Being in Virgnia Beach over the last week reminded me of what a great time fall is there. While fall draws to near, why not think about a spring or summer visit?
There are Cccommodations available on the numerous military installations in the area. There's Fort Story on the north end by the entrance of the Chesapeake Bay. The historic Cape Henry lighthouse is located there and open to the public. On the Atlantic side is Dam Neck Combat Training Center. Visitors quarters are available depending on eligibility and availability. The summer season is heavily booked. Near the visitors quarters is a full beach/picnic facility. Package store, gas station, and mini-market within easy walking distance. Another good option for staying at Dam Neck is the Navy Lodge- more expensive than the VOQ/BEQ, but much more economical than any hotel at the boardwalk oceanfront.
If you're planning for a week long stay and have a large number of people or a multi-family gathering, Sandbridge Beach adjacent to and south of Dam Neck and bordering Back Bay wildlife refuge offers self-catering large rental houses with all sorts of amenities including swimming pools, game rooms, etc. The rental agencies offer 'value season' rates on either end of the summer season, so if you do have a huge group and are willing to do your own cooking and laundry, this is an economical way to go.
Things to do: Many of these things are free :-) ! Visit the Cape Henry lighthouse (already mentioned above). Check out the Virginia Beach Aquarium. Go to NAS Oceana and walk through the aircraft park which has vintage Navy aircraft on static display and watch the modern jets take off and land. For earlier vintage aircraft, visit the Virginia Beach Airport just south of Pungo and see WWII era aircraft, vehicles, and weaponry, including an operational B-17 (entry into the hangar proper has an admission charge). Take a drive down to Knotts Island and pick peaches and apples (seasonal) and drop by the vineyard shop. Drive to the Norfolk Naval Base and drive by the main ship piers- there is usually a designated ship open to visitors on weekends which you can tour. Go to the Norfolk Waterside and go aboard the battleship USS Wisconsin. And of course go to the beach.
Think ahead for next spring!