15 Great Beaches in Virginia Perfect For Summer Beach Days

Virginia’s hot and humid summers make going to the beach an absolute must! It’s a great way to spend time with family and friends, relax, cool down, and have a good time. Virginia is located along the Atlantic Ocean, which flows into the gorgeous Chesapeake Bay and beyond. Beaches in Virginia are beautiful, scenic, unique, and abundant. 

From parasailing and jet-skiing to great seafood and stunning views, being beachfront in Virginia is a local pastime synonymous with pleasure and relaxation. Check out these fifteen remarkable beaches in Virginia, perfect for a vacation with the kids and friends or a romantic road trip with your significant other!

1. Cape Charles Beach (Eastern Shore)

Cape Charles, Virginia, is a charming beach town on Virginia’s Eastern Shore. If you’re looking to escape the crowds at the Virginia Beach Oceanfront, take the 60-minute drive over the Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel and down US-13 to Cape Charles! Rent a golf cart and head into the historic district to grab some beach gear. You can rent fishing gear, kayaks, jet skis, stand-up paddleboards, and more.

If you want to spend the weekend in Cape Charles, rent a room at the Cape Charles Hotel or one of the many beach rentals. The town has two great distilleries and incredible sunsets. If you enjoy the small-town feel, you’ll enjoy a day trip to Cape Charles Beach.  

2. Assateague Island (Eastern Shore)

Assateague Island National Seashore
Photo Credit: [@Alexandrea Sumuel/Wander With Alex]

If you love the outdoors and want more adventure, the Assateague Island National Seashore is a great option! Located on the Eastern Shore, it stretches from Virginia to Maryland. To access the beach, you must take the John B. Whealton Memorial Causeway (US 175) to the island of Chincoteague. You can camp on the beach, hike or bike trails along the 37-mile beachfront, ride horseback, kayak, surf, fish, and crab.

A plus? The island is known for its beautiful wild horses! The wild horses live in two herds, one on the Maryland and the other on the Virginia side. Annually, there is an annual pony penning on the last Wednesday of July. On the Virginia side, the ponies are herded from Assateague Island to Chincoteague Island to be sold at auction. It’s a one-of-a-kind event with festivities that attract visitors from all over.  

3. Virginia Beach Oceanfront

Virginia Beach Oceanfront is Virginia’s largest and most popular beach. Families, friends, and couples from around the country often vacation in Virginia Beach during spring and summer break. Did you know that Virginia Beach holds the Guinness World Record for the longest pleasure beach? That’s 35 miles of gorgeous beachfront for you to enjoy!

Head to the south end of the Oceanfront to Rudee Inlet, where you can learn about fishing charters, dolphin cruises, parasailing, jet skis, and more. Take a stroll, bike, or rollerblade down the Virginia Beach Boardwalk. Along the way, don’t forget to stop by one of the bars or restaurants for refreshments with water views.

4. Sandbridge Beach (Virginia Beach)

Sandbridge Beach is about 15 miles south of the Virginia Beach Oceanfront and is an excellent spot for those looking to escape the crowds. It’s also a perfect spot for surfers and sunset watchers! Sandbridge is a quiet waterfront community similar to properties on the Outer Banks. There are no hotels, but beachfront houses and condos can be rented. You’re also likely to see beautiful wedding decor occasionally, as Sandbridge is a popular wedding spot!

Head to Little Island Park, where you’ll find a playground for the little ones, picnic shelters, grills, a tennis court, a pickleball court, a basketball court, and a beach volleyball court! If you enjoy fishing, head to the Little Island Fishing Pier. There’s also a canoe and kayak launch nearby.

5. Chic’s Beach (Virginia Beach)

Officially known as Chesapeake Beach, this stretch of Virginia Beach is often called Chic’s Beach. It’s a beachfront community on either side of the Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel. Because there are far fewer crowds than at the Oceanfront, Chic’s Beach is a popular spot among locals. In addition to sunbathing, swimming, and surfing, there are several waterfront restaurants.

First Landing State Park is just a short drive from Chic’s Beach to explore nature. Virginia’s most visited State Park, First Landing, offers hiking and biking trails, a kayak and boat launch, camping, and beach access.

6. Croatan Beach (Virginia Beach)

Croatan is a gorgeous waterfront community along the Atlantic, just a short drive from the Oceanfront. The beachfront is a little less than a mile long and is known to be less crowded than the Oceanfront. Croatan is also a popular spot for surfers! Two designated areas along the beach are dedicated to catching a few waves. And, if you’re interested in surf lessons, check out the Seth Broudy School of Surf at the south end! For safety, there are lifeguard services on this beach in the summertime.

7. Ocean View Beaches (Norfolk)

Ocean View Beach Park is Norfolk, Virginia’s largest pleasure beach, located along the Chesapeake Bay. The beach park has a large stage where bands play in the summertime and a green space where people can hang out and enjoy the music. The city also hosts live music, movie nights, activities for kids, and more.

East Beach is a waterfront community in East Ocean View, Virginia, filled with beautiful architecture. It has a stage pavilion, a social club, marinas, and shopping. Norfolk, Virginia, locals enjoy walking along the shoreline and family beach days on the Chesapeake. There’s also a large community Farmer’s Market on Saturdays from April through November.

8. Buckroe Beach and Park (Hampton)

Buckroe Beach is a smaller beach in Hampton, Virginia, along the beautiful Chesapeake Bay. The park has a stage pavilion for events, picnic shelters and grills, restrooms, showers, and a playground. There’s also a beautiful fishing pier, and lifeguards are on duty during beach season. The Buckroe Beach boardwalk is a lovely place to stroll, with seating for lounges and waterfront swings. And if you’re visiting on Saturday, be sure to stop by the Buckroe Beach Farmer’s Market and support a few local businesses!

9. Outlook Beach (Hampton)

Outlook Beach is part of the Fort Monroe National Monument, where various landmarks and the Casemate Museum can be found. Located along the Chesapeake Bay, Outlook Beach is another beach in Hampton, Virginia. Its unique setting allows for distant views of the world’s most extensive naval base, Naval Base Norfolk. While enjoying the beach, it’s also not uncommon to see large container ships and tugboats pass by. And if you want to go fishing, there is a small fishing pier near the end of the beach.

10. Grandview Nature Preserve (Hampton)

The Grandview Nature Preserve is an unspoiled hidden gem in Hampton, Virginia. The area features creeks, salt marsh, and the Chesapeake Bay waterfront. It’s a great place to walk along the water and search for beautiful shells and sea glass. Grandview Nature Preserve is also popular for birdwatchers, photographers, and fishing enthusiasts. This is the beach if you’re looking for a gorgeous outdoor area without the city’s crowds. Pack plenty of water and snacks, as the area has no amenities.

11. Huntington Beach (Newport News)

huntingtin beach newports news, virginia

Huntington Beach is a small beach along the gorgeous James River in Newport News, Virginia. You can find the Crab Shack Seafood Restaurant at one end of the beach, which offers beautiful waterfront dining. And right next door, you can find the James River Fishing Pier—a great spot for the local catch. Beachgoers enjoy boating, jet-skiing, kayaking, and stand-up paddleboarding on the river. Because of its unique location, you’re even bound to catch sight of large ships passing by while you enjoy the water. As well, Huntington Beach is known to have magnificent sunsets.

12. Yorktown Beach (Yorktown)

In Historic Yorktown, Yorktown Beach is a favorite amongst those visiting the historic triangle and Williamsburg, Virginia area. Before hitting the beach, check out Riverwalk Landing, where you can rent kayaks and paddleboards, grab a bite to eat or take a trolley tour of the historic area. You can even take a river cruise at sunset or take the kids on a pirate adventure cruise! Yorktown Beach is the perfect place for families to get outside, relax, and cool down in the summertime.

13. Gloucester Point Beach Park

Another great beach along the York River, Gloucester Point Beach, is beautiful and scenic and offers excellent views of the Coleman Bridge. The beach is not usually crowded; there are picnic areas and public restrooms. The fishing pier is open 24/7, and the local catch can be abundant on a good day! The beach also has a boat ramp and is a popular spot for jet skiers and boaters. It is a kid-friendly beach and a great place to relax and enjoy the views. Please note that the beach is not swimmable due to the currents, so stay in the designated swimming areas.

14. Bethel Beach (Mathews County)

Bethel Beach Natural Area Preserve has a narrow beach along the Chesapeake Bay in Mathews County, Virginia. It’s considered a hidden gem and is a peaceful place to enjoy. The area has many different bird species, including several endangered species. It’s a beautiful place to take a beach walk, sunbathe, enjoy nature, and find a few seashells. Bethel Beach is also known to have magnificent sunrises and sunsets. This natural area is primarily untouched, and there are no facilities. Be sure to bring water and snacks on your beach walk.

15. Colonial Beach

Colonial Beach is located on Virginia’s Northern Neck peninsula, bordered by the Potomac River. Colonial Beach is Virginia’s second-largest stretch of beach and resides in a charming town that shares its name. Amenities include a boardwalk, fishing pier, and playground for the kids. There are charter fishing boats, marinas, and places to grab a bite. After enjoying the beach, grab a golf cart and explore the town!

Final Thoughts

Due to it’s natural waterways, beaches in Virginia are beautiful and plentiful. Enjoying the water is a great way to stay cool during Virginia’s hot and humid summers. Take the family, grab your friends and maybe a few cold beverages, and spend some time outdoors this summer!


15 Great Beaches in Virginia Perfect For Summer Beach Days

Alexandrea Sumuel Groves is a nationally syndicated travel writer and founder of the Wander With Alex travel blog. Her work has appeared on MSN, YAHOO!, Euronews, and FOX, ABC, and NBC affiliates across the United States. 

Alex travels to experience, eat, explore, and occasionally escape! She collaborates with destinations, vacation property management companies, and hospitality technology firms to provide her readers with exclusive insights and information.