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Virginia Beach is the place to bring children because everything's here to entertain them: a stretch of sandy beach, boardwalks, snack food kiosks, and T-shirt and souvenir shops. Yes, it's a honky-tonk atmosphere, but one that attracts three million visitors a year, so the city of Virginia Beach must be doing something right. That notwithstanding, it is possible to enjoy nature by kayaking or deep sea fishing, or pack a lunch and spend some time at Virginia Beach's three state parks: First Landing/Sea Shore State Park has salt marsh habitats, a fresh water pond for kayaking and 20 miles of hiking trails; both Back Bay Natural Wildlife ...

Virginia Beach is the place to bring children because everything's here to entertain them: a stretch of sandy beach, boardwalks, snack food kiosks, and T-shirt and souvenir shops. Yes, it's a honky-tonk atmosphere, but one that attracts three million visitors a year, so the city of Virginia Beach must be doing something right. That notwithstanding, it is possible to enjoy nature by kayaking or deep sea fishing, or pack a lunch and spend some time at Virginia Beach's three state parks: First Landing/Sea Shore State Park has salt marsh habitats, a fresh water pond for kayaking and 20 miles of hiking trails; both Back Bay Natural Wildlife Refuge and False Cape State Park offer bird watching and miles of trails.

The Virginia Aquarium and Marine Science Center has an array of sea creatures, everything from sharks, to sea turtles, dolphins, seals and otters. The Old Coast Guard Station's exhibits document shipwrecks that happened along the coast in years past. When the kids get tired of nature and history, head to Ocean Breeze Water Park with its mini-golf course, wave pool and bungee jumping.

Frances Folsom
About the Expert

Frances Folsom is the author of CitySpot Palermo, a contributor to the Reiskits guides to Milan and Italy's Lakes Region, and Thomas Cook's Independent Traveller USA.

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