While Virginia Beach may be quite rightly famous for its beaches, there’s a lot more to this seaside city than just sun, see and sand.
A rich maritime history as a naval dock, coastguard’s training ground and military base make this an exciting location for history fans to visit and learn more about the areas development over time.
Plus its varied sea and bird life makes Virginia Beach a popular destination for animal lovers too.
So the Museums of Virginia Beach are a varied mixture of wildlife and history. There’s something for everyone to entertain and inform, from culture vultures to nature lovers.
The range of military history to be found by the beach at the Naval Aviation Monument, The Casemate Museum, is further out 40 minutes away.
The Naval Aviation Monument Park is a great place to start as it represents three historical eras in naval aviation shown through six enormous bronze sculptures. Within a 16,000 square foot plaza at the intersection of 25th Street and Atlantic Avenue, it’s not to be missed.
Nearby the Military Aviation Museum will put that into perspective with restored planes from World War I and World War II on display.
Fort Monroe, which was completed in 1834, is the largest stone fort in America. It was designed to protect the waterway of Hampton Roads from attack. Casemate Museum is within it and features the military history of the fort, Jefferson Davis’s prison cell and a number of other historical stories of escaped slaves to US Army.
For history of people rather than military the Adam Thoroughgood House which opened in 1719 is a National Historical Landmark and a Save America’s Treasures site. Lynnhaven House, built just a few years later, is well known as a gine example of early architecture in the region. Guided tours are available around the house looking at the architecture, details in design and artistry.
Nearby the Ferry Plantation House is a ten room federal farmhouse built in 1642 which is operated as a non-profit organization but offers guided tours to see the unique architectural features from the time.
From history to art: the Chrysler museum is one of the best collections of modern and classic art and is free to visit. An ancient worlds area will show you the Egyptian mummies and ancient Greek and Roman art. The most popular part of the museum is the glass art collection, known as one of the three best in the country.
For more modern art the Virginia Museum of Contemporary art hosts a number of pieces which reflect the modern culture we live in. Most pieces are created by modern artists and it’s a well renowned museum amongst those who enjoy more modern art.
Other than history and art there is one other area which Virginia Beach’s museums are famous for ant that is their museums about nature and living things.
The most famous of these is Virginia Museum and Marine Science Center which features everything from sealife to birds to mammals to plant life. A fascinating place with plenty of educational and entertaining options for children. For something a little smaller and local there’s the lovely Atlantic Wildfowl Heritage Museum.