits or snacks served with dark, milk, or white chocolate and savor the moment by feeding each other sweet delights of chocolatey goodness. For a more intimate affair, you can request a Fondue for Two kit to-go and indulge in the privacy of your home or hotel.
Stroll Along the Boardwalk
Along the three-mile stretch of Virginia’s beachside boardwalk, you’ll find everything from coastally-inspired cocktails to fine-dining establishments and everything in between. Meander the path on foot for a slow and steady stroll or engage in a little friendly competition and race each other on rollerblades!
Get Handsy at a Pottery Studio
Get your hands dirty together at All Hands Pottery Studio with a Naughty Pottery event—an adults-only class where artists will be entertained by drag queen Naomi Black as they learn how to make and paint ceramic pipes. For those that prefer a more laid-back pottery setting, go for the Throw Yourself Into Pottery classes held on the weekends and learn the basics of the wheel with all materials provided.
Go Whale Watching in the Winter
Create an unforgettable memory with your own first mate and embark on a whale-watching cruise with Rudee Tours to spot some of the sea’s most majestic creatures. The prime months for humpback whale spotting is January and February, but you could get lucky as early as December. Your best bet is to call the Virginia Aquarium or the tour operator during your visit to see if they’ve spotted any whales yet. If so, you’re more likely to see them on an excursion.