Autumn is a special time of year at Sandbridge Beach. Summer temperatures give way to cooler fall days and nights, crowds thin, and locals get excited about the prospect of putting on knitwear and, occasionally...socks. Fall is a time where locals can finally relax and enjoy all Sandbridge Beach has to offer without all of the summer chaos. We get to move at a slower pace, have wide open beaches, and enjoy some of our favorite activities. If you find yourself here for the fall season, then you will definitely want to join in on some of these activities! Here are 7 fall activities that Sandbridge locals love.
Go to anOyster Roast
Toseaside residents, oyster season is the unofficial beginning of holidaycelebrations. This year's oyster harvesting window is late, beginning onOctober 1 if the weather cooperates. As soon as it's officially legal to gatheroysters, the social season starts. Oyster roasts range from small impromptubackyard gatherings to large public fundraisers. Simply Steamed on SandpiperRoad offers build-your-own to-go steam pots as well.
Localrestaurants usually have oyster roast nights throughout the fall where you cangrab a bucket for around $10. Oysters are only a small part of what's on themenu at an oyster roast. Hearty soups and stews, homemade bread, and plenty ofdesserts round out these traditional parties. If you're invited to one, it'straditional to bring a dish to share.
PracticeYour Photography Skills
Diffusedsunlight in fall makes this time of year a photographer's dream. Not only areyou more likely to get a shot of a deserted beach or forest trail, but wildlifetends to be more active as well. One of the best scenic places forphotographers is the beach at sunrise or sunset. You may spy passing dolphinsnear shore, but you're sure to capture a peaceful tableau — especially themorning after a storm.
BackBay Wildlife Refuge is another photographer's paradise. You're likely to spotphotogenic birds such as osprey, songbirds, gannets, and terns — especially inthe mornings. Keep an eye out for the tundra swan, a beloved visitor whooverwinters in the refuge. Even if you don't capture the wildlife you hopedfor, the foliage is the most photogenic at this point. The trees are turningcolors and leaves are sure to cover the previously boring gravel paths. It'sworth the hike to venture into the pine forests with your camera. These "wetforests" are home to herds of deer, owls, unusual birds, and even bobcats.
Withcooler temperatures and less competition, fall is prime time to go fishing atSandbridge Beach. Local fisherfolk will tell you that you don't need a lot ofexpensive equipment to have fun and catch fish, especially if you're justheaded to the beach or the pier.
Forbeach or pier fishing, you'll need a long rod known as a "heaver." These rodsare 11 to 12 feet in length and can handle heavy bait and 8 ounces of leadweight (known here as "8 and bait"). In the fall, you can also use a smallerrod for casting lures and jigs. Wherever you plan to fish, be sure to get afishing license and make note of size and catch regulations.
Bike orHike to False Cape State Park
FalseCape State Park is one of the only places left where you can camp right on thebeach. It's also one of the few places where you'll likely find yourself utterlysecluded. The trick is getting there. False Cape State Park lies in front ofBack Bay National Wildlife Refuge, which does not allow motor vehicles.
Park atLittle Island Recreation Area (you'll need a permit), and then complete thelast five miles to the campsites through Back Bay on foot, by bike, or bycanoe. You'll need a reservation and a permit to camp. Fall is great weatherfor camping on False Cape, plus the park is home to migrating birds, deer,feral horses, and pigs.
Whenthe temperatures drop, it's time to take dinner outside. Several restaurants onSandbridge Beach have outdoor patios or screened outdoor patios. Try BajaRestaurant, Sandbridge Island Restaurant, Lago Mar Italian Restaurant, Margie& Ray's Crabhouse, Pungo Pizza, and Blue Pete's for fabulous outdoordining. Imagine dining with you're significant other with nice cool weatherand a fresh breeze. This will easily transform a nice dining experience into aperfect one.
Sea Glass Hunting
Sea glass can come from broken bottles, tableware,or even glass from shipwrecks. It comes in pretty much any color and manydifferent sizes. If you've ever found a piece of sea glass on the beach, you'llknow the rewarding feeling. The fall is hands down the best time to look forsea glass in Sandbridge Beach. One of the reasons being the weather.Temperatures are a bit cooler than they were in the summer so walking down thebeach for an hour or more is very comfortable. Picture leisurely walking acrossthe beach with temperatures in the 60s and low 70s and a refreshing breezeblowing off the ocean. I've tried sea glass hunting in the summer and trust meit is not ever close to enjoyable considering sweat drips onto your sunglassesand ruins your vision. Another factor that makes fall the best time to hunt forsea glass is the storms we have. Often, we well have tropical storms,nor'easters, and even hurricanes. Now I know these storms have negativeimpacts, but they almost always bring in the best pieces of sea glass!
Try Local Brews
The Virginia Beach Craft Beer Festival takes place in nearbyVirginia Beach every October. Fifty breweries offer tastings of their bestbeers, and the festivities include live music and food vendors. Virginia Beachhas a healthy population of local brewers and breweries, so a pub-hoppingeducational tour through the region's best pints is always a favorite activity.Great options include the Reaver Beach Brewing Co., Back Bay Brewing Co.,and Wasserhund Brewing Co.
As summer comes to an end and most vacationers are getting disappointed that summer evenings are a thing of the past, Sandbridge locals are getting excited for their favorite time of the year! Beautiful temperatures, empty beaches, oyster roasts and more. If you've never experienced Sandbridge Beach in the fall then I highly recommend that you start planning a fall stay and experience why it's Sandbridge local's favorite time of the year!