Summer 2019 Update!
We just came back from another great vacation. This time we stayed at the Sheraton Virginia Beach Oceanfront Hotel in Virginia Beach. We had an ocean view room that we shared with our 7 year old daughter. She slept on the pull out couch which she thought was pretty cool. The hotel had an outdoor pool which seemed to be busy up until 4 pm each day. So we went to the indoor pool and it was a either a handful of people or just us to enjoy a whole pool to ourselves. Our only complaint was that they had two elevators for a building with 11 floors that could host over 1000 people. This hotel was pet friendly and we saw many people walking their dogs. I prefer to stay in a hotel without pets, I’m sure the hotel check for fleas and ticks but I want one less thing to worry about when I’m on vacation. They kept the grounds clean at all times so there was no poop on the ground.
We had a wonderful view of the beach and the weather was absolutely perfect. I was able to capture some beautiful photos of the sunrise and saw dolphins swimming in the ocean. I woke up at 5:30 to go on the beach and too my surprise I wasn’t the only one with the same idea. We enjoyed breakfast at Pocahontas Pancake House, which was across the street and was less than a two minute walk. They are opened from 7am-1pm and there was a wait but not long. We were seated within 10 minutes. The pancakes were the size of both of my hands. One order would been good for all of us to share. Overall all the coffee was good and breakfast had us full.
This time we took a stroll on Atlantic Ave which had many stores and restaurants. We stopped at Ben & Jerry’s for some ice cream to cool off from the heat. I purchased a few Virginia Beach T-shirt’s which were made with great quality for a low cost. I brought a life vest for my daughter. This is great for the pool and beach. The waves were really strong and the life vest can be a little reassurance for the little ones. We also noticed that you can buy cheaper chairs and umbrellas if you feel like carrying them with you on the beach each day at basically all the stores on the strip. We didn’t make it down to the rides because we were drained from the day each night. Something we will do next year.
My husband and daughter rented a bike to ride downstairs at the hotel. They both said it was really hot and my husband told me he was the only one doing the pedaling. The winds were perfect on the beach so we brought a kite to fly in the perfect blue sky.
Tip: I ended up getting a bad migraine from the sun, so make sure you protect yourself from the sun with a hat, sun block and umbrella if going onto the beach. Or just being outside for a long time.
We went to Lager Heads Restaurant which is located at the Hilton Garden Inn on the Virginia Beach Boardwalk on the corner of 34 Street and Atlantic Ave. The food was amazing that we ate there two days in a row. We had a few drinks, Nachos with shrimp with the works. The Parmesan chicken wings were crispy and flavorful, they had the best cheesy Mac n cheese that I have tasted at a restaurant. The Hangover Burger was very much enjoyed by my husband that he had it both days and we also shared it with him. We went back to Waterman’s, I couldn’t wait to have my calamari . We enjoyed the crab cakes, and The customer service from the staff was professional and they make your stay in Virginia even more pleasurable.
This was another great time away and we are making Virginia Beach our yearly family vacation and looking to bring more people along for fun.
VIRGINIA BEACH ROAD TRIP 2018
I survived my first road trip with my family. We planned a last-minute trip to Virginia to visit my daughter and I wish I took this trip sooner. We had an amazing time, six hours on the road and two rest stops along the way. I wish we could have stayed longer. When taking a road trip with your family, there are a few things to consider. I’m going to share my experience and hope it help you to plan a great trip as well. We checked the weather to see if there would be any storms. The weather said it would be showers off and on, but that didn’t damper our plans. I even searched things to do in the rain. We had a neighbor check on our house and to feed our cat while we were away. Make sure you have someone you can trust stop by your house to make sure things are fine or to care for any pets. If traveling with children it’s great to bring along snacks, water, coloring books, car games. We downloaded movies for the Ipad for our daughter, but she was too excited for her trip and looked out the window most of the time.
I went online and looked at hotels that would be close to the beach. The closer to the beach the more expensive the hotels were. So we looked for hotels not too far from the beach. Some hotels even charged for parking. Make sure there is parking on the hotel grounds. I didn’t want to leave my car and have to walk a block back to my hotel. I made a list: hotels close to the beach, hotels by reviews, hotels with a pool, hotels that included parking and most importantly the price. Beware: There are many third-party sites that offer deals, in my opinion it’s best to call the hotel directly and book your stay. I witnessed guests arriving at the hotel and they didn’t have their reservation or the room they requested online. We went directly through the hotel and received a deal, we signed up for their free Rewards program and now we will get points when visiting hotels. The bad reviews can hurt you from staying at a good hotel. There were people complaining about the smallest things, from noise of an air conditioner, to people in the hall, and the list can go on. We stayed at the Spring Hill Suites by Marriott in Norfolk Virginia, 20 minutes from Virginia Beach and the highway is next to the hotel. There are many hotels to choose from, kid friendly to adult fun with roof top lounges. Take your time when choosing the right hotel and don’t spend too much stressing over the “perfect” place to stay. https://www.marriott.com/hotels/travel/orfnw-springhill-suites-norfolk-virginia-beach/?scid=bb1a189a-fec3-4d19-a255-54ba596febe2
My Review of our Stay: Great stay with my family. The bad reviews were over exaggerated. Enjoyed the pool and jacuzzi. Our room and bathroom were clean when we arrived. The bed was comfortable and we had no complaints of noise from guests or our AC. Only complaint was we didn’t have the breakfast that was included. We woke up late 9.30 and there was no hot breakfast. ( There are many low-cost breakfast places to eat, there was a Denny’s in the same lot of the hotel. We went to the Waffle House and had a great breakfast, under $30 for three people). We had maid service come to our room to be services but wasn’t needed. Will stay here again. We even received a Quick Response from the owner: We’re so sorry that you didn’t get the breakfast. That’s not like us at all. We do hope the next time you stay you have an even better experience. We agree the bad reviews are over exaggerated. We’ve tried very hard to hire amazing staff for our busy season in the summer, thank you for staying with us. It was a pleasure having you here with us. We hope to see you again.
REST STOPS/ TOLLS/ WATCH YOUR SPEED
Check the rest stops along the way to see how far you will be from the next gas station or restroom. You can drive for miles before your next stop. Fees from the tolls and bridges vary from the weekday and weekend. Make sure to pay attention to the Cash and Easy Pass lanes. Drive the speed limit! There are different rules and speed limits in each state. New Jersey highway speed limit is 65 mph, when we drove through Virginia the speed limit was 45-50 mph. We saw a few cars get pulled over for speeding, don’t let that be you. Be safe.
Plaza Azteca Mexican Restaurant 5209 Providence Rd, Virginia Beach, VA 23464 The food here was absolutely amazing with full of flavor. We had fresh guacamole made at our table. We enjoyed a few dishes: Pina Loka (grilled pineapple stuffed with steak and chicken), Tacos de Pollo (grilled chicken with avocado and chile de arbol sauce) and Camarones al Mojo de Ajo (sauteed shrimp in garlic mojo sauce, onions, tomato and fresh avocado served over rice).We enjoyed their signature margaritas and left full and satisfied. Definitely a great place to come and feel like you’re in Mexico with the decor and music playing. https://www.plazaazteca.com/locations-hours
Waterman’s Surfside Grille 415 Atlantic Ave, Virginia Beach, VA 23451 (Family time-NO PHOTOS-I had to respect my family and put my phone down) We made sure to have some seafood while we were in Virginia Beach and was given a suggestion of the best seafood restaurants to visit. We chose Waterman’s Surfside Grille and couldn’t wait to see what all the fabulous reviews were about. We were seated by the window overlooking the beach and was not disappointed with our food. We started with appetizers: calamari, crab cakes, chicken tenders and crab dip. Everything was flavorful and fresh. There are many things to choose on the menu from seafood, pasta to burgers and the prices are reasonable. Service was fast and the customer service was amazing from the beginning to the end. This is a restaurant I can’t wait to visit again when I’m in Virginia Beach! https://www.watermans.com/
There are many things to do while you’re in Virginia from visiting the Navy bases, museums, Norfolk Zoo, Botanical gardens, the aquarium and the list can go on. Virginia Beach Boardwalk, have many things to keep you entertained for the day. They have a small amusement park with rides, haunted houses, and plenty of places to get a bite to eat. We paid $20 for all day parking and headed to the beach. We rented beach chairs and an umbrella from the cabana on the beach which cost under $40. We enjoyed the soft sand and cool water from the sun. We headed to the Virginia Aquarium and Marine Science Center which is a 10 minute drive from the beach. We enjoyed our visit and it’s a great place to bring the family of all ages. We saw seals swimming in the large tank even before we went inside the aquarium. There were many exhibits which are also hands on. They offer boats trips to see the dolphins and sea turtles, there are different fees, be sure to check online for the prices. The best for me was seeing the huge Loggerhead Sea Turtle and the Sandbar Shark. The aquarium is a must see when visiting Virginia Beach, we spent almost two hours inside and there was even another center to visit but we was tight with time. The grand attraction when visiting Virginia Beach is going to see the King Neptune Statue, that’s located on the boardwalk.
We had such a great time,that we can’t wait to visit again. Enjoy your stay in Virginia!