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The prime performing arts venue is the 20,000-seat, open-air Verizon Wireless Virginia Beach Amphitheater, inland at Princess Anne and Dam Neck roads (tel. 757/368-8888 for schedule, 757/671-8100 for tickets). Big-name singers and bands appear here as well as more highbrow acts like the Virginia Symphony. About 7,500 seats are under cover, with some 12,500 spaces out on the lawn. Big TV screens and a state-of-the-art sound system let everyone see and hear what's going on. The season runs April through October.

During summer, there is nightly entertainment in Neptune Park, on the oceanfront at 30th Street, and frequent outdoor concerts on stages at 7th, 17th, and 24th streets along the Boardwalk (the visitor information center can tell you when and where). The biggest is the annual Verizon Wireless American Music Festival (tel. 757/425-3111) over Labor Day weekend on the beach at 5th Street. You might catch KC & the Sunshine Band on one stage, the Steve Miller Band on another.

The visitor center can tell you what's on, or go to www.beachstreetusa.com, the city's official entertainment site. As in Norfolk, Veer Magazine (www.veermag.com), and the "Daily Break" section in the local rag, The Virginian-Pilot (www.pilotonline.com), are good sources of entertainment information.

Hotels and restaurants all along the beach have live music for nighttime dancing during the summer. Just follow your ears along the Boardwalk -- but remember, some pubs along Atlantic Avenue can get rough late at night.

Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.