10 Things to Know As You Plan Your Sandbridge Vacation

Plan your Sandbridge vacation

Craving peace and quiet in a serene seaside setting? You’ll love Sandbridge Beach, Virginia’s hidden treasure, where you can escape from the crowds and commercialism while enjoying plenty of sand, surf, sun, and fun.

Before you visit, though, you’ll want to know what to bring, what to expect, and what you can (and can’t) do in this idyllic shoreside haven.

Here are the top 10 things to bear in mind as you plan your Sandbridge getaway.

1. Yes, You Can Bring Fido.

Many Sandbridge Beach rentals do allow dogs. At Sandbridge Blue Rentals, for instance, dog-friendly units typically permit up to two domestic, housebroken dogs, weighing no more than 75 lbs. each. Be sure to check before booking… and bring along your own doggie towels, doodie baggies, and other canine must-haves.

During the season (Memorial Day to Labor Day), you can take your dog for a stroll on the beach any time before 10 a.m. and after 6 p.m. Your pup will love romping along the shore in early morning and wading through shallow, silvery waves by moonlight. So will you! But remember, leash laws are in effect, so always keep your pooch safely leashed.

Own a Service Animal or Emotional Support Animal? Such pets are protected under federal law, so all Sandbridge rentals will accommodate them.

2. Yes, You’ll Need a Fishing License.

Planning to do some angling during your visit?

  • If you’re casting your line from the shore for ocean sportfish like flounder and cobia, you’ll need a saltwater license.
  • If you’ll be fishing Back Bay for crappie, largemouth bass, and the like, you’ll need a freshwater license.
  • If you’re a Virginia resident, you can purchase a combined salt/freshwater license (with some restrictions).

Fees and terms vary. Interested? Easily purchase your license online, by phone, or from any licensed agent.

Not planning to get a license? Come fish from Little Island Pier at Little Island District Park, just north of the Back Bay Wildlife Refuge. Here you’ll be covered by the pier’s “blanket license,” so you won’t need separate licensing.

Pay just $8 (for Virginia residents) or $10 (non-residents) for a full day of pier-side angling. Or, purchase a week’s fishing pass for only $25 (residents) or $35 (non-residents). Cast your line for croaker, striped bass, flounder, and more… and clean your catch right there at the pier’s free cleaning station.

3. No, You Can’t Build a Bonfire on the Beach.

Sorry, it’s against the law. But, if your rental unit features a firepit or fireplace on the property, feel free to (safely) enjoy, as long as your rental terms permit it.

4. No, You Can’t Set Off Fireworks.

Again, it’s against the law. But be of good cheer. Nature puts on a truly spectacular show pretty much every night – with pounding surf, starlit skies, and magnificent views – and it’s all absolutely free.

5. Yes, You Can See All Kinds of Wildlife.

Love coastal flora and fauna? Visit Back Bay National Wildlife Refuge, just south of Sandbridge Beach at the end of Sandpiper Road.

Here you’ll find more than 9,200 acres of pristine, protected habitat, ranging from white-sand beachfront and grassy dunes to freshwater marshes and lush maritime woodland.

Depending on time of year, you’ll spot a wide array of migratory waterfowl, including geese, swans, and ducks galore. You may even glimpse a few foxes, deer, rabbits, bobcats, loggerhead turtles, and other colorful critters. Be sure to bring your camera!

6. Yes, You Can Enjoy Your Favorite Watersports.

Love to swim, sail, kayak, canoe, surf, and stand-up paddleboard? You can do all that and more at Sandbridge Beach, Back Bay Refuge, and immediate environs. Little Island District Park even reserves a special 775-foot stretch of beach especially for surfers. Go ahead. Make a splash!

7. Yes, You Can Hike and Bike.

Pack your bicycles, bring along sturdy walking shoes or hiking boots, and stock up on sunscreen and bug spray. Then, explore the miles of gorgeous hiking and biking trails at Back Bay Wildlife Refuge and adjacent False Cape State Park (accessible only by foot, bike, or tram).

8. No, You Can’t Drive Right on the Beach But….

You can drive all along Sandbridge Road, of course, and park (for a modest daytime fee) at several public parking spots. Most rentals also provide driveways and private parking.

9. Yes, You Can Shop for Food and Much More

  • Need groceries, snacks, and beverages? Drop by Sandbridge Seaside Market at 200 Sandbridge Road.
  • Seeking gifts, souvenirs, tees, and trinkets? Try the Sandpiper Beach Shop, located within the Sandbridge Seaside Market.
  • Craving luscious, ice-cold ice cream? Check out the Sandbridge Sugar Shack at 2553 Sandpiper Road.

10.  Yes, You Can Easily Find Delicious Dining

Bon appetit! Sandbridge Beach offers an array of yummy eat-out options, ranging from Sandbridge Island Restaurant, famous for gourmet delicacies, to Simply Steamed, a popular counter-serve eatery, and Baja Restaurant, known for scrumptious food and lively entertainment. Several spots offer seasonal outdoor dining with breathtaking bay or ocean views.

Need to Know More? We’re always on hand to answer your questions about Sandbridge Beach, VA. Gather the family, pack up the car, and head to the beach right away!

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