Wednesday, April 18, 2012
Virginia Beach for Foodies and Families
Peanuts come to mind when I think of Virginia. I figured that Virginia Beach food would also center around peanuts, maybe with a fudge store or two thrown in.
But it turns out that Virginia Beach is so much more.
The area has become a foodie destination, so much so that Coastal Food Tours of Virginia offers a Virginia Beach Boardwalk Food Tour and a Farmers Market Food Tour.
When you look at Virginia Beach closely, this attention to food makes sense. The area is on the Atlantic ocean and the Chesapeake Bay, so fresh seafood is a given. Blue crab, rockfish, flounder and mackerel are some of the local seafood.
Virginia Beach for vegetarians
The year round Virginia Beach Farmers market sells seasonal, fresh vegetables and fruit as well as organic groceries, local dairy and ice cream and candy. When our kids were little, we gave them money to spend at farmers’ markets, and they usually chose unique, healthy foods they wanted to try: purple carrots or a whole grain bun studded with pumpkin seeds.
Virginia Beach for families
If you are traveling with young children, be sure to check out the Rural Education Center at the Farmers Market, which offers Rural Heritage Tours. Kids can milk a fake cow (that produces real milk), churn cream into butter and feed pigs.
Virginia Beach is also famous for its ham, not too appealing to my vegetarian family, but the pigs are adorable.
At Brookdale Farm, you can pick your own strawberries and shop from a small farm stand. Even if you are staying at a hotel with no cooking facilities, fresh corn from the farm should not be missed. You can actually eat it raw, bursting with juice and flavor.
Family activities in Virginia Beach
In between eating breakfast, lunch and dinner, and thinking about food, there is plenty to fill your day. The salt air at the free ocean beaches whets your appetite for the meals to come. If you overindulge, work off a meal by strolling the three mile boardwalk, or riding a bike.
Families with young children should head to the protected waters of the Chesapeake Bay Beaches. The gentle waves are perfect for kids and swimmers can also enjoy the water.
Hike almost 20 miles of trails at First Landing State Park, where English settlers arrived on April 26, 1607. The park also offers kayak rentals and guided kayak eco tours, bike paths, picnic areas and campgrounds.
And if you want some Virginia peanuts, get the Virginia Beach caramel apple version at The Royal Chocolate, an apple dipped in caramel, then rolled in peanuts and chocolate.
I wrote this blog post while participating in the SocialMoms and Virginia Beach blogging program. For more information on how you can participate, click here.