When you think of Virginia do you think of the Blue Ridge Mountains or the Shenandoah Valley? While these are beautiful places in Virginia that offer a great variety of outdoor activities, there is also another side of the state to discover. Travelers who begin to look will find a long list of the best Virginia beaches that offer outdoor adventure, gorgeous views, and the relaxation of ocean breezes and lapping waves. For your upcoming vacation, discover another side of Virginia and head straight for the beach! The beaches in Virginia can be broken up into three categories: Chesapeake Bay, Eastern Shore, and Hampton Roads. Read on to discover which of these areas is right for you.

best virginia beaches

Eastern Shore

The eastern shore of Virginia is a peninsula that runs for 70 miles to the Atlantic Ocean. This section of the coastline is known for its relaxed atmosphere, beautiful lighthouses, and serene vacation rentals. Choose a spot on the eastern shore, such as Silver Beach, Chincoteague Island, or Cape Charles, and you can enjoy boating, fishing, and swimming. The scenery here is definitely a main attraction, making the eastern shore a perfect place for a romantic getaway. The kids will have plenty to do as well, but you might wish you left them at home when you see the charming towns full of intimate restaurants in this area of Virginia. Bird watchers and nature enthusiasts will love this region too.

Chesapeake Bay

If you were to ask locals about the best Virginia beaches, the coastline of Chesapeake Bay would be mentioned several times. This area is not only the largest estuary in the country, but it also home to some gorgeous white sand beaches. At 200 miles in length, there are many waterfront rentals to choose from here. Whether you choose Colonial Beach or one of the many other quaint areas of the Chesapeake Bay area, you will have access to beautiful views, the freshest seafood, and many opportunities for boating. If you’re thinking about bringing your own boat, look out for a vacation rental that includes a dock; many of them have this option.

best virginia beaches

Hampton Roads

Despite the popularity of the eastern shore and Chesapeake Bay areas, some of the best Virginia beaches are found in the Hampton Roads region. This is where you’ll find famous Virginia Beach along with Hampton and Norfolk. Some of the top activities along this stretch of coastline include whale watching tours, chartering a fishing boat, or simply spending the day building a sand castle. This area offers family-friendly beaches, where the beach will be full of just as many families as couples. This area is also home to some award-winning wines, so if you’re looking for an activity to get away from the kids, go ahead and plan a tasting and tour at a local winery.

How to Choose Your Favorite Beach

With so many great choices, it won’t be an easy task to choose your favorite beach in Virginia. One strategy is to let the vacation rental do the work for you. For example, if you want to bring your pet along on the trip, keep your eye out for beach rentals that welcome pets. If you’re planning a family reunion, you might need a rental with a large number of bedrooms. Travelers who are interested in boating and fishing will want to choose a rental with a dock while young travelers might be more interested in restaurants and nightlife. Last by not least, don’t forget about the amenities of your rental. If a soaking tub for two, outdoor shower, or fireplace will make your trip more special, find a rental that has that feature.