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Planning a vacation that will keep everyone in the family happy can be a daunting task. If you have young children, you likely want a location that is family-friendly and offers activities that fit their ages. If you’re a couple looking for a romantic getaway, you may be interested in a location that offers ample opportunities to relax and reconnect. And if you’re like most families, you’re probably searching for a place that offers a balance of both.
Lucky for you, the Diamond Resorts media team has found the perfect location to fit any type of getaway: Virginia Beach, Va.
We recently experienced all of Virginia Beach’s best activities (and tasted a ton of local cuisine) as part of our #DiamondStories series, giving you an inside look at what it’s like to vacation in the area as a Diamond Resorts member. So far this year, we’ve experienced off-road tours and hot air balloon rides in Sedona, Arizona, hiked dormant volcanoes in Hawaii and immersed ourselves in the Spanish culture of Costa del Sol.
We’re testing out adventures in each destination to help you make the most of your next Diamond Resorts vacation. You can follow along @DiamondResorts on Twitter and Instagram, and join our journey by sharing your own vacation experiences with #DiamondStories.
Virginia Beach is one of Diamond’s most popular destinations and we have to admit, we didn’t initially get the appeal. But after spending a long weekend at Diamond’s Oceanaire and Ocean Beach Club resorts, we understood why so many family flock to the area each summer. There really is something for everyone to see and experience.
Here’s a breakdown of all the activities we experienced:
Rudee Tours: Oh, the Rudee Rocket. Walking distance from Diamond’s Beach Quarters and Turtle Cay resorts, Rudee Tours offers two types of dolphin watching tours. One is slower and better suited for young kids. The other is on the Rudee Rocket, a speedboat that is loud and rough and a thrilling good time. Our captain took us speeding past the entire Virginia Beach coastline (we waved ‘hello’ to all five of our Diamond properties) to a quiet spot near the mouth of the Chesapeake Bay, where we spotted a group of playful dolphins. We then headed back to the marina with a warning: those sitting in any shaded areas or the back of the boat would get soaked. As one of the brave people who decided to sit in the stern, I can confirm that you will leave dripping sea water. It’s one heck of a good time, though, and perfect for families or couples looking for a more thrilling adventure.
Virginia Aquarium: You really need a full day to see everything at the Virginia Aquarium. Unassuming from the outside, the aquarium actually offers many carefully curated exhibits that not only let you get up-close to many marine animals, but teach you about their habits and habitats. You can touch stingrays, come face-to-fact with a shark and meet sea turtles, including Big Momma, a giant loggerhead sea turtle who fell in love with Christopher, our Social Media Manager.
Adventure Park: Located in the trees at the Virginia Aquarium is an aerial forest adventure of 15 tree-top trails and 21 zip lines that test your strength and skills. You’re harnessed in and given a quick safety tutorial on the equipment before being set free to explore the trails of varying difficulty at your own pace. Unfortunately with an afternoon storm approaching, we only had time to complete a shorter, level two trail. It wasn’t necessarily easy – and definitely tested our mental toughness by having us walk a plank 10 feet off the ground. We could have easily spent several hours here – and saw many school-aged kids having an absolute blast. It’d be a fun day adventure for the whole family, or a couple looking to test their strength.
Virginia Beach Boardwalk: You can’t visit Virginia Beach and not notice the concrete boardwalk that stretches three miles along the sandy coast. It’s by far the area’s most popular attraction, and is perfect for a morning run or afternoon stroll. There’s a dedicated bike path that runs parallel to the boardwalk (so you don’t have to worry about them while walking), and many vendors that rent personal or family-sized bicycles to enjoy. If you’re able to, we recommend walking the boardwalk and stopping to admire the many memorials and statues placed every few blocks. Of course, take a photo of the massive 34-foot tall King Neptune statue at 31st Street and catch a free concert at several small stages along the way.
Resort Pools: Ocean Beach Club has several family-friendly indoor and outdoor pools, so you can enjoy a swim whatever the weather. The outdoor pools feature fun waterspouts and shallow ends for young children. On select nights during the summer, the resort projects family movies to enjoy while taking a nighttime dip. Interested in escaping the kids? Oceanaire’s pool and hot tub is strictly for those 21 years old and up. Beach Quarters Resort has a rooftop pool that overlooks the beach, Turtle Cay Resort features two courtyard pools with a nine-foot waterfall and Boardwalk Resort has an indoor pool to enjoy during the off-season or a pop-up summer rain shower.
Game Rooms: Activities galore! Both Beach Quarters and Ocean Beach Club have game rooms that include group activities such as t-shirt tie-dye sessions, along with a selection of classic board games and gaming consoles, including an Xbox system. So, you can leave the kids to have fun while you relax by the pool.
Beach: It’s called Virginia Beach for a reason. Put on your swimsuit, slather on some sunblock and go enjoy the salty ocean breeze. The sand is soft and the water is cool, what more could you want? Don’t forget to actually enjoy the beach while on vacation.
Welcome to the #VirginiaBeach oceanfront - a symphony of surf, sand and sun!
There’s no way we could have fit any more activities into our weekend trip, but Virginia Beach has plenty more to offer, including an iFly indoor skydiving center, the Military Aviation Museum and fishing charters. There’s parasailing and distilleries and the Cape Henry Lighthouse, one of the oldest lighthouses in the U.S. And we can’t forget all the food. In fact, we’ll be dedicating our next post to all the scrumptious meals and treats we found in Virginia Beach. Stay tuned!
Diamond Resorts International Marketing, Inc., its parents, sister companies, and subsidiaries, make no warranty, express or implied, as to the condition, capacity, performance or any other aspect of the activities, events, or service providers listed herein. No inquiry has been made into the activities or events, or the qualifications or the quality of services offered by the providers. Do not consider this an endorsement of or recommendation for any of the activities, events, or provide.