Travel Dream: visit every state with the kiddles

If we were independently wealthy, we’d be traveling all the time. Perfectly balanced with just enough time in Paradise (Oregon), of course! One travel dream is to visit every state in the US with the kids. Another is to do an Around The World trip, but that’s another topic altogether.

Today, I’m looking into Virginia Beach. I know nothing about Virginia Beach, and am just researching it now. It looks lovely! Here’s what I’m learning:

Whales! I have to admit I didn’t know that humpbacks traversed the Atlantic coast. How did I not know that? I guess I just don’t pay much attention to the East Coast. When Anna was almost three, we went whale watching in the Puget Sound. Every time we saw an orca, she said, “Wow!” We never knew if she was saying, “wow,” or if that’s how she pronounced whale. No matter, it’s the same sentiment!

Southern Cooking, Virginia style. Jane & Michael Stern recommend Doc Taylors, and after reading this, I can’t wait to try it! Chorizo breakfast sandwich? I’m in. Grits? I’m in. Fortunately, there are plenty of active outdoor adventures available nearby to counter all that carbyfattydeliciousness.

First Landing State Park is reportedly the state’s most popular park. I don’t think the kids would care, but In 1607, English settlers landed there and established the first elective government before moving on up to James River to establish Jamestown. I think that’s pretty cool. Also, it boasts trails for biking and hiking, and swimming or kayaking in the Chesapeake Bay.

Who doesn't love twice-weekly fireworks?

Virginia Beach Fireworks

Every Wednesday and Sunday during the summer, there are fireworks over Oceanside.
I love me some fireworks, as do the kids.
When we were at Disney World, we made sure to watch the fireworks over Magic Kingdom every night.

I’m sure we would do the same here.

Water parks. OK, I know. Water parks are the same where ever you go. But we really valued the half day we spent at a water park in Minneapolis. It was a great way to get into vacation mode without a lot of stress. And the kids love it! Choosing a water park for the first day or so of vacation helps get everyone in vacay spirit. And Virginia Beach seems to have a lot of them.

I'm sure we'd have just as much fun as they are. Copyright © 2011 Virginia Beach CVB

Transom on the Boardwalk. Sandcastles on the beach. It sounds like a wonderland!

65% of the state of Virginia is covered in deciduous, broad-leafed forests. Since I’m loathe to leave Oregon in summer time, this tells me Fall might be a lovely time to visit Virginia Beach. It’s southern enough to have nice weather in the fall, and it sounds just gorgeous.

Copyright © 2011 Virginia Beach CVB

Dolphins! WHAT? Dolphins? Truly. I’ve seen pic after pic of dolphins playing in the surf, and people kayaking with the dolphins. I would love this. My kids would love this. We might even have to take Uncle Jeff & Auntie Jeanie with us.

Virginia Aquarium. As an accredited institution with the Association of Zoos & Aquariums, I know Virginia Aquarium will be both entertaining for the kiddles and maintain the highest standards of animal care and wildlife conservation.

Exploring the rest of Virginia while we’re there. I’ve always wanted to experience a bit of Appalachia, and the Natural Tunnel State Park seems like a good way to do it. It’s only a one day drive from Virginia Beach to pretty much the rest of Virginia (as far as I can tell). So some beach time mixed with exploring the country? Works for me!

What state should I explore next? I think I’ll let the kids choose from the map!

Happy travels,
~Krista

I was offered $40 to write a list of 10 reasons to visit Virginia Beach. I have never heard much of Virginia Beach, so a $40 Amazon gift card isn’t really worth the time it would take me to research this topic to do it justice. But I’m intrigued by the idea of researching family travel destinations for every state, so I’m taking this on. Here’s the legal bit: “I wrote this blog post while participating in the SocialMoms and Virginia Beach Tourism blogging program, for a gift card worth $40. Hey bloggers, You can participate, too!

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