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7 Hidden Gem Things to Do in Virginia Beach, VA

Jon Fesmire | October 6, 2020 @ 12:00 AM

Have you recently moved to Virginia Beach, or are you here for a visit? Either way, you may be unaware of some of the hidden gem things to do in our coastal city. We’re happy to enlighten you! Here are seven excellent spots to check out.

Virginia Beach Surf & Rescue Museum

Virginia Beach has been a proud beach town for nearly a century and a half, and lifeguards played a vital role from early on. You can learn all about the history of the area’s lifeguard service and other oceanfront histories at the Virginia Beach Surf & Rescue Museum. Check out the Women of Surf Rescue exhibit, learn about surfing in the area, and explore the historic lookout tower. If you love the beach and coastal life, you’ll enjoy this museum.

Virginia Museum of Contemporary Art

With its ever-changing roster of exhibits, the Virginia Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA) helps to keep the public abreast of trends in the local art world. MOCA highlights individual artists and their specific cultural contributions. Sometimes, exhibits are interactive, sometimes not, but they’re always interesting and educational.

The museum isn’t just a place to show art. It also provides experiences for the community and tourists, including group tours, films, classes, lectures, and more. This is a great place to expand your understanding of our collective humanity.

Back Bay National Wildlife Refuge

On June 6, 1938, the Back Bay National Wildlife Refuge was established on a seven square mile spot in Virginia Beach. Then, in the 1980s, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service more than doubled it to 14.5 square miles to better protect the area from urbanization.


Now, the area is full of vegetation and wildlife, including many water birds. Several habitats are represented here, such as woodlands, freshwater marshes, dunes, and a beach area. On your fall or winter visit, you’ll see birds like Canada geese, tundra swans, and ducks stopping on their migratory path. You may also spot sea turtles, bald eagles, and brown pelicans.


If you want to take a long walk, you can enjoy the eight miles of trails. Don’t forget to stop at the visitor center for current information.

Virginia Legends Walk


At the 13th Street Park, you’ll find the Virginia Legends Walk. This is a pathway through the park that features many columns with plaques dedicated to famous Virginians who had an important cultural impact on the world. Some of the Virginians honored include Booker T. Washington, Bill “Bojangles” Robinson, Ella Fitzgerald, Edgar Allen Poe, Thomas Jefferson, and Patsy Cline. Get some fresh air, take a walk, and learn about some of the most interesting people in Virginia history.

Old Beach Farmers Market

We all love fresh food and farmer’s markets are ideal places to get it. Old Beach Farmer’s Market is an excellent place to get some delicious food and ingredients from local vendors. The market takes place just one block from the Virginia Beach Convention Center. Sellers include local farmers, fishermen, and Virginia wineries.


Vendors include Full Quiver Farm, selling hormone and antibiotic-free pork, rabbit, poultry, and eggs, Grace & Gratitude, which features vegetables, herbs, and flowers, Honest Pastures, which sells vegan meat products, and Udder Chaos, which sells grass and hay fed Angus beef. You’ll also find vendors with pies, biscuits, salads, pasta, and a lot more.

Tautog’s Restaurant

This is a popular seafood restaurant among locals, but less known to travelers. When you visit Virginia Beach, we recommend checking it out. Order and take out some great food and a bottle of wine, including a large variety of whites and reds.


Signature dishes include she-Crab soup, salmon salad, four-cheese flatbread, white shrimp flatbread, crab nachos, oysters Rockefeller, shrimp scampi, flat iron steak, and seared tuna sandwich. That’s just a sampling of what’s on the menu. Every week they have something new on the additions menu, including dishes like tautog-s famous crab stack, swordfish, and Chenman steak.

The Route 58 Delicatessen

Get a meal from The Route 58 Delicatessen and you’ll discover why it’s one of Virginia Beach’s hidden gems. This place has more than you’d expect from a deli. You’ll find Jewish, American, and standard deli fare, including potato pancakes, matzo ball soup, and homemade Russian cabbage soup. There’s a selection of Reuben sandwiches, deli sandwiches, hot dogs, grilled cheese sandwiches, knishes, and desserts, including pies, cookies, and cakes.


During COVID-19, they have tables outside with wait service, but you cannot eat inside. Of course, you can always get takeout or get food delivered via Uber Eats or Doordash.

If you need a place to store just about anything, from your surfboards to your off-season clothes, to souvenirs you’ve gotten around town, Jack Rabbit Self Storage has you covered. Reserve a unit online or give us a call today.

Jon Fesmire
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