VIRGINIA

Virginia Beach: Vive le Difference!

Vacationers go to the coast for sea breezes, sunrises, sunsets, great beaches, superb seafood, estuarine wildlife, fishing, historic sites and watersports.galore. Virginia Beach has all the above plus boffo performances on 18 beachfront stages. To hear the nearest concert you may not even have to leave your ocean-view hotel room's balcony or budge from your cocktail at the patio bar.

Here's where Virginia Beach shines:

The waters: because the city faces on both the Atlantic Ocean and Chesapeake Bay it offers three helpings of wildlife viewing, boating, seafood harvests and the like. Choose the open sea or fresh or brackish water habitats. Because these sheltered bay waters also welcomed some of America's earliest settlers (John Smith, 1607) its historic sites are some of the nation's most significant.

The Virginia Aquarium is one of the nation's best, featuring tank displays and shows plus off-site nature cruises led by staff experts.

Sightseeing: Just outside the city lies a countryside of beautiful farms, farmer's markets, wineries and scenic highways.

The fun side: using Virginia Beach as your home base, venture out to Colonial Williamsburg, Busch Gardens, and dozens of other tourist attractions. The city has a whizbang water park, watersports rentals, bicycle rentals, and a fully accessible oceanfront playground for the handicapped.

Performances: One or more concerts, festivals, marathons or other entertainments are almost always going on in and around the boardwalk and the city. Many concerts are hot tickets, best bought well in advance. Savvy travelers book their hotel stays early too to coincide with the blockbuster events.

For more information: www.VisitVirginiaBeach.com.

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