Hot Fun Out of the Sun: What to Do in Virginia Beach After DarkBy Jim Morrison
Head to the Funny Bone for dinner and nightly stand-up with regional and national comedians like Mike Birbiglia and Jeff Dye. (Photos: Andar Sawyer)
When you’re done catching rays and splashing in the surf in Virginia Beach, step out into the city’s varied and energetic night life. There’s a wide array of entertainment options, whether you need to dance the night away in a club, sit quietly and stretch your brain at a play or enjoy a few drinks and laugh away the evening.
Here are the hot spots for those hours when the sun has slipped away.
Right off the strip and the beach, this live music club has upped its game with a state-of-the art sound and lighting system and a cozy remodeling. It offers top acts in an intimate setting.
One night it might be reggae with Pato Banton or Giant Panda Guerilla Dub Squad, another it might be roots rock with Alejandro Escovedo or Lucero and on another it might be rap with Obie Trice or G Herbo.
Reserve tables for the VIP treatment or grab a stool at the central island bar and enjoy the show. If you’re looking for a place on the beachfront likely to be hopping on any night, this is it.
HK is a local’s favorite for the hopping music—often live local and national bands—and cheap drinks tucked away off a curving lane far from the ocean front at Chicks Beach. The vibe is a casual local party with old friends, whether you know anyone or not.
There’s a full menu of food, ranging from appetizers like seafood nachos to steaks to their famous pitzzas, pizza on a pita. When it gets hot inside, take a stroll along the nearby beach and gaze at the lights of the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel shimmering on the water.
The Sandler Center is the sophisticated heart of the city’s arts scene, a stunning modern venue where every one of the 1,200 seats has a great view. You never know what might be on stage here.
One night you might find fans dancing in the aisles to a hot set by The Mavericks. Another night they might sit attentively listening to the Virginia Symphony Orchestra. On a third, they may settle in for the musical theater of “Hello Dolly.”
It’s worth the trip from the oceanfront to the bustling, upscale Town Center where one restaurant after another offers pre-show meals ranging from gourmet pizza to aged steaks.
What’s better than sitting back and listening to music in a stunning outdoor setting as the breeze blows off the ocean? When you can do it for free at Neptune’s Park, a picturesque spot in the middle of nightlife along the boardwalk.
You’ll often find drinks and food trucks on the site. Right next door—with views—is the sophisticated patio bar and restaurant, Catch 31, which opened in 2005. Expect to find an ever-changing schedule of entertainment throughout the warmer months on this spot at 31st Street.
Another Town Center venue, this club offers dinner and nightly stand-up with regional and national comedians like Mike Birbiglia, Jeff Dye and Deray Davis. Seating at tables is intimate with a full dinner menu featuring starters, sandwiches and entrees like blackened salmon and strip steak available during performances.
For a change of pace, the Little Theatre of Virginia Beach is a six-block jaunt from the strip and an intimate way to enjoy the performing arts. See plays from an organization that has been a Beach institution mainstay since 1948.
The offerings change from classics by writers like Arthur Miller and Stephen Sondheim to lesser-known imports from the London stage. It really is a little theatre; there isn’t a bad seat in the house.
A winding drive deep into the edges of the city brings you to the largest venue in the area, which can hold 20,000 people with 7,500 seats under cover and the rest on an expansive lawn.
It’s home to warm weather shows by top acts like Bruce Springsteen, the Dave Matthews Band, Brad Paisley and Jason Aldean. Traffic in and out can be frustrating, so consider a ride-sharing service.
This article was published through a partnership with Visit the USA, inspiring travelers to explore America’s boundless possibilities.