To see the sun rise over the Atlantic Ocean and set over the Chesapeake Bay, in the same day, is an experience that is uniquely Virginia Beach. Whether you are using a camera or camera phone, you’re guaranteed to get the perfect sunrise and sunset shots at these places.
A sunrise in Virginia Beach is a sight you won’t soon forget. With the world still sound asleep, the show is about to begin - and you have a front-row seat.
Watch through the dancing sea oats on the dunes of Sandbridge, as the waking sun glistens on the morning surf. Whether you take in the daybreak on the Little Island Pier, on the beaches of the Back Bay Wildlife Refuge, or relaxing on the deck of your vacation rental, you really can’t go wrong here.
The Oceanfront District has seemingly endless options when it comes to taking the perfect sunrise photo. For the quintessential Virginia Beach shot, we love getting King Neptune himself in the foreground with the colors of the sunrise peaking out from behind him.
Virginia Beach Fishing Pier
Like King Neptune, the Virginia Beach Fishing Pier is a local icon that makes for a great sunrise photo. Whether you actually take your shot on the pier, or you get the silhouette of the pier from further down the beach, this always makes for a great picture. We also love to post-up under the pier and play with the sun peaking through the pillars and beams.
While we like playing around with foreground and background in our sunrise shots, the sunrise itself really is all you need for a breathtaking photo. Although you can always get a great shot by standing on the beach or boardwalk, the perspective that comes with our oceanfront hotel balconies will bring it to the next level - literally. We also like getting some of the beautiful pools in the foreground for a great reflection shot.
What sets Croatan Beach apart as a scenic spot for sunrise photos is that this beach is a favorite of our local surfers, who often head out before the sun comes up for some of the best waves. You can’t get a better local shot than that.
After a busy day, you can’t beat a walk along the water’s edge at sunset. While the sun rises over the Atlantic Ocean, the angle of the Chesapeake Bay Beach sets you up perfectly to enjoy the sun setting over the water, as well, and it’s the perfect way to unwind.
Chesapeake Bay Beach
Whether taking an evening stroll or setting up a beach chair to take in the show, this is the easiest way to capture that unforgettable sunset shot in Virginia Beach.
Get the perfect shot of the last light of day by dropping a paddle board or kayak into the water and floating right up to it. The waters of the Chesapeake Bay tend to be calmer and shallower than at the ocean, making for a relaxing way to enjoy the intense colors of sunset. Be sure to capture the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel in the background for a classic Va Beach touch.
While the Rudee Inlet, being at the Oceanfront, is a great place for a sunrise photo, it is also one of our favorite spots to turn around and capture the sunset. With the bridge in the foreground the boats of the marina against the sunset in the background, this is one of our favorite marina shots.
At favorite local eateries like the Back Deck, Bubba’s, and Chick’s Oyster Bar, you can enjoy a sunset with a side of fresh seafood and great drinks while sitting out over the water in the Chesapeake Bay District. The calm waters and seagrass of this smaller bay make for a great picture on it’s own. Add an orange crush or a Virginia Beach beer into the shot for a great local touch.
The tapering waterway bordering First Landing State Park, known to Virginia Beach locals as The Narrows, is one of our favorite hidden spots to snap a beautiful shot over the water. You can trek out by kayak or SUP board for a more unique perspective.
Cover Photo: @beachladybug7, Instagram