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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!