Best and Fun Beaches in Virginia, United States

Best and Fun Beaches in Virginia, United States

Looking for the best and fun beaches in Virginia? Here’s the list with a travel guide.

United States’ Atlantic Coast is blessed with some lovely beaches. Especially, beaches in Virginia have been a premium beach destination since the past. Although waters lack warmth, Virginia beaches are picturesque, clean, and enjoyable. Therefore, it attracts thousands of beach lovers annually.

Some of the most popular beaches in Virginia are Virginia Beach, Assateague Island Beach, Bethel Beach, Sandbridge Beach, Chesapeake Beach, and Colonial Beach.

And here’s the full list of the best and fun beaches in Virginia. Read and add to your bucket list.

Beaches in Virginia

1. Beaches in Virginia: Assateague Island National Seashore, Chincoteague

Assateague Island National Seashore features some of the most beautiful beaches in Virginia.

Beaches in Virginia Assateague Island National Seashore, Chincoteague
Assateague Island National Seashore

It is a protected area located on a long barrier island (37 miles long) off the coast of Maryland and Virginia. Being an untouched island, it has lovely white sand beaches, wild horses, salt marshes, maritime forests, a lighthouse, coastal bays, dunes, and a calm surrounding.

Especially, travelers love to see the natural habitat of wild horses that run here and there on dunes. Therefore, Assateague Island National Seashore attracts plenty of visitors from Ocean City MD, and Virginia.

On the other hand, its miles of sandy shoreline are perfect for sunbathing, picnicking, and bird watching. Actually, it is totally worth packing your binoculars to observe rare migratory birds.

Also, you can climb the top of the 1867 Assateague Lighthouse to catch breathtaking views of the Atlantic Ocean and the surrounding.

Address: 7206 National Seashore Ln, Berlin, MD 21811, United States  Phone: +1 443-614-3547

Beaches in Virginia

2. Beaches in Virginia: Virginia Beach

Here’s the most popular beach on the list, Virginia Beach.

Beaches in Virginia Virginia Beach
Virginia Beach

Virginia Beach attracts thousands of vacationers annually to catch scenic Atlantic Ocean views and do many water activities. Offering easy access to the waters, it is close to the Chesapeake Bay too.

That means it offers you plenty of delicious seafood restaurants, world-class hotels, and shopping opportunities.

Another special feature of Virginia Beach is it has plentiful fish. So, you can catch them or teach your kids how to catch fish. And also, there is a good chance of seeing dolphins in the near distance too.

If you are looking for a family beach, Virginia Beach is perfect. You can build sandcastles with your kids, picnic, surf, or enjoy surfing competitions, snorkel, swimming, boat, kayak, and other water activities.

Its three-mile-long boardwalk is calm and scenic. So, you can walk or sit on a chair to watch the dramatic sunset.

On the other hand, the Back Bay National Refuge near Virginia Beach features many scenic biking trails. So, surely rent a bike and ride along the trails.

Looking for the best beaches on the East Coast? Here’s the list with travel information. 

3. Bethel Beach Natural Area Preserve, Mathews County

Spreading for 105-acres, Bethel Beach Natural Area Preserve is a sandy spit located near the Chesapeake Bay.

Bethel Beach Natural Area Preserve, Mathews County
Bethel Beach Natural Area Preserve

It is filled with diverse habitat and surrounded by sandy dunes and a narrow coastline. The unique feature of this coastline is it constantly changes due to the winds and water move through the area.

Since this is a nature preserve, do not expect changing areas, restrooms, and trash facilities.

Therefore, Bethel Beach is perfect for spending a few hours exploring some rare wildlife, migratory birds, the lagoons, shrubby swamps, small channels, and its narrow yet lovely sandy beach.

If you love hiking and birdwatching, Bethel Beach Natural Area Preserve is a perfect destination in Virginia for sure.

Address: State Rte 609, Onemo, VA 23130, United States  Phone: +1 804-786-7951

Beaches in Virginia

4. Beaches in Virginia: Sandbridge Beach

Sandbridge Beach is surely one of the most secluded beaches in Virginia. Although it is located just 15 minutes away from the bustling town, it doesn’t attract many crowds. Isn’t it beneficial?

Beaches in Virginia Sandbridge Beach
Sandbridge Beach

Known as the “Outer Banks of Virginia,” Sandbridge Beach is a 5 miles long magnificent golden sands beach on the Atlantic Coast.

This quiet, peaceful, and scenic beach is surrounded by 5 miles of massive dunes and blooming sea oats making a perfect secluded oasis for family vacationers.

You can splash in clean waters, kayak, fish, build sandcastles, and do plenty of outdoor activities while spending a quality beach day with your family.

On the other hand, hikers can explore the surrounding marshes, False Cape State Park, and Back Bay National Wildlife Refuge located near Sandbridge Beach.

Beaches in Virginia

5. Chesapeake Beach, Virginia

Chesapeake Beach or Chick’s Beach is a small (2 miles) and lovely beach located on the east and west sides of the Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel, VA.

Chesapeake Beach, Virginia
Chesapeake Beach

Being one of the most popular beaches in Virginia, Chesapeake Beach attracts a large crowd on weekends and in the high season.

It is ideal for any kind of fun outdoor activity such as jet skiing, paddle boarding, boating, kayaking, swimming, building sandcastles, biking, walking, hiking, and more.

Actually, it was developed as a beachfront residential community in the early 1900s and used as a lookout point during WWII. So, yeah, it has a historical value too.

You can see plenty of ice cream shops, beach cottages, condominiums, apartments, and duplexes. So, no need to worry about beach facilities.

On the other hand, it has a popular Ocean Park that stretches along the beach as well.

So, are you ready to have fun?

Beaches in Virginia

6. Beaches in Virginia: Buckroe Beach, Hampton

If Virginia Beach is filled, Buckroe Beach is the next best alternative for sure.

Beaches in Virginia Buckroe Beach, Hampton
Buckroe Beach, Hampton

Buckroe Beach is also a popular beach located in Hampton, Virginia. Stretching for around one mile, this beach features a lot of entertaining stuff for vacationers. So, it attracts families, friend groups, couples, and solo travelers, especially during the summer and weekends.

Stretching for nearly one mile, Buckroe Beach offers you incredible views of the Chesapeake Bay.

Also, since the surf is not so rough, it is ideal for swimming, boating, kayaking, paddle boarding, Jet Skiing, pier fishing, and any other watersport. Don’t worry; lifeguards are there during the summer.

On the other hand, it offers you scenic views of the sunset and ships preparing to arrive at the port.

Aside from that, Buckroe Beach is rich in ocean wildlife, making it good for snorkeling.

And on the other hand, Buckroe Beach features all the beach amenities like easy parking, picnic shelters with grills and tables, a kids’ playground, biking paths, hiking trails, and hotels.

For those who are looking for more fun, Buckroe Beach features live concerts and outdoor movies too.

Beaches in Virginia

7. Beaches in Virginia: Colonial Beach

Colonial Beach is a small beach town located on the Potomac River. The city’s most attractive feature is its 2.5-mile-long, 6 miles wide beach.

Beaches in Virginia Colonial Beach
Colonial Beach

This beach town was developed with all the facilities for the rich vacationers from Washington D.C. in the early to the mid-20th century. And obviously, the town has a historical value and some very notable former residents too.

However, the biggest attraction of the city is undoubtedly the beach. If you are looking to do watersports with your family, Colonial Beach is suitable for everything.

For example, swimming, sunbathing, paddling, kayaking, fishing at its long pier, watching ospreys in their nests, etc.

Another attraction of Colonial Beach is its boardwalk. And it features plenty of fun beach activities, delicious seafood restaurants, and hotels.

Since it is pet-friendly, come along with your lovely pet.

Beaches in Virginia

8. Westmoreland State Park Beach, Westmoreland County

Stretching for one and a half miles along the Potomac River, Westmoreland State Park is a 1,321 acres protected area in Westmoreland County, Virginia.

Westmoreland State Park Beach, Westmoreland County
Westmoreland State Park Beach

The Horsehead Cliffs in Westmoreland State Park is the best spot that features a nice beach and fantastic views of the river.

And also, this park features 7 exciting hiking trails, which are filled with fishing, boating, camping (wooden cabin rentals), swimming, and many other outdoor adventures activities.

Especially, Westmoreland State Park Beach is perfect for swimmers.

Address: 145 Cliff Road, Montross, VA 22520, United States  Phone: +1 804-493-8821

Beaches in Virginia

9. Cape Charles Beach, Virginia

Here’s a stunning, secret beach in Virginia, Cape Charles Beach.

Cape Charles Beach, Virginia
Cape Charles Beach

Located on the Eastern Shore on the Chesapeake Bay, Cape Charles Beach is a calm and untouched beach. And its shallow waters and calm waves make it perfect for families with kids. Also, if you don’t like to swim in heavy waves, here’s the ideal beach in Virginia.

For those who like watersports, Cape Charles Beach offers easy accessibility too. For example, kayaking, paddling, boating, and many more. And several local outfitters sell everything you need.

After having fun on the beach, you can visit the historical Cape Charles Town that features delicious small restaurants, small hotels, and boutique shops.

Although I mentioned it as a secret beach, it is very easy to find. You have to drive only for just 10 miles north of the Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel; you are there.

Since Kiptopeke State Park is located near Cape Charles Beach, you can cover both places from the same trip.

Beaches in Virginia

10. Kiptopeke State Park, Chesapeake Bay

As mentioned above, Kiptopeke State Park is located near Cape Charles on Virginia’s eastern shore. This state park offers access to the Chesapeake Bay. Therefore, it features plenty of water activities and other recreational opportunities.

Kiptopeke State Park, Chesapeake Bay
Kiptopeke State Park

For example, hiking, biking, boating, observing migratory birds, fishing, picnicking, camping, and more.

Kiptopeke State Park offers you over 5 miles of exciting biking and hiking trails.

Also, since this park has quiet and peaceful surroundings, it is perfect for camping too. And, there’s an excellent campground, comfortable cabins, a bunkhouse, and a yurt for campers.

Park’s fishing pier is perfect for guiding your kids on fishing. Another kid-friendly thing in the park is the kids’ playground.

So, surely visit Kiptopeke State Park with your family.

Address: 3540 Kiptopeke Dr, Cape Charles, VA 23310, United States  Phone: +1 757-331-2267

Beaches in Virginia

11. Beaches in Virginia: Croatan Beach

Here’s the best beach for surfers.

Beaches in Virginia Croatan Beach
Croatan Beach

Croatan Beach is a small beach that stretches only for less than one mile. But, it is one of the most popular beaches for surfing. There are two designated places to enjoy surfing.

Since Croatan Beach features on-duty lifeguards, showers, and restrooms, many surfers attract to this beach. For those who want to learn surfing, there are training sessions in the middle of summer.

And also, Croatan Beach is much quieter compared with the nearby Virginia Beach boardwalk. So, if you are not into surfing, you can have a relaxing time while watching talented surfers.

12. Chincoteague Beach, Chincoteague Island

The Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge is a large wildlife preserve that spreads for over 14,000-acres of land. And its beaches considers some of the most beautiful beaches in Virginia. For example, Wild Beach, Toms Cove Hook, and Recreational Beach.

Chincoteague Beach, Chincoteague Island
Chincoteague Beach

Located on a windswept sandy barrier island (Assateague Island), Chincoteague Beach is very popular among beach lovers. Especially, it attracts swimmers and sunbathers during the summer since lifeguards are on duty, no need to worry about safety.

Also, Chincoteague Recreational Beach is a paradise for beachcombers, bird watchers, photographers, nature lovers, and anglers.

Aside from that, crabbing, surfing, kayaking, and clamming are other popular things to do on these beaches.

Chincoteague’s Wild Beach is an 11-mile long beach that is perfect for hikers. Since vehicles are not allowed to enter, hiking is the only option.

On the other hand, Toms Cove Hook in Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge offers you fantastic 10-mile walks along the Atlantic Ocean to Fishing Point.

Address: 8231 Beach Rd, Chincoteague, VA 23336, United States  Phone: +1 757-336-6122

Beaches in Virginia

13. First Landing State Park Beach, Cape Henry

Here’s the first planned state park of Virginia.

First Landing State Park Beach, Cape Henry
First Landing State Park Beach

Spreading over 2,888-acres of land located on Cape Henry in North Virginia Beach, First Landing State Park is one National Register of Historic Places in Virginia.

It features a stunning coastline ideal for swimming, boating, fishing, hiking, biking, and picnicking. Also, for those who like camping, there are excellent campsites and cabin rentals in the park as well.

First Landing State Park Beach is one and a quarter-mile long, located on the Chesapeake Bay. Therefore, the water is warmer and calmer compared with the Atlantic Ocean, making it perfect for families with kids.

Also, First Landing State Park Beach contains clean, fine, white sand and offers easy access through its boardwalks.

Address: 2500 Shore Dr, Virginia Beach, VA 23451, United States  Phone: +1 757-412-2300

14. Beaches in Virginia: Belle Isle Beach, Richmond

Belle Isle Beach is located in the middle of an attractive 54-acre island named Belle Isle Historic Park in Richmond, Virginia.

Beaches in Virginia Belle Isle Beach, Richmond
Belle Isle Beach, Richmond

If you are looking for an unusual beach experience, Belle Isle Beach is the best because it does not feature sand and ocean waves. Instead, it contains natural flat rocks and swift rapids.

Therefore, visitors come to Belle Isle Beach to lie on the rocks on sunny days. And also, due to swift rapids, swimming is not advised. So, you can only dip your feet to cool off.

But, still, it is totally worth visiting Belle Isle Beach to enjoy calm, shallow pools of water and the unique landscape with cliffs and rocks.

If you don’t have enough time to drive to the ocean and spend a whole beach day, but still you want an escape the hustle, try Belle Isle Beach.

The beach area also features some exciting hiking trails and several historical places as well.

Address: James R. at US 1/301, Richmond, VA, United States

Beaches in Virginia

15. Ocean View Beach, Norfolk

Stretching for 7.5-miles along the Atlantic Ocean, Ocean View Beach is a series of scenic beaches in Norfolk, Virginia.

Ocean View Beach, Norfolk
Ocean View Beach, Norfolk

And it offers plenty of areas for sunbathing, building sandcastles, swimming, paddleboarding, kayaking, beachcombing, and doing any other water activity. Since the water is calm and warm, it is perfect even for kids.

You can easily find parking spaces and get easy access to Ocean View Beach. And also, it features restaurants and lodging close to the beach.

On the other hand, Ocean View Park is located near, and it offers scenic picnic areas with picnic tables, a bathhouse, and shady trees.

If you are into crabbing and fishing, there are several excellent fishing piers that you can rent.

Beaches in Virginia

16. North End Beach, Virginia Beach

North End Beach is the locals’ favorite. This dog-friendly beach attracts local families and teenage groups especially, during the weekend. But, still, it is a quiet and calm beach which is perfect for escaping from the busy world.

North End Beach, Virginia Beach
North End Beach

And the most highlighted feature of North End Beach is two historic lighthouses, Old Cape Henry Lighthouse (built in 1792) and another one built in 1881.

Since locals largely attract North End Beach, it does not feature any beach amenities. Even parking can be challenging.

Bring everything you need.

17. Beaches in Virginia: Jamestown Beach

Another secret beach that you should not miss in Virginia is Jamestown Beach.

Beaches in Virginia Jamestown Beach
Jamestown Beach

Since it is located near the historic Jamestown Settlement, it is not difficult to find. And also, the beach features a small beachfront park with a pier, shaded areas, picnic areas, and restrooms.

Also, Jamestown Beach has exciting lagoons for those who like to explore nature. Therefore, Jamestown Beach can be considered a good family beach.

If you are visiting Historic Jamestowne or Busch Gardens Williamsburg, do not miss this unique Jamestown Beach too.

Beaches in Virginia

18. Kerr Lake Beach, Buggs Island

Here’s a wonderful lake beach in Virginia.

Kerr Lake Beach, Buggs Island
Kerr Lake Beach, Buggs Island

Kerr Lake Beach is located on Buggs Island in Clarksville. And Kerr Lake is the largest lake in Virginia that spreads for 50,000-acres. Therefore, it features more than 800 miles of shoreline around the lake.

Kerr Lake Beach offers you plenty of swimming spots and many other watersports such as sailing, water skiing, and boating.

Also, Kerr Lake Beach and its surroundings have some other amenities for visitors. For example, there are excellent campsites and several parks (Buffalo Park, Ivy Hill Park, Longwood Park, North Bend Park, Palmer Point Park, and Rudds Creek).

That’s why Kerr Lake Beach considers a wonderful place to visit with your family.

Beaches in Virginia

19. Beaches in Virginia: Yorktown Beach

Yorktown Beach is a small shoreline with a two-acre public beach in historic Yorktown.

Beaches in Virginia Yorktown Beach
Yorktown Beach

And this beach features facilities like restaurants, restrooms, a fishing pier, and comfortable picnic areas, making it perfect for families.

Swimming is the most popular thing to do in Yorktown Beach. Aside from that, kayaking, paddle boarding, sunset sailing, and boating are also fun experiences that you can get there.

Another interesting thing to do near this area is to take a historical boat trip on the York River.

Since it offers easy access, come along with your family to have a fun beach day.

Beaches in Virginia

20. Beaches in Virginia: Smith Mountain Lake Beach

Smith Mountain Lake Beach is one of the most popular lake beaches in Virginia. Being the second largest lake in the state, Smith Mountain Lake is surrounded by a cottage community.

Beaches in Virginia Smith Mountain Lake Beach
Smith Mountain Lake Beach

This beach is excellent for families with kids. Therefore it attracts thousands of visitors annually. And visitors can enjoy plenty of water sports such as swimming, jet-skiing, fishing, and boating.

Plan for a fun picnic or a camp on Smith Mountain Lake Beach with your family.

Beaches in Virginia

  • Assateague Island Beach
  • Virginia Beach
  • Bethel Beach Natural Area Preserve
  • Sandbridge Beach
  • Chesapeake Beach, Chesapeake City
  • Buckroe Beach
  • Colonial Beach
  • Westmoreland State Park Beach, Westmoreland County
  • Cape Charles Beach
  • Assateague Island National Seashore
  • Buckroe Beach, Hampton
  • Croatan Beach
  • Chincoteague Beach, Chincoteague Island
  • First Landing State Park Beach
  • Belle Isle Beach, Richmond
  • Kiptopeke State Park, Chesapeake Bay
  • Ocean View Beach, Norfolk
  • Resort Area Beach
  • North End Beach, Virginia Beach
  • Jamestown Beach
  • Kerr Lake Beach, Buggs Island
  • Yorktown Beach
  • Smith Mountain Lake Beach

Beaches in Virginia