The perfect gift is one that 1) creates a positive reaction from the recipient 2) with results that they’ll treasure forever. Virginia Beach holds a special spot in so many hearts. We’ve created a guide of the top 10 gifts for those who love Virginia Beach as much as we do!
Whether you have spent time in the area or you just want to bring home the local best, make sure to put these on your list (for giving or receiving… wink, wink)!
Art is something that can take you right back to a time and a place. Nothing can help you reminisce about the sand between your toes and salt water in your hair better than a beautiful art keepsake. If a Seascape commemorates your time in Virginia Beach, 21st Street Art Gallery has you covered with all the major local artists. Maybe you will fall in love with one of our many talented local artists in the ViBe district (ex: OnieTonie) or more contemporary art from Virginia MOCA. A small or large piece of art can be the perfect gift to remind you of a good time to come or of good times in the past.
The culture of beach towns everywhere are woven by their interactions with mother nature and the ocean. The shops that service the surfers and water adventurers are a major part of many visitors’ experiences. Locals and vacationers alike are able to show their love for Virginia Beach and connect with others who share that love with a good ‘ole t-shirt! From the most iconic Wave Riding Vehicle shirts to the ESCS Coastal Edge shirts, the newer Freedom Shirt Shop tees, to the old-school 17th Street Surf Shop goodies, & Whalebone Surf Shop gear – a beachy comfy throw on can be an awesome addition to any beach lovers wardrobe.
It has been said that scent is the strongest sense tied to memory. One of Virginia Beach’s best gifts shop’s, the Lemon Cabana, sells what we consider our town’s signature scent – the Beach House Sea & Dune by Lafco. By reading the description alone, how could this scent not bring you back to a treasured memory at the beach?
“The drive took forever, but you have arrived. As the car door opens, the rush of salt embraces you. Running barefoot through the gentle hills of sand, stiff slivers of grass sneak in between your toes as a faint rumble of thunder is heard in the distance. Watery blue lotus and beach grass settle into an amber-sand accord with a tiny hint of ginger.”
No matter what time of year you find yourself in Virginia Beach you’re sure to have your taste buds dazzled. The unique flavors of a seafood and elevated culinary culture offers something for everybody. As we all know, the way to a lot of people’s heart is through their stomachs. Here is all you need to know to pull at those heart strings! TASTE Unlimited has been a staple of beach grab-and-go food and gifts for generations but a trip to TASTE is not complete without their staples of TASTE Famous House Dressing, Cheese Straws, Peanuts, & their House Wine. Their selection of gifts is great and you really can’t go wrong!
If your gift recipient has more of a sweet tooth then go no further than Forbes Candies. Their gift trays are works of art and their saltwater taffy is simply the best gift to bring about a recollection of that salty air. Nowhere does it better!
As a coastal town, a summer meal is not complete without some blue crabs mixed in some way. You can display crab meat dip as a shared appetizer, toss some crab meat in with decadent mac and cheese or pick crabs as the main show piece – crabs are a staple of this town! Blue Crab Bay Co. has the best seasonings and mixers to accompany your blue crab pile and offers gift sets that range from stocking-stuffers to the crab meat and soups themselves!
Our crab obsession does extend further than our plates. Ashburn Sauce Company features our favorite Bloody Mary mix with a hint of the sea blended right in. And let’s be honest, a trip to the beach isn’t complete without a few cocktails in hand.
Some signature cocktails of this town are often so artisanal that they have to be experienced in-house. We will say, from experience, that the only way to truly recreate an Orange Crush from Waterman’s (our favorite cocktail in town) is to buy the iconic crushed ice from Sonic.
Speaking of Waterman’s, you’ll find a little gift shop inside called the Beach Nut. The store is lined with items and jewelry that create that overall Virginia Beach laid back, chic style. They boast being “a treasure trove for the fashion and decor savvy treasure hunter.” Whether you are adorning someone’s home or their arm, you’ll find some of the best gifts here! The Gurgle Pot, for example, is a great seaside gift for those who like to entertain.
Another spot to hit for the best knick knack treasures is A. Dodson. If any of your memories of Virginia Beach include oysters, or you may happen to collect them as many do, A.Dodson’s can help with that! Though oysters and clams from Ocean Cove Seafood are some of our favorites to eat, the accessories that result in a good oyster shucking are a little easier to wrap!
If you love decor that screams seaside bungalow, than Sea La Vie is your spot. Purchase anything from mermaids to sailboats to shells for those bookshelves or side tables.
Jewelry to adorn that lovely lady in your life is always a good go-to! Doesn’t everyone know that the best presents come in the smallest packages? Virginia Beach Sea Glass has taken many of the treasures they’ve found in Virginia Beach and turned them into beautiful pieces of jewelry. You can even contact them directly for a memorable custom piece.
If your gift recipient loves Virginia Beach, why not get them something they love the most – a trip. Often times it can be hard to wrap your mind around how to present a trip as a gift. Forbes magazine gives some great advice, from getting a pre-paid gift card that they can use to cover the trip or creating a basket of travel essentials for them to take on the visit. Here are a few of the essentials we like to have in our beach bag!
With a flexible cancellation policy and communication, booking a house can be one of the easiest and most exciting ways to gift a trip. Get a gift certificate from a property management company and have your love one choose the house and travel dates! The end of the year is a great time to book travel because deals are abundant.
the take home
Tack on some added value and do something on the trip that you guys can take home with you. For example, we love the Mermaid Factory. Not only do you get to do something fun (wine included!), but you get to take something home that will always remind you of the best gift ever received (a trip to Virginia Beach, of course).
Photographs are also a great way to remember a vacation! Don’t just rely on your iPhone and some stranger to take a picture of your group. Ask a local to recommend a photographer and set up a photography session on the beach for a keepsake. Another great way to add value to the gift of experience.
For that person who craves the adrenaline rush – Virginia Beach has so many to choose from. You can indoor skydive, paddleboard, kayak with the dolphins, horseback ride on the beach, surf, boat, wakeboard, etc. There are tons of studies that tell us that experiences create greater well-being and are a much better use of money when thinking about a gift. They build relationships, last longer and are way more special!