The Porch in Virginia Beach. Photography by Zoë Grant.

If you’re not familiar with the Tidewater Region of Virginia, it might be prime time to get acquainted. Home to the quintessential East Coast beach town of Virginia Beach, as well as the bustling city of Norfolk, the area is also surrounded by many charming “sister cities” nestled into the beautiful coastal plains. “Tidewater sits in the sweet spot between the Mid-Atlantic and South East and enjoys moderate weather conditions year round,” says Mary Kaufman, editor of The Scout Guide Tidewater. The combination of various bodies of water and warm temperatures make it the perfect place to relax outdoors with a refreshing drink in hand, soaking in the sun and the laidback vibe (pro tip from Mary: show up in flip-flop and you’ll fit right in). Here, Mary shares her current list of not-to-be-missed al fresco watering holes in and around the Tidewater region. 

Tulu Seaside Bar & Grill (Virginia Beach, 4201 Atlantic Avenue). “This seaside bar and grill, right on the Atlantic Ocean and connected to the new Marriott Virginia Beach, offers fresh and healthy options and unbeatable views.”

The Shack (Virginia Beach, 712 Atlantic Avenue). “My favorite day drinking spot in Virginia Beach is The Shack. There is something for everyone, and the large open area with games and bars makes it great for families. They also offer different seasonal markets and events.”

The Back Deck (Virginia Beach, 3323 Shore Drive). “Some of the best sunsets in Virginia can be found at The Back Deck, where you’ll enjoy great intracoastal views. This is a classic beach town bar and grill with a laid back attitude.”

The Porch (Virginia Beach, 2109 West Great Neck Road, Suite 102). “When the weather is nice, this seafood restaurant on Long Creek is the perfect spot to grab a cocktail and dinner and enjoy live music for date night.”

Grain (Norfolk, 100 East Main Street). “Catch the best views of downtown Norfolk at this rooftop beer garden. It’s a hotspot when the sun goes down and a great place to grab a beer and a bite with friends.” 

Decoys Seafood (Suffolk, 3305 Ferry Road). “Enjoy delicious seafood right on Bennett’s Creek Marina!”

Legend Brewing (Portsmouth, 1 High Street). “This Legend’s Portsmouth location (the main brewery is in Richmond) sits along the Elizabeth River in Old Towne Portsmouth. There, you’ll get to enjoy scenic views, great beer, and food.”

The Great Lawn at The Cavalier (Virginia Beach, 4200 Atlantic Avenue). “Atop of one of the few hills in Virginia Beach, The Great Lawn at The Cavalier offers ideal views of the ocean. Grab a drink from the bar right inside and have a seat in one of the many Adirondack chairs. This iconic spot is a must-see when traveling to the beach.”

For additional recommendations for what to do, see, and experience in the Tidewater region, follow The Scout Guide Tidewater on Instagram

*Please note that due to COVID-19 some of these businesses might be closed or have specific guidelines in place. We recommend calling ahead and/or visiting their websites for the latest information on their status, offerings, etc.