While summer may be the time of year most people think to goon a beach vacation, Sandbridge Beach in the fall has an allure of its own. Theintense heat of summer has faded, there's a soft breeze in the air, and thelittle bit of crowd Sandbridge does attract has dwindled. If you ask me, thisis the recipe for a perfect, relaxing vacation.
Enjoy Oyster Season
The rule of thumb for eating oysters is to only eat them inmonths with the letter "r", aka September - April, when the water is coldest,and the oysters stay fresh longer. Whichmeans, fall is the perfect time to get your oyster grub on right in Sandbridgebeach where they are the freshest. The Chesapeake Bay region is known to havedelicious oysters and you can't get any fresher than that!
Along the same note as oyster season, cooler water meansgood fishing. Whether you plan to fish from the surf, pier, or even a kayak, there'salways fish to be caught in Virginia Beach or the Bay. Some theorize that thefish are "stocking up" for the upcoming cold weather or that the water mixinggives them a reason to get moving. Either way, that means more activity and thebetter chance of catching a full feast for dinner.
Another reason fishing in the "off season" is great, is lessinterruptions. You don't have to worry about your line getting tangled up withanother angler because there's no room left on the pier and there won't be manypeople swimming this time of year so your line is free to drift the surfwithout fear of hooking the wrong thing.
When the temperatures drop, it's time to take dinneroutside. Several restaurants on Sandbridge Beach have outdoor patios orscreened outdoor patios. Try Baja Restaurant, Sandbridge Island Restaurant,Lago Mar Italian Restaurant, Margie & Ray's Crabhouse, Pungo Pizza, andBlue Pete's for fabulous outdoor dining.
Browse the Breweries
Virginia Beach is an up and coming hotspot for localbreweries. Whether you fancy a good seasonal IPA, Hefeweizen or any otherstyle, there are plenty to try in the area. A fun group activity for the adultswould be Brewery Bingo. Create a bingo sheet with different styles and flavorsor other categories, and the first one to get "bingo" has their dinner paid forby the rest of the group! A little creativity goes a long way but when you havea day full of delicious beer and good friends, it's bound to be a good time.
No matter the season, The Back Bay National Wildlife Refugeis beautiful, but there's something about fall that makes it just that muchmore peaceful. With over 300 species of migratory birds and a variety of othercute critters like river otters, white-tailed deer, foxes and turtles, Back Bayis the nature lover's paradise.
If you're feeling particularly adventurous, rent some kayaksfrom Surf and Adventure Company to explore the waterways up close and personal.Go on a guided tour or solo, either way there's plenty to see and you'll feelat one with nature!
Bike or Hike to the Park
False Cape State Park is one of the only places left whereyou can camp right on the beach. It's also one of the few places where you'lllikely find yourself utterly secluded. The only trick is figuring out how tothere. False Cape State Park lies in front of The Back Bay National WildlifeRefuge, which does not allow motor vehicles.
Park at Little Island Recreation Area (you will need apermit), and then complete the last five miles to the campsites through BackBay on foot, by bike, or by canoe. You'll need a reservation and a permit tocamp. Fall is great weather for camping on False Cape, plus the park is home tomigrating birds, deer, feral horses, and pigs.
Holiday Lights at the Beach
This is a little later in the season, but from Novemberthrough January you can take in McDonald's Holiday Lights at the Beach on theVirginia Beach Boardwalk. The darkness of the Atlantic Ocean provides theperfect backdrop for thousands of twinkling lights. These aren't just anyholiday lights either — you'll see 30 blocks of nautically themed displays suchas dolphins, boats, mermaids, sharks, surfing Santa, and more.
Go to the Beach
This last one seems obvious, but still worth mentioning! Thewater may not be swimmable, but the beach is always a great place for a longwalk to restore the soul. Go by yourself for a much needed respite from thedaily hustle and bustle, or even make a date out of it by bringing along abottle of wine and starting up a bonfireby the ocean.If you've ever considered a beach vacation oncesummer has passed, you won't regret it! There are plenty of reasons to loveevery season in Sandbridge and if you need one more...weekly rentals are at theirlowest during the cooler months!