12 Best Beaches in VIRGINIA to Visit in Summer 2023

BY: Daniela Kaňková

Virginia is a popular holiday destination for anyone who wants to enjoy the sun and the sand at one of its many beaches throughout the state.

Being on the shores of the Atlantic Ocean, visitors can expect it to be on the more expensive side of things. However, if they’re willing to go off-season and perhaps get a little bit further from the popular spots, the wallet will be grateful for it.

So, if you’re looking for a place to spend your summer vacation, Virginia is the place to be. Here are some of the best beaches you’ll likely come across when you visit Virginia.

Check out: Best Beaches in Florida

Best Beaches in Virginia MAP

Best Beaches in Virginia MAP

Weather in Virginia

Virginia has mild temperatures throughout the year. The winter is not intense, and neither is summer. In spring temperatures around Virginia Beach range from:

Source: weatherspark.com

Suggested: Best camping in Virginia

Here we go, the best Virginia beaches to visit:

Virginia Beach

Virginia Beach is one of the most popular beaches in the area. Even if you’re not from Virginia or haven’t visited the place before, you’ve probably heard of this beach. Located in a resort city, Virginia Beach has a lot of things to offer.

It’s known as the “World’s First Resort City” for a good reason. There are tons of things to do here. If you’re looking for family-friendly beaches, you can’t go wrong with this place. The sand is clean, and some parts allow bonfires, so if you’re into those, you can find your spot easily.

There’s never a boring day in Virginia Beach as there are plenty of things to do or see. You can watch a game of sand volleyball or a surfing competition. If you want to be active yourself, you can take the three miles boardwalk, learn snorkeling, ride a bike, or walk the beach.

If you want to be more relaxed, you can enjoy a day at a spa or a traditional American diner. You might also want to catch some live music at one of the clubs over there.

Croatan Beach

Croatan Beach Virginia

If you love water activities and want to enjoy the experience in Virginia, Croatan Beach should be on your list. You can see the beautiful scenery of Croatan Beach from its look at Cape Lookout National Seashore in Shackleford Banks, North Carolina.

The waves are higher in this region when compared to any other region of Virginia since it is located near the big banks. This beach has hosted various water sports and has hosted the famous East Coast Surfing Championship for many years. So, you’re assured that there is a lot to see and enjoy.

There are up to two surfing areas on Croatan Beach. The first area is located at the north end of the beach and offers surfing conditions on both sides of the pier. The second location is near the south end of the beach and offers surfing opportunities for both the right and left sides.

You can see many people enjoying this place during weekends, so you should come on a weekday to avoid the crowd. If you plan on going during the weekend, stay away from the main pier. The waves here can get crowded, and it’s important not to interfere with local surfers.

Yorktown Beach

If you ever happen to be in the historic Yorktown and will want to take a break from the American Revolutionary War history, you can! On the banks of York River, not far from the Coleman Memorial Bridge, you will find a lovely 2-acre urban beach.

It features public parking, restrooms, a grassy picnic area, and a fishing pier. There are also a few shops and several good restaurants nearby.

Wanna get active? No problem. Rent a paddleboard, kayak, or hop on a bike. Swimming is also popular on the Yorktown Beach, but be careful – the area is frequented by jellyfish.

If excursions are your thing, you can take a sunset trail or a historical boat trip. Williamsburg and Jamestown are also minutes from the beach.

Colonial Beach

Colonial Beach

If you find yourself in the Northern part of Virginia, you’ll come across Colonial Beach. The place is a beach and has a great history behind it. This beach is located on the Potomac River and offers a variety of waves for both beginners and advanced surfers.

The first location is located to the South and offers long left and right breaks. The second spot is located to the North, and while it can get crowded, you’ll find good surfing conditions, especially if you arrive early in the morning.

Colonial Beach is family-friendly, and you can even tag along with your pets when you visit, but that has to be from October through March. Make sure your furry friends are on a leash, though.

Buckroe Beach

Another spectacular beach is Buckroe Beach. It’s located in Hampton, Virginia. It was built in the 1920s by African Americans who wanted to escape the heat of their nearby homes, so it also carries great historical significance.

This particular beach allows you to ride a bicycle on the boardwalk, while others throughout Virginia do not. The water at Buckroe Beach is calm and shallow for quite a few ways from shore, so it’s perfect for kids. In fact, there are lifeguards on duty during peak hours at this beach.

There are several food vendors around Buckroe Beach, so you’ll never get hungry while enjoying your time at the beach. If you’re an ice cream fan, you can’t miss the two-story-tall ice cream cone. It’s within walking distance of Buckroe Beach, and it’s pretty fun to climb on top of the cone and see the world from that perspective. There are also several places to eat on the boardwalk at Buckroe Park, including the Crab Shack restaurant that offers outdoor seating next to the beach.

Cape Charles Beach

If you’re the kind of person who doesn’t like crowded places but still wants to enjoy the spectacular beach life, Cape Charles is here for you. The town is small and quiet so that you can take a nice long walk all along the shore. There are even days when there are hardly any other people on the beach aside from those who live in nearby hotels or homes, so if you love privacy, then this is your go-to spot.

The calm waters of this beach are perfect for those who don’t want to swim in the ocean waves. You can access plenty of water sports on the beach to get a little wet and cool off.

The water here is very clean and free of any seaweed or rocks. The sand is smooth and made up of tiny, dark pebbles that are great to walk barefoot. At the south part of the beach, there are some big rocks you can climb on.

Chic’s Beach

Chesapeake Beach

Chic’s Beach is also known as Chesapeake Beach. This beach has been the pride of Virginia for many years, making it one of the popular places to visit. It’s a great place to kick back and relax when you feel like treating yourself to some fan time.

The water is calm and peaceful, with no rocks or seaweed at all. You can access plenty of water sports like kayaking, canoeing, jet-skiing, parasailing, and more. There are also boat rentals for those who love fishing or just taking a trip around the bay.

There are plenty of eateries and bars near this beach, too. You can enjoy seafood dinners while overlooking the water. There are also other restaurants that serve other cuisines if you love trying out different types of foods. It’s a perfect beach for love birds who need to spend some time together for a honeymoon or Valentine’s outing.

Belle Isle Beach

Belle Isle Beach is another spectacular beach located in Richmond. It has a semicircular shoreline covering ½ km across the bay. There are no rocks or seaweeds, but there is a concrete pier where cruise ships drop people off to visit the island’s attractions. The attractions include Japanese and Korean-style houses and a gulay watering station.

It’s advisable that you don’t swim in the swift rapids. If you really want to take a dip, make sure that trained guides accompany you. It has facilities for camping, picnicking and other activities. You can also go backpacking there or mountain biking. There are other trails where you can explore the place’s natural beauty.

You’ll come across the spectacular Belle Island Historic Park if you go downtown Richmond. So, if you have already spent enough time at the beach, you can simply walk over to the park and then take a stroll.

First Landing State Park Beach

This 2,888-acre park is located on Cape Henry in northern Virginia Beach city. First Landing State Park Beach is not only about tanning on the beach; you can also swim, hike, bike, boat, fish or have a picnic.

The beach at First Landing State Park is more charming and less developed than other Virginia’s Atlantic Ocean beaches. Instead, it boasts sand dunes, marine forests, and natural vegetation.

There are four boardwalks that to access the beach. One of the main boardwalks is located at the Chesapeake Bay Center, where you can access parking and restrooms.

There is a fee of $4 per car on weekdays and $5 on weekends. However, there is no charge if you arrive on foot or by bike. If you plan on bringing a boat, the boat ramp will cost you an additional $4.

Because of the more natural aspects of this beach, it is more susceptible to insects, so you will want to pack some bugs repellant.

Chincoteague Island

Chincoteague Island, the only resort island in Virginia, is probably the most stunning island on the Eastern Shore of Virginia.

One of the most distinctive beach adventures in Chincoteague is on the eastern side, where the ocean and natural fauna come together to create a spectacular natural display.

On Chincoteague Island, which is also a National Wildlife Refuge, you can watch wild horses swimming and native birds flying low.

Another good reason to visit Chincoteague is that you are right next to Wallops Island, a NASA rocket launch facility.

Most people believe that rocket launches can only be seen in Florida, but they can be seen in Virginia as well!

Sandbridge Beach

Sandbridge Beach Virginia

Sandbridge is a hidden beach retreat with natural sand dunes and dancing beach grass located just a short drive south of the Oceanfront District. It is a peaceful and tranquil setting where you can truly unwind and relax on your vacation.

Sandbridge Beach is rarely crowded and the waves are much gentler, so you can actually relax on the beach or walk far out into the Atlantic Ocean without fear of being swallowed by huge waves.

This 5-mile stretch of sand dunes, sea grass, and coastline attract swimmers and surfers, as well as families looking for more open space and the convenience of vacation properties nearby.

The beach is also close to the Back Bay National Wildlife Refuge, where you can see sea turtles and numerous bird species, and False Cape State Park, a protected area best explored by kayak, on foot or by bicycle.

Just do yourself a favor and enjoy a relaxing family vacation on Sandbridge Beach.

Norfolk Beach Avenue

Norfolk Located on Ocean View Avenue, this beach has been around for as long as people can remember. It offers picnic areas and other facilities that are suitable for families. Since it’s located on the Chesapeake Bay rather than the Atlantic Ocean, its waters are calmer, making it perfect for younger children to play around in.

This is a beach you can visit with the rest of your family, making it a perfect spot for bonding. The facilities are also well-maintained, providing you with an all-around good time. There are many things to enjoy on this beach; you just have to come prepared for all the fun.


There are plenty of beaches to visit in Virginia, all featuring different activities. The above beaches are only a few of the most popular ones in Virginia. They all feature different water sports, including swimming and diving. Most of them also feature some great views.

There are still other hidden gems, which you might want to check out when you’re traveling around. Enjoying your time at Virginia beach during the day and exploring other attractions at night can be a great experience. Why would anyone want to stick with just one thing when you can have the best of both worlds? There’s never a boring day in Virginia.

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