Surf and the City is an eight-day driving tour that combines the culture, shopping, dining and nightlife of Washington, DC with a seaside escape to Virginia Beach and a fun day at Busch Gardens Europe theme park in Williamsburg Virginia.
Driving time between Washington, DC and Virginia Beach is just three and a half hours. The driving time between Virginia Beach and Busch Gardens Europe is one hour.
The driving trip is scheduled to avoid peak travel days: weekdays in Washington, DC and weekends in Virginia Beach and Busch Gardens Europe. As a result, travelers will enjoy less crowded tourist attractions and lower hotel rates.
Things to do in Washington DC
The Washington, DC Convention & Tourism Corporation suggests the following things to do on a three-day weekend visit to the US capital:
On Friday morning, visit the Smithsonian Institution, the world-famous collection of museums in Washington, DC. All Smithsonian museums have free admission. Explore the National Museum of Natural History, the National Air and Space Museum, the National Museum of the American Indian and specialty museums featuring African and Asian art.
In the afternoon, take an elevator ride to the top of the Washington Monument or Old Post Office Pavilion for spectacular views of the U.S. capital city, then walk to the White House for a photo in front of the residence of the U.S. president.
After a quick dinner at Union Station, join a night tour of the famous monuments. Many of the Washington, DC night tours depart from the train station.
On Saturday morning, visit Eastern Market on Capitol Hill for a breakfast of Bluebucks, blueberry buckwheat pancakes. Explore the market and the nearby Capitol Hill neighborhood, home of the U.S. Capitol, Library of Congress, Supreme Court and Folger Shakespeare Library.
International Spy Museum
In the afternoon, visit the Newseum for an interactive look at the history of how news is made and reported.
Learn about the history of espionage at the International Spy Museum as you crack codes, take on covers and crawl through air ducts to eavesdrop on conversations throughout the museum. If you enjoy American art and dramatic architecture don't miss the National Portrait Gallery and Smithsonian American Art Museum, the newest additions to the Smithsonian museums.
In the evening, discover the dynamic theaters in Washington, DC. Catch a classic performance at the Kennedy Center, the Shakespeare Theatre Company or historic Ford's Theatre, or a contemporary performance at Arena Stage or the Studio Theatre.
Adams Morgan restaurants
On Sunday morning, bring the kids to the National Zoo, and then discover breathtaking views of Washington, DC from the National Cathedral. Art lovers should visit the Phillips Collection, home to an impressive collection of art by Renoir, El Greco, Rothko and other leading artists.
In the afternoon, go to Georgetown for lunch at a casual café. Shop in the neighborhood's boutiques and specialty stores.
In the evening, visit U Street, the historic "Black Broadway" in Washington, DC, for dinner at a trendy bistro, followed by a live jazz performance. If you prefer international cuisine, explore the Adams Morgan neighborhood, where you'll find restaurants serving Ethiopian, Vietnamese, Latin American, Asian and other foods from around the world.
Things to do in Virginia Beach
The Virginia Beach Convention and Visitors Bureau suggests the following things to do during a Monday to Friday visit to the region:
On Monday morning, search for dolphins on a two-hour dolphin watching boat trip. Or, paddle a kayak on a dolphin quest in Kayak Virginia's coastal waters with Chesapean Outdoors guides. The friendly dolphins love to play and frolic up close to kayaks.
Virginia Beach Boardwalk
In the afternoon, relax on the beach and stroll the three-mile boardwalk. With a separate bike path, the boardwalk is perfect for biking, roller-blading, jogging or just walking. Sunbathers come for the wide, sandy beaches. Surfers come for the waves, and everyone comes for the people-watching.
In the evening, dine on delicious coastal cuisine at the Oceanfront. The entire family will enjoy free performances at Beach Street USA, a diverse array of street performers along Atlantic Avenue's sidewalks.
On Tuesday morning, pamper yourself at a Virginia Beach health spa. The Flowering Almond Spa and the Association for Research and Enlightenment (ARE) provide holistic health programs through health and rejuvenation. Tours of ARE headquarters are free.
False Cape State Park
In the afternoon, hike in False Cape State Park or enjoy its six miles of unspoiled East Coast beaches. You can enter only by foot, bike, tram or boat. Or, hop on a tram and travel through Back Bay National Wildlife Refuge, one of Virginia's most wild and remote parks.
In the evening, paddle with Wild River Outfitters to one of Virginia Beach's finest restaurants, located on Tabernacle Creek in the Sandbridge area, near the home of the Witch of Pungo. Feast on local dishes in a turn-of-the-century fish camp setting.
On Wednesday morning, visit First Landing Cross to see the site where English settlers first landed in the New World on April 26, 1607. Tour the Cape Henry Lighthouse and Museum, built in the 1700s and 1800s on a bluff overlooking Chesapeake Bay and the Atlantic Ocean. Explore historic Adam Thoroughgood House and Gardens, built around 1680 on the Lynnhaven River.
Chesapeake Bay fishing
After a leisurely lunch along Chesapeake Bay, set sail on a chartered fishing trip. Virginia Beach is called the "Striped Bass Capital of the World." With two inlets, Rudee and Lynnhaven, visitors can embark on half-day and full-day inshore and offshore charters to catch fish from marlin to mahi.
Watch the sun set on Chesapeake Bay or spend a relaxing evening in Town Center with a performance at the new Sandler Center for The Performing Arts.
On Thursday morning, tee off at a Virginia Beach golf course, or take a surf lesson with the Surf and Adventure Company and Billabong Surf Camps at Sandbridge Beach.
In the afternoon, view more than 800,000 gallons of aquariums at the Virginia Aquarium & Marine Science Center. Virginia Aquarium staff interpreters run seasonal dolphin and whale-watching boat excursions.
After sunset, take a pirate cruise, an evening ocean cruise on Virginia's Jewel, a 100-foot luxury yacht, or enjoy the theater, symphony, opera or a rock show.
Busch Gardens Europe
On Friday, drive one hour from Virginia Beach to Busch Gardens Europe and Water Country USA in Williamsburg Virginia. The European-themed adventure park combines rides, music and the atmosphere of six European countries with adventure.
The world's tallest dive roller coaster is Griffon, in Busch Gardens Europe. Riders climb 205 feet before Griffon drops them 90 degrees straight down at 75 mph. Griffon is also the first floorless roller coaster. Outer seats extend away from the track.