Best Virginia Beach (2018)


Beaches come in all shapes and sizes in Virginia, from the long, expansive sands of Virginia Beach to the isolated beaches of the Eastern Shore and Chesapeake Bay. Virginia is for beach lovers, and we want to know your favorite, so we asked readers to vote for the best Virginia beach. The results are in!

  • Colonial Beach

    Colonial Beach

    “The Playground of the Potomac”, Colonial Beach, is a river town and a beach town, bounded by the Potomac River and Monroe Bay, and home to the second largest beach in Virginia. Only 65 miles from DC, 35 nautical miles from the Chesapeake Bay, the town offers marinas, outdoor recreation and striking sunrises and sunsets.
    Photo courtesy of Mary Carter

  • Yorktown Beach

    Yorktown Beach

    Yorktown's 2-acre beachfront is a popular swimming spot on the York River. The ADA-accessible beach includes a Mobi-Mat from the sand all the way to the water, as well as special chairs for helping wheelchair bound visitors enjoy the water.
    Photo courtesy of Aude / Wikimedia Commons

  • Cape Charles Beach

    Cape Charles Beach
    Cape Charles

    The only public beach on Virginia's eastern shore without an entrance or parking fee, Cape Charlest Beach is accessible via two wooden paths. A sidewalk with benches runs parallel to the beach, which is popular for both swimming and sunbathing.
    Photo courtesy of iStock / nameinfame

  • Assateague Beach

    Assateague Beach
    Chincoteague Island

    The 37-mile barrier island enjoys pristine beaches that span two states. The larger northern portion of the island is in Maryland while the southern portion is in Virginia. Wild horses roam these beaches allowing visitors an opportunity to view them in a natural habitat. The beaches are widely-known as an excellent location for swimming, shell collecting or just strolling or relaxing on the beautiful white sand. Vehicles can access the island from both Maryland and Virginia, but there is no through road along the island’s length.
    Photo courtesy of NPS Photo

  • Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge

    Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge
    Chincoteague Island

    Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge is home to one of the Atlantic coast's most pristine barrier beaches, a swath of white sand shoreline stretching for miles. The lifeguarded recreational beach draws big crowds during the summer months, while the quieter Wild Beach is popular with hikers.
    Photo courtesy of U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service - Northeast Region / Wikimedia Commons

  • Sandbridge Beach

    Sandbridge Beach
    Virginia Beach

    Just a short drive from the bustling Virginia Beach Oceanfront district lies the pristine shore of Sandbridge Beach. This 5-mile-long Atlantic beach hideaway is separated from the quiet community of Sandbridge by gently rolling coastal dunes and sea oats.
    Photo courtesy of iStock / Sherry Smith

  • Virginia Beach Boardwalk

    Virginia Beach Boardwalk
    Virginia Beach

    Measuring 28 feet wide and 3 miles long, the Virginia Beach Boardwalk offers many winning features along the Atlantic shore, including a separate bike path and nightly live entertainment during the summers. Presiding over it all is a giant bronze statue of King Neptune–one of the most popular photo ops in town.
    Photo courtesy of Virginia Beach Convention & Visitors Bureau

  • Bethel Beach Natural Area Preserve

    Bethel Beach Natural Area Preserve

    Visitors to Bethel Beach Natural Area Preserve enjoy 83 acres of sandy beach on Chesapeake Bay, including the opportunity to spot nesting birds in the low dunes and salt marshes of the park. 
    Photo courtesy of iStock / AshleyLThomasPhoto

  • Westmoreland State Park

    Westmoreland State Park

    Located in Virginia's Northern Neck, Westmoreland State Park covers 1,321 acres along the Potomac River, where park goers can relax on a wild Potomac River beach.
    Photo courtesy of Virginia State Parks / Flickr

  • Buckroe Beach

    Buckroe Beach

    Situated on the shores of Chesapeake Bay, Buckroe Beach comprises a ¾ mile stretch of sand with gentle surf and panoramic views. Lifeguards are on duty during the summer months, and amenities like playgrounds and picnic shelters appeal to families.
    Photo courtesy of iStock / CatLane


The top 10 winners in the category Best Virginia Beach are as follows:

  1. Colonial Beach
  2. Yorktown Beach - Williamsburg
  3. Cape Charles Beach - Cape Charles
  4. Assateague Beach - Chincoteague Island
  5. Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge - Chincoteague Island
  6. Sandbridge Beach - Virginia Beach
  7. Virginia Beach Boardwalk - Virginia Beach
  8. Bethel Beach Natural Area Preserve - Mathews
  9. Westmoreland State Park - Montross
  10. Buckroe Beach - Hampton

10Best editors and local experts partnered with Dr. Stephen Leatherman (a.k.a. "Dr. Beach") to pick the initial 20 nominees, and the top 10 winners were determined by popular vote. Congratulations to these 10 winning beaches!

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