Lazily lounging on the beach is just the tip of Virginia Beach’s iceberg. With 35 miles of shoreline, the mouthwatering cuisine and 19,000 acres of wildlife refuges and parks send this area over the top as a perfect vacation destination for any traveler looking to escape the city. Enjoy picturesque views, tranquil waters and a plethora of local attractions that make Virginia Beach the perfect road trip from New York City.

Getting There

At a little more than 360 miles away, this road trip will take roughly seven hours. For the most scenic route, take U.S. Route 13 south along the eastern shore. You’ll cross the world-renowned 17-mile Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel. The spectacular views make the $12 toll worth every penny. This option connects with Interstate 60 or Shore Drive, which will lead you directly to the Virginia Beach ocean front. For a slightly longer route that will take you through Maryland and D.C. instead of Delaware, drive south on interstate 95.

In addition to the beach, visitors should also make sure to stop by neighboring sites including Greater Williamsburg to celebrate the 405th anniversary of the founding of Jamestown Colony or ride the newest rollercoaster at Busch Gardens Williamsburg, Verbolten or tour full-size airplanes at the Virginia Air & Space Center in Hampton, Va.

Related: The Tri-State’s 7 Best Weekend Getaways

Where to Stay

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The Cutty Sark
3614 Atlantic Ave.
Virginia Beach, VA 23451
(757) 428-2116

Price: from $120 per night for studio efficiencies/$800 per week for apartments and cottages

A small, family run hotel with only 14 units, The Cutty Sark is located on the north end of the boardwalk across the street from the beach. Studio efficiencies are perfect for families, offering a private oceanview balcony, two double beds or one double bed and a sleeper-sofa. Weekly cottage rentals are also available. Whichever type of room you decide to stay in, they all come with a fully equipped kitchen, including an oven, refrigerator, dishes, pots and pans, utensils and a sink.

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Turtle Cay
600 Atlantic Ave.
Virginia Beach, VA 23451
(757) 437-5565

Price: from $339 a night

Inspired by Key West, this resort hotel located on the southern part of the main resort area is a beachfront oasis. Sweeping verandas, heated pools, palm trees, elevated hot tubs and a nine-foot rock waterfall are just a few of the features that make this hotel stand out.  Comprised of studios and one- or two-bedroom suites, every room is spacious with high ceilings and all of the comforts of home. Suites come with a fully stocked kitchen and a working fireplace, putting you in the lap of luxury.

What To Do

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Sandbridge Beach
2500 Sandfiddler Road
Virginia Beach, VA 23456

Price: free

To get away from the crowds, visit the Sandbridge beach area on the southern shore of Virginia Beach. Just 20 minutes from the main resort area, the Sandbridge beach is five exquisite miles of secluded beachfront, where you may take a turn riding the waves, reeling in fish off the Sandbridge Pier or catching some rays. Free of hotels and traffic, only stunning condos, vacation rental homes and tranquility surround the pristine community.

Photo Credit: Back Bay National Wildlife Refuge/Facebook

Back Bay National Wildlife Refuge
4005 Sandpiper Road
Virginia Beach, VA 23456
(757) 301-7329

Price: $2 per family entering by foot or bicycle/$5 per car

Established nearly 75 years ago, this 9,250-acre refuge, about 18 miles south of the resort area, is sandwiched between the Back Bay on the west and the Atlantic Ocean on the east. The barrier islands are home to fresh water marshes, large sand dunes, ponds, woodlands and animals including bald eagles, loggerhead sea turtles and herons. Access these serene habitats via cycling, hiking trails, walking the boardwalk overlook or strolling along beach itself.

Related: New York City’s 4 Best Little-Known Parks

Photo Credit: BeachStreetUSA/Facebook

Atlantic Avenue from 17th to 25th streets
Virginia Beach, VA 23451

Price: free

Throughout the year, the Virginia Beach oceanfront comes alive with festivals, concerts and activities. This summer will boast events such as the Verizon American Musica Festival, FunkFest and even the quirky Mid-Atlantic Hermit Crab Challenge. Plus, through Labor Day, the sidewalks of Atlantic Avenue become the stage for street performers including magicians, musicians and costumed characters. Whether you’re a family of four or flying solo on a weekend getaway, BeachStreetUSA offers something for everyone.

Where to Eat

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Waterman’s Surfside Grille
415 Atlantic Ave.
Virginia Beach, VA 23451
(757) 428-3644

This ocean-front restaurant is located where the Chesapeake Bay intersects with the Atlantic ocean. It features fresh, sustainable seafood, creative cocktails and an extensive wine list. Sit on the patio overlooking the beach and enjoy the restaurant’s specialty, an orange crush made with freshly squeezed orange juice, orange-flavored vodka and triple sec. For a main entrée, try the Chesapeake Bay lump crab cakes, surfside fish tacos or the local catch of the day for the freshest seafood around.

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Doc Taylor’s
207 23rd St.
Virginia Beach, VA 23451
(757) 425-5566

Once a doctor’s home office, this restaurant is now a local favorite. Open for breakfast and lunch, Doc Taylor’s is known for its comfort food and famous bloody Marys for $1.99. The walls are lined with photos and memorablilia, and many of the menu items are named after frequent customers. For breakfast lovers, try the Ray Ray, a fried egg over cheese, bacon and parmesan-grilled tomatoes all served served on a fresh onion roll. Or if you prefer lunch, try the Rony-Rony, a catfish poor boy sandwich topped with tomato, lettuce, and a tart and tangy granny smith apple tartar sauce.

Traci Tournoux is a freelance writer living in New York. She is covering Travel & Outdoors. Her work can be found at