Being Well

Six Best Beaches in Virginia

Virginia is home to some of the best beaches in the country. Learn what makes them special here.

Virginia offers some of the best beaches on the East Coast, and any of them are great to explore year-round. These local venues have you covered, whether you want to spend a day reading a book or want to take a leisurely stroll under the stars. To best plan your next day trip or vacation, grab your sunscreen and check out some of these favorites.

1. Virginia Beach

One of the more southern beaches in Virginia, this destination is a must-see for families. Free beach access and well-maintained shores are a few positive features, as is the huge boardwalk (3 miles long!). When you tire of the beach, you can still have plenty of fun at the nearby water park or explore what lives beneath the waves at the Virginia Aquarium. Between shopping, dining and splashing in the ocean, your entire family will sleep soundly after your adventure.

2. Cape Charles

If calmer waters are more your speed, check out this free Eastern Shore public beach. Beyond the warm and shallower waters (great for little kids, by the way), Cape Charles offers a pier that’s ideal for fishing. Even if you don’t fish, you can have a seat or take a walk down the pier to enjoy the view and perhaps see a fisherman reel in his big catch. Be sure to check out the town of Cape Charles as well. Plus, if you happen to be in town during one of their festivals, you’re in for an extra special treat.

3. Ocean View Beach

Located in Norfolk, this beach is an eclectic destination. Ocean View features over eight miles of shoreline along the Chesapeake Bay, and vendors are available to rent water supplies ranging from paddleboards to kayaks. Head here if you want a little excitement on your day off. Not just a beach town, Norfolk offers museums, nightlife, dining and shopping to visitors of all ages, too.

4. Chincoteague

This island on the Eastern Shore offers some of the best beaches in Virginia. Here, you feel like you’re miles away from the bright lights of busy boardwalks. Instead, it offers activities to relax and get in touch with nature. Hiking, kayaking and fishing are available in multiple locations. If you’re looking to get off the beach and into the water, you can easily find a boat tour that gives you a new look at the area. You can also try crabbing or clamming and find out just how your seafood restaurant food gets to your table.

5. Yorktown

History buffs will quickly fall in love with the city of Yorktown, but the beach may just seal the deal for the rest of the family. Enjoy the beach, picnic area or fishing pier. It’s all just steps away from excellent restaurants, shopping and history sites, such as the Yorktown Battlefield, which is part of the Colonial History National Park.

6. Sandbridge

Known as the Outer Banks, the Sandbridge area is sure to be a hit with travelers. It’s common for visitors to rent a beach house along the five miles of sand here, and there’s always something to do. Beyond fishing and other water activities, you can also enjoy golfing, shopping and dining all within a few miles. Even better, its location allows for day trips to enjoy other Virginia attractions like the Virginia Air & Space Center.

Pack your bag with a good book and a stylish floppy hat, and starting planning your escape to some of the best beaches in Virginia. You won’t be disappointed.

When heading to the beach, make sure to pack enough sun protection for the whole family. That's a good way to avoid getting skin cancer.

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Haley Burress
Haley Burress