Virginia Beach/Kings Dominion

OhioStater's avatar


Even though we have frequented BGW, the Meyers have never kept driving long enough to get to Virginia Beach. This summer, we want to show our 9 and 5-year old daughters the beach, and thought Virginia Beach seemed like a nice destination. Our plan is is make the 8-hour trek from Ohio to Virginia Beach, stay a few days, and then stop at Kings Dominion for a couple days on the way home. We know where we are staying for Kings Dominion, but I am starting from scratch with regards to the VA Beach area. Ideally, something close enough to the beach so driving is not really in the equation, and we're looking at Mid-July.

Does anyone have any travel advice for this area with regards to a place to stay for a family of 4? Cheap hotels are a "no thank you"; I've started browsing the "home-away" website looking at condos and rental homes, but a hotel is certainly not out of the equation, as long as it's comfortable for a 3-day stay.

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Last edited by OhioStater,

We have stayed in Virginia Beach a couple times in July, our usual place is the Quality Inn on 7th Street and Atlantic Avenue. Oceanfront, on the Boardwalk, easy walk to food and games, around $190.00 in July, and the trolley or bus runs the length of Atlantic Avenue.

From VA Beach Williamsburg is only a little over an hour. Spend the night there and go to Busch Gardens. If you can stay 2 or 3 nights to do some historic stuff. From there drive 45 minutes to stay around the Doswell area. If you have any questions asked.

Tommytheduck's avatar

As long as you're going to be in the area, you should head on over to... Nah... already been done.

We typically stay at Holiday Inn Express when we travel and they have been consistently good with a consistently mediocre free breakfast to boot. Courtyard by Marriott is another good one.

Most important advice I can offer is read reviews on sites like Travelocity, etc, and even on the hotels' own page. See how the manager responds to bad reviews and learn to spot an obvious schill 5 star, as well as a pointless 1 star. ("They ran out of pancakes at 9:59, ONE STAR!)

What about Air BnB? Some friends got a killer deal on a beach house in OCMD for a week, and they were quite pleased. In any case, book soon. Stuff for the beaches goes insanely quick.

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OhioStater's avatar

Thank you all. And yes, as I am looking I can see that some places I would have reserved are already booked.

To the internets I go!

Edit: I have honestly never heard of air bnb, but what a great resource! Thank you!

Last edited by OhioStater,
Vater's avatar

I've never been a big fan of VA Beach. It's been over 10 years since I was there, but it was never one of my preferred East Coast beaches. Outer Banks, NC, sets the bar pretty high and is only 90 minutes further south, give or take. There are a lot of great areas there, but we typically stay in Corolla or Duck, both of which are gorgeous and have some incredible rental homes, many with private pools and beach access.

If you're at all interested, check out or, we've used both.

OhioStater said:


This summer, we want to show our 9 and 5-year old daughters the beach, and thought Virginia Beach seemed like a nice destination.

If the beach at Cedar Point beach is so awesome, like people keep trying to tell me, why go all the way to the ocean to play in the sand when you can simply go to Sandusky:)

Now being serious - I agree with Vater on Virginia Beach. We have been there twice and in all honesty once was enough. We were not impressed by it.

Jeff's avatar

CP has a nice beach, but comparing Lake Erie to the ocean is not a fair fight.

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Our dance club had a sister club in Virginia Beach that would host events so we've been there quite a few times. The beach is very nice and behind it is a loooong strip with every food, souvenir, ice cream, and t-shirt stand you can think of. Bars, hotels, condos, and haunted houses. I suppose no different from Myrtle or any of the countless other beach destinations on the east coast. So if that's your thing then by all means.
I drove to Busch from there for a day and in spite of the horrendous Hampton Roads traffic it was quite doable.

The other interesting thing for us was the Norfolk area is very military, so it was quite common to see (and hear) all kinds of aircraft from fighter jets to those huge carrier air ships. All day and night they'd fly by, cross the beach, and just keep going over the ocean. They'd finally disappear like a dot on the horizon, destined for somewhere overseas. I could watch that all day.

Off the beaten path we found some great seafood there, from really casual roadhouse-type places to finer dining. Never ending crab legs, stuff like that. Yum.

I say do it. There's no end of beach-side hotels that are very nice, many with brand names that we all know and trust.

Good point about the fighter jets. That is pretty neat. Although when they quit flying the F-14s the flyovers lost some of their luster to me.

Oh! I don't necessarily know one jet from another, and this was a number of years ago, but I reckon these were F-14's we saw.
But the first time it happened we were downtown on a street surrounded by buildings. We were walking to the car and suddenly out of nowhere there was the deafening sound of fighter jets somewhere close, I couldn't see, but they sounded so low I knew they were about to crash into us. I cried out and hit the deck so hard I had gravel in my knees and elbows. Our Va. Beach friends 'bout died laughing at me and everyone else on the street just went on about their business, (used to these things, I guess), having never batted an eye. Talk about embarrassed...

OhioStater's avatar

First of all, thank you to everyone who chimed in. I know you've all been losing sleep wondering if yours truly found a landing spot, and I did. I ended up finding a 2-bedroom condo about a block from the beach (in Va. Beach) using homeaway; 175/night (which was right in our target zone).

After a few nights there we will start to trek back to Ohio via Kings Dominion where we'll be staying in a cabin (2 nights); I've really been curious what these will be like, as they are replicas of the newer deluxe cabins at Cedar Point.

That, and we have never been to Kings Dominion, so feel free to offer your wisdom if you care to do so. It's been a few years since we have been "first-timers" at a park, so that gives the whole trip a fun twist.

Incidentally, we're putting the Outer Banks and Carowinds on a possible list for next year; one road trip at a time.

Last edited by OhioStater,
sirloindude's avatar

At Kings Dominion, the only rides for which I have ever waited a significant amount of time were Hypersonic XLC (back in the day, of course) and Volcano - The Blast Coaster. If you're there during the week, pretty much everything else will likely be a walk-on or have a very short wait. I've not been too many times, but even some reviews that I've read indicate that what I said still often holds true. Even Intimidator 305 generally has a wait of no more than a few minutes unless you ride up front, but I chalk that up to people just not knowing greatness when they see it. ;)

Last edited by sirloindude,
OhioStater's avatar

We will indeed be there during the week; a Wednesday and a Thursday. I had a feeling that was more or less how the park went. I'm really looking forward to Intimidator and Volcano. Really just looking forward to soaking in a new park atmosphere complete with singing mushrooms.

Tommytheduck's avatar

On our last trip a few years ago, on what turned out to be a crowded day, we used the Platinum Pass early entry to get 4 walk-ons to Volcano. After that, the queue immediately filled to 1 hour. Volcano is possibly the slowest moving line in the park, but I really can't say that with any authority. It is, however, the best ride in the park, to which I'll stand on a mountaintop and shout to the world. At least until I get kicked off of said mountaintop for violating the unwritten rules of CB.

Luckily, the coaster provides a mountaintop for me.

Tekwardo's avatar

On a Wednesday it'll likely be dead. You mmmmmm may have a wait on Volcano. But that's it.

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OhioStater's avatar

The only thing that has us bummed is the situation with the 9-year old (52.5 inches tall).

She's ridden Millennium since she was 7, and also now rides Dragster. She rides Valravn, Maverick, Wicked Twister, and Magnum, SkyHawk, and Maxair.

When we get to Kings Dominion, she won't be able to ride Volcano, Dominator, Intimidator, or even Delirium. In other words, each ride she would actually really, really want to ride.


Doesn't Intimidator have Mavericky restraints? I can understand Dominator as Rougarou would be a comparison, but Delirium and Volcano were also surprising to see set at 54 inches.

Hope she likes singing mushrooms! :)

James Whitmore's avatar

^ No. Maverick has Intimidator restraints.

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