10 Best Places for Outdoor Activities in Virginia Beach

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If you’re looking for outdoor activities in Virginia Beach, you’ve come to the right place! From beaches and kayaking to ziplining and art walks, Virginia Beach has a little something for everyone.

Whether you’re vacationing, visiting, or just a local looking for something to do, below you’ll find the 10 best places for outdoor activities in Virginia Beach.

Guest Post by Alex of Wander With Alex

Map of Outdoor Activities in Virginia Beach

10 Top Outdoor Activities in Virginia Beach

1. The Virginia Beach Oceanfront

The top outdoor activities in Virginia Beach, from approximately May to September, include anything on or around the water. Most visitors tend to vacation in Virginia Beach around June, July, and August.

Located along the Atlantic Coast, Virginia Beach is Virginia’s prime spot for watersports and water-related activities.

The Virginia Beach Oceanfront offers a wide variety of water-related activities for you and your family to enjoy. Many people simply enjoy swimming and sunbathing.

However, for the more adventurous, the Oceanfront offers surfing, surf lessons, stand-up paddleboarding, parasailing, jet-skiing, kiteboarding, kayaking, and more.

Lastly, you can take your family on a dolphin or eco-tour.

2. Fishing at the Virginia Beach Oceanfront

If you enjoy pier fishing, head over to the Virginia Beach Fishing Pier located between 14th and 15th Street. The Pier is open from 6 AM to 12 AM in the summertime and costs $10 for adults and $5 for children.

However, if you prefer to be out on the open water, consider a fishing charter. Many of the popular charter fishing boat excursions are out of Rudee Inlet.

Typical catch includes Tautog, Mahi Mahi, Seabass, Cobia, and more.

3. First Landing State Park

First Landing State Park is one of the top places for outdoor activities in Virginia Beach. Formerly known to many as Sea Shore State Park, this recreational retreat offers hiking, birdwatching, swimming, kayaking, boating, fishing, biking, and camping.

The park is located on Cape Henry, a highpoint of land that extends into the Atlantic Ocean. The 2,888-acre park consists of beaches, trails, cabins, picnic facilities, and a boat/kayak launch.

If you’re new to the park, begin your day at The Trail Center located at 2500 Shore Drive. The cost for parking varies depending upon the time of year and the length of your stay.

Typically, there are discounts for those with a valid Virginia Beach license or photo I.D. The Trail Center offers information on the park’s trails, wildlife, habitats, and history.

Hiking at First Landing State Park

One of the top outdoor activities at First Landing Park is hiking. There are nine trails that total 19 miles. You’ll find many locals out on the trails birdwatching, jogging, or cycling.

During the spring and summer, the trails are gorgeous. Enjoy hikes along the water, through forests, and over marshes. First Landing State Park is one of the top hiking spots in Virginia Beach.

The Narrows Boat/Kayak Launch

The Narrows, located on 64th Street, is a secondary entrance to First Landing Park. You’ll take a long road through the park all the way to the water.

There you’ll find a large parking lot as well as a boat/kayak launch. The small beach is somewhat of a hidden gem away from the crowded beaches at the Virginia Beach Oceanfront.

You’ll likely see people swimming, sunbathing, boating, and fishing on this beach. 

Camping at First Landing Park

Located along the Chesapeake Bay, First Landing State Park has over 200 campsites. As well, there are 20 cabins located on the opposite side of the main road Shore Drive.

Campers can enjoy the campgrounds from March 1 to early December, however Cabins are available year-round.

Facilities on the grounds include a restroom, showers, a camp store, bicycle rentals, and a laundry house.

4. The Adventure Park at Virginia Aquarium

If you’re looking for an outdoor activity in Virginia Beach to enjoy with the kids, then you’ll want to head over to The Adventure Park at the Virginia Aquarium!

This unique experience is for anyone over the age of 5-years-old and for any fitness level. The park has 258 tree platforms that accommodate a ropes course, 17 treetop trails, and 30 ziplines. The zip lining experience is perfect for first-timers of any age!

Prices range from $49 to $63 dollars depending on your age. Located only 5 minutes from the Oceanfront, The Adventure Park is perfect for those on vacation in Virginia Beach.

And when you’re done, head over to the Virginia Marine Science Center right next door.

If you need a bit more adventure then you can head to nearby Williamsburg for a trip to Busch Gardens! You’ll find some of the best thrill rides in the country there.

5. Outdoor Art at the Creative ViBE District

Created to promote local art, artists, and culture, the Creative ViBE District is Virginia Beach’s outdoor art project.

At the Oceanfront along 18th Street, and others, you’ll find meaningful murals painted on the side of many businesses. You’ll also find painted parking meters, sculptures, and sidewalk art!

If you’re looking for Instagrammable photo spots in Virginia Beach, the Creative ViBE District will not disappoint.

Don’t forget to visit and support some of the local businesses while you enjoy the colorful art scene.

6.  Cape Henry Lighthouse

Located on the Fort Story military base in Virginia Beach you’ll find two beautiful lighthouses—the original Cape Henry Lighthouse and the new one.

Dating back to 1792, the original Cape Henry Lighthouse is the 4th oldest lighthouse in the United States.

Today, visitors are invited to see the original lighthouse, as well as climb to the top. Once you’ve climbed to the top, you’ll be able to take in all the beautiful views of the Chesapeake Bay.

If you are a history buff, you can also take a walking tour of the grounds led by a historic interpreter.

7.  False Cape State Park

If you’re a nature lover, then False Cape State Park is the Virginia Beach outdoor activity for you! Not for the faint of heart, this outdoor adventure is considered a moderate to advanced activity—here’s why.

There is no vehicle access to False Cape State Park. You must hike, bike, or boat there and back. To get there you’ll want to head over to the Back Bay National Wildlife Refuge Visitor’s Center.

Then, you will leave your car and hike or bike roughly 4.5 miles to the park. Once you’ve reached False Cape State Park, you’ll experience what most describe as “nature untouched.”

The park features over 20 trails totaling 15 miles and the opportunity for primitive camping. Camping is permitted year-round; however, you must make reservations in advance.  

8. Sandbridge

If you’re looking for things to do outside in Virginia Beach, take a trip over to Sandbridge! A coastal community, Sandbridge offers beach access without the massive crowds you tend to see at the Oceanfront.

Much like the Virginia Beach Oceanfront, many enjoy outdoor activities such as swimming, sunbathing, surfing, stand-up paddleboarding, fishing, and crabbing.

Another popular spot for outdoor activities, in Sandbridge, is Little Island Park. There is a pier for fishing and crabbing, as well as a kayak/canoe launch.

Other Little Island Park amenities include a picnic area with grills, tennis court, basketball court, volleyball court, pickleball court, and a playground.

At the Visitor’s Center, you may check out equipment such as cornhole boards and bags, frisbees, soccer balls, and more.

9. Pungo

Pungo is a rural community in Virginia Beach that is often overlooked because it is so far away from central Virginia Beach.

However, come Memorial Day weekend, the annual Pungo Strawberry Festival attracts residents from around Coastal Virginia. This festival offers strawberry picking, local goods, and activities for the little ones!

Looking for something a little more adventurous? Take a ride in a vintage military plane at the Military Aviation Museum! It’s a once-in-a-lifetime experience!

Craving a water-related activity? Check out Surf and Adventure Co.’s dinner kayak tour! The tour takes you through parts of the beautiful Back Bay National Wildlife Refuge and ends at the local’s favorite, Blue Pete’s, for dinner! 

 10. Mount Trashmore Park

Mount Trashmore Park in Virginia Beach is a fun outdoor activity for the entire family.

Today, the first landfill park in Virginia and the nation, Mount Trashmore, is enjoyed by many in Virginia Beach and around Hampton Roads. 

The park offers picnic shelters, grills, volleyball courts, playgrounds, a skatepark, fitness stations, shared-use paths, and more!

Many families enjoy climbing to the top of the mountain to fly kites. There are two lakes on the property, which are popular spots for fishing.

Author Bio

Alex Sumuel is a Virginia Beach native who enjoys reading, hiking, and spending time with her family. In her spare time, she loves to travel and experience new places. She is the founder of WanderWithAlex.com, a travel blog aiming to help people travel better.

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Anna Cook

Hey Guys! I’m Anna, a small town girl from North Carolina with a passion for exploring this beautiful world. I work a fulltime job, so I make the most of my weekends and 15 vacation days. I created this site to inspire people like you to make travel a bigger part of your life and help you figure out how to do that. If you like what you see be sure to follow along on social media.

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Anna was born and raised in North Carolina and spent her childhood traveling the southern US. She loves helping people plan efficient itineraries especially with a focus on outdoor adventure and food & drink. You can typically find her on a hiking trail, kayaking, or searching for the best meal in town.

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