Tuesday, November 28, 2023

How Virginia Beach parking for residents stacks up against other cities

Look for this sign to take advantage of city-governed parking in Virginia Beach

It’s easy to recognize the beauty and fun of our local beaches. After all, Virginia Beach has been recently noted as one of the country’s 25 best beaches and one of the world’s 25 best family-friendly beaches. But did you know that our beaches are also a great value?

Access to our award-winning beaches and three-mile boardwalk is free to residents and visitors alike 365 days a year. That’s not the case at many other East Coast beach destinations. Residents in other beach cities often have to decide whether they should purchase a season beach access pass or pay as they go for daily beach access throughout the summer.

Those daily summer rates range from $5 per person in Asbury Park, New Jersey, up to $20 per person in Blue Shutter Town Beach, Rhode Island. Season passes can save frequent beach-goers money over time, but they also require a substantial payment up front. For example, a season pass for beach access in Sea Girt or Spring Lake, New Jersey costs $105 per person. That’s $420 each year for a local family of four to enjoy one local beach! And those two beaches are only about two miles apart, roughly the same distance from the North End to the Oceanfront here in Virginia Beach. Imagine having to pay a different fee every time you wanted to visit Sandbridge, or Chic’s, or Croatan; with so many great local beach options, that could really add up quickly!

Thankfully, Virginia Beach locals only have to consider convenience and personal preference when planning their beach days. And while your favorite local beach destination may require paid parking, that cost is actually in-line or better than many other beach communities. For example, hourly parking in Virginia Beach is $2/hour for metered parking, but there are daily lot options for $10/day or less. Two new seasonal parking options recently launched with Virginia Beach locals in mind. By comparison, Ocean City, Maryland meters will cost you up to $3/hour or you can take a shuttle service for $3 per person round trip. And parking in Miami’s famous South Beach costs a hefty $4/hour.

When it comes to shopping, dining and entertainment away from the beach, Virginia Beach residents and visitors also enjoy free parking in the downtown area of Town Center. With dozens of restaurants, retail and specialty shops, and the area’s premiere performing arts center, free parking in Town Center’s free parking delivers added value. In addition to free on-street parking, there are more than a dozen surface lots and garages offering thousands of free parking spaces. Free seasonal, outdoor entertainment added to free parking makes a trip to Town Center a win-win for everyone.

Here’s to a great Virginia Beach summer!

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