The beach may be chilly in the winter months (although if you bundle up it’s still a great place to walk and enjoy the beauty of the surf and sand in winter), but there’s still plenty to do in Virginia Beach when the nights come early and the sun stays low on the horizon.

Take our town’s many historical sites and museums. Check out the lighthouses at Cape Henry, visit First Landing State Park, or take a tour of the Adam Thoroughgood House.

Let’s take a look at the Cape Henry lighthouses first. That’s right, there are two lighthouses! Cape Henry is the location of the first lighthouse authorized by the new U.S. government back in 1792. The first federal project under the newly signed Constitution, the lighthouse cost $17,700 to build (a considerable amount of money in the late 1700s). A second lighthouse (the “new” lighthouse) was built in 1881 and was purchased by the Association for the Preservation of Virginia Antiquities in 1930. This lighthouse is open to the public and the view from its top is little short of phenomenal. Both lighthouses are located at Fort Story.

First Landing State Park is the place were members of the Virginia Company first landed in the New World before going on to settle in Jamestown. Originally known as Seashore State Park, the park was constructed in the 1930s as part of the federal government’s Civilian Conservation Corps. Once you’ve visited, may we suggest that you take a short ride to the Virginia Aquarium and Marine Science Center? It’s here that you and your family can enjoy harbor seals, loggerhead turtles, great horned owls, cownose rays, North American river otters, and many more critters.

Another must-see spot is the Adam Thoroughgood House. The house is on land that was once home to a man who arrived in Virginia in 1621 as an indentured servant and who was later (1636) given a land grant once his indenture was completed. Historians believed the Thoroughgood house dated from 1680, although recent archeology digs now show the house to have been built around 1719 by Thoroughgood’s great-grandson, Argall. Regardless, the house is one of the oldest still extant from the early Colonial period. The house is open for tours every day but Monday.

Winter in Virginia Beach is for whale watching! Humpback whales and fin whales travel along the Atlantic seaboard in late December through mid-March. The aforementioned Virginia Aquarium & Marine Science Center offers Winter Wildlife Boat Trips for your whale watching pleasure. You’ll also be able to see harbor seals, porpoises, sea birds and other marine mammals and fowl.

Winter will be here before you know it. Plan your Virginia Beach winter vacation today!