Best Virginia Beaches

If you dreaming of a great place to put your toes in the sand, then going to  a Virginia Beach is the perfect place to start planning a beach travel destination to. Virginia is known for a lot of things, and while amazing beaches may not be the first thing that other people think of when they call to mind the Old Dominion, Virginians know that when it comes to sun, sand and surf, Virginia can hold her own. These beautiful beaches are just a few of the places you can go when you know that a little sand between your toes will make everything better…Check out the best Virginia beaches:

Assateauge Island National Seashore, Eastern Shore

Famous for its wild ponies, Assateague Island Seashore offers a pristine beach setting that has been unchanged for centuries. While the majority of the national park resides in Maryland, it can be accessed from the Virginia side, just .25 miles from Chincoteague. These beautiful white sand beaches are perfect for camping, nature walks, bird watching or simply resting on the beach and watching the waves. Be sure to visit the iconic Assateague Lighthouse built in 1867.

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Cape Charles Beach, Cape Charles

With its shallow waters and no waves, it is great for small children. Cape Charles is the Eastern Shore’s southern-most town and offers public access onto the beach by two wooden walkovers located near the end of Tazewell and Randolph Avenues, as well as the Town’s Fun Pier which also has a wooden walkover.  Cape Charles is a beautiful, historic town located on the Eastern Shore. The beachfront provides a perfect place for recreational activities – and as a bonus, it’s the only Eastern Shore beach that offers free parking. Offering park-like amenities such as picnic pavilions, benches and public restrooms, this beach is the perfect place to spend a peaceful day in the sun.

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First Landing State Park, Virginia Beach

Located at the site where the first colonists landed in 1607, this stunning beach side park offers 1.5 miles of sandy beaches in a gorgeous natural setting. The park offers a chance to explore a unique habitat featuring lagoons, large cypress trees and rare plants. More than 19 miles of hiking trails wind through the natural area. Climate-controlled cabins, campsites, picnic areas, boat ramps and miles of various trails also are available. Its Chesapeake Bay Center has aquariums and a wet lab operated by the Virginia Aquarium and Marine Science Center, educational displays, historic exhibits, a camp store, an amphitheater and a Gateways Program regional welcome center. It’s off U.S. 60 at Cape Henry.

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Chincoteague, Eastern Shore

Chincoteague Island, Virginia’s only resort island, is perhaps the most beautiful island on Virginia’s Eastern Shore. World famous for its oyster beds and clam shoals, Chincoteague is the gateway to the Assateague Island National Seashore and the Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge. Adventure awaits everywhere as history and legend blend with the wild loveliness of the seasonal shore. This serene fishing village, seven miles long and one and one-half miles wide and abounding with history and natural charm, welcomes you to explore its unique island heritage.

Designated as Virginia’s only resort island, it is also one of the most beautiful. While it is perhaps best known for the annual Pony Swim and Auction, Chincoteague has also garnered a name for itself for oysters, fishing and laid-back tourism. Home to the Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge, the island is a haven for visitors and locals alike. Enjoy boating, fishing, hiking, biking, miles of pristine beaches, and ecotours.

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Colonial Beach, Westmoreland County

olonial Beach, located at the northern tip of Virginia’s Northern Neck, is one of the few remaining small seaport towns on the Potomac River. The town enjoys a unique location nestled between the Potomac River on the east and the waters of Monroe Bay on the West. Its sandy beaches and marinas on Monroe Bay have attracted water sporting enthusiasts for over a century. Fishing, sailing, boating, swimming and crabbing are just a few of the water activities enjoyed here. A great place to visit. Colonial Beach is also a very historical area, with Washington’s Birthplace and Stratford Hall boyhood home of Lee, also Westmoreland County is the birthplace of James Monroe.

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Sandbridge, Virginia Beach

While it is considered part of the Virginia Beach coastline, Sandbridge is a far cry from the business of the boardwalk. Filled with family and vacation homes, Sandbridge offers a beautiful and relaxing beach getaway.

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Buckroe Beach, Hampton

Bordering the Chesapeake Bay, the wide, clean Buckroe Beach offers eight acres of family-friendly sandy beach, a playground for children, picnic shelters with tables and grills by reservation, a great walking and bike path, and spacious car park area. Certified lifeguards are on duty daily from Memorial Day through Labor Day. During the summer months, visitors can swing to the sounds of the Sunday night Groovin’ by the Bay concerts, or view an outdoor movie as part of the Tuesday night POMOCO Family Movie Series. Watercraft rentals  and picnic shelters are available for a fee to make your stay at Buckroe Beach completely convenient and enjoyable. Pets are not allowed May 15th-Sep. 15.  Summer season runs 10a.m.-6p.m. Memorial Day through Labor Day.

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Ocean View Beach, Norfolk

Just 15 miles or so from the main Virginia Beach attractions is Ocean View Beach. Resting along the 8-mile stretch of Chesapeake Bay beachfront, Ocean View Beach is quieter and more family-oriented than Virginia Beach, providing free parking and a less commercial experience. The 6.5 acre Ocean View Beach Park is a designated festival park and holds events throughout the year. Ocean View Beach offers visitors an attractive gazebo, picnic tables and a bathhouse.

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Chesapeake Beach (a.k.a., Chic’s Beach and Chick’s Beach), Virginia Beach

This beach-of-many-names is especially loved by the locals. Offering stunning views of the Chesapeake Bay Bridge, this quiet, non-touristy beach offers vacation rentals and private homes in a beautiful beachfront setting that stretches 2 miles from the Lynnhaven inlet to the bridge. Although it is officially called Chesapeake Beach, the name Chic’s, or Chick’s as it is known by non-locals, came from a beachfront shop where visitors could get limeade and ice cream. While the shop is long gone, the name stuck.

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Virginia Beach

Many visitors don’t realize that Virginia Beach is not just a beach; it’s actually made up of several unique beach experiences, each with their own distinct personality.

Events happen almost every weekend, but some of the most popular include the Boardwalk Art Show, Neptune Festival, the East Coast Surfing Championship and the Rock ‘N’ Roll Half Marathon! Virginia’s most popular state park, First Landing State Park, features trails for hiking and biking, camp sites, swimming and rental sports equipment.

Some of Virginia’s most visited attractions are in Virginia Beach, such as the Virginia Aquarium & Marine Science Center, Cape Henry Lighthouses, the Association for Research & Enlightenment as well as the Ocean Breeze Waterpark!

For the outdoor enthusiast, Virginia Beach offers sports fishing charters, SCUBA and snorkeling, surfing and sailing for the beginner with expert instruction and rental equipment. Biking along the Virginia Beach Boardwalk and Back Bay National Refuge, hiking and watching wildlife at North River Landing Natural Area, and just hanging out at ocean side make Virginia Beach a prime family vacation spot!

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32 Comments

  1. Bruce

    What a beautiful video and great information. For my little girls I think Cape Charles and Virginia Beach are the ones we need to go too. I like the idea of small waves in Cape Charles, but Virginia Beach seems to have a ton of all-around family fun!

    Reply
    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      You are correct Bruce, and your girls would love both beaches. Please let me know if you have any questions. You will absolutely have a blast. It is a great family beach destination. Thank you for visiting the best Virginia Beaches.

      Reply
  2. Cali Blue Dream

    Unless the water gets above 65 (still too cold) then I’m not inclined to go swimming at any beach.

    The water here on the Pacific side of the country is usually cold but surpasses 70 degrees during the summer.

    How high can the temps get in your local waters? And do people surf the waves or is it mostly ripples?

    Reply
    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      There is surfing here, and not just from ripples 🙂  The water where I am (Florida gulf coast) gets up to 88 degrees during the summer.  Kind of feels like bath water, lol.  On the Atlantic side the water averages 86 degrees.  So our water temps are great 🙂  65 is way too cold for me too!  I won’t swim in that either.  Thanks for reading about the Best Virginia beaches.

      Reply
  3. Moni

    As someone who lives in Turkey with some of the best beaches in the world I had no idea there were so many breathtaking beaches on the East Coast of USA.

    I always think of the Atlantic as being cold for swimming, when is the best time to visit?

    Thank you for a great article and one of the best sites I have come across.. keep up the good work!

    Reply
    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      Thank you Moni! The water is a little chilly. I got in yesterday, and it took me a couple minutes to adjust. But not too cold 🙂 I think if you want to consider the water temps, then late April thru the first part of October is probably the best time time to visit. If you don’t like huge crowds than skip the end of April, beginning of May LOL. Thanks for reading!

      Reply
  4. Engelhardt

    Wow!! What a great post. I like travelling too, beautiful places out there. I am from Namibia and would really love to be at places like that.

    Who knows, one day I might be sitting in that sandy beaches drinking coconut water enjoying myself….👍😁

    I will even for sure make turn to your web for regular reading on your posts and surely recommend to my friends who likes travelling.

    Nice!!!

    Reply
    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      Thank you so much, and I am glad you enjoyed reading. Sounds nice, lounging in the sand drinking coconut water 😀 I do lounge in the sand quite a bit myself though. Thanks for visiting the best Virginia Beaches.

      Reply
  5. Marios Tofarides

    Hey there,

    Living in the other side of the world, I never thought of US beaches besides Florida and California – the ones mostly promoted.
    Thanks for letting me know about these Atlantic Ocean beaches. I will have them in mind when I visit Virginia.
    Which is your favorite?

    Regards,

    Marios

    Reply
    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      Yes, all along the East Coast you will find beautiful beaches.  I would have to say Assateauge Island National Seashore is my favorite.  Not crowded and peaceful 🙂  Thanks for visiting the Virginia beaches.

      Reply
  6. Jessica

    Virginia is about a 12 hour drive from Connecticut. I always hear about Virginia Beach, but never the other ones that you have suggested here. Maybe I should take a long weekend and go and visit. Thank you for showing other options!

    Reply
    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      You are welcome. A lot of people are surprised that the beaches that Virginia does have to offer. They are a coastal state, and fairly south. It is a good inexpensive way to head to some great beaches!

      Reply
  7. Deedee

    I had no idea that Virginia had such amazing beaches! It’s definitely not the first place I think of when looking for beach vacation spots. You definitely have me rethinking that, though. One question: are any of these particularly suited to quiet family get-aways? Some of these sound like they’re pretty heavy tourist destinations, but my family really likes to just be able to enjoy the quiet scenery.

    Reply
    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      Assateague is going to be your best bet for bypassing the crowded beaches. The busiest one of course is going to be Virginia Beach and any beach close to there.

      Reply
  8. Dominika

    I absolutely love beach holidays but I can’t stand how busy a lot of them get… Which one of the Virginia Beaches would you say is the most quiet? I love deserted beaches but it’s hard to find one these days.

    Reply
    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      Definitely Assateague. It is going to be not too busy at all. Most crowd to Virginia Beach and the beaches close to there.

      Reply
  9. Lenka

    Oh, I love this post. I have never visited the USA but looking forward to make a trip and your amazing and detailed choice of places with beautiful beaches makes my decision easier. My favourite from the list you have provided is definitely the Sandbridge, Virginia Beach. Hot weather, golden sand and the blue sea is something that person from a rainy UK will never say no to :).

    Reply
    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      Oh yes, it is calling your name! You really should visit these great beaches in the U.S. Well worth the experience!

      Reply
  10. Chris

    I never really thought about Virginia having great beaches before. So many good and diverse ones too. This page really makes me want to visit as I have always wanted to spend time in some of the more off the beaten track places in the USA. Great pictures and write ups that bring the locations to life. Thank you for sharing this insight.

    Reply
    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      You are very welcome Chris. Thank you so much for visiting!

      Reply
  11. Daniella

    Hi Lea,

    Awesome article, as usual:), yes, I come back often to your website to read interesting articles.To be honest, I’ve never been to any of Virginia beaches, and just by looking them, it makes me want to go right away! My aunt lives in New Jersey and soon I’ll be visiting her. Just wondering, how far is Virginia from New Jersey?
    However, it would be hard for me to choose one of these beaches as they are all beautiful!
    Thank you very much for this excellent blog!

    Reply
    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      It’s gonna be about a 6 1/2 hour drive to Virginia. A bit long, but worth it for sure. Thanks for visiting again Daniella 🙂

      Reply
  12. Teresa

    I had never thought of Virginia as a beach vacation, but after reading your article you have me interested. It looks like there is something for everyone and lots of activities. We like to vacation between Jan and March, would that be a good time to go to Virginia? What would the weather be like that time of year?

    Reply
    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      It’s gonna be kind of chilly then. The temperatures average between the 40s and 50s. I don’t like anything under 60, so this to me would be cold. If you are planning on doing a lot of activities, and not the beach then it will be a little better. Definitely not beach weather. Thanks for reading!

      Reply
  13. Dom

    Hi Leahrae! Great Website. As someone who lives in Hawaii, specifically Oahu, I’ve been to the beach quite a few times. Out of the beaches that I have been too, the two I really liked were Lanikai Beach and Hanauma Bay. Both beaches are located about 15 miles outside of Honolulu. I went snorkeling at Hanauma Bay and thought it was great. Lanikai is a small quiet beach which is located near a famous beach called Kailua Beach. It has calm waters and it doesn’t attract too many people. It is a nice quiet beach to go to. One beach I don’t always enjoy is Waikiki Beach. Waikiki beach is one of Oahu’s most well known beaches as a tourist destination. I find Waikiki beach to have a few too many tourists. It can get a little too crowded which makes it less appealing at times. If you ever get the chance to visit Oahu, I would consider visiting Hanauma Bay and Lanikai Beach.

    Reply
    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      I will. I have been to Hawaii, but need to go back for sure and thank you for giving me some info on the beaches 🙂

      Reply
  14. Matt

    When I think of Virginia I certainly don’t think of beaches but these beaches look like a great place to tan or catch a wave! Despite not liking beaches too much I might stop by the for diverse events every weekend. Looks awesome!

    Reply
    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      So many things going on here, and so much to do besides sit around and “bake”. Virginia beaches have a lot going on 🙂

      Reply
  15. Farhan

    Beaches are great for people to just wind down, relax and enjoy the sun. But it will be even better if we get to engage in other activities such as hiking or trail walks, and the beaches you have recommended are great for this.

    Cape Charles beach capture my attention in particular, because of free parking. I mean if we could have a great time under the sun, without having to spend anything more, that would be awesome. Great post!

    Reply
    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      Yes, I agree 100% Farhan. And I love the beach, but I like activities. I have to have things to do, instead of just laying around baking 🙂

      Reply
  16. Patty

    The Virginia beaches looks like a great vacation spot. I wanted to ask you, which beach would be the best for surfers? Would you suggest a hotel or a camping site for someone visiting for the first time? Thanks for your help; I appreciate it.
    Thanks,
    Patty

    Reply
    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      I would recommend Assateague Island National Seashore but it does get busy there and I would stay in a hotel for the first time. Thanks for reading 🙂

      Reply

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