Guide to Virginia Beach for summer 2021: What’s new and outdoor dining

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What’s new this summer:

1865 Brewing Co.: The first Black-owned brewery in Hampton Roads is opening this spring. 1865 Brewing Co. is a microbrewery with beers that will include ingredients such as coffee and CBD. The brewery will also feature a line of nonalcoholic drinks with a focus on “wellness” that incorporates probiotics and herbal supplements. 9 S. Mallory St., Hampton.


Ocean Breeze Waterpark: Cool off at this 47-year-old water park featuring over 30 slides, rides and attractions. New for 2021 is Operation Splashdown, a six-story family raft ride. 849 Booth Blvd., Virginia Beach. Prices vary. $39.99-$89.99. 757-422-4444 or

Hector the Harbor Seal greets guests at the Virginia Aquarium & Marine Science Center.

Virginia Aquarium and Marine Science Center: After a $25 million renovation and expansion, the center is set to reopen on Memorial Day weekend. Check out the new addition and exhibit for sea lions and seals, a new entrance and a pedestrian bridge. Experience thousands of animals representing over 300 species displayed in exhibits replicating coastal habitats from around the world. 9 a.m.-5 p.m. daily. 717 General Booth Blvd., Virginia Beach. Free-$24.95.


MAR Surf Exchange: Surfs up! Opened in 2020, this DIY surfboard factory helps surfers to design and build their own boards. 617 Jack Rabbit Road, Suite G, Virginia Beach. 757-716-8118.

The new Apex Entertainment venue opened Friday, December 11, 2020 at Town Center. Among the activities is go-kart track on the third floor.

Apex Entertainment: This 85,000-square-foot amusement center, which opened in December, has something for everyone. An indoor go-cart track, military-themed laser tag, black light mini-golf course, ax-throwing walls, three escape rooms, 24-lane bowling alley, bumper cars, sports simulators, pool tables and an arcade. 4621 Columbus St. #100, Virginia Beach. 757-678-8666.

#SecondSaturday Sketch Crawl — ViBe Creative District: Get out and draw Virginia Beach Public Art with your own free sketchbook kit. All sketch crawls begin with a brief history of each area and a tour. Other locations include the Pleasure House Point area, Virginia Beach Town Center, the Virginia Beach Boardwalk and more. Virginia Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA), 2200 Parks Ave., Virginia Beach. Free. Reserve your tickets in advance at

Delta Hotels by Marriott Virginia Beach Bayfront Suites: Formerly the Virginia Beach Resort Hotel and Conference Center, this Chesapeake Bayfront property opened in March. The hotel features 295 luxury two-room suites, many of which will overlook the Bay. 2800 Shore Drive, Virginia Beach. 757-481-9000.

5 places to dine outdoors in Virginia Beach

Calypso Bar & Grill: A trip to the beach is not complete until you enjoy fresh seafood and great cocktails. Calypso’s has one of the largest covered patios at the beach, featuring a panoramic oceanfront view. 1101 Atlantic Ave., Virginia Beach, 757-288-1972 or

Beach Bully serves southern-style barbecue, like the pulled-pork sandwich on the outdoor picnic benches.

Beach Bully: Enjoy Southern-style barbecue, like the pulled-pork sandwich on the outdoor picnic benches. For large families, order one of the platters and try a bit of everything from the smoker. 601 19th St., Virginia Beach, 757-422-4222 or

Hot Tuna Virginia Beach: Enjoy a cocktail and delicious seafood on the outside bar by the warmth of the fire pit tables. Menu items include sesame ahi tuna and gourmet Gouda burgers, as well as hand-muddled mojitos and homemade sangria. 2817 Shore Drive, Virginia Beach, 757-481-2888 or

Murphy’s Irish Pub: Sit on the patio and enjoy a selection of beverages from the festive bar menu and delicious food. Try the beer-battered fish & chips, Irish Reuben or wood-smoked salmon. Stop by for live Irish and local entertainment. 2914 Pacific Ave., Virginia Beach, 757-417-7701 or

Tucked away in the back of the Thalia Acres neighborhood since 1939, Steinhilber's offers breath-taking views of the Lynnhaven River.

Steinhilber’s Restaurant: Enjoy a meal on the outdoor patio at the oldest family-owned restaurant at the beach, which includes fire pits and views of the Lynnhaven River. Menu items include she crab soup, shrimp & grits, prime rib and Eastern Shore oysters. 653 Thalia Road, Virginia Beach, 757-340-1156 or