Parents: you’ll know how important it is to keep kids entertained on vacation – and thankfully, nearly all kids love a beach day!
If your kids are anything like mine then you’ll want somewhere with a huge range of activities to keep them entertained! Look no further than Virginia!
Spanning over 200 miles along the pacific coastline, Virginia’s beaches are some of the best in the US.
Whether your kid loves exploring the rock pools like my eight-year-old or playing beach tennis like my daughter, there’s something for everyone in Virginia.
Without further ado, let’s have a look at some of the most popular beaches in Virginia for families.
1. Virginia Beach
At over 28 miles long, Virginia Beach is one of the longest beaches in the world.
It is full of activities for families including:
- Kayaking: a spot of kayaking is perfect for older kids and teens – and grown-ups too!
- Paddleboarding: if kayaking doesn’t appeal, paddleboarding is a fun and relatively easy activity, if you’ve got good balance that is!
- Fishing: fishing is something that the whole family can take part in and enjoy.
- Surfing: for older ones, surfing is a great way for older ones to have an exhilarating time, while younger kids can try bodyboarding.
Many families head to Virginia Beach to simply soak up the sun, but if a dip in the sea is what you or your kids are after, the wide sandy beaches are perfect for swimmers.
The waters are warm enough to swim in from late spring and lifeguards are on duty the whole summer season.
The more adventurous may want to head out to Chesapeake Bay. This family-friendly beach location is known for its calm waters and is the perfect spot for older kids to try out kayaking and paddleboarding for the first time.
It can get busy in peak season so bare this in mind, like any busy tourist destination parking can be an issue so be prepared and use public transportation if you can.
2. Sandbridge Beach
Surrounded by dunes, marshes, and wildlife, people come here for a more peaceful beach experience.
My son loves this type of beach and is quite happy exploring what nature has to offer. There is still plenty to keep a family entertained, hours can be spent swimming, snorkeling, surfing, and kayaking.
Kids will love to take the Blue Goose Express to see the local wildlife. There are also plenty of family-friendly vacation accommodations available to rent nearby.
Many of these offer facilities such as pools and games rooms to keep the kids busy (and wear them out so they sleep well, of course).
You will also find several playgrounds, picnic areas, and bike paths to choose from, and plenty of places to grab a bite to eat. Sandbridge Beach is a perfect escape from the hustle and bustle of some of the more built-up areas.
3. Ocean View Beach
Located in Norfolk, Virginia, Ocean View Beach is perfect for families wanting to spend a fun day out.
Here you will find miles of soft sand and gentle waves, perfect for little ones to spend time playing in the sea.
A visit to the Ocean View Fishing Pier rewards you with an incredible view of Chesapeake Bay, with opportunities to go crabbing and fishing off the pier.
At nearby Ocean View Park kids can cool off in the splash park and grab an ice cream from the many vendors available. Older kids will enjoy the basketball court and skate park on offer.
4. Cape Charles Beach
Known for its beautifully clear water, Cape Charles beach is a great all-rounder for families.
Quieter than some of the bigger beaches, it offers a paved sidewalk along the beach, perfect for bike rides, and provides a beautiful view of Chesapeake Bay.
There are even volleyball courts available to use, which older kids will love. There is something for everyone here!
Hungry? Here you will find plenty of picnic tables and even grills available to use right by the beach.
If your kids are anything like my brood, they’ll be constantly hungry! Using grills to cook on the beach is a great experience for all and makes a nice change from sandy sandwiches!
5. Assateague Island National Seashore
On Chincoteague Island you can find this gem of a beach, known for its wild ponies that roam free on the sand!
Kids will love to meet these sweet ponies and explore the many sand dunes.
When you need a break from the sun, sea, and sand, take a hike on one of the many nature trails by the beach.
Need to cool off? Head into the calm waters for a swim or have a go at paddleboarding or kayaking.
6. Jamestown Beach
Located near historic Jamestown, Williamsburg, this is a must for history lovers. There are trails available including the Virginia Capital Trail and the Greensprings Interpretive Trail.
For nature lovers, you can look forward to spotting:
- Deer: if you’re quiet, you might be able to spot the deer that live alongside the Greensprings Interpretive Trail.
- Bald Eagles: Bald eagles have been described in Jamestown since the first English Settlers arrived.
- Ospreys: Ospreys are known to nest in this area so keep your eyes out to see if you can spot one!
- Turtles: There are five species of sea turtles in the waters around Virginia and all five are afforded federal protection.
- Blue Crabs: This area is a great location for crabbing. See how many blue crabs you can spot.
Jamestown Beach has one of the biggest populations of bald eagles on the east coast, so remember to pack your binoculars!
There are great fishing opportunities too, as well as a playground for the little ones. The wide, sandy beach is perfect for sandcastle building, swimming, and sunbathing.
7. Colonial Beach
For those interested in history, a visit to the Colonial Beach Museum is a must.
Here, you can find out about the town’s founding and learn more about its role in WWII. I have a WWII history buff for a husband, so this sort of thing is right up his street!
The boardwalk at Colonial Beach is packed full of shops and restaurants and offers a stunning view of the Potomac River.
The Colonial Beach trolley is popular with little ones and grown-ups alike! It runs from Memorial Day to Labor Day and is a great way to see the beach and the town. On the beachfront, you can hire jet skis, paddleboards, and kayaks.
Colonial Beach has a little bit of everything, its laid-back atmosphere makes it incredibly popular with families.
8. Yorktown Beach
Yorktown has plenty of amenities for families including restrooms, showers, baby changing areas, and a playground for the kids, making it a top spot for families.
When it’s time for food, you will find plenty of picnic benches and grills available to use.
The sandy beach is perfect for little ones who can splash in the gentle waves and build sandcastles.
Like many beaches in Virginia, fishing is a popular pastime too, and you will find many fishing spots here. We’re not a fishing family but there’s just something relaxing about watching people fish!
Final Thoughts on Best Beaches for Families in Virginia
Which is the best? For us, Ocean View Beach really does have it all.
Its calm, warm waters make it perfect for little kids and older ones will not be bored either with the range of activities available. So, get exploring the stunning Virginia coastline and be sure to make memories.
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