Time to plan that Virginia Beach staycation with more warm weather on the horizon

Photo courtesy BarclayTowersVB.com
Photo courtesy BarclayTowersVB.com

WHERE TO STAY

On a budget: Set right on the boardwalk, the Barclays Tower Resort Hotel in an all-suite hotel as each room has a balcony and a view of the ocean. Wi-Fi access, flat-screen TVs and kitchens are included along with a continental breakfast and complimentary parking. Located less than two miles from the Virginia Beach Convention Center. Hotels.com

Family: The oceanside Holiday Inn & Suites North Beach is a popular choice with family vacationers, thanks to its resort-style amenities: There are three pools (including a lazy river and a splash lagoon), three restaurants and a kids’ club. Nautical-themed rooms have flat-screen TVs, iPod docks, balconies and free Wi-Fi. Suites also have kitchenettes. Oyster.com

Leisure: For a romantic getaway or to rejuvenate the mind, body and spirit, the Beach Spa Bed and Breakfast is ready to pamper its guests. Located within a quiet residential neighborhood yet “close enough” to the beach to be convenient walking distance. It features eight beautifully-appointed guest rooms with private spa bathrooms. BedAndBreakfast.com

Salmon and drinks by the fire pit. Photo courtesy Catch31.com
Salmon and drinks by the fire pit. Photo courtesy Catch31.com

WHERE TO EAT

On a budget: Smoked From Above BBQ & Ribs is located at the Landstown Commons Shopping Center and they serve their award winning BBQ seven days a week. The family owned and operated restaurant has won numerous local awards as they boast the “best BBQ on the beach”. Be sure to try the Smoked From Above porky beans. PatricksBBQTrail.com

Family: Family owned and operated since 1981, Waterman’s Surfside Grille specializes in steaks, ribs and the freshest seafood available. Their oceanfront dining room features stadium seating for the best possible view of the Atlantic Ocean while an outdoor bar and large patio dining space are situated right on the boardwalk. DineInVB.com

Leisure: Tastes, sights and sounds galore at the Catch 31 Fishhouse and Bar, which has beach front dining with an open-air kitchen and hardwood grill. The ambiance includes soaring ceilings and cool blue walls that lead to the indoor/outdoor bar. Live entertainment at Neptune’s Park or sit by the open air fire pits. VBBound.com

Photo courtesy Virginia Aquarium & Marine Science Center
Photo courtesy Virginia Aquarium & Marine Science Center

WHAT TO DO

On a budget: The 2,888-acre First Landing State Park fronts the Chesapeake Bay, features more than a mile of beachfront and more than 19 miles of interpretive hiking trails through protected salt marsh habitat, freshwater ponds, beach, dunes, forest, tidal marsh and cypress swamp. First Landing is the most visited state park in Virginia. VisitVirginiaBeach.com

Family: Explore over 800,000 gallons of one of the best aquariums and live animal habitats in the country at the Virginia Aquarium & Marine Science Center. It features hundreds of hands-on exhibits, outdoor aviary, nature trail and marshlands. They also have a 3D IMAX Theater that has a screen six stories tall and eight stories wide. VBBound.com

Leisure: For a local experience like no other, look no farther than the beach where Virginia Beach Horseback offers guided rides along the surf during the fall, winter and spring months. All experience levels are welcomed and all riders will be instructed on how to become one with the horse before setting foot in a stirrup. VacationIdea.com

For more information or to nominate a Southside establishment to be featured in future articles, please email travel editor Aaron Gray at aaron@localvoicemedia.com

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Local Voice Media’s travel editor Aaron Gray is an award-winning journalist and published author. He grew up in Herndon, Virginia and graduated from James Madison University with a bachelor’s degree in Specialized Media Arts & Design. He has won several Associated Press Sports Editors awards for breaking news and production design during his 13 years in the media industry. He has worked in Baltimore, Maryland; St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands and Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates (UAE). He has visited more than 20 countries around the world and hopes to use his experience as a travel junkie to inspire, educate and entertain the loyal readers of Local Voice Media.