Virginia Beach Travel: Explore the City by Air, Rail, Road or Sea

Virginia Beach travel Norfolk airport

It’s still early August, so there’s plenty of time to squeeze in a few more adventures together before school starts. Make your Virginia Beach travel experience one to remember!

Perhaps you’re already on vacation time, and are about to pack up car with everything. You’ve got the kids, the dog, everyone’s bicycle, and as much beach stuff as you can possible shove in – to head to Virginia Beach for a bit of fun in the sun. Or maybe you are a Virginia Beach resident and you’re heading out of town to visit family.

Either way, Virginia Beach travel options with your family are endless! You can go by air, rail, road or sea!

Virginia Beach travel by plane

Virginia Beach Travel by Air

Depending on how far away you’re traveling to or from, flying on an airline may the best option. Especially if you’re coming from across the country. Hampton Roads offers two local airports to choose from. Norfolk International Airport (ORF) is nestled next to the Norfolk Botanical Gardens and is a hop, skip and a jump from Virginia Beach.

A little further away, through the Hampton Roads Bridge Tunnel, you’ll find the Newport News Williamsburg International Airport. Both airports have international and domestic flights. So choose the one that’s convenient for you and your family regarding departure and arrival times. Also consider which has the most affordable fares, or if there are night flying restrictions.

If you’re in an airline loyalty program, you might even be able to get a free flight, which is a great perk! Certain sites websites might even combine your hotel loyalty program with deals on your flight or rental car, so be sure to look into that.

Airlines for America is a great travel website on what you need for your airline trip. It will has everything from making a 24 hour check-list, to tips for traveling with children tips. There’s even a great refresher on baggage requirements (HINT- definitely NOT a firearm), whether you’re checking a bag or sticking with your carry-on.

Air Travel Adventures

Make airline travel an adventure, especially if you’re traveling with your family. Some airlines have internet access, but be sure to have all your devices fully charged so you can use them in airplane mode, and it’s a great idea to pre-load those devices with movies that your children will enjoy on the flight. Some planes might even have inflight entertainment in the form of tiny televisions on the back of each seat! Have each child carry their own backpack. Even your toddler and preschooler can carry something small with their essentials (extra clothes, a stuffed animal, food, etc.).

Explore Virginia Beach by train

Come On, Ride a Train

There’s no better place then riding the rails around Hampton Roads! One of our favorite parts of summertime is baseball. To make it even more an adventure when we go to a game, we like to ride The Tide from Newtown Road (oh hey – kids ride free!), and we’ll hop off at Harbor Park.

The kids look forward to those evenings when they can eat hot dogs, cheer for our hometown team and maybe even catch a fly ball! Take The Tide further into the city to walk to the newly revitalized Waterside District for delicious food & entertainment.

If you’re coming from further away, Amtrak’s Northeast Corridor 3 train will bring you to Norfolk. From there, it can take you out into the United States in all directions.

Plan your trip ahead of time by booking reservations and tickets to make sure you have all your ducks in a row before you step off the platform. If you’re an out-of-town guest, you can even book a hotel stay in Virginia Beach or get a rental car online.

The best part about a train is that you don’t have to worry about the navigation of the trip.  Just settle in and be very comfortable for the rest of the trip. Amtrack has internet access, and depending on which train you ride on, some will have a full meal service while others have a lounge area.

The ferry is very cheap and fast

Ahoy, Matey!

Virginia Beach is surrounded by different bodies of water, big and small. What better way to get somewhere, then by a boat! The Elizabeth River Ferry travels back and forth from Portsmouth to Norfolk’s hip new Waterside District every 30 minutes, with 15 minute service during the summer at peak times on the weekends.

It just costs a $1 a trip per person, whether you’re a youth, senior, or anywhere in between. Locals often ride the ferry with their children for a day trip to Portsmouth Children’s Museum. The ferry is fast, economical and offers a unique view of the river and the waterfront. And boy, do the kids have fun riding it!

Enjoy Virginia-Beach

If you are a fan of the water, or have been wanting to try something new, Virginia Beach has a bunch of great options for everyone in your family to choose from. Rudee Inlet offers

  • fishing boat charters,
  • dolphin tours,
  • jet ski rentals,
  • and much more!

For more ideas, check out our Watersports post about Seven Activities to Try in Virginia Beach.

road trip with familyVirginia Beach Travel By Road

Sometimes a road trip is the best option for your family. Especially if you’re bringing stuff to set up for a week holiday on the beach! Load up dad’s favorite Podcasts on his phone, and gas up the car. Make sure to have plenty of food and ice cold water for the family before you hit the open road. Keeping the kids entertained can be a challenge. So be sure to have a Road Trip Search & Find Adventure card so they can check off the items as you ease on down the road. For more tips on a smooth travel, check out The Great Expectations of Summer Vacation.

road trip Virginia Beach

Besides traveling in the family’s motor vehicle, there are other fun ways to get around Virginia Beach. Hampton Roads Transit’s VB Wave trolley and Bayfront shuttle services are a fun and simple way for you and your family to hop from First Landing State Park to Rudee Inlet, and along the Virginia Beach Oceanfront.

Virginia Beach Travel: Party On!

Perhaps you’re celebrating an exciting life event with your loved ones, such as a bachelorette party, a birthday celebration or maybe a tour of Virginia Beach’s top breweries. Keeping the safety of your passengers in mind, think about renting a bigger motor vehicle to transport everyone in your group, such as a luxury vehicle, a limousine or a party bus.

Make your plan ahead of time, estimating how much time you’ll need at each stop. Take notes of favorite places to stop for food along the way, etc. If you’d rather someone else lead your tour, then Taste Virginia tours are right up your alley. An “experience for locals and visitors alike to show people the best food, brews, spirits and vines the area has to offer to foster the locavore lifestyle.”

Now, all you’ll need for this adventure is a bunch of friends to share in the fun. Be sure to share your favorite Virginia Beach travel photos on FamilyApp!

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