The History of the Virginia Beach Boardwalk and What to do While There

Embarking on a visit to Virginia Beach calls for a leisurely exploration of its iconic boardwalk. Running three miles adjacent to the captivating Atlantic Ocean shoreline, the Virginia Beach Boardwalk invites visitors to uncover its rich history and an array of attractions. With everything from striking sculptures to bustling amusement parks, there’s something to pique everyone’s interest along the boardwalk. Join us in this blog as we journey through the boardwalk’s history and spotlight some must-visit attractions.

Boardwalk’s Origin

The history of the Virginia Beach Boardwalk can be traced back to the late 1800s when a simple wooden walkway was built to enable visitors to savor the sandy shores without dirtying their attire. Spanning a mere five blocks, this early walkway set the stage for the impressive boardwalk that graces the shoreline today.

As Virginia Beach evolved into a popular resort destination, the boardwalk grew to accommodate the rising number of visitors. In the 1950s, the original wooden walkway was replaced with a more resilient concrete path. Over time, a series of renovations and expansions resulted in a 28-foot-wide promenade, stretching from Rudee Inlet in the south to 40th Street in the north. The modern boardwalk features designated lanes for pedestrians and cyclists, providing the perfect setting for a picturesque walk or bike ride along the oceanfront.

Notable Attractions

King Neptune Statue

A standout landmark on the Virginia Beach Boardwalk is the awe-inspiring King Neptune statue. This majestic bronze creation, designed by artist Paul DiPasquale, stands 34 feet tall and weighs an impressive 12.5 tons. The statue showcases the mythical sea god brandishing his trident, surrounded by an array of marine life, including dolphins, sea turtles, and an octopus. Since its unveiling in 2005, the King Neptune statue has become a popular spot for capturing memorable photos.

Virginia Beach Fishing Pier

A must-visit attraction for fishing aficionados, the Virginia Beach Fishing Pier extends 1,000 feet into the vast Atlantic Ocean. Apart from offering chances to catch an assortment of fish species, such as flounder, trout, and bluefish, the pier also houses a charming amusement park. The park’s Ferris wheel, a visitor favorite, presents remarkable panoramic views of the beautiful shoreline.

Atlantic Fun Park

Not far from the boardwalk, the Atlantic Fun Park promises a delightful experience for the entire family. Featuring more than 20 rides catering to all ages, including roller coasters, a Ferris wheel, and a carousel, the park ensures a day of fun and excitement. A variety of games and activities are available to keep visitors of all ages entertained throughout their visit.

Virginia Beach Surf & Rescue Museum

Dive into the history of Virginia Beach’s coastline at the Virginia Beach Surf & Rescue Museum. Situated in a historic former U.S. Life-Saving Service station, the museum celebrates the inspiring stories of the courageous men and women who have protected the shores throughout the years. Exhibits showcase artifacts and memorabilia spanning from the early Life-Saving Service days to the present-day U.S. Coast Guard, offering a fascinating glimpse into the region’s maritime legacy.

Live! on Atlantic

The Virginia Beach Boardwalk transforms into a lively hub of music and entertainment during the summer months, thanks to the Live! on Atlantic program. This series of complimentary concerts and performances takes place at various stages along the boardwalk, giving visitors the opportunity to experience an eclectic mix of musical genres and performers.

The Boardwalk serves not only as a scenic oceanfront promenade but also as a gateway to the city’s rich history and diverse attractions. From its humble origins as a modest wooden walkway to the vibrant, activity-filled destination it is today, the boardwalk remains a must-visit location for anyone traveling to Virginia Beach. Immerse yourself in the sights, sounds, and experiences of this coastal gem to create lasting memories.

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