Virginia Beach trip report

Old Mar 28th, 2005, 08:14 AM
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Virginia Beach trip report

I figure I would post a trip report since there are no recent ones about Virginia Beach area. Despite the weather, a friend and I enjoyed our stay. Drove down the eastern shore from Annapolis on Friday morning. It was my first time crossing the Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel on US 13 ($12). There is a stopping point on one of the man-made islands where the tunnel changes back to a bridge. We stopped and took some photos of the Navy ships speeding by over tunnel. There is a gift shop & fishing pier there as well.

I decided to make reservations at the Marriott Courtyard Hotel at 3737 Atlantic Ave. Itís located at Atlantic Ave & 37th street. Itís also at the 2.5-mile marker for the boardwalk, so there is another .5 miles to go north. You can clearly see the end of the boardwalk from your balcony. The northern end of Atlantic Ave. is much nicer, I donít want to say newer because there are older hotels located there too but it seems more cleaner w/ the new hotels, condos, and construction going on. I would say there is plenty of parking at this hotel with a rather large parking lot across the street as well as some parking in front of the hotel. There is only 1 parking pass per room reservation. The outdoor pool looked really awesome. Stay away from the indoor poolÖ.small, hot, germs, crowded, very loud in the enclosure. All the rooms are oceanfront and I believe there are 11 floors total. After checking in our room, the room next to us was having a party w/ lots of yelling, wrestling, and loud music. I called the front desk and they were unsuccessful in calling them or getting anyone to come to the door. They immediately moved us up to the 7th floor. I donít know how they solved that problem. The rooms were fine but nothing extravagant. You can hear the ocean all night long with the sliding glass door shut. The bed was comfortable and the bathroom was a decent size. There was a lot of families/kids at this hotel. I mean kids going up/down elevator alone, in the lobby, and the halls. The room we were in had an extra door going to another room. Thankfully the deadbolt was on our side. Perhaps there was one on their side too. Plenty of towels and the sheets were clean. I had a great time here, thou Iím not sure I would stay there again. Only because I like to sample other places.

Friday afternoon, we walked along the boardwalk. There were lots of dolphins out swimming in the water. It was pretty cool. Never really saw any more dolphins the rest of the weekend but that afternoon. They are building some new parks and stuff along the boardwalk, one being next to the new Hilton hotel at 30th street. The concrete Boardwalk is nice; I love the separated bike path!

Friday evening, we drove inland on Virginia Beach Blvd (US 58) to the new town center area. Itís about 8 miles, 20 min with all the red lights. There are big buildings; I guess what beachers down there would call skyscrapers. It is a mixed retail, business district with some nice restaurants. There is a PF Changs, Cheesecake Factory, Romanoís Macaroni Grill, California Pizza Kitchen, Bravo! Cucina Italiana, Keaganís Irish Pub, etc. with a Ruth Chris opening soon. There is a huge Dickís Sporting Goodís store; I havenít seen one that big before. You can run, go rock climbing, etc. Parking is free & itís located at Virginia Beach Blvd & Independence Blvd across the street from the Pembroke Mall. They are still doing construction and itís going to be really nice when they get this new town center area complete.

Saturday morning, we went to the VB Aquarium and Science Center on Gen Booth Blvd, 5 min drive from the hotel. I highly recommend going when they open at 9am. The lot was empty when we arrived and packed at 12pm when we left. I really enjoyed this place and loved the pool with stingrays that they have where you can interact with them. That was the first time Iíve touched and petted one. The was lots of interesting exhibits and facts on the Chesapeake Bay. I learned a lot of things I never knew before about the ocean and water itself. Itís very much liked the Science Center. Adults and kids will enjoy it. Adult ticket price was $11. They also have an IMAX theatre. You could buy combo tickets and save about $3 on the IMAX.

About .5 miles down the road on the same side as the Science Center, there is VB motor world. There is a water park, mini golf ($8 for 18 hole, 10$ for 36 hole), & over 200 go-karts on about 10 different racetracks. There are small go-karts for younger kids and larger ones for adults. The go-karts can be expensive, spent about $20 on the bigger track for about 12 laps. Honestly, 12 laps was quite enough and it was fun. After that, moved on the mini golf.

Around 4pm, we went to Captain Georgeís for dinner. Go early on a weekend, when we left around 6pm, there was 2 long lines. For $25.00, you get the all you can eat seafood buffet. They have over 150 items to choose from. The crab legs are awesome and the most popular item. Captain Georgeís is on Laskin Rd near First Colonial Rd, not far from the beach. Laskin Rd runs into the new Hilton (30th street) if you were to drive all the way to the beach.

After dinner, we went exploring at Lynnhaven mall. Itís a big mall, the biggest in the area. Itís off Lynnhaven Rd, which is off I-264 or Virginia Beach Blvd (17th st near beach). They have a big AMC theatreís there too.

On Sunday, headed up I-64 to Williamsburg for lunch and walked around. Walked around the campus of W&M. It being Easter, there was nobody around. It was quite and very lush green. Nothing much to say about Williamsburg, itís just amazing! : )

I canít wait to go back to VB when it gets warmer. Definitely this summerÖI highly recommend VB over Ocean City!
Old Mar 28th, 2005, 01:31 PM
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Thanx for your report. Va Bch was our family summer vacation spot when our kids were growing up. As landlocked midwesterners, we thought it was great. Last trip there (after kids gone) was in mid Sept; it was cold and rainy. Summertime is the time to go but just being by the ocean is a thrill for us.
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Old Mar 29th, 2005, 08:57 AM
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Thanks for the trip report. My family had been to Virginia Beach numerous times. We had not been back for about 8 years and I was concerned that Virginia Beach might be in decline. We always had a nice time and found it affordable. I look forward to going back and visiting Williamsburg also.
You made me think about some great memories.
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Old Mar 29th, 2005, 09:27 AM
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thanks for the memories. I went there every year in June for about 10 years with the family. We went to Captain George's too many times to count - one year I HAD to have the crab legs even with a broken right arm (I was right handed) - boy was that a mess. And my last year there, I had a boyfriend who worked at that go-kart place so I went there with him. Did you see if the Jewish Mother deli was still there? Loved that place. Also, the thunderbird hotel with the pool you could see underneath?
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Old Apr 6th, 2005, 08:04 AM
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Thanks for the information on Virginia Beach. My family and I are planning to spend a few days in August in VB and we've never been there. I would like to stay at the Courtyard but it will cost $300 a night for the 5 of us. It looks like Marjac Suites or Staion One Hotel could accomodate the 5 of us for about $190 per night. Does anyone have information on either of these two hotels or do you have a suggestion on where a family of 5 should stay for 4 days?
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Old Apr 6th, 2005, 08:22 AM
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Thanks for the great report. I often do a long weekend, staying at Williamsburg then heading to VaBch for a night or two.

You mentionned hearing the ocean even with door closed ... I'm not sure if that's a complaint or not, as even in the winter, I'll turn the heat off and open to door so I can hear the ocean - it's soooo relaxing.

I'm not much a fan of seafood nor buffets, but must admit that Capt Georges was pretty good. The VB Aquarium & MarineScience museum is great too.

I often stay at the Colonial Inn (near 28th) during "off season" which I've been satisfied with, especially the new rooms, but during "beach season" it sounds like a completely different (and not so nice) place. I will only stay in VaBeach if I'm at an ocean-front hotel -- even across the street will not do -- or else I just continue my stay in Wbg. Most of the beach-front hotels have all rooms facing the beach.
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