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Back Bay National Wildlife Refuge in Virginia Beach

Virginia Beach Family Fun Filled Water Activities

While Virginia Beach is absolutely one of the most relaxing coastal vacation locales around, it can also be one of the most exciting. It’s peaceful to soak up some sun while listening to the water crashing along the shore, but for a truly memorable vacation, get out on the water and make some waves of your own!
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 extremely recommended for first timers and for those who want to get the most out of their experience.
With over 121 navigable miles of waterways and 35 miles of ocean and bay beaches Virginia Beach is teeming with kayak destinations. Pick a spot, and get ready to make some memories!

For a peaceful afternoon of paddling, head to First Landing State Park. You’ll have the opportunity to explore lagoons, large cypress trees and other plants as well as a varied assortment of birds including mocking birds, osprey, finch, egrets, heron and woodpeckers—as well as bald eagles on a rare occasion. After you get tired of paddling, pull over for a gorgeous hike on one of the park’s trails and enjoy a picnic lunch before getting back out on the water.
Another peaceful spot is in the Back Bay National Wildlife Refuge. As the title suggests, you’re likely to see a lot of wildlife here, including deer, river otters, loggerhead sea turtles and a variety of birds including the tundra swan, ducks, gannets, gulls and more. Back Bay is also home to unspoiled beaches and dunes, which help to protect some of the wildlife here. This is one outing that you’ll want to be sure to bring your camera.

If you’re looking for more of an adventurous journey, set out on the ocean at Virginia Beach’s north end, away from the boardwalk and crowds. For this trip, you’ll most likely travel in a sit-on-top kayak so that the waves won’t flood your space. However, you should note—you most certainly will get wet! It’s completely worth it just for the sights you’ll see. Be prepared to gaze across the water at bottlenose dolphins as many of the kayak tours in the area offer dolphin tours, which are wildly popular. Also on this journey you may come across sea turtles or cownose ray.