Virginia Beach is well known for sandy shores and blue skies, but green is definitely its go-to color. Home to one of the last great salt marsh habitats on the East Coast with hundreds of miles of inland waters, thousands of acres of parks and countless trails, this is much more than a seashore vacation. Whether you’re on one of our beaches or deep within the canopied forest of our state parks, there’s an open invitation to paddle, bike, hike, surf and swim your way to happiness.
Adventure sports are part of daily life here, so you’ll have no problem finding outfitters and guides to the area’s streams and wildlife refuges.
Trails lead to pristine beaches at False Cape State Park, where primitive camping puts you under the stars with nothing but natural surrounds. First Landing State Park is a popular site for cycling and running, with well-established paths winding through old growth forests.
On the water, the chance of a dolphin encounter makes ocean kayaking a real treat in Virginia Beach. Along with surfing and paddleboarding, kayaking offers powerful connection with the quiet of nature. Boat tours take you to both offshore and inshore waters in search of dolphins, whales and more. For thrill seekers, parasailing and jet skis amp up the fun.
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In addition to commercial campgrounds near the resort area, like KOA and Holiday Trav-L-Park, Virginia Beach is home to state parks where the true nature enthusiast can set up camp. First Landing State Park has sites and cabins complete with all the amenities you need. And the naturalist can find peace and quiet at False Cape State Park with primitive, hike-in camping. Search camping and cabin listings.
Trails, playgrounds, picnic shelters, ball fields – there’s something for everyone in the more than 4,000 acres of neighborhood parks, community parks, district parks and other open spaces in Virginia Beach.Learn more about Virginia Beach Parks.
Put in a canoe, push off a kayak or launch a motorboat – Virginia Beach offers miles of waterways to enjoy with access to area bays, rivers, lakes and inlets.Learn more about Virginia Beach Waterways.
Along the Chesapeake Bay, First Landing State Park provides access to 1.25 miles of beach front and more than 19 miles of interpretive hiking trails. Salt marsh habitat, freshwater ponds, beach, dunes, forest, tidal marsh and cypress swamp make up this maritime forest community, a registered Natural Landmark and the most visited state park in Virginia. Learn more about First Landing State Park.
At the southern reach of Virginia Beach, you can follow the scenic trails of Back Bay National Wildlife Refuge, whose 9,250 acres of barrier islands, dunes, beach woodland, freshwater marshes, maritime forests, ponds and ocean beaches protect an assortment of wildlife. Threatened and endangered species such as loggerhead turtles, piping plovers, peregrine falcons and bald eagles make their homes here.Learn more about Back Bay National Wildlife Refuge.
Between Back Bay and the Atlantic Ocean, False Cape State Park offers one of the last undisturbed coastal environments on the East Coast. Accessible by tram tour or on foot, bike or boat, its six miles of pristine beaches and nine miles of hiking/biking trails, dunes, woodland, farm fields, salt marsh and wooded swamps are home to over 300 species of nesting and migratory songbirds, shorebirds and ducks, along with otters, white-tailed deer, red fox, loggerhead turtles, American bald eagles and a number of interesting reptiles. Learn more about False Cape State Park.
Explore Virginia Beach by kayak for a unique view of nature and glide through on your own power. Along canopied inland waterways, you’ll happen on birds and other wildlife undisturbed for a peaceful tour and unforgettable moments. On the ocean, you can even paddle right alongside dolphins. Outfitters offer guided tours, lessons and rentals. Learn more about kayaking in Virginia Beach.
Grab a board and paddle out to the breakers for a natural thrill ride like no other. Whether you’re already shredding or need a lesson or two to get going, Virginia Beach has all the waves you need to get in on the action. So drop in and get the fun started.Learn more about surfing in Virginia Beach.
Pack a smile and head out into the calm waters of the Atlantic Ocean to hang out with pods of new friends. Get an up-close look at native dolphins, sea turtles, birds and fish as you troll the Virginia Beach coast, taking in the sights and sounds of the coastal wildlife.Learn more about dolphin tours in Virginia Beach.
All aboard for a day of excitement – you’re just a captain’s nod away from a seaworthy adventure. Venture out into the calm waters of Virginia Beach to experience a bevy of local wildlife and picturesque views of our coastline along the way. From winter wildlife tours during whale-watching season to fishing charters to pirate ship adventures, your sea legs are easy to find. Learn more about boat tours in Virginia Beach.
For an adrenaline rush to brag about, get a gull’s-eye view of the oceanfront with a parasailing excursion in Virginia Beach. Single, tandem and triples rides are available with family fun in mind.Learn more about parasailing in Virginia Beach.
Jet skiing revs up the fun, puts the wind in your face and yee-ha’s in your wake. Slip on a life jacket, hop on and take off to explore local waterways solo, in tandem or in a three-seater.Learn more about jet skiing in Virginia Beach.
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