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The Boardwalk

You'll see everything you ever imagined along Virginia Beach's famous boardwalk. Sidewalk entertainers, amusements, free concerts, gift shops, restaurants, and much more! A "must do" on your vacation.


King Neptune:

Virginia Beach's newest attraction is King Neptune, a colossal 34-foot-high bronze statue that rises from the depths of the Atlantic Ocean at 31st Street & Atlantic Avenue, overlooking Neptune Park.  Volunteers with the popular annual Neptune Festival wanted a statue that honored the festival — now in its 33rd year — as well as the City of Virginia Beach and its citizens. They raised private funds and commissioned Richmond artist and sculptor Paul DiPasquale, who not only designed and created the massive statue, but accompanied it to China, where it was cast in bronze.


The Norwegian Lady:

In 1891, a community that would later be called Virginia Beach, came together to fight a calamity off our shores, and the heartfelt gratitude as a result of that endeavor would be recognized on the other side of the world, even today.


On March 28, 1891 the Norwegian vessel Dictator, needing vital repairs and caught in a storm, ran aground on a sandbar 300 yards from the shore. This location is present day 37th street here in Virginia Beach. The two life boats on board were destroyed when the mast and rigging fell on the deck. Local residents, patrons from a nearby hotel and men from two nearby United States Lifesaving Services (now called the United States Coast Guard) braved the raging storm and tried to rescue the ship's valiant crew.


The crew aboard and local inhabitants worked together trying many different methods of rescue. They even used the breeches buoy system, but unfortunately, only 8 of the 17 were rescued. The casualties included Captain Jorgon's pregnant wife Johanne, his four year old son Carl and five members of his crew. The captain himself washed up on the beach in a semi-unconscious state and lived to return to his beloved Norway. Seven of his crew were buried in Norfolk at Elmwood Cemetery, while the remaining crew members, having washed ashore days later, were buried at a closer location near the Oceanfront.


A young boy walking along the beach found the female figurehead from the Dictator. Hearing the discovery, the manager of The Princess Anne Hotel went to secure the figurehead before the ocean would carry it away. As a testament to those who helped in the rescue, as well as those who perished, the manager had it vertically positioned on the boardwalk. Over the years she became known as the Norwegian Lady. Local lore had the Captain returning to the Norwegian Lady in Virginia Beach for many years after his incredible loss, flowers in hand and tears in eyes, to remember that dreadful and terrible day.


The Norwegian Lady stood as a guardian to those memories for over 60 years. In 1953, Hurricane Barbara damaged the Norwegian lady beyond repair and she was removed from the site. Word traveled to Norway about the loss and a joint venture was sent out to raise the funds to build a new memorial. Hearing about the interest, the Norwegian Shipping Association raised enough money, not for one memorial statue, but for two.


The renowned Norwegian sculptor Ornulf Bast was commissioned to create two-nine foot replicas of the original figurehead, being completed on September 22, 1962. One was given as a gift to Virginia Beach while the other was erected in Moss Norway, forever linking the two sister cities together. The two statues are positioned to face one another over the Atlantic Ocean. Both are a tribute to those who died, as well as those who faced peril in attempting the rescue. Each year the Ladies Auxiliary of the Virginia Beach Volunteer Fire Department places a memorial wreath at the base of the statue to remember that anniversary.

In 1995, on an official state visit, Queen Sonja of Norway visited the Virginia Beach Norwegian Lady and gave tribute by placing flowers on the site. Needless to say, we have sent our own Virginia Beach delegation to Moss Norway to pay our respect to the friendship this disaster forged.


To pay your respect, you can visit the Norwegian Lady located at 25th street and Boardwalk. Most of us have seen the Norwegian Lady but never connected the true meaning. I invite everyone this summer to stop by the statue, but also to read the words that are inscribed there: "I am the Norwegian Lady. I stand here, as my sister before me, to wish all men of the sea safe return home."

Historical Williamsburg


Journey back into the 18th-century in this gracious colonial town. America's oldest and largest live interpretive history experience, Colonial Williamsburg's 301-acre historic district brings Virginia's capital city back to life!   Visit with farmers, debate the "issues of the day" with a founding father, take a carriage ride, watch the tradespeople, merchants, and artistans re-enact their everyday lives, stroll the cobblestone streets, visit the shops, and dine and drink in the taverns where Thomas Jefferson, Patrick Henry, George Washington, and others conceived the ideals of liberty and freedom.   Also explore the beautiful elegant formal gardens of the past.  Call 800-447-8679 for information. 

Old Cape Henry Lighthouse at Fort Story


Old Cape Henry Lighthouse at Fort Story was the first lighthouse built by the request of the United States Congress in 1791. It was decided that Cape Henry needed a lighthouse to protect sea-going vessels from running aground on the shifting shoals at the mouth of the Bay.  The original Lighthouse still stands along side its contemporary ironclad replacement at the entrance to the Chesapeake and is open to the public.  Today, the old Cape Henry Lighthouse silently guards the entry way into the Chesapeake Bay where in 1607,  Captain Newport raised a cross to offer thanks for their safe crossing of the Atlantic.  Step inside, climb to the top and take a good look around. The view is awesome!  The Lighthouse is opened to the public on a seasonal schedule.  757-422-9421 

Mount Trashmore

Mt. Trashmore is one of the earliest parks in the country to use technology to build fun from a trash heap (abandoned landfill).  The park is open 7  days a week from 7:30 a.m. until sunset.  Built in 1978, it spans 165 acres and includes four large and eleven small picnic shelters, playground areas, a basketball court, four volleyball areas, parking, vending machines and restrooms.

Mount Trashmore Park also has multiple walking trails - a Perimeter Trail that measures 1.95 miles, a Lake Trail that measures 1.45 miles, and a Mountain Trail that measures 1.30 miles (2.09 km). The park also features two lakes where fishing is permitted. Since its opening in the 1970s, it ranks as the most popular park in Virginia Beach, with attendance of over one million visitors a year.  Mount Trashmore Skate Park is located in the northeast corner of the park, where professional skateboarders have made appearances, including Tony Hawk. The 24,000-square-foot skate park features an extensive street course including an above-ground, seven-foot deep bowl. The park
also has a competition-sized vert ramp over 13 feet tall and 40 feet wide.  The Kids' Cove playground at Mount Trashmore is an innovative playground designed for children using children's ideas and input. The playground, which is handicapped accessible, was constructed totally by volunteers and coordinated by the Virginia Beach Jr. Woman's Club.



Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel
The Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel is known as one the of modern engineering wonders of the 20th century. Currently under expansion with a two lane addition to the bridge spans, the Bridge-Tunnel crosses the 17.6 mile wide mouth of the Chesapeake Bay with a total of three bridge spans and two tunnels that are connected by four man-made islands. The tunnels create open channels above their underwater passage, providing the Navy and shipping interests with a barrier-free entry and exit to and from the Bay. In the meantime, the driving public can enjoy the advantage of a 95 mile short-cut to or from the major metropolitan areas to the northeast of Washington D.C. The South Island hosts a restaurant, gift shop and a free fishing pier.  757-331-2960   
Adam Thoroughgood House


Adam Thoroughgood arrived in Virginia in 1621 as an indentured servant and in 1636 was granted a land parcel.  It was thought the house dates circa 1680 and was probably built by one of his grandsons, although recent archaeology suggests it may have been built as late as 1720 (Davis, Marc. "For one man, house's age is much more than just a number". Adam Thoroughgood House / Dispute. Virginian Pilot: July 5, 2007).  


The house is one of the oldest houses from early Colonial period and provides insight into the of the kind of  lifestyle lived by the gentry in Princess Anne County.  Restored in 1957, today it is a museum and is open to the public. The house is owned by the City of Virginia Beach, which acquired it in 2003. 757-460-7588

Francis Land House


The Francis Land House is a two hundred year old plantation home, built circa 1805 - 1810 in the Georgian style, that is open to the public six days per week for guided tours.  The Land House was purchased by the City of Virginia Beach in 1975 and has been operated as a historic house museum since 1986.


Its gambrel roof harbors original interior paneling, floors and period furnishings. The beautiful and award-winning landscaped gardens have been lovingly maintained by local garden clubs.  Special programs for schools, scouts, and the general public are offered throughout the year.  


A big treat to visitors and locals alike is watching the Hampton Roads Shakespeare Festival being performed on the the grounds of the Francis Land House.    3131 Virginia Beach Blvd.  757-385-5100

Lynnhaven House


Built around 1725, Lynnhaven house is an example of 18th century Tidewater Virginia vernacular architecture and retains about 85% of its original story-and-a-half structure. Constructed of brick in the English bond pattern, Lynnhaven House sits on a finger of land near the Lynnhaven River. For many years, this house was referred to as the Wishart House or the Boush House.  


A kitchen herb garden and several beds of native flowering plants highlight the gardens around the structure.  Lynnhaven House is owned by the Association for the Preservation of Virginia Antiquities. 4401 Wishart Road 757-431-4000

Upper Wolfsnare


Upper Wolfsnare is a historic home that was built by Thomas Walke III in 1759 and is on the National Register of Historic Places.  This majestic brick Georgian home had fallen on hard times when it was rescued from demolition by local citizens and the Princess Anne Historical Society.   The House is occupied by live-in tenants and is therefore open on a limited basis for Society Events & Special Occasions. Open to the public for tours on Wednesdays during July and August.


$5 Adults  /  $4 Seniors  /  $3 Students through High School
757-491-3490 for more information or to arrange special group tours.

Norfolk Waterside
Dining, shopping, and pure entertainment! Browse through unique shops, enjoy great food and entertainment, music, comedy, karaoke, and dancing! Or stroll outside to watch the passing ships.  Downtown Norfolk. (757) 627-3300.