Last modified: January 4, 2016

Most people naturally come to Virginia Beach to enjoy the outdoors….on or near the beach!

Rain, however can put a real damper (pun definitely intended) on enjoying all the terrific things there are to do outdoors in Virginia Beach.

But what many visitors may not know is how many terrific things there are to do indoors in Virginia Beach.

Read below for some ideas about what you and your family can do when Mother Nature decides to literally rain on your vacation plans.

First on the list should be a visit to the Virginia Aquarium and Marine Science Center. The aquarium offers 800,000 gallons of aquariums as well as live animal habitats. Many people consider this aquarium to be among the best in the nation. You and your rainy-day mates can explore a nature trail, marshlands (wear a slicker) and an outdoor aviary. You also can enjoy the many hands-on exhibits as well as a 3D IMAX® Theater.

Head over to the Virginia Beach waterfront and visit the Atlantic Wildfowl Heritage Museum. This museum displays art as well as artifacts that document the migratory wildfowl that fly through Eastern Virginia. An added bonus: the museum is located in Witt Cottage, a historic building built in 1895. This museum offers opportunities to see traditional decoys as well as contemporary lifelike carvings.

The Virginia Living Museum in Newport News definitely is worth a visit any day, rain or shine. This museum provides guests with the chance to get to know more than 250 living species native to Virgina via discovery centers, hands-on exhibits and more. You can touch spider crabs and see fish with no eyes. See some endangered red wolves. Take a close look (but not too close) at some moon jellies.

Another great venue to visit when the weather is dreary is the Virginia Museum of Contemporary Art. Exhibits include such art works as paintings, photography, glass, video, sculptures, and other visual media. Featured works include those created by internationally renowned, as well as national and regional artists. You can view the gallery exhibitions, take classes, and more.

Other rainy day ideas include taking in a movie or two in one of several cinemas in and near Virginia Beach. Napping after reading a good book. Deciding that the day will be filled with fine dining from breakfast through dinner, and then topped off with live music at one (or more) of the area’s musical venues.

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Steve Jones

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