Author: Family Travel Forum Staff
Do you love the wintertime, but hate the idea of snowsports? Head to Virginia Beach, where the brisk but mild climate of a rich coastal environment makes it the perfect vacation destination for the cooler months.
This winter, the Virginia Beach Convention & Visitors Bureau is offering new “Winter Seafari” vacation packages that promise an exhilarating connection with nature. Cold breezes, top values, eco-adventures, no frostbite. What more could the kids ask for?
The Virginia Beach Winter Seafari packages include:
* 3 days/2 nights accommodations at a participating hotel
* daily breakfast (available at participating hotels)
* tickets to the Virginia Aquarium & Marine Science Center
* tickets to IMAX theater
* choice of 1 premium Virginia Aquarium experience which includes a Winter Wildlife Boat Trip, Sea Turtles: Behind the Scenes or Harbor Seals: Behind the Scenes.
Hotels participating in this offer include the Barclay Towers Resort Hotel, which has small suites with a king bed in the main room and a pullout Queen sofabed in the living room. The SpringHill Suites Virginia Beach Oceanfront also has large rooms, and many of the local inns have small kitchenette in each unit.
These adventures are especially fun for school-age kids. On the Winter Wildlife Boat Trip, you'll venture off the coast on a two-hour boat tour in search of brown pelicans, northern gannets, double-crested cormorants and other seabirds – you may even spot a whale. Each winter, thanks to the food-rich waters of the Chesapeake Bay, notes the Virginia Beach C&VB, humpback whales and fin whales migrate and can be seen along the coast. Humpback whales weighing up to 40 tons and ranging up to 52 feet-long can be seen “spyhopping” (poking their heads out of the water for up to 30 seconds), “lobtailing” (raising their huge flukes out of the water and then slapping it on the surface) and “flipper slapping” (using their flippers to slap the water).
If being out on the sea sounds too daunting, step inside the Virginia Aquarium and focus on their Sea Turtles: Behind the Scenes program. Observe feeding and interaction with five large sea turtles, the loggerhead, Kemp’s ridley and the green turtle, while an expert details their behavior and global conservation efforts.
Another indoor activity looks at seals. Harbor Seals: Behind the Scenes takes you inside the world of the aquarium’s five male harbor seals – Peter, Piper, Phoca, Norton and Hector - to get an up-close view of their care and behavioral training sessions.
“Winter Seafari” packages will be offered through March 14, 2011 and start at $83 for 2N stay, per person (price is dependant upon accommodations and activities). To plan and book your package, visit VB Fun vacation packages.
Photo of Virginia Beach Aquarium courtesy of Virginia Beach CVB