Where to Find Adventure in Virginia Beach
Although many people come to Virginia Beach to unwind and relax, there is much more to do in the area than soak up the sun on the beach all day. From the Cape Henry region all the way to Sandbridge, you will find that Virginia Beach has an incredible amount of adventurous activities to do that are both fun and safe. Whether you spend the day parasailing over the beautiful Atlantic Ocean, kayaking through scenic marshes or zip lining from one treetop to the next, there is always an exciting way to spend your time in Virginia Beach that every family member can enjoy.
If you are looking for an exciting day on the water, you can find WaveRunners and jet ski rentals, parasailing adventures and sport boat rentals. Go parasailing over the Atlantic Ocean while flying single, double or even triple with a family member or friend, and either stay dry throughout the whole ride or get dipped—it’s completely up to you! Or choose from one-, two- or three-person jet skis to take out into the open ocean for some serious fun! In Virginia Beach, discover boat cruises aboard a 20-foot sport boat that can hold up to six people for a day of fishing on the ocean, speed along the scenic coastline or just soak up some sun rays. Or rent a kayak for a couple hours and enjoy a relaxing nature cruise through the beautiful Rudee Inlet.
Another way to spend some time on the water is through one of our professional surf schools offering top-notch instructions to visitors of all ages and needs. The instructors make every lesson fun, safe and an experience of a lifetime for both visitors and locals alike. Surf schools also offer surf camps, surf lessons, stand-up paddleboard tours and a huge selection of rentals from boards to wetsuits.
With over 121 navigable miles of waterways and 35 miles of ocean and bay beaches, Virginia Beach is teeming with kayak destinations. Imagine being surrounded by nothing but tranquil waters and pristine landscapes, far away from the crowds, cars and technology. Kayaking is a blissful way to get in touch with the beauty of Virginia Beach’s nature with no engines or propellers. There are plenty of places to rent a kayak, canoe or paddleboat, and most places offer guided tours, which are highly recommended for first-timers and those who want to get the most out of their experience.
First Landing State Park
For a peaceful afternoon of paddling, head to First Landing State Park where there is endless outdoor fun and public access to the bay coastline. Follow one of the park’s four boardwalks that provide convenient walkways over the dunes and onto the beach for a day of exciting activities. The beach usually stays relatively uncrowded, and the water is perfect for paddleboarding, kayaking or canoeing—but there is much more to do than just paddle. Along with the opportunity to explore lagoons, First Landing State Park is home to a total of nine trails covering more than 19 miles where you can take a gorgeous hike and witness large cypress trees and other plants, as well as a varied assortment of birds including osprey, finch, heron and even bald eagles on rare occasions.
If you are in the mood to cast a line, head over to The Narrows, a constricted waterway frequently used by anglers and those who are after blue crab claws. You will also find a boat ramp at The Narrows where you can launch motorboats and other small crafts as well as a kayak rental shop available during in-season weekends. Along with these activities are swimming, biking, boating and even camping! With over 2,800 acres and a wide range of outdoor activities, this local state park is a great place to start your adventurous vacation in Virginia Beach.
Just a few miles before the bridge leading to the Virginia Beach Oceanfront, you will find the Virginia Aquarium & Marine Science Center offering over 80,000 gallons of one of the best aquariums and animal habitats in the country, hands-on exhibits, outdoor aviary, nature trails, marshlands and a National Geographic 3-D Theater. But that’s certainly not all. One of the most popular additions to the aquarium is an eco-friendly zip line and aerial adventure experience in the majestic treetops of Owls Creek. Located between the museum’s Marsh Pavilion and the Bay and Ocean Pavilion, this exhilarating “aerial forest park” is the first of its kind in Virginia and is a must-do outdoor experience that the whole family can enjoy! After being securely attached to the safety lines, guests of all ages are welcome to challenge themselves as they walk across wooden platforms at different heights, zip from tree to tree on a zip line or navigate from one bridge to the next. You don’t even have to be Tarzan to master the Adventure Park! Choose from 11 different color-coded trails, from beginner to advanced. The park is a fun and safe activity that gives everyone the chance to experience nature from new heights! Click here to read more about a day at the Virginia Aquarium.
Wild Mini Golf
Lions and tigers and bears—oh my! If you are looking to stay dry while having fun, head over to 22nd Street and Pacific Avenue for a wild game of mini-golf with each hole being a different difficulty level and always surprising. Discover an indoor game center where visitors and locals alike can enjoy exotic games, laser tag and virtual adventures! If your stomach starts to grumble, take a break from all the fun at the air-conditioned café serving a variety of great tasting treats.
Bike the Boardwalk
A great way to spend an afternoon by the shore is riding a bike or roller blading down the Oceanfront boardwalk. Not only will you get a little exercise, but you will also experience the heart of Virginia Beach in a fun and relaxing way. Rent bikes, tandems, family bikes, in-line skates and even chairs and umbrellas at affordable prices. If you are walking down the boardwalk and looking to rent, chances are you will spot several bike rental companies that are perfect for you and your family.
Adventures in Sandbridge
When you head south to the other side of town in Sandbridge, you will find one of the last remaining undeveloped beach areas along the Atlantic coast. Experience nature in a unique way through one of the guided kayak trips, primitive camping, interpretive programs, hiking and biking trails, fishing, geocaching and six miles of beaches along the beautiful Atlantic Ocean.
Back Bay National Wildlife Refuge
Located next to the park is Back Bay National Wildlife Refuge, a 4,589-acre refuge home to a variety of habitats including beach, dunes, agricultural fields, woodlands and emergent marshes. There are over eight miles of scenic trails where you can witness these habitats firsthand along with freshwater and surf fishing, interpretive special events, boating and bicycling. Go kayaking or canoeing through the bay and explore nature up-close and personal while witnessing wildlife, such as deer, bobcats, river otters and a variety of birds.