Last modified: June 1, 2017

1. Truly sandy shores.

You’ve arrived at the oceanfront. The rhythmic sound of the Atlantic ocean pounds away against the Virginia Beach sandy shore line. As you walk toward the water, you feel the cool moist sand underneath your feet. Next, you’re greeted with watery warm waves enveloping your ankles. As you press ever forward, you realize you’re now waist deep at the edge of land and man, knocking on the doors of dolphins and whales.

What’s missing from the above? The sharp, needle-like pricks of a million rocks at the shore line. Unlike many other beaches, Virginia Beach is very sandy. Entering and exiting our waters brings smiles, not winces of pain accompanied by weird aquatic tap dancing. It also means ample room for you and your family to catch some sunshine -- with tons of elbow room, even during the height of the season.

2. Boardwalk

Virginia Beach has an incredible three mile boardwalk along its coastal shores. Being a wide beach, there is a lot of sand and square footage between the boardwalk and the ocean, giving all visitors ample space to plant their umbrellas and beach towels. There are many quality oceanfront hotels along the boardwalk and naturally, many restaurants serving breakfast, lunch, and mouth-watering dinner. Alongside this immense boardwalk is a really cool bike path. It’s the Yin/Yang of our beach. Here you’ll find many different types of non-motorized, wheeled fellow tourists. There are regular bikes, trikes, family quad bikes, and skaters/roller-bladers. There’s live entertainment, monuments, museums, and much more as well.

3. Family friendly

A lot of people make fun of the “no cursing” signs located all around Virginia Beach. But that’s how dedicated our community is to the family experience. Earlier this year (2016), we were named the best family friendly metro area on the East Coast. This was due to public safety, child education, housing costs and community child friendliness.

Our beach is filled with many family friendly attractions. Some of the best include Captain Jack’s Pirate Ship, Lighthouse Inflatables, and Busch Gardens (Williamsburg). There are also many parks and museums for the family to enjoy.

For the older children in your family, be sure to check out Virginia Hang Gliding and Virginia Scenic Flights.

4. Big city beach, small town feel.

Virginia Beach is often called the largest “small town” in Virginia. Everyone knows everybody! It’s not overly crowded and driving around the area is much easier than navigating a larger beach. Yes, we have traffic. But not to the scale of other larger more crowded beaches. You don’t have to drive like a Manhattan’r or have a GPS glued to your forehead to get around our streets. We’re smaller than many mid-Atlantic/Southern beaches (think Myrtle & Miami) but we consider that a very, very good thing. Also, there are three beach experiences you can have here depending on your mood: resort (more active, right here on the "oceanfront strip"), relaxed (rent a private oceanfront beach home) and calm (less waves within the protected waters of the Chesapeake Bay).

5. Affordable vacation

There are many quality and choice oceanfront hotels available for every type of budget. We also have some of the best beach home rentals available (highly recommend Siebert Realty). Food here is also very cost-effective and the service doesn’t know the meaning of ‘island time’. Your hard-earned vacation dollars will go a long way here in VA Beach and that’s something every family appreciates.

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Steve Jones

Steve is a freelance writer specializing in technology, travel, health, and more. He can be reached at