The coastal city of Virginia Beach is a late-night playground for those who love some post-sunset revelry. Whether you choose to stay in one of the numerous sandy promenades or within a regional centre, there are exceptional restaurants, bars and nightclubs that cater to every vibe imaginable.

    Take a stroll down Oceanfront's much-loved boardwalk for a collection of lively venues, while districts at either end of the coastline are also jam-packed with places for drinking and enjoying the waterfront. Across moody cocktail bars, award-winning breweries and artistic conclaves, these districts ensure Virginia Beach's stellar reputation for nocturnal activities is nearly unmatched.

    1

    Oceanfront

    Party along Oceanfront's 3-mile boardwalk packed with bars and nightclubs

    • Nightlife

    Oceanfront is the central nightlife hub of Virginia Beach. Stretching along the beachfront, Atlantic Avenue, in particular, is where you'll come across an endless array of restaurants, bars, and nightclubs. The strip is renowned for its colourful street performers and street food stands, which keep the area bursting with energy throughout the day and night.

    Head to the Calypso Bar & Grill for a hearty American meal before hitting the dance floor overlooking the picturesque beachfront beyond. Further down Virginia Beach's famous boardwalk, you can indulge in Beatlemania at the Abbey Road Pub & Restaurant, while nightclubs like Peabody's and Chemistry keep the party going into the early hours.

    Location: 1700 Atlantic Ave, Virginia Beach, VA 23451 USA

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    2

    Chesapeake Bay

    Tour the breweries and bars that make up this calm beachfront community

    • Nightlife

    Chesapeake Bay is found along the northern tip of Virginia Beach, providing visitors with a more laidback alternative to the bustling nightlife of Oceanfront. Set between Chesapeake Beach and the Cape Henry Lighthouse, there are numerous lively nightlife venues positioned along Shore Drive.

    Drop by Hot Tuna for delicious seafood cuisine and drinks at the terrace bar, where you can huddle around a soothing fire pit. For beer lovers, Chesapeake Bay has several top-notch breweries waiting to pour you some irresistible pints, including the Pleasure House Brewing Company and the Deadline Brewing Project.

    Location: Chesapeake Beach, Virginia Beach, VA USA

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    3

    Town Center

    Explore Town Center's collection of sultry cocktail bars and comedy clubs

    • Nightlife

    The Town Center District is situated away from the coastal landscapes of Virginia Beach and heaves with activity most nights. It's where visitors to Virginia Beach can discover a wealth of high-end restaurants, bars and entertainment venues, all located within close proximity to each other.

    Twist Martini & Associates is open late serving vibrant cocktails alongside casual pub food like tacos and burgers, while Keagan's Irish Pub & Restaurant offers sports on the big screen, pool tables and an undeniably lively atmosphere. Also, make sure you include a visit to Funny Bone on your itinerary – you'll catch some of the biggest names in comedy doing what they do best.

    Location: 4525 Main St #900, Virginia Beach, VA 23462 USA

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    photo by Mackenzie Brunson (CC BY 2.0) modified

    4

    Dam Neck

    Get rowdy with the locals at some of Virginia Beach's favourite haunts

    • Nightlife

    Located south of Virginia Beach's famous waterfront, Dam Neck is a leafy retreat away from the busy crowds. The region features a variety of lakeside communities, stellar golf courses, and a selection of summertime waterparks. But if you decide to leave the promenade behind for the day, there are still some lively spots to slink into.

    Big Woody's Bar & Grill is a choice after-dark place, serving stacked plates of comfort food, cheap beer, and live entertainment. Nearby, Lendy's Cafe is renowned for its combination of chicken wings, hot sauce, and a fine selection of local craft beers poured from the tap. Visit on Saturday nights for fun-loving karaoke events.

    Location: Dam Neck, Virginia Beach, VA USA

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    5

    Sandbridge

    Relish the coastal vibes at bars dotted throughout this beachy destination

    • Nightlife

    The coastal community of Sandbridge is an idyllic kind of place. The pristine beachfront stretches continuously for miles along the coastline, while there are countless spots for world-class fishing, kayaking and hiking. Fortunately, Sandbridge is also a great destination for drinking and dining, with many venues lined up along the beautiful shoreline.

    Baja Restaurant is one of the most popular spots in the district, in part thanks to its sprawling lawn setting that spills out into the water. Baja offers regular karaoke nights and happy hours, ensuring it's crammed with locals on the weekends. Another regional highlight is the Sandbridge Island Restaurant, serving oysters, pizza and drinks on its relaxing terrace.

    Location: Sandbridge, Virginia Beach, VA USA

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    6

    Chic's Beach

    Soak up the sunset with Chic Beach's coastal venues

    • Nightlife

    Chic's Beach is a nature lover's dream, situated between lakes, forested landscapes and, of course, an exceptional beachfront. For visitors who can't get enough of the coast, there are an array of bars and restaurants to enjoy long after the sun goes down.

    Buoy 44 Seafood Grill showcases high-quality surf 'n' turf meals, a well-stocked bar, and panoramic ocean views. Set just behind the sand, the Green Parrot Grille is open late serving customers burgers, tacos and tropical-inspired cocktails. Around the corner, HK on the Bay is where you should go if you're after live music and welcoming pub vibes.

    Location: Chic's Beach Virginia Beach, VA 23455 USA

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    photo by Bdmccray (CC BY 3.0) modified

    7

    Pungo

    Head to the countryside to experience Virginia Beach's famous hospitality

    • Nightlife

    Pungo might be one of Virginia Beach's regional communities, but there's no shortage of nightlife venues that showcase the area's best attributes. After you've spent the day picking fresh fruit on active farms or explored the Virginia Military Aviation Museum, there are a variety of great ways to close out the day.

    Blue Pete's Restaurant is one of Virginia Beach's most enduring eateries. Head along and enjoy tasty seafood and sandwiches paired with local beers and cocktails as you look out upon the surrounding creek. For something a little louder, the Pungo Sports Bar & Grill is ideal for kicking back and watching the game alongside scores of excited fans.

    Location: Pungo, Virginia Beach, VA 23456 USA

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    photo by PumpkinSky (CC BY-SA 3.0) modified

    8

    Rudee Inlet

    A cosy beachside pocket with several venerable eateries and bars

    • Nightlife

    Rudee Inlet is set between Oceanfront and Dam Neck and is a charming waterfront community famous for its watersports activities and sought-after fishing spots. Bounded by Lake Wesley, Lake Rudee and the North Atlantic Ocean, this lush district features numerous waterfront restaurants and bars that are still close to the action but kept clear of the crowds.

    Big Sam's Raw Beer is celebrated for its incredible seafood dishes, which you feast upon as you look out across Rudee Inlet. Featuring fun, tiki-inspired décor, visitors can relax until the early hours. Meanwhile, the local landmark of Rudee's Restaurant & Cabana Bar has been operating for almost 40 years. Serving fresh seafood meals, you can kick back on the sundeck of a funky replica Coast Guard station.

    Location: Rudee Inlet, Virginia Beach, VA USA

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    9

    Woodhouse Corner

    Stop at the Inland district's Woodhouse Corner for cocktails and beer

    • Nightlife

    Virginia Beach's inland town of Woodhouse Corner might be best known for its quaint restaurants and shopping boutiques, but this chilled-out place still features plenty of places to enjoy a late-night drink. Spend the afternoon exploring the town's charming farmers' markets before heading to the rustic surrounds of Whisky Kitchen. This pleasant pit stop offers innovative bourbon, rum, and vodka cocktails.

    A few streets away, you'll find the Tapped Crafthouse, another of Virginia Beach's much-loved breweries. Here, you'll get the chance to sample a variety of beers from their convenient tasting paddles. Woodhouse Corner might not be set along the beachfront, but you won't miss it too much at these wonderful venues.

    Location: Woodhouse Corner, Virginia Beach, VA 23456 USA

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    10

    ViBe Creative District

    See the street art and bars of Virginia Beach's most creative community

    • Nightlife

    The ViBe Creative District is found within the Oceanfront area, but its distinctive artistic flair makes it a worthy location on its own. Here, visitors can experience the cool and trendy side of Virginia Beach, with an array of locally-owned restaurants, museums, coffee roasteries and cocktail makers on offer. For the best overview of the area, take a walking tour and explore ViBe's radiant street art murals before visiting the region's hippest locations.

    Esoteric provides modern American cuisine with a first-rate drinks list, while Hearth Wood Fired Cuisine & Craft Beer indulges its southern roots. Don't miss the award-winning drinks on offer at the acclaimed Vibrant Shore Brewing Company or the Chesapeake Bay Distillery.

    Location: ViBe Creative District, Virginia Beach, VA 23451 USA

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    Hudson Brown | Contributing Writer

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