Featured Image: Emily Moody | Courtesy
The Virginia Beach area can be daunting for tourists and locals alike. Whether you grew up here or traveled many miles to get to Virginia Wesleyan, it can be difficult to decide how to spend your free time and where to hangout with friends off-campus. This list of potential spots showcases exciting locations around the university, within a convenient 30-minute radius.
Chic’s Beach is a beloved favorite by many students. Located on the Chesapeake Bay, it provides a comfy contrast to the bustling oceanfront of Virginia Beach.
Parking and a multitude of beach access points can be found throughout the neighborhoods that surround the area.
Since it is on the Chesapeake Bay, waves are few and far between, but the appeal of Chic’s lies not in its features but in the atmosphere it provides.
Sophomore Emily Moody is a frequent visitor of Chic’s. “It’s the perfect place to relax on the beach and read a book while with friends,” Moody said.
She described it as being a place that “encourages playing and genuinely having fun,” as opposed to a more vacation-based beach that hosts majority families and kids.
Another local favorite is the Lynnhaven Boat Ramp and Beach Facility. Located under the Lesner Bridge off of Shore Drive, there is a free parking area next to the boat launching facility.
The appeal of it mostly lies in its night time atmosphere. LED lights of assorted colors light up the underside of the bridge, illuminating the sand and water below.
Senior Elijah Eley expressed how the ambiance lighting of the bridge makes it a good place to go with friends to hangout and talk at night. He said, “During the day, it tends to be a little crowded there, but at night, it’s not as crowded and is a nice place.”
The Virginia Beach Boardwalk on the Oceanfront is another beach location. A little farther away from campus, being about 20-30 minutes by car, it is a 3-mile paved walkway situated between the ocean and commercial district.
On the parallel Atlantic Avenue, you can find a mix of stores and restaurants, local and chain. It gets progressively busier as summer continues, since it is a popular tourist destination, but it is a pleasant area to enjoy classic beach vibes.
Beach scenes are not the only places the area has to offer. Regal Columbus, a movie theater off of Virginia Beach Boulevard and on Constitution Drive, presents a new and unique experience.
Every so often, it will host a specialty screening titled, “Mystery Movie Monday.” On this day, patrons have the ability to purchase a movie ticket for just $5 to see an unreleased movie that will be coming out soon.
The rating of the movie and a hint are posted on the Regal website, but no one actually knows what the movie is until the screening begins. Some of the previous films shown have been “Spirited,” “Missing” and “Mafia Mamma.”
Freshman Baylee Brown has attended one of these Mystery Movie Monday nights. She said, “I enjoyed not knowing anything about the movie I was going to see. It’s a great and inexpensive excuse to get off campus and hangout with friends!”
For anyone interested in attending, the Regal website lists the date for the next event usually a couple weeks prior to it happening. You can reserve tickets online or buy them at the theater itself.
Mount Trashmore is another popular hangout spot, visible from Interstate 264, and perfect for luncheons, board game afternoons and lazy homework days.
Originally a landfill, it was converted into a city park in 1974 when the city decided to cover it in dirt. Now, it is home to picnic shelters, volleyball courts, playgrounds, a skate park, a walking trail and a nearby lake.
As the highest, natural point in Virginia Beach, it is a great place to take pictures, relax with friends or get some outside time away from campus that is not at a beach.
You will have no problem finding a sanctuary in the Virginia Beach area. It is truly a place for all groups of people to come together and build community with one another.
By Phoebe Cox