Stretching along the Atlantic Coast, Virginia Beach is a popular seaside destination in the United States. It has a huge boardwalk where you’ll find a wide array of restaurants, entertainment facilities, and water sports hire shops. Beyond the beach, you’ll also find some interesting heritage attractions and laid-back locals. This makes it the ideal destination for a family-friendly staycation.

Public transport is notoriously terrible in Virginia Beach, so you’ll need to gather your bearings before you arrive. Although the most popular neighborhoods are quite close to each other, they all offer something a little different.

Thankfully, we’re here to help make things a bit easier! We’ve combined our own experience with advice from locals and travel experts to bring you this guide to the three best places to stay in Virginia Beach. Whether you want to save some cash, enjoy a laid back family vacation, or soak up the vibrant atmosphere, we have you covered.

So, let’s dive right in!

Where to Stay in Virginia Beach

Virginia Beach is difficult to get around using public transport, but if you’re bringing a can you can be a bit more relaxed about where you’re staying. Lots of people stop over on their East Coast road trip, so you’ll see quite a few caravans around as well.

In a hurry to book? These are our top three overall accommodation picks.

Mount Trashmore

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Lakefront Getaway | Luxurious Airbnb in Virginia Beach

Lakefront Getaway

Looking to splurge? Airbnb Plus properties are a great choice! They are hand-selected for their stylish interiors, awesome locations, and next-level guest service, meaning you’ll feel truly pampered throughout your stay. This bright space is located right next to Lake Holley, giving you some peace and quiet away from the main tourist crowds.

There are so many EPIC Airbnbs in Virginia Beach!

Hilton Virginia Beach Oceanfront | Five Star Hotel in Virginia Beach

Hilton Virginia Beach Oceanfront

As the only five-star hotel in Virginia Beach, Hilton’s Oceanfront hotel is the place to be for luxury interiors and unparalleled customer service. Guests can enjoy their own private slice of beach away from the bigger crowds, and those willing to fork out a little extra can enjoy ocean views. Did we mention there’s a rooftop infinity pool?

Luxe Beach | Modern Home in Virginia Beach

Luxe Beach

This spacious property in the north of Virginia Beach gives you quick access to Chesapeake Beach – a peaceful and more budget-friendly alternative to the main Boardwalk area! This means you’ll get to enjoy a luxury experience without breaking the bank. Sleeping up to eight people across three bedrooms, it’s a great option for families.

Don’t forget to check out the best Vacation Rentals in Virginia Beach for more choice!

Virginia Beach Neighborhood Guide – Places to Stay in Virginia Beach

North Boardwalk Virginia Beach

North Boardwalk

The Boardwalk is the main hub for Virginia Beach, with the northern side home to the most restaurants, bars, and local attractions. For first-time visitors, this is a must for getting to know the city and everything it has to offer.

South Boardwalk Virginia Beach

South Boardwalk

South Boardwalk is surprisingly calm and easy-going compared to the northern half! For this reason, we think it’s great for families. Here, you’ll be able to cycle along the coast without having to worry about anyone bumping into you – as well as paddle in the ocean safely.

Chesapeake Beach Virginia Beach

Chesapeake Beach

Virginia Beach can get a little pricey, but heading up to the northern beaches is a great way to save some cash! We love Chesapeake Beach because of the delightful restaurants and gorgeous views, but nearby Chic’s Beach is another great spot.

Virginia Beach’s 3 Best Neighborhoods to Stay in

The Boardwalk is huge, so we’ve had to split it into two areas – both of which offer something a little different. We also love the northern suburbs for their budget-friendly charm. Keep reading for more information about the best three places to stay in Virginia Beach – plus the best hotels and activities in each!

1. North Boardwalk – Overall Best Place to Stay in Virginia Beach

North Boardwalk is the best place to get to know Virginia Beach.

The Boardwalk is Virginia Beach’s main hub, and its northern side is home to the most restaurants, bars, and local attractions. If you’re travelling through the USA and want to visit Virginia, this is where you’ll most likely end up staying.

For first-time visitors, this is a must for getting to know the city and everything it has to offer. Even if you opt to stay in other areas, you should set aside some time to check out North Boardwalk.

Heading further inland, you’ll also find the country clubs and golf courses of Little Neck Creek. These are a little more upmarket than the beachside attractions, giving you some peace and quiet away from the main tourist strip. There really is something for everyone in North Boardwalk!

Secluded Luxury | Boutique Studio in North Boardwalk

Secluded Luxury

This is another great Airbnb Plus apartment, with rustic interiors and a luxurious atmosphere. The beautiful décor brings an all-natural vibe, creating a sense of calm and serenity. The blackout curtains ensure uninterrupted sleep, and the full streaming services will keep you entertained on rainy days. It even comes with free bikes for guests to use!

Panoramic Views | Contemporary Condo in North Boardwalk

Panoramic Views

This gorgeous condo is located right on the waterfront, meaning you’re only a stone’s throw away from the most popular attractions in Virginia Beach! Its 3rd-floor location rewards you with beautiful views along the coastline. The balcony even has a small sitting area where you can admire the sunset over a glass of wine.

Hilton Virginia Beach Oceanfront | Waterfront Hotel in North Boardwalk

Hilton Virginia Beach Oceanfront

Hilton Virginia Beach Oceanfront is the leading luxury hotel in the city, with an enviable location right next to the Boardwalk and a hugely popular rooftop pool boasting panoramic views across the city. The on-site restaurant specializes in locally sourced cuisine and offers a complimentary breakfast. We love the handy shuttle service from the hotel to major attractions.

 Things to See and Do in North Boardwalk

  1. Take a walk along the Boardwalk. Stretching along the northern portion, you’ll find some great cafés and bars to kick back and relax in.
  2. Head down to the beach where you can hire watersports equipment – most of the resorts have facilities, and even non-guests can rent gear from a few of them.
  3. Princess Anne Country Club might be the most exclusive club in Virginia Beach, but it’s also home to the largest golf course, so it’s worth the effort to get in.
  4. Virginia Museum of Contemporary Art has plenty of great exhibitions but where they truly shine is their year-round calendar of activities.
  5. Fancy a drink or two? Head to Cavalier Beach Club – the best bar right on the coast, with plenty of sun loungers so you can soak up some rays with your cocktail.
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2. South Boardwalk – Best Place to Stay in Virginia Beach for Families

South Boardwalk Virginia Beach

South Boardwalk is surprisingly calm and easy-going compared to the northern half! That’s why we think it’s great for families. Here, you’ll be able to cycle along the coast without having to worry about anyone bumping into you – as well as paddle in the ocean safely.

Many of the best family-friendly attractions are found on the southern end of the Boardwalk, so it’s a win-win for visiting the area with kids! Visiting as a couple? Head closer to the center of the Boardwalk for some luxurious apartments and gorgeous views. This is the place to stay if you want to recharge your batteries.

Lakefront Getaway | Peaceful Apartment in South Boardwalk

Lakefront Getaway

This one is more for the couples heading to Virginia Beach – but with interiors this trendy and a laid-back atmosphere, we simply couldn’t keep it off this list! Guests have access to bikes and boogie boards, and the large outdoor space has a hammock and an outdoor shower. The stunning private deck is surrounded by local plants – the ultimate paradise for a romantic getaway.

Newly Remodeled | Charming Condo in South Boardwalk

Newly Remodeled

This is another fantastic waterfront condo; however, its location next to Grommet Island Park makes it a peaceful property where you can unwind after a long day of exploring the city. Sleeping up to eight people across three bedrooms, it suits groups of all sizes. The master suite also has its own bathroom, giving parents a little extra privacy.

DoubleTree by Hilton | Family Oriented Hotel in South Boardwalk

DoubleTree by Hilton

DoubleTree is the family-friendly brand of Hilton hotels! From the free cookie when you check-in to the complimentary shuttles to the main attractions in Virginia Beach, this hotel is designed with you and your kids in mind. It’s only a short walk away from Virginia Aquarium, and the southern end of the Boardwalk is right on your doorstep.

Things to See and Do in South Boardwalk 

  1. Virginia Beach Fishing Pier is, naturally, a great spot to cast a line – but photographers will also appreciate the panoramic views.
  2. Atlantic Fun Part is quite small by amusement park standards, but it’s an excellent spot for families visiting with younger kids.
  3. Ocean Breeze Waterpark is one for the whole family to enjoy, with an endless array of slides, lazy rivers, and unique rides.
  4. Virginia Aquarium & Marine Science Centre is easily one of the best sea life attractions in the United States – perfect for teaching kids about ocean critters and conservation.
  5. Oceans 14 is a must-visit restaurant in South Boardwalk, serving local seafood with international flavors and, of course, stunning views.

3. Chesapeake Beach – Where to Stay in Virginia Beach on a Budget

Chesapeake Beach Virginia Beach

Virginia Beach can get a little pricey, but heading up to the northern beaches is a great way to save some cash! We love Chesapeake Beach because of the delightful restaurants and gorgeous views, but nearby Chic’s Beach is another great spot. Since there aren’t as many tourists here, this is a great place to soak up the local culture.

Planning on visiting other parts of the Chesapeake Bay area? The northern beaches are the best connected to Norfolk and Hampton by public transport – and those visiting with a car will have quick access to Cape Charles. If you seek an alternative to the tourist throngs of Virginia Beach, Chesapeake Beach is the place for you.

Chic’s Beach | Modern Holiday Home in Chesapeake Beach

Chics Beach

Over in neighboring Chic’s Beach, this cute little holiday home is right next to public transport links to Virginia Beach and Norfolk. It’s located right on the waterfront, so you’ll enjoy panoramic views of the ocean from the comfort of your living room. There’s also a private deck area where you can soak up the laid back vibes of Chic’s Beach.

50s Style | Vintage Cottage in Chesapeake Beach

50s Style

Step back in time to the 1950s with this unique holiday cottage right next to the beach! This quirky villa contains traditional furnishings, adding to the historic charm. First Landing State Park is a two-minute walk away – perfect for those who want to enjoy the cycling and hiking trails that run through Chesapeake Beach. With two bedrooms and a spare bed in the living room, it’s great for smaller families.

Luxe Beach | Stylish Hideaway in Chesapeake Beach

Luxe Beach

This super stylish getaway is an excellent budget-friendly alternative to the costly condos near the Boardwalk. The open plan living room and kitchen create a calm, light-filled environment where you can have a lazy breakfast in the morning. Chesapeake Beach is only a two-minute walk away, and they allow pets for an additional fee so you get to save on kennel costs.

Things to See and Do in Chesapeake Beach

  1. Chesapeake Beach is a laid-back alternative to the main boardwalk area – perfect if you just want to sunbathe and soak up the ocean vibes.
  2. Head down to Lynnhaven Boat Marina to check out the latest offers on boat hire – as well as some basic water sports facilities.
  3. Loch Haven Park is a great spot to connect with nature and breathe some fresh air before admiring the natural beauty of Pleasure House Point.
  4. Struggled to get into Princess Anne Country Club? Bayville Golf Club is less exclusive but still offers a spacious and well-maintained course.
  5. Bubba’s Seafood Restaurant and Crabhouse looks pretty basic from the outside, but inside, you’ll find the best seafood on a budget in the entire city.
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FAQ about Finding a Place to Stay in Virginia Beach

Here’s what people usually ask us about the areas of Virginia Beach and where to stay.

What To Pack For Virginia Beach

Pants, socks, underwear, soap?! Take it from me, packing for a hostel stay is not always quite as straightforward as it seems. Working out what to bring and what to leave at home is an art I have perfected over many years.

Don’t Let Snorers Keep You Awake!
Don’t Let Snorers Keep You Awake!

Ear Plugs

Snoring dorm-mates can ruin your nights rest and seriously damage the hostel experience. This is why I always travel with a pack of decent ear plugs.

Keep your laundry organized and stink free
Keep your laundry organized and stink free

Hanging Laundry Bag

Trust us, this is an absolute game changer. Super compact, a hanging mesh laundry bag stops your dirty clothes from stinking, you don’t know how much you need one of these… so just get it, thank us later.

Stay Dry With a Micro Towel
Stay Dry With a Micro Towel

Sea To Summit Micro Towel

Hostel towels are scummy and take forever to dry. Microfibre towels dry quickly, are compact, lightweight, and can be used as a blanket or yoga mat if need be.

Make Some New Buddies…
Make Some New Buddies…

Monopoly Deal

Forget about Poker! Monopoly Deal is the single best travel card game that we have ever played. Works with 2-5 players and guarantees happy days.

Reduce Plastic – Bring a Water Bottle!
Reduce Plastic – Bring a Water Bottle!

Grayl Geopress Water Bottle

Always travel with a water bottle! They save you money and reduce your plastic footprint on our planet. The Grayl Geopress acts as a purifier AND temperature regulator. Boom!

Check out my definitive Hotel Packing list for even more top packing tips!

Don’t Forget Travel Insurance for Virginia Beach

ALWAYS sort out your backpacker insurance before your trip. There’s plenty to choose from in that department, but a good place to start is Safety Wing.

They offer month-to-month payments, no lock-in contracts, and require absolutely no itineraries: that’s the exact kind of insurance long-term travellers and digital nomads need.

SafetyWing is cheap, easy, and admin-free: just sign up lickety-split so you can get back to it!

Click the button below to learn more about SafetyWing’s setup or read our insider review for the full tasty scoop.

Final Thoughts on Where To Stay in Virginia Beach?

Virginia Beach is the perfect spot to unwind if you’re looking for a great staycation this year! The Boardwalk can get a little busy, but it manages to retain an easy-going atmosphere, so you’ll definitely be able to recharge your batteries while in town. We also love the cultural and historical highlights hiding away from the main beach area.

In terms of a favourite neighborhood, we really have to go with the North Boardwalk! This is the beating heart of Virginia Beach, where you’ll find all the best bars, restaurants, and attractions. Even if you opt to stay on the south side of the Boardwalk, make sure to head up here during your trip. And if you don’t fancy staying in a hotel, why not stay in one of Virginia Beach’s best cabins!

That being said, wherever is best for you depends on what you want. South Boardwalk is a more serene alternative, while the northern beaches take you away from the tourist crowds entirely – helping you save some money. We hope this guide has helped you narrow down your options for your upcoming trip.

Did we miss anything? Let us know in the comments!

Looking for more info on travelling to Virginia Beach and USA?