Swimming in Portsmouth Heights

Select Local Merchants

Ocean Breeze Waterpark, which offers free parking, embraces the spirit of the sun-drenched Caribbean, inviting families to come and enjoy more than 30 rides, slides, and attractions. Food stands dish up shrimp po' boys, foot-long sub sandwiches, and ice cream, while complimentary sunscreen and a staff of vigilant lifeguards help ensure that families stay safe and comfortable throughout their visit.

Rides and Attractions

Sea Serpent Walk the Plank
350-foot slide that sends guests in tubes flying around high-banking curves and horizontal loops Thrilling, pitch-black body slide whose final 50-foot drop ends in a splash
Vortex Runaway Bay
Inner tubes swirl around a 30-foot-wide bowl before dropping into the pool below 1,000,000-gallon wave pool sends swells surging from the deep end toward the shore
Adventure River Hook's Lagoon
Each trip around this quarter-mile-long lazy river passes by waterfalls and hopelessly lost icebergs Multi-level play structure with plenty of opportunities for younger children to climb and clamber
849 General Booth Blvd.
Virginia Beach,
VA
US

Since 1988, Midlothian Athletic Club has dedicated its 70,000 square feet to myriad forms of achieving healthy living. Whether members want to hone tennis and racquetball skills, break a sweat in group exercise classes such as spinning and BodyPump, or relax in a sauna, they can do it at the MAC. The staff troll a stock of cardio and strength-training equipment, including FreeMotion Elite weight machines, Life Fitness treadmills and ellipticals, and Precor machines, ready to dole out technique pointers. At the indoor pool, swimmers can get a workout on the lap lanes, slip down water slides, or pretend to be toddlers in the kiddie pool. The club also has six indoor lanes, where instructors lead water-aerobics classes that are gentler on joints than moon aerobics.

To help guests recover after a hard workout, the Midlothian Athletic Club hosts many means of relaxation. The massage therapists calibrate their fingers to several styles of kneading, including deep-tissue, Swedish, and myofascial release massage. At the MAC Cafe, chefs sear turkey burgers, bake lime-chili parmesan fries, and blend protein shakes to order for nutritious refueling.

10800 Center View Drive
Richmond,
VA
US

The Chesapeake Bay Diving Center has been anchored in the same location since 1986, where it continues to offer lessons to un-gilled recreational and commercial divers on how to properly breathe underwater using self-contained apparatuses. After strapping into the included equipment, an experienced diving instructor will teach students still adjusting to life in their underwater condominiums the basics of breathing through a regulator, how to clear water from their masks, and the trick to adjusting the pressure buildup during descents. Afterwards, guests will be set free to explore the depths of a swimming pool, where they will experience the weightless sensation of undersea exploration first experienced by our ancestors, the mermaids.

655 Mt Vernon Ave
Portsmouth,
VA
US

With more than 10,000 creatures, 30 display tanks, and a 300-foot ocean tunnel, Sea Life Minnesota Aquarium gives visitors an up-close look at the sea's intriguing inhabitants. Sand tiger sharks feed on crustaceans and squid, one of the world's largest collection of jellyfish floats under multicolored disco lights, and the popular day octopus emits clouds of black ink to prevent visitors from glimpsing its unfinished autobiography. An interactive quiz trail helps deepen visitors' knowledge of the sea creatures, many of which are on the endangered list and have been rescued or were born and bred as part of Sea Life's conservation projects.

3300 W Mercury Blvd
Hampton,
VA
US

Founder Isa Cohen can describe Tula Adventure Sports' mission with a single word: balance. The company's staff draw from certifications and internships as teeter-totters to create balance of mind, balance with nature, and balance aboard various watercrafts. The kayaks, standup paddleboards, and charter boats that form their fleet let customers see Virginia Beach through new eyes. Whether on tours or self-guided adventures, these vessels pass along scenic coastlines and into the native habitats of dolphins, waterfowl, and goldfish crackers.

For more intense thrills, Tula Adventure Sports' instructors unlock the secrets to shredding across waves and launching into the air. Their adrenaline-packed activities include water skiing, wakeboarding, and kiteboarding.:m]]

2100 Marina Shores Drive
Virginia Beach,
VA
US

For 30 years, LDC Adventure Outfitters' instructors have been leading scuba-diving courses and organizing dive-boat trips for beginners and seasoned divers alike. But their expertise around the water extends beyond scuba diving. They also schedule snorkeling, swimming, and lifeguarding lessons, all of which are required if you want a shot at working at an underwater civilization's pool.

1413 North Great Neck Road
Virginia Beach,
VA
US