Walking along 24th and the Virginia Beach boardwalk, you may notice something that appears to be oddly out of place. Sitting between two giant hotels that stretch into the sky is a tiny little outdated looking house. What could it be?
The Old Coast Guard Station is recognized on the National Register of Historic Places, as well as being a Virginia Beach landmark, preserving the history of both the United States Life-Saving and later the Coast Guard Services. It is a tribute and memory to Virginia’s coastal communities and the shipwrecks of bygone eras.
The Old Coast Guard station holds 1800 artifacts and over 1000 photos of the United States Life Saving and Coast Guard Services, along with a library filled with books, papers, and oral histories. When I went inside there were two floors housing all of this information, they called it the Upper and Lower Gallery.
Old Coast Guard Station Lower Gallery
The Lower Gallery exhibits all of the life-saving equipment used and how each piece was used.
The Upper Gallery contains images and articles that tell the story of the shipwrecks that occurred in the past, it also tells the story of the Battle of the Atlantic in World War II.
The newest feature added to the Old Coast Guard Station is the tower cam. The tower cam allows visitors to exam the beach and the ocean just as a “surfman” on watch in the tower. “Surfmen were those that lived on the second story who protected and guarded the coast. The interactive tower cam has a touch screen computer system, a monitor that is connected via video camera and is a favorite addition to all ages.
Old Coast Guard Station Events
Whether it is summer or winter there are always family friendly activities that you can participate in. For children between the ages of 3 and 9 there is the always popular Story Time with Captain Fishbones. The cost of the program is included in the general admission cost and held on selected Wednesdays from September to May and every Wednesday June thru August. If you decide to add this as a unique stop on your summer vacation for your family, make sure you call to confirm times, and even better, make reservations.
Since 1903 the Old Coast Guard Station has stood as a symbol of remembering maritime history and Is a substantial and irreplaceable piece of Virginia history. There are very few destinations that offer such historical documentation and exhibits along with the breathtaking view of the Atlantic Ocean from the Virginia Beach Boardwalk. It is a place that is well worth the visit no matter where you are from.
- Open Year Round
- Family Friendly
- Historical Landmark