Summer Vacation Ideas: Love the Moment in Virginia Beach

Summer vacation plans are brewing here in a Mama’s Corner of the World. We already travel frequently for our daughters’ extracurricular activities and our respective jobs, so allotting the time and budget for a long vacation is a little difficult.  We have been struggling to find a vacation destination that is both family friendly and within a reasonable driving distance from home.  Our girls are growing up so fast—we literally have to catch our memorable moments in every opportunity!  Have you been to Virginia Beach?  We are not sure why this beach destination has slipped below our radar over the years—but, a trip to Virginia Beach may just fit all of our summer vacation travel criteria and let us “love the moment” for a few days!

Things to do in Virginia Beach.  Virginia Beach is more than a beach.  While my youngest daughter could build sandcastles for eight days straight, her teen and tween sisters need a little more vacation action.  The Virginia Beach Aquarium holds promise for all three of our girls—and shopping at Lynnhaven Mall or experiencing Beach Street USA makes a pleasant break from the sun and sand during a visit.

Dining at Virginia Beach.  Food options make or break a vacation for our family.  When we travel, fast food and national chains rarely grace our table.  Why eat at a restaurant that we have at home? Before any trip, we visit the area’s visitor’s center—and explore the different dining options.  What dining options are available in Virginia Beach?  We found tons of local restaurants—then checked out each website—taking a serious look at the menu options on the children’s menus.  What if there is no children’s menu?  It may not be the best local choice for our family.    .  If my husband and I were making the trip solo, we would choose the Coastal Food Tours of Virginia.  The Boardwalk Tour  is right up our alley.  With our little ones in tow—such structured tours are not our thing—but if they work for your family, they are awesome ways to sample a variety of local favorites. 

Lodging in Virginia Beach.  A quick visit to the Virginia Beach Convention and Visitors Bureau offers lots of information on local lodging and accommodations.  Now—remember, moms, if you rent a condo or a vacation house with a kitchen—you may be on the hook for at least a few meals during your “vacation”.  We rent something with a kitchen to cut the costs of breakfast and lunch for our family of five—but, we plan at least a dinner out daily during our trips. 

How are reviews of the restaurants, activities and accommodations?  After you check out a hotel listed on the planning sites—don’t forget to check out reviews from places like TripAdvisor before the visit.  We once rented a fantastic condo on Myrtle Beach—with the absolute worst, most dangerous parking garage in the city.  Parking was so stressful that we dreaded moving the car to venture out.  After reading reviews from a few travel sites, we noted that the parking was a frequent complaint.  Always read reviews before traveling—especially the negative ones.  Sure—some people complain about everything and exaggerate.  However, if there is a consistent theme or noteworthy mention—it may be a legitimate complaint about your destination!

Since our travel schedule is fairly hectic until August, a late summer vacation is likely this year. We have time to plan and lots of available ideas and resources.  Where are you heading this summer?  Have you decided yet? 

For more information on Virginia Beach:  Check out the Visit Virginia Beach Website 

Photos and Images Courtesy:  Virginia Beach CVB

Disclaimer:  I wrote this blog post while participating in the SocialMoms and Virginia Beach blogging program. For more information on how you can participate, click here.

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