Virginia’s Chesapeake Bay is considered one of the largest and most biologically diverse estuaries in the USA.
This region is famous for its fresh seafood and local fare and, lucky for you, there are many mouth-watering ways for sampling. These Virginia Beach culinary experiences will take you from farm-to-table dining to fresh seafood and hidden gems.
Oyster-Farming Boat Tour
Huge and salty, the Lynnhaven oyster was once a delicacy for presidents and royalty. With a revitalized Lynnhaven River and repopulated oyster reefs, the namesake oyster is making a comeback to fame – and the dinner table. Pleasure House Oyster Tours cruise to harvesting locations, where oysters are collected and served. You’re encouraged to bring your own wine.
Learning to harvest on a tour offered by Pleasure House Oysters
Hands-On Dining at New Earth Farm
Just minutes from the family vacation haven of Sandbridge Beach, New Earth Farm runs an 8.5-hectare sustainable farm that is the epitome of earthy freshness. Try one of the innovative classes designed to get you back to the land: Learn to shear sheep, can vegetables, make your own kombucha or take a cooking class from a top local chef. Children can take a farm-to-table class and hand-harvest food that they then cook and eat.
Beachside Farmers Market
If you’re looking for locally sourced meat, pasture-raised eggs, still-warm bread, homemade pies and just-caught seafood, where do you go? When you’re in Virginia Beach, you go to Old Beach Farmer’s Market, which features dozens of eco-friendly vendors just six blocks from the beach. Shop for specialty ingredients, spend the day in the sun, then head back to your vacation rental to cook it all up for dinner.
Cruise the Boardwalk
At nearly 5 kilometers long with a dedicated bike path, the Virginia Beach Boardwalk is made for cruising. Rent a bike and scope the boardwalk for quirky sights, such as the King Neptune and Norwegian Lady statues; mom-and-pop shops; and casual seaside restaurants. Waterman’s Surfside Grille is a sure bet for fresh seafood and beachy cocktails. Try the Orange Crush, a concoction of orange vodka, triple sec and Sprite.
Virginia Beach Boardwalk stretching nearly five kilometers
Kayak to Hidden Gems
Even for the uninitiated, kayaking is easy and guaranteed to soothe your soul. Ocean Rentals offers kayak tours through Back Bay National Wildlife Refuge, a sanctuary for migratory birds on the Atlantic Flyway characterized by dunes, marshes, beach and woodlands. Paddle to Blue Pete’s, an off-the-beaten-path local favorite. Order some seafood, of course, and enjoy the river views.
Paddling along an off-the-beaten-path waterway
After arriving at Washington Dulles International Airport (IAD), catch a connecting flight to Norfolk International Airport (ORF) in Virginia, which is about 20 minutes from Virginia Beach. Another option is to rent a car at Dulles and drive south for about 345 kilometers to Virginia Beach.