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11 Places Virginia Beach Locals Don't Want You To Know About

The best way to vacation is to do it like a local. In Virginia Beach, you'll find familiar comfort and breathtaking adventure all at once.

1. Commune


Come for the warm, toasty sandwiches and cozy espresso creations, stay for the charmingly rustic ambiance of Commune, where everything is locally sourced and made with sustainable ingredients. This place doesn't serve good food — it does good, too.

2. Vibe District murals

Via ViBe Creative District

The shoreline isn't the only place to catch a killer view in Virginia Beach; vibrant murals wind their way through this hipper-than-you-might-have-imagined city, nestling alongside chic storefronts and high streets. Find a guide to the city's homegrown art here.

Art by local artist Lisa Ashinoff and photo by Birdmad Media.

3. Esoteric

Zoe Grant Photography / Via Esoteric

You'd be hard-pressed to find anything in Virginia Beach that feels more inherently ~local~ than a restaurant dubbed "Esoteric." At this regional haunt poised to charm even the most foreign of vacationers, craft cocktails and elevated bar food reign paramount.

4. False Cape State Park

Via Visit Virginia Beach

If you're the adventurous type, a tour of False Cape State Park is just the thing you'll need to whet your appetite and then, like, remain satiated forever. With scenic kayaking routes, wide open bike tours, and six miles of untouched beach, False Cape State Park is yours for the exploring.

5. American Brew

American Brew

At American Brew, "Coffee, whiskey, [and] community" are key. Bestowing upon visitors everything from live performances to "whiskey school" to delicious, nourishing fair, American Brew has something for everyone — to eat and to do.

6. Zeiders American Dream Theater

Sherry Boylan / Via Zeiders American Dream Theater

Music, documentary screenings, and live theater have all made the cast list of Zeiders' American Dream Theater's vast, robust lineup. If you're looking to squeeze a little extra culture into your time in VA Beach, explore the theater's dynamic schedule here.

7. Blue Pete's

Blue Pete's

Appropriately referred to as a "local's secret," this family-owned restaurant is nestled within the arboreal acres of Virginia Beach's Back Bay area. A truly immersive restaurant-going experience, Blue Pete's is the spot for delish dining among the Back Bay's most elusive corners.

8. The Creative Wedge

The Creative Wedge

At this cozy, irreverent artisan market, you'll find everything from one-of-a-kind home decor to scrumptious gourmet goods to wind chimes as vivid as they are melodious. You never know what you might find at the Creative Wedge, and that's the best dang part!

9. Taste Unlimited

Taste Unlimited

Eat, shop, and relax at Taste, where epicurean is given an approachable twist. With seasonal menus and an exhaustive variety of offerings, Taste's soup, salads, and sandwiches are a convenient, unmissable part of any Virginia Beach excursion.

10. Camping at First Landing State Park

Via Visit Virginia Beach

Located on Virginia Beach's Cape Henry, this expansive park has something for every fan of the great outdoors. Whether you're camping, boating, or hiking, few places wed woodsy allure and the serene ambiance of the shoreline quite like this adventure-packed destination.

11. Roast Rider Coffee and Tea

Lexie Hand Photography / Via Roast Rider

With a progressive view on the future of coffee, Roast Rider provides a singular sipping experience to its customers. Notably "obsessed with taste and transparency," Roast Riders is an exceptional coffee destination you'll just have to taste to believe.

When you live like a local in Virginia Beach, the city's your oyster. Book your trip today so you can explore, taste, and experience Virginia Beach tomorrow.