Virginia has over 3,300 miles of shoreline, including 112 miles of coasts. Its not surprising to find that the state also has several famous beaches that draw millions of tourists each year for swimming, fishing, boating, seashell collecting, bird watching, clamming and nature trails.
Assateague Island straddles two states, Maryland and Virginia, and was established in 1962 as the Assateague Island National Seashore to protect its natural environment as a vital resting and migratory spot for various bird species. All the 37 miles of dunes, wildlife and wetlands are protected, and therefore, there are no signs of commercial or residential development. Assateague is best known for the wild ponies that wander the pristine beaches, as well as the Assateague Lighthouse, which is open to public visitors. Toms Cove Visitor Center 8586 Beach Road Chincoteague Island, VA 23336 757-336-6577 nps.gov/asis
Chincoteague is home to the Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge, listed as one of the top five U.S. shorebird migratory staging areas. Chincoteague is Virginias only resort island, and is world famous for oyster beds and clam shoals. Its also the gateway to Assateague, and the wild ponies there are herded to swim across the channel to Chincoteague Island each July for auction, a popular public event. In addition to the usual swimming, sun bathing and water sports, the Park Service and Wildlife Refuge both offer guided wildlife tours and exhibits throughout the year. Chincoteague Chamber of Commerce and Visitors Center 6733 Maddox Blvd. Chincoteague Island, VA 23336 757-336-6161 chincoteague.com
Colonial Beach is at the tip of the Northern Neck region, one of the few remaining small seaport towns on the Potomac River. It has sandy beaches and marinas on Monroe Bay ideal for swimming, boating and sailing. The area is also quite historic, containing George Washington’s birthplace; Stratford Hall, the boyhood home of Robert E. Lee; and neighboring Westmoreland County, the birthplace of James Monroe. Colonial Beach has been designated as one of the few Golf Cart Towns, where golf carts may be operated by licensed drivers on city streets, but the Town Trolley also makes sightseeing stops. Colonial Beach Chamber of Commerce 6 N Irving Ave. Colonial Beach, VA 22443 804-224-8145 firstname.lastname@example.org colonialbeach.org
At the northern end of Norfolk on the Chesapeake Bay lies Ocean View Beach, with 7.5 miles of beaches, commercial piers, bait shops, rental paddle boats, Jet Skis and sailboats, and a park with a bathhouse and picnic tables. The Ocean View Beach Festival is held every summer with live music, dancing and family activities right on the beach. The boardwalk is a good spot for a stroll and occasional sightings of submarines from nearby Norfolk Naval Air Station. Ocean View Beach Park 100 W. Ocean View Ave. Norfolk, VA 757-441-1776 oceanviewscene.com
Virginia Beach is the states most famous beach and the third largest in the United States, with 35 miles of waterfront property. Chesapeake Bay Beach and Sandbridge are two distinct beaches within the city borders that are more tranquil and secluded. For those who want excitement, theres the Resort Beaches area, which include the 3-mile oceanfront boardwalk, with bikes and roller blades for rent, restaurants, shops and various festivals during the summer. There are plenty of options for additional entertainment, including 4,000 acres in parks and national refuges, the Virginia Aquarium & Marine Science Center and the Virginia Beach Oceanfront Waterpark. Virginia Beach Visitors Center 2100 Parks Ave. Virginia Beach, VA 23451 800-VA-BEACH (800-822-3224) email@example.com vbfun.com
Bonnie Singleton has been writing professionally since 1996. She has written for various newspapers and magazines including “The Washington Times” and “Woman’s World.” She also wrote for the BBC-TV news magazine “From Washington” and worked for Discovery Channel online for more than a decade. Singleton holds a master’s degree in musicology from Florida State University and is a member of the American Independent Writers.
Famous Beaches in Virginia | USA Today