One of the East Coast’s more popular beach destinations offers many of the usual beach amenities, but also look for a wild side beyond the attractions, boardwalk bars and beach restaurants. Virginia Beach offers an array of tours, but many activities work best when self-guided.
While the weather can be unpredictable, this beach destination at the mouth of Chesapeake Bay goes beyond the ordinary selection of tours and attractions, primarily because of its unique geography. Most visitors arrive by private car, but two major regional airports — Norfolk International Airport and Newport News Williamsburg International Airport — also serve the area. Upon arrival, start by stretching your legs on the three-mile boardwalk. The water is usually calm and the setbacks to the water are wide.
There’s a lot to see along the Atlantic Avenue and Oceanside boardwalk corridors, including shops with beach gear and clothing and excellent restaurants serving local seafood. The wide boardwalk features separate lanes for bike riders. And walkers. And joggers. In summer, several stages offer live entertainment. Don’t miss the photo op at the sculpture of Neptune. At the south end of the boardwalk lies Rudee Inlet, where you can pick up a charter fishing boat, rent a bike or just enjoy the scenery and waterside dining (try Big Sam’s Inlet Café & Raw Bar).
Next, escape the beach crowds and explore the wilder, natural side of Virginia Beach. Many tours can be self-guided, such as a trip to Sandbridge Beach, where it will mostly be just you and the birds. Or visit First Landing State Park for a nature walk. Not far is the National Wildlife Refuge, a link to the Atlantic Flyway, or take a wetlands zip tour for a thrill under the canopy.
After all this nature, pause for a tasting at Tarnished Truth Distilling Co. in the newly renovated Cavalier Virginia Beach hotel and spa. Drop by the Cape Henry Lighthouse, and then wrap up your day with a sunset dolphin kayak tour. Before your departure, take a tour of the Military Aviation Museum and get back on the water for a whale tour aboard Atlantic Explorer.
Sofitel Rome Villa Borghese invites art lovers to step back into the Renaissance with its new Caravaggio Experience. The experience entails a complete immersion into the work and life of Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio, the iconic Renaissance painter.
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If you’re a fan of adventure travel and luxury cars, Off the Map Travel has an experience for you. The new Drive the Fjords tour allows travelers to explore the Norwegian fjords and Sunnmore Alps in style in an electric Porsche Taycan Cross Turismo.
Princess Premier, a new add-on recently launched by Princess Cruises, offers cruise-goers unlimited WiFi, premium/top-shelf beverages, photos and more. The new offer builds off the popular Princess Plus add-on to bring guests a more comprehensive bundle and savings of more than 50 percent when all the amenities are purchased separately.
Houston’s newest luxury property, Blossom Hotel Houston, recently announced the Blossom Stay Longer offer, allowing guests the chance to experience all of the hotel’s world-class amenities. Tiered by length of visit, the offer ranges from three- to seven-night stays. Guests staying three nights will receive $50 in food and beverage credit, welcome beverages for two and complimentary WiFi.
Global business travel is making its way back, even as the pandemic and other world events continue to challenge its return. In a recent poll from the Global Business Travel Association, more than four in five respondents (86 percent) from across the industry said they feel more optimistic than they did at the beginning of the year. Business travel bookings, the need to travel to do business and employee willingness to travel are all on the rise.