Virginia Beach will be about 3 or 4 hours closer (depending on traffic)
In May you might want to consider if you are going to swim in the ocean. The water at Myrtle Beach will be a lot warmer then at Virginia Beach.
I prefer Myrtle, they have about anything your heart desires to do.
But I haven't been to Virginia Beach for a long time.
All these destinations have some great qualities...guess my thinking tho' is Vermont...looking for that warm weather..guess I would say Myrtle Beach, but then to travel 2 to 3 extra hours (depending on traffic) may make me change my mind. You may want to take a look at a few websites this one
www.MyBeach.com (chamber website)
(the Stay and Play is downloadable!)
is put out by the Chamber and has the Stay and Play (great accomodation and attractions guide)
is a good tourist magazine -- great map!
is out local bus service -- great maps here too!
Have fun no matter where you end up! :)
I live in NC about 1 1/2 hr from VB and 4 hrs from MB. VB is okay but I think it will be well worth your drive to MB. There are more things for your kids to do. The lodging is cheaper and nicer. VB consists of a strip area that is very congested on the main road. Almost impossible to drive down. At nite alot of people hang out all nite long in most areas. They have police patrolling almost every block. They have alot of shopping. They have a marine science museum but not as great as Ripleys in MB. You can drive an hour or so from VB and go on day trips to Bush Gardens, Kings Dominion or Space museum. But traffic around 4-5 is very bad. I have spent many weekends in VB but still prefer MB for a family trip. They have water parks galore, a pavillion and family kingdom area with rides. Alot of people hang out there too. You have Ripleys Aquariam and butterfly exibit, aligator adventure, go karts, Dixie Stampede( a show with horses), American River Boat Company for day cruises for kids, endless restraurants and shopping and so much more than VA Beach. Outer Banks NC is much quieter than both of the above. Good luck. Have a safe and fun trip.
Great post ladybenson...just one thing, we no longer have the butterfly exhibit...it now house Magicquest...a bit of a Harry Potter type experience! Kinda cool! :)
Thank You everyone. The info was great i think myrtle is better but i don't know about the drive with two small kids i will let you know. Is there a boardwalk at myrtle beach too. thanks
We have visited both MB and VB and my advice is to go the few extra hours to MB. From what I could see of VB (we actually stayed on the Chesapeake Bay in Norfolk-VB is very pricy, especially compared to MB) VB is very congested and a little bit seedy. The main drive down along the oceanfront has a very spring break feel about it (I don't mean that as a compliment, and it definitely isn't good if you have small kids) and it doesn't feel very safe. I was really glad that we stayed in Norfolk instead. The traffic is horrific too, especially at rush hour. That tunnel between Hampton and Norfolk is the main artery between the mainland and VB and it is backed up a lot of the time.
MB on the other hand is very family-friendly and we have always felt very, very safe there. I would suggest that you avoid the S. Ocean Blvd. area though, as it can get a little rowdy and you have small kids. We stayed at Forest Dunes which is in a quieter area a little further north but still convenient to everything, and it was perfect for small kids.
Another poster mentioned the Outer Banks. We have been there too, and it is very nice. It is a much more laid back experience and doesn't have nearly as many of the commercial attractions as MB. We stayed at a resort on Roanoke Island called Pirates Cove and, while it wasn't ocean-front, I would highly recommend it. It is reasonably priced too.
Myrtle has more for your kids to do now but they'd like it even better 2-15 years from now. I love the Outer Banks too; many beach houses have their own pool, whirlpool/hot tub, play area, games, etc.
Myrtle Beach info seems pretty well covered so here's some more info on Virginia Beach to help you make an informed decision. MB and VB are two favorites as they provide different things for different occasions.
Check out: www.vbgov.com/resident/kids/
I copied some of this where it seemed to save time in that it said so much in a nutshell:
Virginia Beach - Twenty-nine miles of Atlantic Oceanfront are accessible on the expanded white sands of Virginia Beach, with its wide-paved Boardwalk and gentle Atlantic breezes. Stretching from Rudee Inlet up to 40th Street, the Virginia Beach resort offers pristine beaches for outdoor recreation and sports, like swimming, surfing, kayaking, canoeing, fishing, boating, sailing, jet skiing, scuba diving, volleyball, sand soccer, boat races, triathlons, bicycling, disc golf, golf, miniature golf, parasailing, in-line skating, snorkeling, diving, tennis, and wave running. Virginia Beach 's newly-renovated 3-mile boardwalk – with landscaped pedestrian beach entrances - is alive with fascinating entertainment, outdoor cafés, and outdoor musical concerts and shows and festivals. There are small concert stages at three spots on the boardwalk for smaller groups....and the gigantic stage on the lower end for the big concerts. (The Memorial Day Concert sounds great.) There's also BeachstreetUSA along a few blocks one block off the boardwalk. Explore Virginia Beach 's amusements parks, including Busch Gardens, malls, boutiques and shopping centers. More than 100 of the world's top pro surfers and 400 amateurs ride the curl at Virginia Beach 's East Coast Surfing Championship - North America 's oldest surfing contest. VB also hosts national sporting competitions and seasonal events, such as the Neptune Festival, the Rock 'n' Roll Half Marathon, the1998 ESPN X-Trials, Bud Light Pro Beach Volleyball Tour, and the North American Sand Soccer Championships at different times during the summer.
A bit inland, we enjoy the stadium movie seating (since we don't have it where we live) to catch up on some movies, walking around the newer Town Center with upscale stores and restaurants, Keagan's Irish Pub, shipped over from Ireland, beautifully done, with Irish entertainment and meals
Check out vbfun.com and beachevents.com.
First Landing State Park has hiking trails and kayaking ecological tours.
Your boys might like the fighter jets taking off from Oceana Naval Air Station. (Double check their observation park admittance....you will see them from town at some point at least.)
You can check on a few map sites for their directions and times...some have different directions for one place. Try mapquest, google maps and yahoo maps. I wonder if you'd take 95 from DC area, through Richmond and continue south, getting off for Myrtle Beach.
You'll have a great time wherever you choose! All the best.
My family and I are going on vacation in May also. We were also diciding on mrytle beach or virginia beach. You might want to know that in Mrtyle beach in May they have a bikers convention down there. I called to some resorts there and everyone of them told me about the bikers and it is really crazy and wild. They said it is not a family atmosphere at all. We decided to go to vb instead because of that reason. We have two teenagers 16 and 18. I have been having a hard time deciding where to stay. We are from michigan. I hope you see this and it helps you make the right decision.