If you are searching for the best beach towns in Virginia you have come to the right place. Here is a broken-down list of all the most picturesque beaches for you to visit.
There are plenty of different beach cities in Virginia to enjoy the sandy shores and the sunshine during the summer. There are bigger cities like Virginia Beach to check out or maybe you like the slower pace of the Cape Charles beaches. It all just depends on what kind of vacation you are looking to have.
Virginia is a special southeastern state because you can enjoy the coastline of both the Atlantic Ocean and the Chesapeake Bay. There is also a large stretch of the Eastern Shore that has beautiful beach cities in Virginia. So grab your sunscreen, flip-flops, and beach hat, pack your bags, and head out to check out some of the best beach towns in Virginia. Don’t forget to put some of the Islands in Virginia on your list to explore too.
If you are planning to visit, check out our list of the Best Oceanfront Hotels In Virginia Beach!
9 Best Beach Towns in Virginia
One of the most popular quaint beach towns in Virginia is Cape Charles. While visiting the Eastern Shore make sure to stop by the southernmost city Cape Charles. Enjoy the long stretch of beautiful beach along the Chesapeake Bay. If you are interested in a laid-back vacation without all the souvenir shops and large crowds then this is one of the best beach towns in Virginia for you. Everything about Cape Charles gives off a homey small-town vibe.
There is a local ice cream shop called the Brown Dog that has the best ice cream in town. Make sure to check out the Oyster Farm Seafood Eatery if you are looking for a more upscale dinner. They also have a hotel attached and a bar right on the water. Make sure to check out the strip downtown to go shopping or you could grab a drink at the local brewery or distillery. No matter what you are looking for this is one of the cutest small towns in Virginia on the beach.
Chincoteague is world-famous for the wild ponies that live and swim there. But there is so much more to offer in one of the best small beach towns in Virginia. Get away from the busy city and come and enjoy the quiet and beauty of the Eastern Shore. There are vacation homes and many different hotels to choose from. But, make sure to check out the town’s website before you book your weekend away because they are always putting on events.
If you are looking to have a little outdoor fun during your vacation to Chincoteague there are fishing charters that will take you out on the bay to catch huge fish, kayaks to rent, or take a cruise on a pontoon boat to try and find some of the wild ponies. If camping is more your vibe be sure to check out the Yogi Bear campground. No matter what you decide to do with your time you are sure to enjoy one of the cutest beach towns in Virginia.
Virginia Beach is the biggest and most popular beach city in Virginia and it also holds the record of having the longest pleasure beach in the world. No matter what type of vacation you are trying to have there is a beach with your name on it here.
The beach that holds the record is the oceanfront and there are hundreds of hotels within every budget if you choose to stay there. You can rent chairs and umbrellas right on the beach so you can just bring a cooler and yourself.
The oceanfront also has any type of restaurant you can think of and so many different activities that will keep you busy all vacation long. Check out some of our favorite beaches in Virginia Beach and nearby!
Another beach to check out when visiting Virginia Beach is called Sandbridge. This is a local’s favorite beach and you better get there early because parking fills up fast in the summer. This beach has an island vibe and there are only beach houses to rent here no hotels. Both of these beaches have lifeguards during the summer and are a great place to spend your days soaking in the sun.
The last popular beach in Virginia beach is called Chicks Beach, and it is located on the Chesapeake Bay.
This is a great spot to take children because there are no waves and the water does not get very deep. Virginia beach should be on the top of your list if you are looking for one of the best family beach towns in Virginia. Make sure to check out our Weekend In Virginia Beach Itinerary!
Tangier Island is a small fishing village that has the characteristics of one of the most quaint Virginia coastal towns. The beach on Tangier Island might have the whitest sand in all of Virginia.
This is such a small town that there are only 700 residents that live there and one main road. This makes sense because the island is only 3 and 1/2 miles long. There are a few different things to do while visiting and kayaking is one of the most popular things because you can bring it over on the ferry with you. But no worries if you do not have one the island has rentals for you also.
There are no hotels on the island and most people just come here for a day trip to explore the natural beauty of the island. But if you wanted to stay on the island there are a few different B&Bs to check out. Be sure to keep an ear out for the locals they speak in a unique accent that comes from the original settlers being Welsh.
To get to the island the ferry leaves from Reedville and Onancock on the Virginia side. And in Maryland, there is one that comes from Crisfield. Be sure to check out this blast from the past and one of the most quaint beach towns in Virginia.
Onancock, VA is another one of the special small beach towns in Virginia. This charming town located on the Eastern Shore is nestled in between the Chesapeake Bay and the Atlantic Ocean. The most popular place to go to the beach here is Silver Beach. At Silver Beach, you will feel like you have your private piece of the beach because it is so isolated.
There is also a small downtown with about 8 blocks for you to explore. It has not been redone since the 1600s so it still has an old town charm to it. If you check the town’s website before your trip you will be able to see all the events and farmers’ markets. While you are visiting be sure to check out the many hiking and biking trails. And there are also places to rent kayaks and go on a tour of the place.
Onancock prides itself on being pet friendly so you can bring your furry friend along. Stop by one of the restaurants that sell fresh seafood they have some of the freshest in the state. And blue crabs are their specialty during the summer months. There are a few hotels in town and plenty of B&Bs so you can choose whichever you like best when you are visiting one of the best small beach towns in Virginia.
If you are looking for one of the most charming best small beach towns in Virginia then Wachapreague is the place for you. This small town on the Eastern Shore is home to only 230 residents so you will find peace and quiet while visiting here. The fishing in Wachapreague is some on the East Coast.
You will catch plenty of different fish including tuna, yellowfins, wahoo, dolphin, and even a few different species of shark. In certain canyons, you may even be able to find yourself some marlins. If you want to charter a boat there check out their town website or enjoy fishing from the shore.
The Eastern Shore has fabulous salt marshes and bird watching. Wachapreague is the closest town to the salt marshes there are tours that will take you out to explore the waters. Enjoy your lunch in the picturesque Seaside Park that is right on the beautiful marshes of the Atlantic Ocean. There are plenty of places to stay including rental houses and even a campground. If you are looking to stay in a small seaside village, Wachapreague is the perfect destination for you.
Norfolk is home to the largest Naval Station in the world. So you know that there must be plenty of sandy beaches nearby. One of the most popular beaches in Norfolk is Ocean View. There are so many fun things to do while visiting Ocean View.
There is a large fishing pier right in the middle of the beach that you can walk or fish at. And on top of the pier, there is a local restaurant with a top deck that has a wonderful view of the town. Book yourself a rental home or stay in any of the seaside hotels here and you are in for a treat.
Another beach in Norfolk that used to be locals-only but has grown tremendously in the last few years is East Beach. Here you will find a beautiful piece of the Chesapeake Bay that backs up to the military base. If you are lucky you will be able to see the massive ships pulling in and out of their stations and helicopters flying by. Here you will only find neighborhood parking so if you can get there early.
Staying in Norfolk will give you so many different options for your accommodation. There are plenty of hotels all over town and rental homes for whatever your budget is. Plus, if you decide to stay in Norfolk, one of the best beach towns in Virginia, you will also be close enough to drive to Virginia Beach so you can knock out so many beaches with just one trip.
Don’t forget to check out some of our favorite restaurants in Norfolk from seafood to brunch!
Mathews County is one of the most quaint Virginia coastal towns you will find. The most popular destination here is Bethel Beach. This is a special location because Bethel Beach is 83 acres of preserved salt marshes, sand dunes, and endangered species.
Visitors are always welcome to come but they ask you to please respect the beach. Another beach in Mathews County is called Haven Beach. Haven is located on the Chesapeake Bay and there are designed swimming areas so it is always safe to bring your children.
Bavon Beach is another beautiful sandy beach in Mathews County. On Bavon you will be able to see the New Point Comfort Lighthouse which is the 10th oldest lighthouse in America. A storm back in 1933 separated the lighthouse from the rest of the land and it now sits on its own island. To take a tour you must schedule it in advance. All of the beaches in Mathews county are home to rare birds so please be respectful and leave everything as you found it.
Colonial Beach is one of the best beach towns in Virginia. And they are the closest beach town to Washington D.C. The locals like to call it CBVB and they 35 miles of sandy beach along the Potomac River. They have the 2nd longest beach in all of Virginia, right behind Virginia Beach. One of the quietest beaches in Colonial Beach is called North Beach. It is North of the big river boat on the water.
Another popular beach to check out is the Downtown Boardwalk Beach. Here you will be able to enjoy the fishing pier or play watersports in the sand. You can also check out all the local restaurants or enjoy food from a food truck. You can find this beach right across from Taylor Street and is the most popular beach in town.
Last but not least is the beach called Iwing Avenue which is located back in a neighborhood. This is where you will be able to find yourself a rental house to stay in. But there are also plenty of hotels to choose from and even a campground if that is more your jam. Be sure to check one of the hippest beach towns in Virginia.