Top 10 Things to Do this Summer

There is Something for Everyone this Season in Coastal Virginia

Summer is a favorite season in Coastal Virginia, and it's no wonder. The region offers tons of fantastic activities, whether you like to get adventurous out on the water, hike or bike the area's many trails, dance the night away at an evening concert or simply soak in the sun and sand. No matter what you choose, it's time to get out there. Need some inspiration? Check out our best ideas for activities to match your preferred summer vibe. There is something for everyone here, and these top picks will keep you active, relaxed, happy or maybe all of the above.


1. Over the Hill Trike Adventures

Why Recumbent Trikes? The answer is summed up in one word—comfort. Recumbent trikes are ideal for people that are looking for an alternative way to enjoy cycling without relying on a bicycle. Over The Hill Trike Adventures offers affordable, guided tours on both local, regional and rail trails throughout the beautiful state of Virginia. All trips include to and from transportation and a premium recumbent trike fit to you. 2664 Barclay Ave., Portsmouth; 757-372-7214;


2. Sail Nauticus

If you've always wanted to learn how to sail, there is no better time to head to the open water and raise the jib . Along with several youth summer camps, Sail Nauticus offers a Learn to Sail program for adults. After a weekend of instruction participants will receive a U.S. Sailing Basic Keelboat Certification. If you would prefer a more leisurely experience, try a Sail About and go out with a captain for two relaxing hours on the Elizabeth River. One Waterside Dr., Norfolk; 757-823-4242;


3. Newport News Parks, Recreation & Tourism

Newport News Park is home to a variety of native wildlife all found in a natural setting of lush woodlands, flowering meadows and shimmering lakes. Its unique natural beauty makes this park a favorite destination for campers and outdoor enthusiasts looking for a perfect retreat for hiking or bicycling on the park’s many trails; picnicking in shelters with outdoor grills; fishing, boating and canoeing on the park’s scenic lakes and inlets; enjoying sports such as archery, golf and disc golf; and camping in the 188-site campground. 13560 Jefferson Ave., Newport News; 757-888-3333 or 800-203-8322;


4. Dolphin Discoveries

Virginia Beach is known for dolphin spotting. Beach goers are often able to view these graceful marine mammals from the shore, but if you'd like to get a closer look head to the Virginia Aquarium & Marine Science Center and book one of their Dolphin Discoveries. Boat trips on the Atlantic Explorer take participants on a 90-minute excursion in search of the bottlenose dolphin. 717 Virginia Beach Blvd., Virginia Beach; 757-385-FISH;


5. Suffolk Division of Tourism

Experience Suffolk! Enjoy walking, kayak and bus tours. Stop by the Farmers’ Market and nearby family-friendly attractions. Enjoy an array of art galleries, classes, exhibits and more. 757-514-4130,


6. Go Ape Adventures

If your family enjoys being outdoors and is in search of a summer thrill, you won't want to miss the chance to soar through the air at Go Ape Adventures. The Treetop Adventure is a high ropes course that will take you on a 2–3-hour aerial journey that includes suspended obstacles, swings and zip lines in a forest setting. Freedom Park, 5537 Centerville Rd., Williamsburg; 800-971-8271;


7. Triple R Ranch

Triple R Ranch offers week-long overnight camp for kids 8–14 and week-long day camp for kids 7–12 (ages vary by week). Kids experience exciting activities from horseback riding to laser tag! Their staff goes through rigorous training to ensure that children have a safe and memorable week of camp. Camp lasts a week, but the memories last a lifetime! Visit their website for pricing and dates. 3531 Bunch Walnuts Rd., Chesapeake; 757-421-4177;


8. Yorktown Sounds of Summer Concerts

Thursday is the new Friday this summer at Riverwalk Landing in Yorktown. Free weekly outdoor concerts by the river offer fun for the entire family until the sun sets. Bring lawn chairs and coolers as you dance to some of the region's most popular acts while taking in breathtaking scenery. This is what summer is all about. 425 Water St., Yorktown; 757-890-3500;


9. The Banque

For the past 45 years, The Banque has been the leading choice for country western line dancing, on the largest dance floor in the region. Located in the Wedgewood Shopping center on Little Creek Road in Norfolk, this 17,000-square-foot tradition has become a staple in the community. Take advantage of their four full-service bars, the best country music in town and a delicious home-style, country menu with nightly specials. Whether you are a beginner learning the basics or a professional, there’s always something exciting happening. Cost? Don’t worry, lessons are always free. At The Banque their motto, “Eatin, Dancin’ & Havin’ Fun” is their way of life. So come on out and two step, line dance or country swing the night away. 1849 E Little Creek Rd., Norfolk; 757-480-3600;


Photo by Matt Haddaway

10. Back Bay National Wildlife Refuge

Nature lovers will adore getting away from the summer crowds for a more secluded outdoor experience at Back Bay National Wildlife Refuge. Check out the Wildlife Viewing Window; Dune, Seaside and Bay Trails; and interior trails providing access to False Cape State Park. Summer programs include fishing clinics, single-day and week-long nature camps and family programs. 4005 Sandpiper Rd., Virginia Beach; 757-301-7329;

Coastal Virginia Magazine

Offering up stellar editorial and photography on a range of feature topics from personal and business profiles to the region's cuisine and style scene, Coastal Virginia Magazine provides an in-depth glimpse into what's happening in the region. Each issue offers up something new, from the annual Top Docs feature to Best Of CoVa Readers' Choice Awards, while still always providing insight from the regular columnists and news on the latest local events in the Datebook section.

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