Beach in/near Virginia

Feb 9th, 2007, 12:25 PM
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Beach in/near Virginia

We are attending a wedding in Charlottesville, VA this summer, and afterwards plan to do a beach vacation for 5 nights or so with our 1 year old and 3 year old. I am considering the Outer Banks, NC or Ocean City, MD. Any comments on those, or other places you would suggest? Home is Michigan, so we don't want to go much further south (already dreading the car ride as it is!). We are looking for a family friendly place and beachfront accomodations (probably hotel since it will be a partial week).

Thank you!
cathy4593 is offline  
Feb 9th, 2007, 12:32 PM
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How about Virginia Beach.
MikeT is offline  
Feb 9th, 2007, 12:49 PM
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If you don't mind driving an extra 1-1 1/2 hours, you might want to go to the Outer Banks rather than Virginia Beach. Many Americans don't realize that Virginia Beach is that state's most populated city. Having worked in the city way back in the 1985, it is a sprawling city which desperately needed tougher zoning laws thirty years ago. Now it is too late.
GeorgeW is offline  
Feb 9th, 2007, 01:01 PM
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The beachfront in Virginia Beach is somewhat "typical" with a boardwalk, bicycling lane, lots of hotels, etc. Great beach IMO and I am not sure the zoning or any other sprawl issues are relevant if you are going for the beach.

Now, if you want something more "unspoiled" then definitely consider the Outer Banks either above or below Nags Head/Kill devil Hills/Kitty Hawk; these latter places are fine just more built up with more choices in terms of restaurants, shopping, etc.

I would NOT troop all the way to OC since you can get the same kind of ambience in Virginia Beach.
Dukey is offline  
Feb 9th, 2007, 01:05 PM
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Virginia Beach would be a direct drive east on rt 64.
I think it has greatly improved in the 10 years we have lived in central va. It has some nice hotels (new Hilton, and two marriott courtyards that are relatively new and nice). They also have some old dumpy hotels as well. So, choose wisely . The beach is wide and very nice in VBeach. They have a nice boardwalk and some good restaurants.
I have not been to the outerbanks in years. It does have a much rougher undertow. I do know that. It also did not have many hotel/motels when we went. It is more of a rental homes/condos.
I have not been to Ocean City. But I do know it is busy busy busy there! Hopefully someone else with more info will chime in.
girlonthego is offline  
Feb 9th, 2007, 01:32 PM
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Another vote for Virginia Beach. girlonthego has described it perfectly. VB has worked hard and succeeded in spiffing up its oceanfront.

VB is about 3.5 hours from C'ville and Ocean City is 4-5 hours which includes navigating traffic in some aspect of the DC metro area. If you like the kind of atmosphere Ocean City offers, definitely consider VB.

I'm a huge fan of the Outer Banks and think it's a wonderful place for a family vacation. If you're in it for 5 nights with a couple of very little kids, it might still be worth the $ to rent a house in the Outer Banks. Oceanfront will be quite pricey. There are also many homes within a very short walking distance to the beach. Travel time to the OBX will be about 4.5 hours and very likely more if you're travelling on a Friday or Saturday.

obxgirl is online now  
Feb 9th, 2007, 02:03 PM
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Great reply Obxgirl. Where have you been?
Birdie is offline  
Feb 9th, 2007, 02:15 PM
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Hey Birdie! I needed a VFF (Vacation From Fodor's). Happy weekend to you...

cathy, If you are interested in OBX rentals, say so, and any number of people will give you great rec's for companies to contact and websites to investigate rental homes.
obxgirl is online now  
Feb 9th, 2007, 02:42 PM
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Smart lady! I was getting into a little trouble myself here while you were gone. Glad to see you're back. It was getting a little quiet in Williamsburg.
Birdie is offline  
Feb 9th, 2007, 03:08 PM
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OC is certainly not worth the drive from C-ville (it's *barely* worth the drive from DC).

Better to do VA Beach or the Outer Banks. It all depends on what you want in a beach experience. If you want water, sand and relative peace, the Outer Banks are better. If you want other things to do, the boardwalk, more restaurants, then VA Beach is better. I'd always vote for the Outer Banks, but then again, I'm not a kid.
kgh8m is offline  
Feb 9th, 2007, 05:22 PM
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Thanks for the replies! I had ruled out VA Beach due to a few negative comments I heard, but since it sounds like they have made improvements I will reconsider - it would be the most convenient! Regarding the Outer Banks - can you give me any more information on exactly how quiet/secluded it is? I found a Hampton (we have hotel points), south of Corolla that looks nice, but don't want to drive half an hour every time we go out to eat or want to do something besides the beach. We are having a hard time deciding. Our trip is at the end of July which is probably busy time for all these areas, in case that makes a difference.

Thanks again!
cathy4593 is offline  
Feb 10th, 2007, 04:15 AM
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The Days inn in Kill devil hills(Wright's brothers)was great(20 yards from the beach)great breakfast included.Paul
tovarich is offline  
Feb 10th, 2007, 04:42 AM
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"Quiet/secluded" is a relative term here. July is high season and there will be *plenty* of people in the OBX.

The Hampton Inn is an excellent choice and a very short drive to the Northern Beach communities where you'll find plenty of restaurants, shopping, and activities.

I disagree somewhat with those who call Corolla and surroundings unspoiled or undeveloped. The whole area is filled with residential communities, resorts, and commercial centers. It's attractive development for the most part and all of the Northern Beach towns have succeeded in keeping the beaches beautiful and (here I agree) unspoiled.

Again, you'll be much happier if you can plan not to arrive on a Saturday (the biggest day for rental home turnovers). There is one two lane road running up to Corolla. Once you get to the OBX, it's normally about a 40 minute trip to Corolla, maybe 20 odd miles. Double or triple that time on Saturday.
obxgirl is online now  
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