Just 11 miles north of Sandbridge Beach, VA, you’ll discover the Virginia Aquarium & Maritime Science Center. Here you’ll find a magical world filled with fascinating sea life, from sharks and rays to seals and sea turtles.
Let’s face it. Family members don’t always perfectly agree on their vacation preferences. Mom and Dad may yearn for peace and tranquility in a beautiful seaside setting, while the kids want big-city sights and attractions.
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.
There’s nothing better than when your beach vacation finally arrives. You’ve been waiting for sunny days laying on the beach. Unfortunately, this isn’t always the outcome of your beach vacation and it ends up raining. Don’t let a little rain ruin your trip to Sandbridge, embrace it! Sandbridge is located within Virginia Beach so there are plenty of things to do within a short drive. Here are our top 5 things to do when it rains in Sandbridge!
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
Far From the Noise, Close to the Action
Sandbridge Beach is a sandy peninsula with 4.5 miles of pristine beach, nearly 10,000 acres of national wildlife refuge, no hotels, quaint rental cottages, and a laid-back atmosphere. There’s only one road to the small community, so days and nights are quiet and crowds are small.
The remote feeling of Sandbridge Beach is why natives and visitors love it here. You can read for hours on end with no interruption and walk on the beach for miles without dodging people every few steps. At night, sleep with the windows open and you’ll only hear the sounds of the surf.
Solitude and serenity are not the only hallmarks of Sandbridge. Its prime location means you’re only 15 miles from the bustling Virginia Beach resort area. This is world famous for its family-friendly attractions, including the Virginia Aquarium & Marine Science Center, Water Country USA and Ocean Breeze waterparks, the Military Aviation Museum, and more restaurants and shopping than you can cover in a month.
Loaded With Local Charm and Flavor
There are no hotels on Sandbridge Beach, so when you stay here you’ll feel like you belong. Rental homes and cottages are cozy, relaxed, and full of charm. To live like a local while you’re here, do what natives do: Play bingo at the Sandbridge Fire & Rescue Station on Wednesday nights, take in an outdoor concert on the pier at Little Island Park, or listen to live music on the patio at Baja Restaurant.
You also won’t find any chain restaurants in Sandbridge Beach. Get your morning cup of Joe at the Simply Steamed coffee shop, grab an afternoon cone at the Sandbridge Sugar Shack, and pick up a lunch picnic at the Sandbridge Seaside Market. At dinnertime, tuck into regional specialties including seafood, hushpuppies, and more at favorites like Blue Pete’s, Rudee’s, or Lucky Oyster. Here, our version of going out to “see and be seen” means making new friends and catching up with neighbors over oysters or pizza.
Kid-friendly and Uncrowded
Even at the height of summer you won’t find the mass of people on Sandbridge Beach that you’d find on Virginia Beach. Kids have more room to run and play, waves are usually small and gentle, and the ocean floor is sandy and soft — a great place to learn to surf, skimboard, body surf, or just wade in the water. As an extra safety measure, lifeguards are on duty from Memorial Day to Labor Day at Little Island Park and other Sandbridge beaches. There are also restrooms in Little Island Park, which is convenient for families with little ones.
At Sandbridge, kids can have fun in a more relaxed environment. Young ones and teenagers can have a good time flying kites on windy days, catching ghost crabs (and having races to see whose is fastest before letting them go), watching for dolphins, and hunting for shells at the tide line. If you need a day with a little more action, or need to pass a rainy day, a quick drive to Virginia Beach offers laser tag, a children’s museum, rock-climbing gyms, and movie theaters.
Love nature? Have a budding naturalist in the family? Spend the day exploring Back Bay National Wildlife Refuge. With plenty of kid-friendly programs and activities, even the most dedicated computer and TV addicts may discover their inner scientist.
If you dream of limiting screen time for your family, Sandbridge Beach has enough outdoor activities to keep everyone busy for days. Whether you fish from the pier or in the wildlife refuge, take a family-friendly kayak tour, or hop on the Blue Goose trolley and see who can spot the most birds, Sandbridge Beach has infinite ways to entertain you.
Award-Winning But Undiscovered
Huffington Post named Sandbridge Beach “One of the Top 10 Beaches in America,” and the American Shore and Beach Preservation Association recently named Sandbridge Beach “One of America’s Best Restored Beaches.” This beautiful place also routinely lands among the top contenders for Best Beach on Yelp and TripAdvisor.
For all the accolades, Sandbridge Beach remains relatively undiscovered. You won’t find crowded beaches, traffic jams, loud parties, or long lines at markets and restaurants.
With the best location for peace and quiet, an atmosphere reminiscent of the days when life was much simpler, and the best location for attractions, Sandbridge Beach just may be one of America’s best-kept secrets.