In May my friends and I went to Virginia Beach. It’s pretty difficult to plan a trip for 4 different people but we managed to make it happen. We left on Friday morning but unfortunately, due to getting stuck in some roadwork AND somehow getting lost and ending up in North Carolina for a few hours, we didn’t arrive at the hotel until around 9:30 at night. By then we were so tired everyone pretty much just passed out. My boyfriend and I did manage to get a bite to eat though and we spent a few minutes on the rooftop deck of the 19 Atlantic Hotel where we were staying. The 19 Atlantic isn’t right on the beach but it’s only a street away so it’s a pretty good place if you wait till the last minute to book a room (like we did).
It was Memorial Day weekend so the town was packed with people and events. Naturally, this makes things both stressful and fun. Fun because there was a lot going on and stressful because there were so many people.
What To Do In Virginia Beach? Go To The Beach Of Course!
My boyfriend and I got up around 5:00 the next morning to hit the beach early and watch the sunrise. I’ve never had the chance to see the sun come up over the ocean. It’s one of those really simple but beautiful things and if you haven’t done it you should do it at least once in your life.
I wanted to find some seashells but the best way to do that seemed to be standing in the waves and waiting for them to wash onto the shore and then grabbing them before they got washed back out to sea. I tried to do it but the waves kept knocking me down. My boyfriend is much better at it than I am and to him, it was sort of like a game. So I preferred to hang out on the shore or swim in the slightly deeper water (one or the other) and he was fine getting knocked around by waves in order to find seashells. 🙂
The Atlantic Fun Park
Later that day we went to the Atlantic Fun Park which is right on the boardwalk. It’s definitely overpriced for the small selection of rides they have but we still had fun.
The Miyazaki Japanese Garden
On Sunday we went to Red Wing Park to see the Miyazaki Japanese Garden. Virginia Beach is the sister city of Miyazaki, Japan and to honor their relationship they created the Japanese style garden in the park. It’s really beautiful and we took quite a few pictures of it.
Virginia Aquarium and Marine Science Center
Then we went to the Virginia Aquarium and Marine Science Center. This is a really cool place where you can see tons of animals, not just sea creatures but animals like otters, snakes, Komodo dragons, and more. There is an aquarium tunnel you can walk through and there are two exhibits where you can pet rays and horseshoe crabs.
Later that day I went parasailing. Unfortunately, I don’t have any pictures because my friends were too afraid to do it with me and it was $20 extra dollars to have one of them ride along on the boat and I felt like that was a waste of money. But I’ve always wanted to parasail so I’m really glad I got the chance and it’s something I’ve marked off my bucket list. 🙂 It was just as awesome as I thought it would be. I went with Adventure Parasail but there is another company in the area that has the same rates (starting at $80 a person) called Pirate Parasail.
The King Neptune Statue
The night before we had to leave we decided to walk down the boardwalk to see the King Neptune statue and on the way, there was a show by a band called Good Shot Judy. I had never heard of them before but we stopped and listened to a few songs. They do Jazz style cover songs of both oldies and modern hits. They’re a really good band and I would have never learned about them if they hadn’t been playing a show on the boardwalk. That’s why I say traveling during Memorial Day weekend is both great and stressful. All the people can be really annoying but otherwise, you miss out on some cool events.
The Virginia Zoo in Norfolk
On our very last day, we went to the beach one last time and then went to the Virginia Zoo in Norfolk on our way home. The reptile exhibit was closed and I knew about that from their website. But for some reason, the Austrailian exhibit was also closed and we weren’t expecting that. So that was disappointing. It also started raining horribly and we almost left. The zoo won’t refund your money but they’ll allow you to come back later. But we live 6 hours away and we aren’t going to be in that area again any time soon. But fortunately, some extremely overpriced ($25 a piece) umbrellas in the gift shop saved the day!
The Only Two Exhibits We Saw
We only visited the Asian exhibit and the African exhibit. We decided to skip the North American one because we’ve already seen many of those animals in other places. But from what we did see it seems like a nice zoo. I’m concerned for some of the animals though. The cheetahs, for instance, did not seem to have a very big enclosure at all. They were pacing a lot and seemed to be frustrated. I think they need more space. But the zebras, on the other hand, seemed to be quite happy. But they also seem to have more space. The visit would have been more enjoyable if it hadn’t rained, but the zoo can’t control the weather. Here’s a picture of a cheetah and a red panda. The red panda was a very active little guy. It was so hard to get a picture of him.
I love traveling and seeing different places so much. But there is nothing like a long trip to make you appreciate home. We were so tired when we finally got back. I went to sleep around midnight on Memorial Day and I didn’t so much as even MOVE all night long. Of course, after a few days of rest I’m already planning my next trip. Haha. 🙂