Boredom can sometimes be inevitable, whether you go camping, skiing, or to the beach no matter where you decide to vacation. Here are some activities that are the warriors to fight that battle for you when you visit Sandbridge and Virginia Beach.
The Outer Banks are stretches of peninsulas and barrier islands that run 200 miles along the coast of North Carolina and Virginia. The Outer Banks strand actually begins in Virginia with the 4.5-mile long Sandbridge Beach. Because Sandbridge Beach is backed by Currituck Sound to the west and the Atlantic Ocean to the east, its geography is similar to that of the North Carolina Outer Banks. That similarity (and also cultural similarities) have earned Sandbridge Beach the nickname “The Outer Banks of Virginia.” Sandbridge Beach is a must-see for those who love the remote, untamed, and relaxed atmosphere of North Carolina’s Outer Banks.
If you’re a nature lover, one of your prime exploration destinations should be a marsh, because coastal marshes are complex ecosystems, teeming with all kinds of life. These circles of life furnish food and shelter for countless seabirds, marsh birds, and other animals. Plus, thanks to their dense vegetation, they help prevent coastal erosion.
There’s a lot more to Sandbridge Beach than sun, sand, and serenity. This magical coastal retreat offers countless cool things to do including hiking and biking, birding and boating, fishing and kayaking, oceanfront dining and more.
Love to hike, run, power-walk, or simply take leisurely strolls? You’ll have plenty of opportunities to stretch your legs at Sandbridge – from scenic trails and woodland walks to miles of pristine shoreline.
How do you make education fun? Take it to the beach! At Sandbridge Beach, VA, kids can expand their knowledge and boost their skills while having the time of their lives. Here are just a few possibilities.
Sandbridge Beach may be a hidden gem, removed from the hustle-bustle. But this secluded coastal paradise offers plenty to see and do, including fun-filled attractions for your entire family. Here are just a few options.
There are few things more romantic than enjoying a beautiful sunrise or sunset on the beach with your significant other. Keep an eye on the weather and try to pick the clearest day of your vacation so that too many clouds won’t fog your view, especially if you opt for the sunrise view. If you want extra brownie points, pack a surprise picnic or some mimosas to enjoy while you take in the sights and sounds of the ocean together. If you bring the kiddos along on vacation and have someone to watch them, you might even be able to sneak away and enjoy some alone time on the beach before they wake up.
Exploring Back Bay
Back Bay National Wildlife Refuge has all the beautiful scenery you could ask for. From beach views to the woodlands and marshes that stretch over 9,200 acres, this is the perfect place for outdoor-lovers to go on a peaceful nature hike. A fun addition that would double as a way to remember your Sandbridge Beach vacation would be to have a photography competition during your hike.
Take pictures of different scenery and any wildlife you come across during your hike (and don’t forget pictures of/with each other) and choose a winner at the end…loser buys ice cream at Sandbridge Sugar Shack!
Sandbridge Sugar Shack
Speaking of the Sugar Shack…treat your significant other to coffee, ice cream or frozen yogurt and then rent a couple bikes and explore the area. Keep an eye out for special events going on like live music and face painting. They also do fun specials like “dress up like a mermaid or a pirate for 50% off” which sounds like a date all by itself!
Craft Beer Tour
While not specifically in Sandbridge, the Virginia Beach Guided Craft Brewery Tour is a fun, and educational, date idea for beer enthusiasts. You’ll be provided transportation to and from each brewery, guided through each brewery for a behind-the-scenes experience. With over 5 breweries in Virginia Beach, your sure to find your new favorite brew.
For the sporty couple, Hell’s Point Golf Club has a beautiful and challenging course for all ages. With a well-maintained course and wide variety in holes. If you’re a couple who enjoys a little friendly competition, this date idea will be fun and occupy a good amount of time when you’re all beached out for the day. If you’re vacationing with other couples, you could even make it a group date!
Virginia Aquarium & Marine Science Center
Vacation Budget Tips
- Check For Specials and Discounts
One of the best money saving tips we can give any vacationer is to check for specials. The best benefit to staying in Sandbridge as opposed to Virginia Beach is the seclusion. We all know the old saying “you get what you pay for” but in this case you can get the seclusion of Sandbridge for close to the same price as busy Virginia Beach. Our Specials page is constantly updated to reflect the most current discounts and specials.
- Make The Most of Your Rental
Your vacation rental should have everything you need to enjoy a budget-friendly vacation. All our properties include a full-sized kitchen and a grill. Since you will have a kitchen and grill you can save money by cooking rather than going out to eat. Most of our properties are equipped with some form of entertainment: pool table, foosball table, volleyball court, private pool, etc. Having this kind of entertainment is a fun, cheap way to enjoy your vacation while you’re not on the beach.
- Rent Beach Equipment
I know what you’re thinking, “why rent beach equipment when I’m trying to have a budget-friendly vacation?” Well the fact of the matter is you can rent kayaks, surfboards, boogie boards, and bicycles fairly cheap for the entire week.
The ocean at Sandbridge Beach changes with every passing hour. From high tide to low tide, calm seas to stormy waves, sunrise, and sunset, capturing the natural majesty of the ocean is a powerful way to preserve your vacation memories.
Take a beach walk and capture close-up shots of seashells, sand castles, dunes, and vegetation. If you have a DSLR camera, turn your setting to “micro” to get the best details. If you’re using a camera phone, zoom in so that smaller objects fill the whole frame.
Sandbridge Beach is dog friendly, and nobody has more fun playing on the beach than our furry friends. Keep your camera ready so you can capture those wet, goofy smiles as these playful pups dash by.
Back Bay Wildlife Refuge
There’s no end to the photo opportunities at Back Bay Wildlife Refuge. This 8,000-acre barrier island is home to hundreds of species of birds, including flocks of Tundra Swans and rare ducks. On the ocean side, keep a lookout for turtle nests, diving seabirds, and dolphins. In the wetlands and forests, stay camera ready for deer, bobcats, hawks, and colorful songbirds.
Little Island Park & Pier
Little Island Park is a 122-acre beach park just north of Back Bay National Wildlife Refuge. The 400-foot long fishing pier provides spectacular opportunities to photograph crabs, fish, diving pelicans, the sparkle off the water, sunrises, sunsets, and even passing dolphins breaching the waves.
Lotus Garden Park
Lotus Garden Park is just north of Little Island Park on Sandbridge Road. This park has a lovely pond that is full of blooming lotus flowers. Lotus Garden Park is a haven for colorful water birds, frogs, butterflies, and other animals and exotic insects. For the best pictures here, go slowly and observe the water and flowers carefully.
False Cape State Park
Between Back Bay and the ocean, you’ll find False Cape State Park, an undeveloped slice of heaven. This historic site has 6 miles of pristine beach and hiking trails that pass by photo-worthy locations such as an old church site with a cemetery, the Coast Guard Life Saving Station, and the remnants of the Wash Woods community settlement.
You can hike or ride bikes around the park, but you can also take a tram ride that leaves from Back Bay National Wildlife Refuge. If you’re short on time, the tram is an excellent way to make a round trip through the park and see the highlights. The park is open from dusk until dawn each day for visitors. You’ll want to bring plenty of sunscreen and bug spray.
Family & Friends
Of course, the heart and soul of Sandbridge Beach are the people who come to share the joy of this special place. It’s easy to wind up a vacation with hundreds of scenic photos, but the best photos to help you remember your vacation feature you and your family or friends. Make a vacation resolution to take at least one group shot each day, commemorating your favorite moment or most dramatic discovery. If you’re traveling with your kids, remember how quickly time flies. Those photos you take of your children playing on the beach may just become your favorite memories years later when they’re grown.
Whether you’re using your cell phone camera or a DSLR camera, a few quick tips can help you take better photos of your Sandbridge Beach vacation.
Lighting: The hour just after sunrise and just before sunset are known to photographers as “the golden hours.” During this time, sunlight is naturally diffused, giving everything a heavenly glow. Take photos of people (and things) when the sun isn’t directly behind them, so you don’t get a dark, backlit effect. Pictures come out better when the sunlight is indirect; the closer you are to noon the more washed out your photos will be.
Composition: Frame your photos with the subject either directly in the middle of the frame or filling up two-thirds of the frame. If you’re taking pictures of a trail or boardwalk, place the start of the path in the corner of the screen.
Quantity: If you’re using a digital camera, the best way to get a fantastic photo is to take lots of pictures and edit down to your favorites later.
With its pristine beaches, protected parks and refuges, and breathtaking scenery, Sandbridge Beach is a photographer’s dream. Take plenty of pictures, seek out off-the-beaten-path gems, and capture your favorite moments and discoveries each day to enrich your memories later.