Where the Locals Roam in Virginia Beach

Virginia Beach is more than just sun, sand, and surf. In fact, winter might be one of the most peaceful times to visit. But don’t just take our word for it. Hear from the adventurers and outdoor enthusiasts who live, work, and play in this coastal city every day.

The Locals

Eric Coulson, Surf & Adventure Co.

Whether you want to ride fat tire bikes across the empty beaches or paddle calm waterways looking for signs of marine life, the fine folks at Surf & Adventure Co. can outfit you with everything you’ll need to explore the many habitats of Virginia Beach. Located in the community of Sandbridge, you’ll be just a few minutes from the wonders at Back Bay National Wildlife Refuge and False Cape State Park. You can even book a guided tour to learn more about the history and ecology of the area. There’s no telling what you might see while you’re out there.

Brandon Holland, Virginia Beach Audubon Society

Winter might be the best season to visit for the migrating birds that stop by every year. There are seemingly endless spots to witness these soaring creatures. Join experts for a winter waterfowl walk at Back Bay National Wildlife Refuge for views of swans, geese, ducks, piping clovers, and more, or explore the trail system that winds along the water at First Landing State Park on your own. You might even sneak a peek into the Atlantic Wildfowl Heritage Museum for an extensive look at the art and history of wildlife in the area.

Adam Roth, Roth Printing & Design

From the Chesapeake Bay and the Atlantic Ocean to all of the rivers, creeks, and lakes in between, you’ll pretty much always be near a waterway of some kind in Virginia Beach. For those with adventure in mind, rent a wetsuit and surfboard from VB Surf Sessions and hit the waves at the First Street Jetty. Maybe you want to see the dolphins with Kayak Nature Tours or walk the shoreline along the Virginia Beach Boardwalk. You can even grab a meal with a waterfront view from The Back Deck, Catch 31, Rockafeller’s, and many more.

Chris Witherspoon, Virginia Aquarium & Marine Science Center

For those who don’t want to jump right into the water, there are still so many ways to discover the wonders of the ocean. Check out an array of exhibits at the Virginia Aquarium & Marine Science Center, from the playful harbor seals to a touch pool with rays. But the best part about visiting the aquarium in the winter is the wildlife cruises. From December to March, book a whale watching tour as the magnificent creatures migrate south. With boats running Wednesday through Sunday, this is one adventure you don’t want to miss. However you choose to explore Virginia Beach, you’ll experience dazzling sunrises, colorful murals, and friendly faces along the way. Book your winter getaway today.

Cover photo by Shannon McGowan

Places to Go, Things to See: