25 more things to add to your Virginia Beach bucket list this summer
We promised 25 more bucket-list items to check out this summer in Virginia Beach, so here they are. We encourage you to try as many as possible before fall gets here. In case you missed it, here's the first list of must-try experiences.
1. Summon your artistic side at The Mermaid Factory. Surely you’ve noticed the colorful mermaids all over Norfolk or the dolphins throughout Virginia Beach. Now you can make your own. There are locations at the Oceanfront and Ghent. Call 757-963-7700 for the Oceanfront one. You know, if you're a creative person, you can make your own mermaid and you only need to go to your favorite arts and crafts store to get your supplies. I did my own mosaic mermaid several years ago, and my husband even made a Steelers mermaid.
2. Go see cute animals at Hunt Club Farm. They’ve got a petting farm, a new bird aviary and seasonal festivals. Call 757-427-9520.
3. Check out the dinosaurs in Jerrassic Park (not a typo) at the Military Aviation Museum. It’s at 1341 Princess Anne Road.
4. Watch jets take off - up close. We know a spot. It’s hard to explain, but it’s a gravel pull-off off Oceana Boulevard. I've actually been to this spot and NEVER saw anything overhead. :( However, I know of a spot in Norfolk where I have seen all kinds of aircraft overhead, including the Blue Angels. I've even had helicopter pilots turn their spotlights on me, at twilight when I wave to them. :) I've got my own airshow! 5. Scope out the Cape Henry Lighthouse. It’s on the Fort Story military base, near the North End, but it’s open to the public. It’s the oldest federally funded one in the country. This is a must see if you've got friends or family visiting.
6. Sneak off to False Cape State Park. It’s one of the few remaining undeveloped areas along the Atlantic Coast. It offers activities like kayaking, hiking, and bike trails, plus six miles of beach. You can’t get to it by car though – you have to go by foot, bicycle, beach transport, tram or boat. To make reservations on the beach transporter, call 800-933-7275.
7. Visit an international news network. The Christian Broadcasting Network is right here in town and offers free tours Monday through Friday. You can even see a taping of “The 700 Club.” Call 757-226-2745. Uuuhhhh, how about no, just right off the bat. This isn't for me.
8. Take surfing lessons. You can have a one-on-one lesson or do it in a group. Either way, you’ll learn a new skill. VB Surf Sessions offers workshops and camps, along with other water skills. Call 757-633-5330.
9. Go fishing at the 400-foot Sandbridge Pier at Little Island Park. You can rent a pole, and a license isn’t required.
10. Get a shot at the spotlight. The Sandler Center offers free tours at 2 p.m. every Tuesday, which includes behind-the-scenes views and even a view from the stage.
11. If you’re into cigars, check out the private second-floor club, above Twist, in Town Center.
12. Go skydiving – indoors. iFly at the Oceanfront lets you feel the sensation of jumping out of a plane, without actually going up in one. You simply float on a column of air. It’s at 2412 Pacific Ave.
13. Pick peaches and visit Martin’s Vineyard on Knotts Island, just a short drive from Pungo. The winery is on an island, so you are guaranteed great views of the water. It’s at 213 Martin Farm Lane, Knotts Island, N.C. I just went to the Peach Festival for the first time this year, and it's held just down the road from Martin's Vineyard.
There’s more to Pungo than the yearly Strawberry Festival. Head over to The Tar Roof, which hosts painting nights, pop-up dinners and displays art and photography. It's at 1791 Princess Anne Road; call 757-655-5005
15. Watch movies on the big screen at the Virginia Aquarium and Marine Science Center. They’re shown every Saturday, and it’s cheaper if you’re a member. Call 757-385-3474.
16. Take a cooking class at New Earth Farm. Chefs will teach you how to use seasonal produce grown right at the farm. Call 757-536-6102.
17. Did you know there’s a restaurant at The Art Institute of Virginia Beach? It’s called CrAive and it’s open for lunch when classes are in session: Tuesdays and Wednesdays from 11 a.m. until 1 p.m. For reservations, call 757-493-6839.
18. If you’ve never been inside The Royal Chocolate in Town Center, be sure to pop in between 2 and 4 p.m. Monday through Thursday. All of the shop’s hot and frozen drinks (frozen hot chocolate, for example) are buy one get one free. It’s at 164 Central Park Ave.
19. Every Thursday night (through Sept. 8) at Neptune’s Park (at 31st Street and Atlantic Avenue) the Virginia Symphony Orchestra and Symphonicity will play free shows. Symphony by the Sea is from 7:30 to 9 p.m.
20. Watch a movie at Mount Trashmore: On July 22, catch “Minions,” on Aug. 12, catch “Home” and on Aug. 26, catch “The Peanuts Movie.” Activities begin at 7 p.m. and the movies start at sunset. The park is at 310 Edwin Drive.
21. Belt out a tune at Wanna B’s Karaoke Club and Restaurant. During the week, you have to be 21 to get in, but on Sundays, it’s for those 18 and older. It’s at 2880 Virginia Beach Blvd.
22. Create your own wine flight at Sonoma Wine Bar in Town Center. The wine bar offers more than 70 by-the-glass choices. It’s at 189 Central Park Ave.
23. Let your dog run free! The city has three dog parks where registered pups can run around off-leash. Red Wing Park is at 1398 General Booth Blvd., Bayville Farms Park is at 4132 First Court Road, and Woodstock Park is at 5709 Providence Road. Let's not forget about the dog parks in Chesapeake (off Greenbrier Road at the city park) or in Norfolk near Granby and Tidewater, next door to the fire station. :)
24. Get the best flounder sandwich in Hampton Roads (according to our taste-testers) at Chick’s Oyster Bar. It’s at 2143 Vista Circle.
25. Catch blue crabs at the Virginia Beach Fishing Pier. It’s apparently a banner year for catching the critters, and you can take them home with you. It’s $10 for adults and $5 for kids younger than $12, but less if you just want to watch. It could be the last season. The wooden pier is at 15th Street at the Oceanfront.
Time For The Second Half of the VB Bucket List