Virginia Beach Outdoor Activities
Go Fishing on False Cape
Freshwater and saltwater fishers will delight in the untainted waters off False Cape, a gorgeous, mile-wide barrier straddling Back Bay and the Atlantic Ocean. Since no cars are allowed here, the waters are unpolluted and the nine miles of hiking and bicycle trails are quiet and welcoming. Get here by a quick tram ride (a trip kids love) from Back Bay, the adjacent wildlife refuge, and bring your own equipment.
Hike the Seashore to Cypress Birding Trail
Spring and fall are ideal for hiking the Seashore to Cypress birding trail, a three-day course that stops at various wildlife refuges and parks, including False Cape and Back Bay. Warblers, thrushes, and waterfowl abound as visitors trek across sand dunes and through forested trails. Well-appointed campgrounds along the way ensure a comfortable journey.
Kayak around Back Bay
Back Bay Refuge consists of beaches, woodlands, and marshlands occupying 9,000 acres. The tour operator and outfitter Back Bay Getaways leads small groups around the bay on kayak tours lasting from one to three hours: sunrise, sunset, half day, and dinner tours are all available. The company also rents out single and tandem kayaks and runs jet ski tours and surf lessons.
Learn to Surf
Tired of watching from the shore? Ocean Rentals rents boards and offers lessons to water adventurers of all ages and ability levels. Two-hour classes held on nearby Sandbridge Beach include instruction on water and weather safety, surf etiquette, and understanding tides and rip currents. The outfitter also runs kayak tours.
Parasail over Rudee Inlet
Sail high above the ocean (at sunrise or sunset for optimal views) with Rudee Inlet Parasail. Single, tandem, and triple options are available; free parking is available at the Virginia Beach Fishing Center on the southern end of the coast. You’ll spot the operator’s smiley-face parachutes while sunbathing or strolling on the boardwalk. It’s wise to reserve ahead on weekends in summer, but it’s also possible to show up at the office in the morning and arranging a trip for later in the day.
Sleep Under the Stars at First Landing State Park
The name “First Landing” refers to the English colonials who landed here in 1607 before going on to settle Jamestown. Today, the state government runs this park on the edge of Chesapeake Bay, and maintains campsites and well-equipped cabins that guests can reserve. Visitors roast marshmallows at night and boat, canoe, or hike 19 miles of trails during the day.
Watch Dolphins from the Boat Deck
The Virginia Aquarium & Marine Science Center organizes dolphin-watching excursions led by a guide who teaches guests about the feeding and mating habits of these fascinating mammals. The boat rides, which are offered from April through October, are appropriate for all ages (just make sure to bring Dramamine if you suffer from seasickness). Trips depart from the Virginia Beach Fishing Center – call ahead to reserve a place.
Hand-Picked Virginia Beach Deals
Our Experts save you money with travel deals and advice
Travel to northern countries during the fall equinox, or spring equinox when the aurora borealis is at its peak.
Jaymie DeGaetano Travel Deal Expert
Sign up for the Top 25 Newsletter
to get exclusive weekly deals