Why go: Summer lingers longer in Virginia Beach than in most seaside towns within a short drive of the District.
Temperatures: Virginia Beach can top 80 in September, with lows in the mid-60s. October ranges from the low to mid-70s during the day and mid-50s at night. Water temps are in the mid- to upper 70s in September and October.
Lodging: The Virginia Beach Convention Center attracts meetings year-round, so occupancy rates and prices for its 12,000 hotel rooms don't fall as much as in some beach towns. Weekend rates in September and October at the big hotels are comparable to those in the summer because of the convention business, says tourism spokeswoman Jessica Kraft. For autumn bargains, look for rooms midweek or at smaller hotels.
Don't miss: Even the god of the sea needs his last hurrah. The Neptune Festival throughout the month includes a sand-sculpting contest, a regatta, concerts and a wine tasting.
Other events: Sept. 14-16 is the annual Blues at the Beach event, which includes workshops for musicians and a "blues cruise." Most events are free. . . . Sly's brother, Frank Stallone, is slated to sing and play the guitar at the Italian Fest Sept. 21-22. Maybe stick with performances of the pizza-tossing acrobats instead? Free; plates of pasta and other eats under $10.
More info: Virginia Beach Convention & Visitors Bureau, 800-822-3224, http:/