Virginia is a historic and beautiful state filled with hidden diamonds in the rough. Known for it’s historical significance but also lots of natural wonder having some of the best beaches East of the Mississippi. Read on to discover Virginia’s hidden gems for lounging and lackadaisical evenings, or bright and boisterous mornings with sandy toes and bikinis on Virginia’s best beaches.
Grandview Beach; Chesapeake Bay
Home of the world-famous Chesapeake Bay blue crab, Chesapeake Bay beaches make a great option for wayward travelers looking to get their hair wet and soccer-moms with kids alike. The lack of waves in Chesapeake Bay make it ideal for a lazy afternoon aboard your giant flamingo floatie, or sunbathing on equally tranquil sand. You might not expect some of the seclusion you’ll find from other beaches on this list and parking tends to get crowded. Your best bet: arrive early and stay late. Don’t miss brewery Dry 85’s just across the border in Maryland for new American cuisine (try the brussel sprouts!) and bohemian vibe. Great for a few flights of whiskey, a chic cocktail, or the occasional pitcher of local craft beer (pick your poison!).
Bethel Beach, Mathew’s County
Notable for it’s vast sandy shoreline - mixed sand-dune and saltmarsh - Bethel Beach is home to one of Virginia’s largest Natural Preserves. An ideal locale for wildlife viewing, including local endangered species, and adventuring with friends and family. Bethel Beach is in a constant state of flux due to greater Chesapeake Bay tidal movement, wind, waves, and environmental forces. As a result, you can expect to find secret islands and peninsulas perfect for exploring rising and falling with the tide. Bethel Beach is a true slice of paradise in Virginia’s diverse and unique landscape. If you have some time, check out Sammy’s for a classic American meal or boutique cocktail.
Buckroe Beach, Hampton VA
Buckroe beach is a stretch of sand that lays over ¾ of a mile in Chesapeake Bay. One of many beautiful stretches of beach, Buckroe is no exception for ideal swimming, wading, walking, and exploring Hampton Virginia. An ideal location for windsurfing, kitesurfing, jet-skiing, paddleboarding, or kayaking. After a long day of adventuring, be sure to check out the neighboring Marker20 for classic East Coast American cuisine.
Fossil Beach; Westmoreland State Park, Westmoreland County
With the rise of fossil hunting through social media like instagram, you can now find countless hopeful explorers scouring the beaches of Virginia, Maryland, and throughout the east coast. Fossil Beach in Westmoreland State Park is arguably the perfect place for exploring the North American coastline for fossilized shark teeth and the occasional dinosaur bone. In addition to sunbathing, exploring, and fossil finding, greater Westmoreland State Park offers overnight camping opportunities for outdoor inclined couples and families. After a long day of fossil hunting, don’t forget to check-out Josh’s Bar and Grille or Sly Clyde’s Ciderworks for local cuisine and good times.
Assateague National Seashore
Assateague National Seashore is located on a small island off-shore Virginia’s Chiconteague bay. Assateague National Seashore is perhaps best known for being the home to wild horses, which roam the neighboring grasslands and seashore. In addition, you can expect overnight camping opportunities and oversand vehicle adventures for groups, couples, and families alike. A pristine paradise among the overpopulous East Coast, Assateague is a great place for anyone looking to escape the urban landscape and reconnect with their natural world.
Chincoteague Beach, Chincoteague Island
Chincoteague Island is a unique national wildlife refuge which is home to ocean going wild horses, abundant native wildlife, and some of the most beautiful beaches in the state. A narrow strip of land that sits due east of Horntown and Wattsville Virginia, Chincoteague island is a narrow stretch of land that is in a state of constant flux subject to the mercy rising and falling tides, change is swell conditions, and wind conditions. Managed by the National Park Service, you may need to pay a small admittance fee to come ashore. Wild Beach on Chincoteague is ideal for a day of exploring and hiking along Chincoteagues 11 miles of delicate dunes and salt marshes, Tom’s Cove Hook offers 4 wheel drive vehicles the chance to access some of Chincoteague’s more remote beaches (closed during summer months). Lastly, Assawoman, Cedar, and and Metompkin Islands offer bird enthusiasts a chance to glimpse a host of avian species in their nesting habitat.
Sandbridge, Virginia Beach:
Truly a hidden gem, Sandbridge stands in stark contrast to the hustle and bustle paired with party scene you’re likely to find in Virginia Beach, Sandbridge offers a comfortable respite for families and couples looking for a piece of seclusion. While not exactly conveniently located for a post-beach cocktail or night out, check out the Bee and Biscuit for a boozy brunch pre-beach day or check-out the nearby Baja Restaurant for a late-night cocktail and classic American cuisine.
False Cape, Virginia Beach
Unlike many of the beaches near Virginia’s premier beach destination - Virginia Beach - you can typically expect False Cape to be relatively deserted with the exception of a few wild horses roaming the dunes and salt marshes. False Cape is yet another pristine and private beach ideal for sunbathing, swimming, and exploring. A favorite among locals, this State Park is home to a variety of adventure tours including kayaking, stand up paddling and OSV (over-sand vehicles).You won’t find many neighboring bars, shops, or restaurants so pack a bottle of wine, a wheel of brie, and a couple baguettes for the perfect romantic beach getaway.
While Virginia may be better known for history than hanging ten, Virginia is home to more than a few hidden gems along it’s variable coastline. You can expect a more than a few surprises ranging from sunbathing on gorgeous whitesand beaches to fishing and kayaking in the crystal clear waters of chesapeake bay. Regardless of what you’re looking for in your next beach adventure, Virginia’s best beaches will more than meet your expectations. So grab your sunscreen and thirst for experience, let’s go exploring!