Virginia Beach VA: Where to Stay, Drink, Eat and Explore

To experience a bunch of sunny days on Virginia Beach, without the summer crowds, come in the autumn. On chilly nights, get toasty by seating next to outdoor fire pits or indoor fireplaces, which are plentiful at the glamorous and historical Cavalier Hotel.  The magnificent estate of the four-columned and red brick hotel dominates Virginia Beach’s famous oceanfront.

STAY

The Cavalier Virginia Beach, Autograph Collection

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Originally built in 1927, the French Neo-classical hotel once hosted several U.S. presidents, including John Kennedy and Richard Nixon, as well as iconic celebrities, from Frank Sinatra, Judy Garland, F. Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald, -and, most recently, Pharrell Williams, Kanye West and Kim Kardashian.

After a recent multi-million dollar restorative renovation, the luxurious and majestic hotel is tastefully decorated with art and furnishings –and, even calligraphic written references on the corridor walls, reflecting its historical past.  The Cavalier has 85 rooms and suites with contemporary designer accents and classic architecture, plus, six distinctive Heritage Suites, featuring decors that reflect the personalities of past, favored guests.

Each room is full of cozy and posh amenities, from cotton terry bathrobes and slippers to the hidden espresso machine and mini-fridge to large windows offering views of the garden, estate or ocean.  A large flat-screen TV, with On-Demand movies, faces the comfy, plush bed.  The stunning bathrooms have historic black and white tiles, marble and silver accented finishes, including a silver tray of Molton Brown travel size toiletries.

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Tech savvy travelers will appreciate the free Wi-Fi, bedside UBS ports, work desk area, accessible electric outlets throughout the room, and the handy Electric Vehicle charging stations.  Active travelers will love the extensive fitness center, indoor pool -great for swim laps, and hot tub for post-work out recovery.

The Cavalier offers guests and visiting locals two restaurants, Becca and Hunt Room, and The Raleigh Room, a lobby bar and social room, plus, an onsite distillery, Tarnished Truth.

4200 Atlantic Avenue, Virginia Beach VA;  cavalierhotel.com;  @cavalierhotel

TASTE

Tarnished Truth Distilling Company

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Founded by two Virginia natives in 2013, the in-house distillery is located in the basement, or lower level, of the Cavalier.  Tarnished Truth Distilling Company shares the space with the hotel’s spa, fitness center, and rustic tavern, The Hunt Room.  The gift shop-fronted Tarnished Truth offers daily tours of the distillery’s complex, yet compact process that produces their signature bourbon, rye whiskey and AVA Vodka, including the intimate method of bottling and hand-labeling each bottle.

A door will lead you from the industrial setting of the distillery into a rustic, yet elegant tasting room with a long wooden table for monthly distillery dinners and cocktail classes as well as private events.

Tarnished Truth Distilling Company Details

TarnishedTruth.com;  @TarnishedTruth

Retail Store Hours: Tuesday-Sunday, from 11 am to 8 pm
Distillery Tours: Thursday-Sunday, from 2 pm to 6 pm. $20 per person; includes tour, tasting, & Tarnished Truth tasting glass

Tip:  Plan your trip for the first Saturday in November to attend the Virginia Bourbon Invitational.  The annual afternoon event features bourbon tastings from Tarnished Truth (the event’s 2018 People Choice winner) as well as local and regional distilleries, tapas-style food from leading culinary restaurants in Coastal Virginia and live music on The Cavalier Great Lawn.

COCKTAILS

The Hunt Room at The Cavalier Hotel

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The dark and intimate tavern and dining room, with fox and hound themed decor, features a fireplace surrounded by over-sized leather seating and thick wooden tables.  The Hunt Room’s Chef Sam Reyes creates rustic, yet gourmet level cuisine, while the bar serves excellent hand-crafted, classic cocktails as well as beer and wine.

The Huntsman

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Woodford Reserve Bourbon – or upgrade to Old Cavalier Bourbon, Fresh Grapefruit, Honey Syrup, and garnished with fresh sprig of French Tarragon.

Gallant Fox

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Tarnished Truth 9 Year Small Batch Bourbon, Fresh Lime, Angostura Bitters, Ginger Beer, and Mint.

For a light bite, don’t miss the scrumptious fried and butterflied Jumbo Fantail Carolina Shrimp -served with   Burnt Honey Mustard and AVA Seafood Sauce.  For a heartier appetite, opt for the decadent The Cavalier Burger – Wagyu Beef, Cambozola Cheese, Honey Pepper Bacon, and Caramelized Onions on Ciabatta Roll.

The Hunt Room Details

4200 Atlantic Avenue (in The Cavalier Hotel), Virginia Beach VA; @TheHuntRoomVB

Happy Hour: Monday-Friday, from 4 pm – 6 pm
Dinner: Monday- Saturday, from 5 pm – 10 pm, (closed on Sundays)
Bar w/ Late Night Menu: Friday and Saturday, from 5 pm – 1:30 am

The Raleigh Room at The Cavalier Hotel

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The Raleigh Room’s grand salon, with its blazing, central fireplace, is the heart of the hotel.  Decorated with classical paintings and tufted velvet chairs and sofas, yet this quintessential Southern lounge has a sophisticated vibe.  In the evening, the Raleigh Room’s beautiful bar is the place to meet up for proper cocktails and live entertainment.

For the perfect end of night experience, order the rich, sweet and creamy Ghost Cat – shaken with Bulleit Bourbon, Cream, Black Walnut Bitters, Vanilla Syrup, and grated Nutmeg, or the intense Fireside Chat –stirred with Buffalo Trace Bourbon, House Coffee Liqueur, Campari, Sweet Vermouth, and Orange.

The Raleigh Room Details

4200 Atlantic Avenue (in The Cavalier Hotel), Virginia Beach VA; @TheRaleighRoom

Bar opens 2 pm daily; Live Entertainment:  Thursdays, 6 pm to 10 pm; and Fridays & Saturdays, from 7 pm to 11 pm.

BREAKFAST & BRUNCH

Becca at The Cavalier Hotel

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The elegantly modern, but unpretentious Becca dining room offers locally inspired dishes with locally sourced ingredients.  For the optimal brunch venue setting, choose a table in the sun room patio or the gorgeous outdoor garden seating area.

Brunch Cocktails at Becca

The First Ladies

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Earl Grey Tea Infused Gin, Lemon, Simple Syrup, Hibiscus Bitters, and Sparkling Wine.

Sunken Garden –made with Titos Vodka, Beefeater Gin, Strawberry Infused Dolin Blanc, and St. Germaine, or Big Band Jam mixed with Old Forester Bourbon, Aperol, Lemon, Demerara Syrup, Fig Jam, and Black Tea. [not shown]

For brunch or breakfast go for Becca’s decadent The Cavalier – Two Poached Cage-Free Eggs, Jumbo Lump Crab, Tomatoes, Spinach, English Muffin, Hollandaise Sauce, or, another house favorite, Smoked Duck and Sweet Potato Hash  – served with Two Poached Eggs with Sauce Choron.

Becca Details

4200 Atlantic Avenue (in The Cavalier Hotel), Virginia Beach VA;  @BeccaVB

Breakfast:  Daily, from 7 am to 11 am
Sunday Brunch: 10 am to 4 pm
(Also open for lunch and dinner)

Sunday Afternoon Tea at The Raleigh Room

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Relax with a coffee and croissant in the morning, or enjoy high tea in the afternoon in the Raleigh Room. Or, find a serene spot out on the surrounding indoor or outdoor verandas that overlook the estate’s lush gardens for an intimate experience.

SIGHTS

Virginia Beach Boardwalk

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Across the street from the Cavalier and south of the hotel’s contemporary, oceanfront Beach Club, you will find the extensive Virginia Beach Boardwalk.  It is the perfect destination for the active traveler to walk, run, rollerblade or bike along three miles of beautiful Virginia Beach oceanfront.  Along the way, join in on a beach volleyball game, workout on the outdoor fitness equipment or take a horse ride along the shore. You will also find the wide path lined with waterfront restaurants, shops, outdoor concert venues, and art sculptures and statues.

2101 Parks Avenue, Virginia Beach, VA

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Tip:  When going down the three mile boardwalk, you can’t miss the 34 foot statue of King Neptune standing guard over Neptune Park. The titanic statue is located on 31st Street, and is one of Virginia Beach’s many “Insta” hotspots.

ViBe Creative District

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Located in the resort area of the City of Virginia Beach, the ViBe Creative District is filled with local artists, crafters, leather smiths, coffee masters, distilled spirits shops, surf and skate culture, a farmer’s market as well as live music.

619 18th Street, Virginia Beach, VA;  @ViBeCreativeDistrict

Bad Ass Coffee

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Bad Ass Coffee of Hawaii is a gourmet coffee company offering American-grown, Hawaiian coffee from Moloka’i, Kauai, Maui and Kona coffee.  Try their unique Hawaiian Signature blend (10% Hawaiian coffee and other beans from around the world) or signature espresso drinks.

619 18th Street, Virginia Beach VA;  @BadAssCoffee.VirginiaBeach

Croc’s 19th Street Bistro

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Croc’s has been locally owned and operated since 1993 and has partnerships with Virginia Aquarium Sensible Seafood, Buy Fresh Buy Local, and S.O.S. Lynnhaven River NOW.  Croc’s was the first Virginia Green restaurant in 2007 with amenities including solar hot water system, rain barrel and garden, on-premise chef garden, and locally made craft beer wine and spirits.

620 19th Street, Virginia Beach VA;  @Crocs19thStreetBistro

Old Beach Green Market

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The Old Beach Green Market is an outdoor market of eco-friendly products and information.  Located in at the Creative District’s ViBe Park on 18th Street and Cypress Avenue, and within walking distance of the Old Beach Art Market.

1801 Cypress Avenue, Virginia Beach VA;  @OldBeachGreenMarket;  Pet Friendly

MOCA Virginia Museum of Contemporary Art

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2200 Parks Avenue, Virginia Beach VA;  @VirginiaMOCA

3D LOVE Sign

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Part of Virginia’s statewide LOVEwork art projects, this sign is another of Virginia Beach’s top instragammable locations.  It is located next to the Virginia Beach Oceanfront Library and adjacent to ViBe Park.

700 Virginia Beach Boulevard, Virginia Beach VA

Tip:  Take the one-mile walking tour ViBe Mural Walking Tour to capture shots for a fab Insta slideshow.

LOCAL EATS

Orange Crushes

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Virginia Beach is known for Orange Crushes, made with freshly-squeezed Orange Juice, Triple Sec, and Sprite.

Waterman’s Surfside Grille

To cool off from your walk or bike ride, stop by Waterman’s for an icy cold Crush.  The original Orange Crush – is a local favorite made with freshly-squeezed Orange Juice, Triple Sec, and Sprite.  Enjoy all the flavors with happy hour bar bites, such as fish tacos, Buffalo tuna bites, or $5 half-pound steamed shrimp.

415 Atlantic Avenue, Virginia Beach, VA;  @watermanssurfsidegrille

Lynnhaven Oysters

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Once coveted by the English aristocracy for its size and salinity, the famous Lynnhaven Oyster is a local legend.  Thanks to habitat revitalization efforts – such as those led by Pleasure House Oysters – they have been saved from near-extinction and are back on the menu at top restaurants in Virginia Beach.

Hop aboard a boat tour with Pleasure House Oysters and taste an oyster plucked straight from the water beneath you, or order them how you like them from local spots like the award-winning and oceanfront Terrapin Restaurant.

Pleasure House Oysters

3211 Lynnhaven Drive, Virginia Beach VA

To schedule tour, call Captain Chris Ludford:  757-663-6970

Terrapin Restaurant

3102 Holly Road, #514, Virginia Beach VA;  @Terrapin

Soft Shell Crab

Bloody Blue at Bay Local Eatery

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Soft shell crabs are blue crabs whose hard exterior shells have molted, and they are found in abundance in the warming waters of the Chesapeake Bay.  the local soft shell crab season typically starts in mid-April or early May each year, and lasts through September. That means you have roughly five months to savor this local culinary staple before they go away. Whether you enjoy them lightly fried, beneath a perfectly-poached egg, or atop a spicy bloody Mary, like on the popular Bloody Blue at Bay Local Eatery.

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972 Laskin Rd, Virginia Beach, VA 23451

She-crab Soup

She-crab soup is a Virginia Beach staple available at numerous local restaurants everywhere.  However, it’s worth a special trip to the Sandbridge area for a cup of Margie & Ray’s Seafood, Crab & Raw Bar’s renowned she-crab soup, which has been voted the best in Tidewater more than once.

Margie & Ray’s Seafood, Crab & Raw Bar

 

 

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