When planning vacations, we all like to think about the exciting excursions our destinations offer – whether it’s the beach, an amusement park, dining, concerts, or more. History, on the other hand, is often overlooked. Of course, we can never pass up the perfect opportunity to snap a selfie with historic monuments, or briefly read historic plaques in passing. But how often do we really invest adequate time to explore the history of these places? The excitement of our travel plans overwhelms us, and we ignore the very thing that could tremendously enhance our vacation experience.

Prime example, I am not a Hampton Roads native. When I came to this area for school, only one thing crossed my mind: the beach. It never once crossed my mind to take the time to really get to know the area I was going to be living in. It wasn’t until I started my internship at the Virginia Beach Surf & Rescue Museum that I realized how much history I was missing out on. The museum alone highlights so much important Virginia Beach history – everything from local lifeguards to warships and shipwrecks, and from intense tropical storms to life at the beach.

After exploring the museum, I realized how important it is to soak in the history in each new place I travel. Now, have not only a broader understanding of Virginia Beach, but a new-found admiration for the area that isn’t just limited to the beach. I encourage all to make exploring history a priority when traveling.  I cannot stress enough how much it can enhance your vacation experiences and help create lasting memories. Besides, who ever said learning while on vacation couldn’t be fun? Get involved with some of the activities local museums offer. Take it from me – the Virginia Beach Surf & Rescue Museum would be a great place to start.