- Beaches, Natural Wonders, Recreation, Swimming/Pools Type
- 2 hours to Half Day Time to Spend
Read about how we rank Things to Do.
Though Virginia Beach's main stretch of sand is situated next to its boardwalk, for a quieter option with fewer tourists, head 15 miles south of the city's resort area to Sandbridge Beach. This 5-mile swath of sand dunes, sea oats and shoreline lures swimmers and surfers, as well as families who desire more elbow room and close proximity to the area's vacation rentals. The beach also sits near Back Bay National Wildlife Refuge (where you can look for sea turtles and various bird species) and False Cape State Park (a protected area best explored by kayak, on foot and by bike).
According to recent beachgoers, this natural wonder is beautiful and relaxing. In fact, a few previous visitors said its sunrises and sunsets are some of the best you'll see on the East Coast. Others appreciated the facilities (think: restrooms, picnic pavilions, sports courts, a playground and a fishing pier) found at Little Island Park, which is located at the southern end of the beach.
Sandbridge Beach is free to visit 24 hours a day, but Little Island Park's pier is only open between 5:30 a.m. and 11 p.m. daily, and lifeguards are only on duty from 9:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. between Memorial Day weekend and Labor Day weekend. Surfing restrictions are enforced and pets are not permitted during the peak season. Parking is generally free, but in the summer, municipal parking lots and Little Island Park's lot charge a maximum fee of $5 per day for cars. Buses and RVs incur a $10 charge per vehicle. Check out the Virginia Beach CVB's Sandbridge page to learn more.