What's New in Virginia Beach?

by Jacquelyn Eurice

New and exciting events, attractions and businesses are always coming to Virginia Beach. And when it comes to staying “in the know,” Sunny Day Guide does the work for you. We’ll share the hottest news for 2018 so you can make the most of your visit. Here are some of the latest happenings in the area.

Parking is getting tech savvy.

At the beach, transportation and parking can be an issue for a lot of resort visitors. In addition to navigating unfamiliar territory, it’s sometimes difficult to deal with parking. However, an app that is used nationwide is now in Virginia Beach. By downloading the Parkmobile app from Google Play or the Apple Store, paying for parking will be a breeze. Instead of searching for coins under the seat of your car, you can use your smartphone to pay the parking meter (which will still accept cash and credit cards) and also add more time if you need it. Plus, the Parkmobile app reminds users when their time is almost up—no more parking tickets!

The Trolley is Getting Smart!

Ding! Ding! Make way for the trolley! Now, Virginia Beach visitors will be able to catch the VB Wave trolley at the oceanfront without having to fish for money in their pockets and visit an authorized outlet for tickets. By downloading HR Transit’s BuyHRT app onto their smartphones or visiting the GoHRT mobile site, trolley riders can purchase as many tickets as they want, wherever they like! Hampton Roads Transit debuted this convenience for its oceanfront trolleys in July 2018 and hopefully this system will be used to purchase fares for area buses, Norfolk’s light rail, and the ferry between Norfolk and Portsmouth. In addition to using the online app for electronic tickets, paper tickets can still be purchased at the same price. So buy your tickets the smart way and take a ride on the trolley!

Virginia Sports Hall of Fame Relocation

Sports enthusiasts are rejoicing at the move of some of the exhibits from the Virginia Sports Hall of Fame—formerly in Portsmouth, VA—to Virginia Beach. In Portsmouth, the artifacts of local sports history filled a 32,000 square foot museum. Now, most of those exhibits have been packed away or given to the athletes who originally used them, such as NASCAR driver and Chesapeake native Ricky Rudd’s  “Tide” car. However, many other artifacts can now be seen in different buildings in Town Center. When visitors walk through the new galleries, they are still greeted by cool tributes to Virginian athletes. Stop by the Clark Nexsen building to see the “Hall of Honor” and begin your free self-guided tour.

Virginia Beach Surf & Rescue Museum Grand Re-opening

Make plans to go to the Virginia Beach Surf & Rescue Museum to see what’s new! Formerly the Old Coast Guard Station, this site has undergone a major transformation, ushering in a whole new era. The new interactive displays pay tribute to the surfmen of the U.S. Life-Saving Station that once patrolled our coasts as well as the fishermen and shoremen who worked along Virginia’s waters. The museum even explores the history of the Virginia Beach Boardwalk and leisurely activities including surfing or duck hunting along the shores. Stop in to immerse yourself in the city's history and be sure to see the new Sunny Day wall. See how we too have changed and make sure to take a cover-model selfie to share on our Facebook page!

Patriotic Excursions

Named for the local waters, Hampton Roads is a perfect strategic point for the defense of the land. Here, there are several bases across the region that are home to multiple branches of our nation’s military. In Norfolk, it’s possible to take a scenic tour of Naval Station Norfolk while cruising on the water via the Victory Rover. Now, Virginia Beach has a new tour and interactive experience for intrepid visitors who are curious about our nation’s military. Step aboard the ‘Merica, The Merrimack or The Patriot for an unforgettable ride. These vessels are recently decommissioned RIBs (Rigid Inflatable Boats) that were used by the Navy. Currently captained by former military personnel, they’ll take you on a cruise through the waters by Joint Expeditionary Base Little Creek-Fort Story and Dam Neck Naval Base. On this tour, you’ll get the chance to see the U.S. Navy’s vessels and planes at work, commercial tankers coming into port, and even local wildlife such as dolphins and sea birds. You can even go on a simulated naval mission where you choose your own adventure. With Patriotic Excursions, there’s no doubt that you will have a blast and maybe even get a little wet on this thrilling tour.

Here Be Dragons!

Visit the Virginia Aquarium by September 2 to explore three distinct realms of dragons in their “Here Be Dragons!” exhibit. Throughout the attraction, lizards that may have inspired the stories of dragons will be on display in their natural environments. The tour through the realms begins in Asia where these mythical creatures have long been a positive part of the culture. Afterwards, journey to medieval Europe where the fear of dragons was reflected in art and lore. Finally, dig deep into the past on the Dino Dig and learn how the excavation of dinosaur fossils led to the myth of dragons. This fascinating look into the world of these legendary beasts and the living creatures that inspired them is only around for a short time. Be sure to see it while you can!