It may be secluded anduncrowded (a huge part of its charm!). But make no mistake, Sandbridge Beach,VA, offers tons of opportunities for family-friendly fun. So, if you'revacationing with children - tots to teens - you'll never run out of kid-pleasingthings to do.
#1. Sandbridge Beach at 2500 Sandfiddler Road
Seeking a safe, shelteredplace to sun and swim with your little ones? Come to 122-acre Little Island Park,site of the largest public beach in Sandbridge.
Located south of theLittle Island Pier, this beautiful beach spans 2,000 feet of pristine,unspoiled shoreline, with glistening white sand and shimmering blue water.There's ample parking (for a small charge) plus on-site public restrooms,seasonal food concessions, and a large adjacent playground.
The beach itself isideal for families. Your kids will have a blast building sandcastles, searchingfor shells, wading in the warm shallows, and splashing in the gentle waves.Meanwhile, you can relax worry-free, knowing you're in a protected environment.During the season - daily between 9:30 a.m. and 6 p.m. - highly trainedlifeguards monitor the beach, while professional lifeguard supervisors patrolthe shore in dune buggies.
When you're allfinished soaking up sun and surf, you can enjoy a festive family picnic at oneof the park's four covered picnic shelters... followed by an invigorating gameof basketball, tennis, pickleball, or volleyball. (OK, you may want to leavethat part to the kids!)
Or, you can mosey on overto Sandbridge Island Restaurant at nearby Sandbridge Seafood Market, where youcan savor mouthwatering specialties like blackened salmon, grilled tuna, authenticVirginia BBQ, and luscious, award-winning pizza. There's even a low-price kids'menu featuring favorites like burgers, fish & chips, popcorn shrimp, and mac& cheese.
#2. Back Bay National Wildlife Refuge...Where the Wild Ponies Play
Have you heard of theBanker Horses, those famous feral ponies descended from Spanish mustangsbrought to America in the 17th century?
Most of these gentlebeasts live in the North Carolina Outer Banks. And Virginia authorities wouldprefer to keep them there! But some persistent ponies keep making their way northacross the border into Back Bay National Wildlife Refuge.
When you visit therefuge, you may spot a few of these horses frisking along the shore or foragingfor wild sea oats. If you do, be a little cautious. Bankers are known to befriendly and docile, but remember, they're wild, not domesticated, so stay at asafe distance - for their sake as well as yours.
Even if you catch justa glimpse, you'll be enchanted by their beauty. And your children will bepositively thrilled. (What child doesn't love wild ponies?)
Of course, horses arenot the only creatures you'll see roaming free at the refuge. This 9,108-acrepreserve provides feeding and resting habitat for thousands of migratory birds,including tundra swans, snow geese, Canadian geese, osprey, ducks, warblers, andsparrows. Plus, it's home to loggerhead sea turtles, piping plovers, and otherendangered species.
Your youngsters will enjoylearning about island ecology, natural history, and wildlife preservation...all in a gorgeous outdoor setting.
#3. The Dunes at Back Bay
Kids love climbingsand dunes. And, at Back Bay National Wildlife Refuge, they'll find some of thebest and biggest dunes on the entire Virginia coast... especially along theDunes and Seaside hiking trails.
Covered with sea oats,beach grass, and wax myrtle, these pristine white-sand dunes furnish precious habitatfor many small mammals and songbirds. Nearby, sea turtles nest, and sandpipersfeed in moist sand. If your children love animals, they'll be in seventhheaven.
Located at 4005Sandpiper Road, Back Bay Wildlife Refuge is open during daylight hours only. Asmall entrance fee is charged during the season. (There's no charge during thewinter migration period.) Free public parking is available on a first-come,first-served basis.
#4. False Cape State Park, One of the East's Last Undisturbed Coastal Areas
Can't get enough ofthat unspoiled natural beauty? Bring the family to False Cape State Park,accessible only by foot, bicycle, boat, or tram through Back Bay NationalWildlife Refuge.
Formed by a mile-widebarrier spit between Back Bay and the Atlantic, this 4,321-acre coastal parkoffers numerous hiking and biking trails... plus six miles of untouched beachfront,where your children can romp and wade in unparalleled peace and privacy.
No cars or trucks areallowed. But during the season you and your family can board the Blue GooseTram at Back Bay Refuge for a three-hour tour of the park. Along the way, your expertdriver will fill you in on local flora and fauna. Your kids will gain a deeperappreciation for Virginia's delicate coastal ecology.
They'll also spotplenty of wildlife and wildfowl, so be sure to have your camera on hand...along with a pair of binoculars.
If you're up for a brisk,scenic walk, hike to the park's southern tip - which is also the border betweenVirginia and North Carolina!
Safe. Fun. Breathtaking. No Wonder Families Love It. There's something for everyone - young and old - at Sandbridge Beach, VA. Visit and see for yourself.