Set your sights on holiday fun by the shore.

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Virginia Beach
Credit: Courtesy Virginia Beach

Virginia Beach is known for its beaches and summer seasons, of course, but things really come to life during the holidays when the seaside lights up with coastal festivities. The boardwalk, which is sunny in the summertime, gets strung with twinkling lights during the chilly season, and with a bounty of can't-miss programming and holiday cheer, Virginia Beach might just become your new favorite December destination.

Head down to the boardwalk for the BayPort Credit Union Holiday Lights at the Beach extravaganza, which lights up the night with sparkling displays and live music. (Don't forget to keep an eye out for the surfing Santa!) Another one of the area's favorite celebrations is the Holiday Parade at the Beach, which sees marching bands and festive, holiday-themed floats traveling along Atlantic Avenue. Nearby, The Lights of Christmas at Virginia Beach KOA brings holiday fun to the campground. The area's lights display is synchronized to familiar seasonal tunes that you can listen to via your car radio. A nearby Christmas village adds to the fun.

Virginia Beach
Credit: Courtesy Virginia Beach

For music and magic, check out the events at the Sandler Center for the Performing Arts, including the holiday spectacular 'Tis the Season to Swing, Holiday Pops! with the Virginia Symphony, and Hot Chocolate and Cinema Sticks, which showcases songs from holiday movies performed by the Virginia Chorale.

That's not all. There's also The Holidays at Town Center; a Christmas market at the Virginia Beach Convention Center; pictures with Santa—who flies in on a vintage airplane—at the Military Aviation Museum; and the Virginia Aquarium Holi-Rays events, which offer fun for the whole family with celebrations under the sea. There's a lively calendar of holiday events to enjoy in Virginia Beach, and you're invited to get in on the festive fun this season.

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Do you spend your holidays at the beach? What's your favorite nearby lights display?