It’s a cruel summer-vacation-planning paradox: Some of the most inviting summer beach destinations that shine during the day (smooth sand, stellar waves) can be either a bit snoozy or overrun when the sun sets, and your nightlife options are limited to a pizza-and-pitchers place or a boardwalk filled with kiddie rides and waffle fries. In search of a seaside spot that’s as worthy of your precious PTO after the sun sets as well as when it shines? You’d be wise to check out Virginia Beach.
This beach city is a vacation classic for good reason: beautiful beaches, great waves, a fantastic boardwalk, delicious local seafood and a sun-drenched vibe that hums year-round. But better still, the fun doesn’t stop when the sun goes down—Virginia Beach also hums with after-dark fun, from its strong brewpub scene, to beach bars (and beloved cocktails), to live music venues and outdoor music events that drive passionate crowds. Here are seven of the best ways to make a real night of it after you pull yourself off your beach towel.