Locals’ Guide to Getting Outdoors in Virginia Beach

While our beaches might be Virginia Beach’s most renowned draw, they are only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the great outdoors. From the windswept sand dunes of Sandbridge to the moss-adorned bald cypress trees of the historic First Landing State Park, there is no shortage of scenes to experience and adventures to be had. While the diversity of outdoor experiences can certainly make it hard to know where to start, we are here to break it down with a Locals’ Guide to the Great Outdoors in Virginia Beach.

Hiking False State Park

Parks

Virginia Beach’s protected maritime forests are a crucial ingredient within the beautiful surrounding landscape. With over 4,000 acres of parks and national refuges, Virginia Beach is much bigger than most would think thanks, in large part, to its parkland and wildlife refuges. With numerous opportunities for hiking, biking, birdwatching, camping, and more, Virginia Beach is consistently rated as one the fittest and most adventurous cities in the United States, and for good reason.

Some of Our Favorite Spots

Kick It Up a Notch

If you’re an avid camper, take it to the next level with primitive camping at False Cape State Park, where you can camp in near complete isolation, and set your tent up right on the beach of the Atlantic Ocean.

Take It Easy

The Spanish moss-adorned Bald Cypress trees of First Landing State Park make for a dream-like canopy over the preserved marshland habitat. Go for a hike or bike ride, or bring your favorite book for a quiet, relaxing afternoon among the trees.

Kayaking to Blue Petes Restaurant

Waterways

From the mighty Atlantic swell to the calm waters of the immense Chesapeake Bay, as well as 120 miles of waterways, being on the water is a way of life in Virginia Beach. You can charter a boat and head out for a day of fishing, rent a kayak for a day of exploring our wetlands, or simply dive in for a day of swimming in the calm waves of the Bay.

Some of Our Favorite Spots

Kick It Up a Notch

It doesn’t get more thrilling than chartering a boat and heading out to deep sea fish in the 115 fathoms of the famous Norfolk Canyon, where the bigger fish like billfish and tuna can be found.

Take It Easy

To do as the locals do, take a boat ride out on one of the inland waterways like the Linkhorn Bay or Broad Bay and spend the day on cruise control.

Local Tip

Dolphins are frequent visitors to the calmer inland waterways off of the Chesapeake Bay, making for a perfect opportunity to kayak alongside some of our favorite locals.

Oceanfront Resort Beach

Beaches

From the Chesapeake Bay and Atlantic Ocean to the beaches of our rivers and inlets, coastlines are a staple of Virginia Beach culture and a beacon of relaxation for locals and visitors alike. From shell-hunting and sunbathing to beach volleyball and building sandcastles, there’s something to dig about the sand.

Some of Our Favorite Spots

Kick It Up a Notch

Virginia Beach is all about beach cruisers and fat tire bikes here and there may not be a better way to explore the beaches of Sandbridge than by taking a ride right on the sand. Rent a fat tire bike from a local outfitter like Surf & Adventure Company and head to Little Island Park for a ride along the water’s edge.

Take It Easy

For a relaxing day on the Atlantic Ocean with a decidedly more local vibe, check out the Oceanfront North End Beach. Same beautiful, wide sandy beaches, but more residential. You can park on most of the side streets.

Local Tip

To view some prime surfing, head to Croatan Beach, just south of the main resort beach. Croatan is a hidden gem that is a popular local beach and surf spot.

Ready to get away? Check out Virginia Beach’s new Get Outdoors Pass for deals on your VB excursions. 

GET THE PASS

All photos courtesy of Visit Virginia Beach

Places to Go, Things to See: