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This exciting 3-Day Virginia Beach adventure lets your student group tour a Navy battleship, discover a Pirate’s hideout, set sail on a Tall Ship, and explore a 300-year-old lighthouse while visiting some of the East Coast’s most popular historic landmark attractions. Their attentiveness is rewarded with an awesome playday at 350 acre Busch Gardens!
Virginia Aquarium and Marine Science Center
Intrepid traverser of the globe, when was the last time you and your student travel group set foot on an Indonesian volcano, trudged through a humid Malaysian Peat Swamp or trekked the Coastal Sahara? Does a stingray really feel like wet bologna? Do you know what a macro-marsh is and what lives there? Ever heard of a fulvous whistling duck? Why not embark on a fascinating fresh and saltwater adventure at the Virginia Aquarium and Marine Science Center in beautiful Virginia Beach? You’ll satisfy your natural curiosity and then some as you wander and explore Restless Planet habitats teeming with native life, trot the Owl Creek Salt Marsh trail and trip the tanks fantastic was more than 12,000 residents of over 300 species feed and frolic right before your eyes in fabulous educational exhibits!
Stroll on the Boardwalk
Virginia Beach’s three-mile-long Boardwalk is 28-feet wide – absolutely perfect for energetic strolling, rollerblading, and biking. This beloved Eastern Seaboard attraction boasts an exciting array of quaint outdoor eateries, wonderful museums, and historic sites, and equipment vendors sprinkled along the way ensure beachgoers their choice of means to work – or playoff those inevitable vacation time splurges! A host of cool nautical sculptures hang out on the charming side streets leading to shopper’s paradise Atlantic Avenue, and you’ll want to grab a photo with King Neptune – a twenty-four foot, twelve-tone bronze statue guarding the gateway to Neptune Festival Park. Awesome beach vibes abound!
Rudee Dolphin Cruise
With arguably the absolute best location Virginia Beach has to offer, Rudee Tours allows visitors to get up close and personal with dolphins using its wide array of sea-faring vessels that travel in and out of the Rudee Inlet. Located in the only inlet like it on the East Coast, boats such as the most popular Rudee Flipper will take you to the best dolphin sighting areas as close as 3 minutes away from its dock. Flipper is a 65 ft long, 28 ft wide South Sea Catamaran that includes two restrooms, climate-controlled cabins, handicap accessibility, as well as food and adult beverage bars.
First Landing State Park
Virginia’s most visited state park is the site of the first landing of the Jamestown colonists in 1607. Its Cypress swamps were a source of freshwater for merchant mariners, pirates, and military ships during the War of 1812; local legend has it the pirate Blackbeard once hid out in the Narrows area of First Landing. A natural oasis in Virginia Beach's urban oceanfront area, the park features 20 miles of trails, 1.5 miles of sandy Chesapeake Bay beach frontage, campsites, cabins, and top-notch amenities; Chesapeake Bay Center houses historical and educational exhibits. Opportunities for recreational and educational activities are plentiful; this National Historic Landmark is a great place to explore remarkable habitats featuring lagoons, bald cypress, rare flora and fauna, and maritime forest.
Cape Henry Lighthouse
Fort Story is a small Army base on the shoreline of the Atlantic Ocean - home to not one, but two spectacular lighthouses! The oldest, an octagonal sandstone tower, one of the longest-standing in the United States and the first federally funded lighthouse, was authorized by George Washington and completed in 1772. For over a century it guided boats making their way into the Chesapeake Bay and onward to the busy ports of Norfolk, Baltimore, and Washington. Prior to its existence, pirates were fond of capturing those tending beacon fires - makeshift navigational aids - and moving the fires this way or that, leading unsuspecting vessels astray. In 1878, the original Cape Henry Lighthouse was declared unsafe: cracks had formed in the walls and the wooden staircase was dangerously saturated with lantern oil. A magnificent new cast-iron lighthouse was completed in 1881 and is currently operated by the U.S. Coast Guard. While the new tower is not open the public, the old lighthouse happily welcomes visitors, and once you’ve made it all the way up the spiral staircase, you’re treated to commanding views of the new tower and surrounding area, Chesapeake Bay and the deep, blue Atlantic.
American Rover Field Trip Program
What Virginia Beach student travel adventure would be complete without stepping aboard this majestic Tall Sailing Ship? Her elegant “tanbark sails” have been a signature fair-weather sight in the Hampton Roads area since 1986, when, April through October, the stately 135-foot three-masted topsail schooner American Rover departs from Waterside in the heart of Norfolk, Virginia, and sails onto the smooth waters of Elizabeth River and Hampton Roads Harbor. The American Rover offers fabulous 1.5 and 2-hour educational cruises departing from Norfolk’s Waterside; plenty of hands-on activities enable students to become active participants in this sailing adventure! The young crew will: set the sails, steer the ship, be familiarized with the Captain’s navigational skills, hear fascinating mariner history and lore and even tie sailor knots during this exhilarating hands-on, real-life history lesson!
Busch Gardens - Williamsburg
Popular amusement attraction Busch Gardens - an absolutely amazing European-themed “playground” boasting more than 350 acres of action-packed adventure is home to top-billed roller coasters including Griffon, DarKastle, and Verbolten – just a few of the park’s dozens of incredible rides and attractions; Busch Gardens in Williamsburg was voted the most beautiful park for 23 consecutive years! Live stage entertainment, a scintillating range of culinary experiences, a variety of delightful Animal Encounters, a Sesame-Street themed children’s area, and plenty of world-class shopping ensure something for everyone.