15 Best & Fun Things To Do In Virginia Beach 2024
The Atlantic coast of the United States is blessed with beautiful beaches, even though the waters may lack the warmth of some of the world’s more exotic vacation regions.
The proximity of Virginia’s beaches to densely populated areas made the state attractive to tourists long before air travel became so common.
The smell of the sea enhances the pleasure of smelling the sand between your toes. If you want to spend a great day with your family go to the beach. Virginia is blessed with many fine stretches of sand, often comfortably sheltered from the elements.
Crowds may flock to famous beaches on weekends, spring breaks, and summer weeks, but you can find peace by searching for them. If you’re looking for advice on the best places on the coast to take a break, check out Virginia’s Top 15 Beaches for inspiration.
1. Bethel Beach, Mathews County
This narrow strip of sand covers 105 acres. Its dunes change shape as the wind blows and tides brush the shore. There are some reasonably deep canals and a small bay.
The salt marshes attract a wide variety of birds; the lagoons are full of wading searching for food. This nature reserve is a great place to explore and a wonderful place to relax on the sand.
Some coastal areas are closed to the public during bird nesting seasons, showing that Virginia is genuinely committed to conserving its natural environment.
Best time to visit Bethel Beach
- For the warmest weather for swimming and sunbathing: Visit in June, July, or August.
- To avoid crowds and enjoy quieter surroundings: Visit in the spring (April-May) or fall (September-November).
- If you’re on a budget: Visit in the Winter (December-February) or the shoulder Seasons (spring and fall).
2. Chesapeake Beach, Chesapeake City
This region was developed a century ago, a residential district between Lynnhaven Inlet and the Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel with a beautiful beach.
Known locally as Chics Beach, it is one of the best beaches in Virginia, drawing large crowds on weekends and in the high season.
Water sports, such as jet skiing and paddleboarding, are available, while children often spend endless hours building sandcastles. Walkers love this place, and cyclists are regularly spotted along the water’s edge.
Best time to visit Chesapeake Beach
- Warm weather and outdoor activities: May to September
- Pleasant weather and fewer crowds: April, May, September, and October
- Cool weather and lower prices: November to March
3. Westmoreland State Park, Westmoreland County
The state park stretches 1.5 miles along the Potomac River in Westmoreland. The protection the Park provides makes it a lovely place for people to enjoy and respect.
You can choose to relax on the beach if you wish, but there is much more on offer – hiking trails, fishing, camping facilities and log cabins for rent. There are beautiful views of the river from the Horsehead Cliffs, an imposing stream of water that is six miles wide in some places.
There are over 1,300 acres of paradise here. If you like history, you are not far from the birthplace of Robert E. Lee and George Washington.
Best time to visit Westmoreland State Park
- For pleasant weather and outdoor activities: Spring (March-May) and Fall (September-November).
- For specific activities:
- Summer (June-August): Swim in the Potomac River, go fishing, and enjoy other water activities. Be prepared for larger crowds and hot, humid weather.
- Winter (December-February): Explore the park on foot or by bike without the summer crowds. Enjoy the peaceful winter scenery and the possibility of snow.
4. Colonial Beach, Westmoreland County
Colonial Beach is a 2.5km stretch of sand in front of a small resort of the same name. It has been popular with Washington’s residents since the early 1900s – although there is a lot of history to the city, the beach is its main attraction.
Bathers and swimmers flock to the sandy shoreline; others walk along the promenade, fish, sail or keep their eyes open for ospreys.
Restaurants are plentiful, so there is everything a family might need for a great vacation on the shores of the Atlantic Ocean and the Potomac River.
5. Cape Charles Beach, Chesapeake Bay
This beach on Virginia’s east coast is not yet well-supported, and those who know it are glad that it remains a relative secret. The small town has a rich history.
The charming streets with shops and hotels offer many things, while the public beach is ideal for children. The waters are shallow and perfectly safe, often collected in small pools.
There are kayaks for rent and other water sports for those looking for action. Fishing is a popular hobby, so look for fresh fish on the menu when dining in the evening.
6. Croatan Beach, Virginia Beach
The small beach is less than a mile long and is very popular with surfers with two designated spots to enjoy the waves.
There are lifeguards, and amenities include toilets and showers. It is much quieter than the nearby Virginia Beach promenade. Those who want to learn to surf can take classes in the middle of summer.
Parking is paid, but the beach is free. A religious group bought an exciting tidbit to expand a training centre in 1898, but these plans never materialized.
7. Chincoteague Beach, Chincoteague Island
The Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge has some of the best beaches in the Atlantic. It can be pretty windy, but there are also protected areas.
Lifeguards are present because, in high season, many people want to sunbathe and swim. Bird watchers are often rewarded, as are anglers and beachcombers.
Wild Beach is 11 miles long, so hikers are in their element, with Toms Cook Hook almost as long. Surfers and kayakers enjoy the waters, and there is a good chance of finding crabs in the pools.
8. First Landing State Park, Cape Henry
This reasonably quiet beach stretches for a mile and a half. The water is calm and warm during the summer months at First Landing.
The Park covers nearly 3,000 acres, with hiking and biking alternatives to coastal swimming, fishing and boating.
There are campsites and cabins for the night, and picnics during the day are great fun. Swimming is forbidden in some places, and there are no lifeguards. The fragile vegetation of the dunes is protected by promenades leading to the beach.
9. Buckroe Beach, Chesapeake Bay
Buckroe Beach covers eight acres and is less than a mile wide, including a playground, shady picnic areas, barbecues and tables, and several hiking and biking trails.
It is a famous beach with ample parking and lifeguards on duty in the high season. On Sundays in summer, you can enjoy a concert, and on Tuesdays, there will be outdoor movies with a family theme to watch.
Dogs are not allowed during the summer. Swimming is good, and kayaks and paddleboats can be rented.
10. Virginia Beach, Virginia
At the Atlantic and the Chesapeake Bay meeting, you will find Virginia Beach, a stretch of sand that attracts large numbers of tourists each year.
Dawn is a magical time if you wake up early enough, and then the sand and water draw you in. Rent a bike to explore if you want to do more than sunbathing.
There is a good chance of seeing dolphins in the waves. Fish are plentiful, so you’ll have the opportunity to enjoy fresh catch on your plate at dinner time.
11. Kiptopeke State Park, Chesapeake Bay
This Park has become a popular recreational area, having once been the terminal for the ferry between Cape Charles and Little Creek.
It is an excellent place for bird watching, hiking or biking. There is a fishing pier and good facilities for children, making it an excellent place for families.
Camping has become popular, while there are log cabins for rent and other forms of accommodation. It is never very crowded, making it a perfect place for those who want to have time to relax on their vacation.
12. Beach with an ocean view, Norfolk
With about 7.5 miles of beach and calm sea, Ocean View is a perfect place for both bathers and swimmers. It is well organized so that arriving families will find everything they need.
Fishing is widespread, and rock pools are also fun to look for crabs and other miniature sea creatures. There is plenty of shade for those who need a break from the sun, with picnic tables and a bathhouse as well.
Children are perfectly safe in the calm, shallow waters, attracting those who want to paddle or kayak. Many visitors enjoy a stroll, and others jog along the water’s edge.
13. North End Beach, Virginia Beach
A favourite of people living in Fort Story, this beach is dog-friendly and family-friendly. There are two historic lighthouses that you can visit if you have the energy to get out of the sand.
The old Cape Henry Lighthouse was first commissioned in 1792, and the second, still in use today dates from 1881. North End Beach is still relatively quiet, making it ideal for avoiding the crowds.
Because the locals heavily use the beach, there has been no need for facilities found elsewhere. Parking can be challenging at times due to resident parking.
14. Assateague Island National Beach, Chincoteague
This is back to real nature – little development with beautiful white sands on the east coast of Virginia. Wild ponies roam the area but still tend to avoid visitors.
You may like to climb the lighthouse that dates back a century and a half. The views from the top reveal an excellent natural environment with dunes home to those ponies. You should bring your picnic if you plan a day here, but please make sure you take all the garbage with you when you leave.
15. Sandbridge, Virginia Beach
This beach faces a residential area and is a peaceful contrast to the beaches in the city’s heart. There are rental houses available so that families can enjoy the beach and stay a few days on vacation.
It is very little in the way of cafes and restaurants. There are wetlands to explore and wildlife to observe, while there are plenty of opportunities to hike through the dunes, kayak, or fish.
If you opt for a Sandbridge vacation, you will have all the space you need to enjoy this stretch of coastline.
How much does it cost to visit Virginia Beach?
Price of visiting Virginia Beach depends on your travel style and budget. But here’s a rough breakdown for you:
Accommodation: Budget-friendly hostels or campsites, start from $50 per night, while mid-range hotels average $100-200 per night. Luxury beachside lodging may cost up to $500 per night.
Activities: Swimming, sunbathing, walking the boardwalk, and visiting First Landing State Park are among the many free or low-cost activities offered. Some paid activities like museums, water sports rentals, and excursions will cost some money.
Food: At the Virginia Beach, you can get everything from cheap street cuisine to expensive restaurants. Food will cost between $20 and $50 each day.
Transportation: Public transportation in Virginia Beach is minimal. Many guests rent automobiles, which may range between $50 and $75 per day. Taxis, Uber, and Lyft are all available as alternatives.
Frequently Asked Questions: Fun Things To Do In Virginia Beach
What is Virginia Beach best known for?
Virginia Beach is a resort city with miles of beaches and hundreds of hotels, motels, and restaurants along its oceanfront. Every year the city hosts the East Coast Surfing Championships as well as the North American Sand Soccer Championship, a beach soccer tournament.
Is Virginia Beach a party place?
But better still, the fun doesn’t stop when the sun goes down—Virginia Beach also hums with after-dark fun, from its strong brewpub scene, to beach bars (and beloved cocktails), to live music venues and outdoor music events that drive passionate crowds.
Does Santa Barbara have a downtown?
Downtown is the true heart of Santa Barbara, where all of the action emanates from tree-lined State Street. This is where you’ll find the biggest concentration of shops and eateries, along with museums, galleries, theaters, architectural landmarks, and nightlife.
What is Santa Barbara known for?
Santa Barbara is best known for its broad, sandy beaches, and whether you’re looking to catch the perfect wave or the perfect sunset, there are plenty from which to choose.
How many days do you need in Santa Barbara?
Going on a Santa Barbara day trip from Los Angeles or as part of a California road trip is one of the best decisions you could make. Though there is certainly enough to keep you occupied and give you a taste of the city in one day, you could easily spend two or three days in Santa Barbara and not get bored.
Is Santa Barbara safe?
The chance of becoming a victim of either violent or property crime in Santa Barbara is 1 in 30. Based on FBI crime data, Santa Barbara is not one of the safest communities in America. Relative to California, Santa Barbara has a crime rate that is higher than 89% of the state’s cities and towns of all sizes.
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