As a Floridian, I have seen my share of beaches and coastal communities. So it is a delight to discover a beautiful seaside city that makes the grade-rivalling even some of my favorite resort towns in the sunshine state.

Virginia Beach is such a place!

Welcoming ocean breezes, pristine sandy beaches, a temperate climate and year-round access to the Eastern Shore’s finest seafood and farm fresh produce are just a few of the reasons why people who visit never want to leave. Add in the area’s vast array of historic, natural and cultural attractions and you have a recipe for a dynamic vacation destination.

Fast Fact: Virginia Beach is the longest pleasure beach in the world – according to the Guinness World Book of Records.

No more pity parties for my friends and family in D.C. and Northern Virginia. The secret is out! Virginia Beach is less than 4 hours away by car. A blissful beach escape made easy. You can pack your bags by noon and arrive just in time for happy hour at the local raw bar or seafood shack (which are as plentiful as the oysters) and toast an incredible sunset.

The perfect homebase for your Viginia Beach adventure is the Hilton Oceanfront, located on the city’s famous three mile boardwalk overlooking the Atlantic. A prime location. Step outside to a world of activity. Here you will find a lovely park, walking and bike paths, a fishing pier, restaurants, kid-friendly amusements and amazing collection of art and sculpture adorning the beachfront. The boardwalk is also host to The Virginia Legends Walk, an inspiring series of monuments erected to celebrate the lives and accomplishments of the state’s most famous citizens, including Thomas Jefferson, Robert E. Lee, Edgar Allen Poe, and Ella Fitzgerald.

In the summer months music fills the air; the boardwalk is buzzing with outdoor concerts and nightly entertainment. The Hilton’s rooftop Sky Bar (21st floor) is the place to be to catch all the action and breathtaking views. In season, the Sky Bar rocks with DJs spinning and dancing poolside into the dawn.

Foodies will not be disappointed with the Hilton’s award-winning restaurants. From beach casual to classic elegance, there is something for everyone. Catch 31 is captivating at first glance. A cool nautical blue design theme, soaring ceilings, and spectacular ocean views, make Catch 31 a top pick to savor the gifts of the sea.  The Chesapeake Tower, a house specialty, is a favorite on the menu. Literally a towering menagerie of seafood — lobster, crab, shrimp, mussels and a half dozen of fresh local James River oysters, that will feed a table of four. But so tasty, you might not want to share. Expect a seductive sensory dining experience from start to finish.

Just beyond Catch 31, behind a cobalt blue wall of glass, is Virginia’s only AAA 4-Diamond Steakhouse — Salacia.  The setting is intimate with soft lighting and an ambiance just right for romance. The menu is a a meatlover’s dream featuring mouthwatering dishes like Kobe Beef, Veal Chops, Filet Mignon and Lamb Porterhouse. Seating is limited so reservations are required.

Be sure to check out mythical Salacia’s better half, King Neptune. His 12 ton likeness rises nearly two stories above the boardwalk just outside the restaurant in the adjacent park. A photo opp not to be missed!

Virginia Beach’s coastal charms are hard to resist. Time to set out and take on the challenge to “Live the Life”. The Hilton Oceanfront and the Virginia Beach Tourism Office are happy to show you the way.

With seasonal promotions like ” Home for the Holidays” featuring room rates starting at $99 USD per night, the time is now.

Location:  The Boardwalk at Resort Beach – Virginia Beach, VA

3001 Atlantic Avenue

18 miles/ 30 minutes from Norfolk International Airport

44 miles/ 1 hour from the Newport News/Williamsburg International Airport

Baltimore: 243 miles

Washington D.C.: 200 miles

Richmond: 104 miles

Raleigh: 202 miles

Rooms and Rates: 289 standard rooms and suites. Rooms are modern, spacious and tastefully decorated in a cheery design color palette of blues and greens.

And, even better…most rooms have walk-out balconies with full or partial water views. City View rooms offer sweeping vistas of downtown Norfolk and dramatic sunsets.

But there is nothing like falling to sleep to soothing lullaby of the sea…so book early for the best rooms.

Rates are seasonal, so contact the Hilton Virginia Beach Oceanfront online for more information or call 757-213-3000.

 Standard Room Amenities:

  • Upgraded Cotton Linens
  • Pillow-top Mattress
  • 32-inch Flat Screen TV
  • High-Speed Internet Access
  • Work Station with Ergonomic Chair
  • Two phone lines
  • Daily Newspaper
  • Coffee Maker
  • Hair Dryer
  • Iron and Ironing Board

General Hotel Amenities:

  • Dedicated Business Center with fax, printer and computers 24/7
  • High Speed Internet Access
  • Photocopying Service
  • Meeting Rooms
  • Express Mail
  • Notary Public
  • Full Service Concierge Desk
  • Guest Activity and Recreation Desk
  • Spa Services
  • Local Area Transportation
  • Gift Shop and Clothing Store
  • Automated Teller (ATM)
  • Baggage Storage
  • Room Service
  • Safety Deposit Box
  • Multi-Lingual Staff
  • In Room Safe
  • Indoor Pool
  • Outdoor Rooftop Infinity Pool
  • Fitness Room
  • Lighted Boardwalk
  • Bicycle Rental

Best Bet Beach Activities – The Diva Hot List!

  • A ” Buy Local/Buy Fresh” Shopping Trip to the Virginia Beach Farmers Market.
  • Holistic Healing a the Association for Research & Enlightenment Health Center and Spa – headquarters for Edgar Cayce, the most well-documented psychic of all times. Test your psychic abilities at a free session open to the public most Saturday mornings.
  • A Culinary Tour of Virginia’s Eastern Shore c/o Coastal Food Tours Virginia Beach. Eat & Drink your way to Ecstasy!
  • Oysters at Rockafeller’s – incredible food, service and sunsets. Be sure to try their notorious Vodka Oyster Shooter.
  • Pancake Breakfast at Citrus – local hot spot on Shore Drive recently featured on TV series –Diners, Drive-In’s, and Dives! The secret pancake recipe includes Orange Glaze, Banana, and Pineapple. Decadently Delicious! Note: the Citrus patio is pet friendly so fido can share in the feeding frenzy.
  • A Wheat Grass Shot at Heritage Market. While there stock up on Edgar Cayce  exclusive and sanctioned wellness products.
  • Unwind in the Kitchen. Sign up for a Culinary Institute of Virginia’s Casual Gourmet cooking class. Three hours of culinary magic from sauces to sushi.
  • An educational and exploratory outing to the Virginia Aquarium and Marine Science Center
  • Indulge with an absolutely fabulous F.I.G. Martini at Virginia Beach’s Terrapin Restaurant– a creative concoction of  Belvedere Vodka, Fig, Vanilla, Black Pepper Syrup, & Fig Balsamic topped with a Black Pepper Rim.  
  • An afternoon hike with a touch of history at First Landing State Park – best known as the site of the landing of the first permanent English settlers in 1607. Be sure to carve out more than a few hours in your schedule to fully explore and enjoy the bayside beauty (nearly 3,000 acres) of this National Natural Landmark.

Photos courtesy of S.Gaspers and Professional Hospitality Resources.