20 Free Things to Do in Virginia Beach, VA (for 2024) (2024)

Table of Contents
1. Sandbridge Beach Why We Recommend This Free Activity Expert Tip 2. Cape Henry Lighthouse Why We Recommend This Free Activity Expert Tip 3. Virginia Legends Walk Why We Recommend This Free Activity Expert Tip 4. First Landing State Park Why We Recommend This Free Activity Expert Tip 5. False Cape State Park Why We Recommend This Free Activity Expert Tip 6. Back Bay National Wildlife Refuge Why We Recommend This Free Activity Expert Tip 7. Live! on Atlantic Why We Recommend This Free Activity Expert Tip 8. Farmer’s Markets Why We Recommend This Free Activity Expert Tip 9. Virginia Museum of Contemporary Art Why We Recommend This Free Activity Expert Tip 10. DeWitt Cottage (Atlantic Wildfowl Heritage Museum) Why We Recommend This Free Activity Expert Tip 11. Virginia Beach Surf & Rescue Museum Why We Recommend This Free Activity Expert Tip 12. Virginia Beach Boardwalk Why We Recommend This Free Activity Expert Tip 13. Neptune’s Park Why We Recommend This Free Activity Expert Tip 14. Mount Trashmore Park Why We Recommend This Free Activity Expert Tip 15. Edgar Cayce’s A.R.E. Association for Research and Enlightenment Why We Recommend This Free Activity Expert Tip 16. Navy Seal Monument Why We Recommend This Free Activity Expert Tip 17. Naval Aviation Monument Park Why We Recommend This Free Activity Expert Tip 18. The Norwegian Lady Why We Recommend This Free Activity Expert Tip 19. 24th Street Stage Why We Recommend This Free Activity Expert Tip 20. Grommet Island Park Why We Recommend This Free Activity Expert Tip Map of Free Things to Do in Virginia Beach, VA 20 Things to Do in Virginia Beach for Free in 2024

Beach lovers and vacationers are sure to enjoy a trip to the ever-vibrant Virginia Beach.

This Virginia city along the Chesapeake Bay is a popular family vacation destination because of its stunning beaches, rich arts and culture, and flourishing food scene.

It’s even a hot spot for maritime and naval history as it’s located in a strategic position in the bay, so history enthusiasts are sure to rejoice.

What’s more, many of its fun and exciting attractions won’t cause you too much during your trip.

In fact, below is a list of free things to do in Virginia Beach, VA, that you’ll absolutely enjoy.

1. Sandbridge Beach

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Sandfiddler Road
Virginia Beach, VA 23456

Sandbridge Beach is a secluded beach near the Oceanfront District, known for its sand dunes and sea oats.

Why We Recommend This Free Activity

Unplug and relax along the pristine shores of this beach. It’s one of the free places to go in Virginia Beach where you can spend the entire day, just lounging about and being lazy.

You can choose to sunbathe, play in the sand, or even dip in the waters when it’s calm.

Expert Tip

For cool and pretty photos, pick a spot near the pier. You can then choose to snap some shots under it or when you walk on it.

2. Cape Henry Lighthouse

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583 Atlantic Avenue, Fort Story
Virginia Beach, VA 23459
(757) 422-9421

Cape Henry Lighthouses are circa-1792 and circa 1881 lighthouses marking the southern entrance of Chesapeake Bay.

Why We Recommend This Free Activity

You cannot often see two lighthouses near each other as the pair in Fort Story Military Base, so you’re sure to enjoy twice the fun.

It’s also among the free activities in Virginia Beach that select people can enjoy, and even general admission is well worth the experience.

Expert Tip

Don’t miss out on the tower climb, but make sure you’re physically fit before undertaking it as it’s a long and winding climb to the top.

3. Virginia Legends Walk

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13th Street, between Pacific & Atlantic Avenues
Virginia Beach, VA 23451

Virginia Legends Walk is an open walkway featuring notable Virginians who have significantly impacted the state’s history.

Why We Recommend This Free Activity

If you’re after what to do to pass the time in the city, make a stop by this humble but informative walk.

The pillars on either side hold plaques that detail famous people hailing from the state, like Alan B. Shepard.

It’s also a lovely place to just enjoy a simple and quiet break from your busy vacation day.

Expert Tip

Wear a hat and sunscreen.

The walk doesn’t have any shade, so it tends to get hot and sunny here at times.

Recommended Hotel Nearby: Hilton Garden Inn Virginia Beach Oceanfront

4. First Landing State Park

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2500 Shore Drive
Virginia Beach, VA 23451
(757) 412-2300

First Landing State Park is a 2,888-acre park that has miles of trails and a beach while fronting the Chesapeake Bay.

Why We Recommend This Free Activity

When it comes to free things in Virginia Beach that you can thoroughly enjoy, a trip to this state park is a definite must.

The many trails here traverse through different habitats, from dense forests to expansive sand dunes.

You’ll feel like each new path is a whole new adventure when you’re here.

Expert Tip

Besides camping and hiking around the park, make sure to visit their exhibits when you chance them, like the Indian Community displays along Cape Henry Trail and the Chesapeake Bay Center.

Recommended Hotel Nearby: Delta Hotels by Marriott Virginia Beach Bayfront Suites

5. False Cape State Park

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4001 Sandpiper Road
Virginia Beach, VA 23456
(757) 426-7128

False Cape State Park is a 4,321-acre state park known for its unmarred beaches, woodland, farm fields, and other habitats.

Why We Recommend This Free Activity

Adventuring in this state park is a fun choice for free things to do in Virginia Beach with kids who love the outdoors.

You’ll have your pick of stunning natural views, from the freshwater bay to wooded swamps that young hikers will adore going through.

Expert Tip

Keep your eyes peeled for wildlife as you and your kids will probably see animals like otters, deer, turtles, foxes, and more.

You might even chance on some wild horses and eagles while you’re here.

Recommended Hotel Nearby: The Sanctuary – Dune Our Thing

Related: Things to Do in Virginia Beach

6. Back Bay National Wildlife Refuge

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4005 Sandpiper Road
Virginia Beach, VA 23456
(757) 301-7329

Back Bay National Wildlife Refuge is a 9,062-acre freshwater refuge that has marshes, beaches, dunes, and more.

Why We Recommend This Free Activity

Thrilling family trips are what you can get when you visit this preserve, especially if you and your troop enjoy hiking through trails and dirt paths.

This preserve is home to different kinds of habitats that are full of birds, reptiles, mammals, etc.

You’re sure to see many species while you’re out and about.

Expert Tip

If you want to feel more active, bring your bike along for the ride. Some trails can accommodate your bike so you’ll have an enjoyable time exploring along the beach, for sure.

Recommended Hotel Nearby: The Sanctuary – Vitamin Sea

7. Live! on Atlantic

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Atlantic Avenue
Virginia Beach, VA 23451
(757) 385-7873

Live! on Atlantic is a local performance event by the city which focuses on concerts and festivals near the ocean.

Why We Recommend This Free Activity

A favorite pick among the cheap things to do in Virginia Beach is to sit back and relax as you listen or watch the show currently playing in the avenue.

Besides the heart-thumping entertainment, you’ll even feel one with the community because of the casual outdoor setup.

Expert Tip

Try to get here early so you can stay at a good spot, near the happenings but not too crowded with people.

And don’t just focus on the stage performers.

Magicians, novel characters, and other show people are also entertaining audiences from the sidewalks.

Recommended Hotel Nearby: Marriott Virginia Beach Oceanfront

8. Farmer’s Markets

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3640 Dam Neck Road
Virginia Beach, VA 23453
(757) 385-4388

Farmer’s Markets is a local farmers’ and seafood market, known for its agriculturally-inspired shops, local goods, garden gifts, and more.

Why We Recommend This Free Activity

Take home the freshest fare today when you visit this local market during your trip.

You’re sure to get lost amid the many stalls available here, all enticing you with local goodies.

And if you’re lucky, you might even come during the time when a small carnival is set up so you can also enjoy the rides.

Expert Tip

Once your grocery shopping is done, head back to the food stalls and eat prepared meals from the market as well to really immerse yourself in the local community.

Recommended Hotel Nearby: Residence Inn Virginia Beach Town Center

9. Virginia Museum of Contemporary Art

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2200 Parks Avenue
Virginia Beach, VA 23451
(757) 425-0000

Virginia Museum of Contemporary Art is a local art museum focusing on contemporary art, with regular exhibitions and art classes.

Why We Recommend This Free Activity

A trip to this museum is a popular pick for free fun in Virginia Beach because of its ever-changing exhibits.

Art lovers will enjoy going around the museum as you’ll see something new regularly.

Expert Tip

If you’ve exhausted all the exhibits in the museum and are still looking for something to do, try joining one of their art classes.

Recommended Hotel Nearby: The Cavalier Virginia Beach, Autograph Collection

Related: Things to Do in Virginia Beach with Kids

10. DeWitt Cottage (Atlantic Wildfowl Heritage Museum)

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1113 Atlantic Avenue
Virginia Beach, VA 23451
(757) 437-8432

DeWitt Cottage (Atlantic Wildfowl Heritage Museum) is a circa-1895 home considered to be the oldest private structure on the city oceanfront, housing a local museum.

Why We Recommend This Free Activity

This oceanfront cottage shows old-world Southern charm at its finest with its white picket fence and humble facade.

You may even go inside to check out the house’s interior and look into the exhibits of wild fowls houses here.

Expert Tip

Take photos in the houses’ gardens as well for a relaxing backdrop, with vivid grass and the ocean waves beyond.

Recommended Hotel Nearby: Costa Azul Suites Virginia Beach by Red Collection

11. Virginia Beach Surf & Rescue Museum

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2401 Atlantic Avenue
Virginia Beach, VA 23451
(757)-422-1587

Virginia Beach Surf & Rescue Museum is a novel museum housed in a former Seatack Lifesaving Station, showcasing the local history of coastal communities and maritime affairs.

Why We Recommend This Free Activity

This oceanfront museum is a lovely pick for quick stops if you want to learn more about this city’s local history.

You’ll find different kinds of curious artifacts while you go around the exhibits, like old boats, vintage lamps, and even an old anchor.

Expert Tip

If you have some spare time, you can also arrange to join classes from the museum, like surfing on a surfboard, tying knots, and more.

Recommended Hotel Nearby: Four Sails Resort

12. Virginia Beach Boardwalk

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Resort area Oceanfront, Atlantic Avenue
Virginia Beach, VA 23451

Virginia Beach Boardwalk is a 3-mile oceanfront walkway lined with dining opportunities and entertainment.

Why We Recommend This Free Activity

Before the sun sets tonight, make sure to spend most of this weekend along the city’s boardwalk.

This long stretch of way is the perfect main point of your trip, as you’ll be near many oceanfront spots just from walking on the boardwalk.

Plus, who wouldn’t want to be near trendy eateries for when you inevitably get hungry and need a break?

Expert Tip

Rent a bicycle if you want to traverse the boardwalk faster.

Just make sure to ride responsibly so you won’t hit any pedestrians using the path as well.

Recommended Hotel Nearby: Coastal Hotel & Suites Virginia Beach – Oceanfront

13. Neptune’s Park

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3001 Atlantic Avenue
Virginia Beach, VA 23451
(800) 822-3224

Neptune’s Park is a small outdoor oceanfront park known for its Statue of King Neptune and live music.

Why We Recommend This Free Activity

This stunning water-related sculpture is among the popular free attractions in the city because of its massive size and iconic look.

There’s just something majestic about seeing the ocean king seemingly coming out from the waters just behind him.

Expert Tip

Visit the sculpture early in the morning, so your photos aren’t ruined by the heavy traffic that will grace the boardwalk later in the day.

Recommended Hotel Nearby: Hyatt House Virginia Beach / Oceanfront

14. Mount Trashmore Park

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310 Edwin Drive
Virginia Beach, VA 23462
(757) 385-2995

Mount Trashmore Park is a 165-acre park known for its man-made mountains, lakes, and skatepark.

Why We Recommend This Free Activity

This massive park is a mecca for vacation goers who are on a budget because you can spend the whole day just going around the expansive green space.

What’s more, it has super convenient amenities that you and your kids will enjoy, like the huge playground and the exhilarating skatepark.

Expert Tip

Besides skating in the park, you can also climb the man-made mountains as a form of active and healthy activity.

Make sure to take photos when you’re up top.

Recommended Hotel Nearby: The Westin Virginia Beach Town Center

15. Edgar Cayce’s A.R.E. Association for Research and Enlightenment

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215 67th Street
Virginia Beach, VA 23451
(757) 428-3588

Edgar Cayce’s A.R.E. Association for Research and Enlightenment is a nonprofit organization focused on holistic health and retreats.

Why We Recommend This Free Activity

Learn more about spirituality, philosophy, and holistic health from this facility as they offer free tours and lectures to interested visitors.

Expert Tip

If you’d like to enjoy some peace and quiet while you’re here, stroll around the meditation garden and stone labyrinth.

Recommended Hotel Nearby: Hampton Inn Virginia Beach Oceanfront North

16. Navy Seal Monument

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38th Street, on the Oceanfront Bike Path
Virginia Beach, VA 23451
(772) 595-5845

The Navy Seal Monument is a life-size sculpture of a Navy SEAL swimmer by Seward Johnson as a tribute to Navy SEALS and their history.

Why We Recommend This Free Activity

A quick trip to this monument is one of the free stuff to do that works well as a stop. Its simple pose is an icon in town and is well worth the visit.

You can even learn more about the Navy SEALs from the informative plaques below the sculpture itself.

Expert Tip

Treat the monument as a fun stop during your morning jog.

It’s best to get here early if you want good photos while the crowd is still thin.

Make sure to get photos from both sides so that you can see the statue clearly and close up.

Then, go to the back to get a photo of the statue’s silhouette in front of the waters and horizon.

Recommended Hotel Nearby: DoubleTree by Hilton Oceanfront Virginia Beach

17. Naval Aviation Monument Park

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25th Street & Atlantic Avenue
Virginia Beach, VA 23451

Naval Aviation Monument Park is a small park with nine bronze sculptures exhibiting naval history, WWII, and more.

Why We Recommend This Free Activity

A fun and interactive way to learn more about local history and the things that happened throughout the years is to visit every sculpture in this park.

The statues scattered around are free stuff in Virginia Beach, VA, that can enrich your knowledge as each statue depicts something that happened in history.

It even has plaques so you can get all the need-to-know information about it.

Expert Tip

Wear a hat and sunscreen when going statue hunting in the park.

Most of the statues are not located somewhere with shade, so be prepared to feel hot.

Also, bring along a bottle of water if you suddenly feel thirsty.

Recommended Hotel Nearby: Boardwalk Resort and Villas

18. The Norwegian Lady

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25th Street & the Boardwalk
Virginia Beach, VA 23451

The Norwegian Lady is a sculpture at the Oceanfront District standing on the boardwalk. It has a sister statue on Moss Beach in Norway.

Why We Recommend This Free Activity

This sculpture is a memorial to all those who lost their lives at sea. Its predecessor was the original figurehead of the ship, Dictator, which sank in 1891 before it became weathered and lost in time.

The tragic tale that led to this memorial and its iconic status with the Virginian community is a good reason to visit it.

Expert Tip

Make sure to bring your camera with you, and take a few photos with the sculpture as a souvenir from your trip.

Recommended Hotel Nearby: The Breakers Resort Inn

19. 24th Street Stage

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2400 Atlantic Avenue
Virginia Beach, VA 23451
(757) 460-9000

24th Street Stage is a grassy expanse featuring an outdoor stage where live music and street performers host shows and events.

Why We Recommend This Free Activity

If you’re after free events in Virginia Beach, you’ll probably catch them from this outdoor stage.

The spacious grounds in front of the covered stage can house a lot of audiences in camping chairs and picnic blankets for a thoroughly laid-back vibe.

If you’re lucky, you’ll be able to catch a concert while you’re here.

Expert Tip

Don’t worry if you don’t get front row space when you arrive.

Just look for a comfy spot to lay down your blanket and enjoy the live music from there; you’re guaranteed to still hear it clearly.

Recommended Hotel Nearby: Four Points by Sheraton Virginia Beach Oceanfront

20. Grommet Island Park

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Boardwalk & 2nd Street
Virginia Beach, VA 23451
(757) 385-1100

Grommet Island Park is a fully accessible beach park with its own playgrounds and tables near the waters.

Why We Recommend This Free Activity

Stopping by this oceanfront park is one of the free things to do in Virginia Beach, VA with kids.

After all, they’ll be the ones who’ll absolutely enjoy the ocean-themed playground located here.

And if you want to dip in the waters, no worries, as the ocean is just a few steps away.

Expert Tip

Keep a careful eye on your children.

As you are near the ocean, it is best to always know where your child is when playing on the playground.

Recommended Hotel Nearby: The Atrium Resort by VSA Resorts

Map of Free Things to Do in Virginia Beach, VA

20 Things to Do in Virginia Beach for Free in 2024

20 Free Things to Do in Virginia Beach, VA (for 2024) (2024)
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