Virginia is for beach lovers. Well, that might not be the official motto, but it does boast around 132 miles of the Atlantic Ocean coastline. With a location south of the Mason-Dixon line, it has fairly mild winters, and hot summers, making the ocean water a beloved destination come summertime.
With a mere 112 miles of shoreline (CRS measurement), Virginia doesn’t have the number of beaches that other states do. However, the best coastal towns in Old Dominion offer a lot of bang for the buck regarding the choices of places to visit and live along its shores. Virginia was one of the 13 original …
Top Beaches and Coastal Towns in VA
The largest city in the state is also a beach town, Virginia Beach. It features 38 miles of coastline, 28 of which are public beaches. There is also a slew of other coastal destinations, and even some islands, such as Chincoteague and Tangier. Whether you’re looking to relax on white sand beaches or surf the waves of the Atlantic, there’s a place in VA for you.
Guide to Visiting the Beaches in Virginia
There’s no denying that Virginia is one of the most historic states in the country, boasting many tales back to the 17th century when Europeans dominated the area and beyond. While it might not have as many beaches as other coastal states, beach lovers are attracted to this part of the Atlantic for the quality of its shores.
There’s something for everyone along Virginia’s eastern coast. Visitors that want to be in a vibrant city with access to the sand can head to Virginia Beach or Norfolk. When travelers are looking to escape the chaos of metro life, a day trip or a few days on the secluded Tangier Island might be the best option.
Colonial Beach and Cape Charles perfectly blend history, proximity to other attractions, and that small-town feel.
Winter highs along the Virginian Coast average about 49℉, and in the peak of summer during July, temperatures hover around a high of 87℉. The best time to visit the beaches in Virginia is May through September, but this is also the busiest time to go.
Even though the rainy season starts at the end of May, this coast is still reasonably popular among everyone who enjoys a warmer vacation. Hurricanes can and have happened in the state, but they are far less frequent than in the states further south and along the Gulf of Mexico.
Like many other states by water, accommodations along the shore are popular for overnight stays. In Virginia beach towns, the more rural areas feature a lot of B&Bs and small vacation rentals with access to the sand.
Larger cities like Virginia Beach have a bit of everything, including big hotels and low-budget motels. Camping is also available in the state, with several RV and tent site options.
The clarity of the ocean water off Virginia’s beaches varies on location and weather. However, some of the same watersports in other states, like surfing, paddleboarding, boating, fishing, and swimming, are done in the Old Dominion. Scuba divers and snorkelers will also get to explore beneath the waves at lots of different spots.
Virginians love to be outside, so visitors will find biking, hiking, and walking places easily done in many areas. Spending time on the water in a boat or kayak is another excellent way to discover what’s in all the crevices of the state’s bays, oceans, and rivers.
Don’t skip out on a chance to see a sunrise or sunset from one of Virginia’s best beaches. After a day of soaking up all the historical sites, unwinding in the salty water could be an extra way to relax and slow things down.