"Wait...did you go by yourself??"
I got about six or seven of those questions in my DMs as I posted about my trip to Virginia Beach, VA. The answer was an emphatic "Yes!" This was my first overnight solo vacay and it went better than I expected. I had to mentally prepare myself for the upcoming 36 hours of not talking to people and eating by myself in restaurants but once I was able to get comfortable with those two things, I fully enjoyed the trip.
It said 3.5 hours but it took 4.5 hours. Why? Because I left at 7:30 am and not 6:30 am. Regardless of what Google Maps says, it will take over 3.5 hours from Washington, D.C. if you leave after 6:30am. Next time, I'll know better. Shoutout to my enormous Spotify playlist for keeping me company.
If you're going to do a solo vacay, I would recommend an Airbnb. I've stayed in a lot of Airbnbs but they were all for international trips. This was actually my first time trying a domestic Airbnb and I was not disappointed. The hosts were easy to communicate with which is understandably why they are "superhosts" (aka rated 5 star). They had wifi, a TV, and a spotless bathroom. And it was only $50 for the night.
A Local's Tip: Ask for the house dressing on the side and be prepared to wait 20 mins or more for a sandwich. (Yes, it's worth it)
CHICK'S OYSTER BAR
They have free valet and the best ocean side view. Grab an orange crush (a virginia beach fav), some oysters, and enjoy the outside bar and view.
Yes, McDonalds - specifically their ice cream. It's essential for any road trip.
BAY LOCAL EATERY
It's easy to get into the best restaurants when you eat by yourself because there's always bar seating. I had their special: benedict with bacon wrapped scallops (so yummy) + a sherbet mimosa (not so yummy).
I love all things ice cream so when my friend texted me the name of his favorite gelato place in the area, I made a pitstop in Norfolk to try it out. I would say it's on par with one of my favorite ice cream places in D.C. which says a lot. Although, it could be because they had two of my favorite flavors in the world: fruity pebbles and strawberry. Highly highly recommend.
FUJIYAMA SUSHI BAR
I have high expectations for sushi which is probably from growing up in Hawai'i and I still thought this place was great. Granted it's probably very Americanized but nevertheless, delicious.
There's two sides of Virginia Beach: the bay or the beach. I spent the entire first day at the bay but I would recommend just going for sunset. I paid $9 for parking but it was worth it because it I was able to go in and out throughout the day to take a break from the sun and grab food.
Tip: It's okay to park in the garages, it's the closest spot to the beach and is the same price as street parking. The water and sand is nicer at the beach vs the bay but there's 10x the amount of people.