Virginia Beach is a nature lover’s paradise. Located on the Atlantic Ocean at the mouth of the Chesapeake Bay, this coastal spot is the perfect place to nurture your natural side. It’s home to more trails to explore and scenic shores to comb than one can imagine. Here are three must-do activities for nature lovers visiting Virginia Beach.
Hike of a Lifetime
Image via Flickr by phi1317
You’ll find an unforgettable hiking experience at False Cape State Park. Raw and undeveloped, this park features some of the last untouched wilderness on the Atlantic Coast. Transportation is limited, as no cars are allowed in this protected refuge, but the reliable Terra-Gator is an affordable option to get here and experience the 4,000 acres of natural surroundings and remote solitude.
You’ll find another trail at Cape Henry in First Landing State Park. Experience the vast diversity of this protected 2,888-acre park by hiking your choice of nine trails through a cypress swamp, salt marsh, maritime forest, freshwater wetlands, dunes, or bay shoreline. Stop by the Trail Center inside the park to find the right path for you.
Image via Flickr by U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service – Northeast Region
Go where the wild things are and head to Back Bay National Wildlife Refuge. Protected by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, this refuge hosts an important ecosystem for many species, including loggerhead sea turtles, bald eagles, sandpipers, ducks, geese, and countless waterbirds and songbirds. Check out the many viewing opportunities through spotting scopes along the five peaceful trails.
Need a rainy day plan? Don’t miss the Virginia Aquarium & Marine Science Center. Within 800,000 gallons of aquarium space, visitors can expect to see more than 300 different species of animal and marine life. Other activities include The Adventure Park, featuring zip-line adventures for all ages, and daily boat trips where animal and nature lovers alike can experience close-up encounters with bottlenose dolphins. The aquarium is open daily from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Become a Beachcomber
Image via Flickr by Beadmobile
The Virginia Beach fishing pier, located just off the popular Virginia Beach Boardwalk, is the perfect spot to cast your line! The 1,000-foot pier is at the heart of the resort center, so travelers can easily find Virginia Beach hotels within walking distance. Those who don’t want to fish may pay a small fee to walk along the pier. End your day in the Chesapeake Bay at sunset for stand-up paddleboarding, where dolphins may greet you while you watch the sun set over the water. At dark, comb the beach for ghost crabs, stroll along any of the 14 miles of public beaches, and listen to the tide roll in.
Whether you prefer land or sea, Virginia Beach is a nature lover’s refuge. Escape the hustle and bustle of urban life and explore this beautiful and pristine coastal haven. This oceanfront oasis isn’t lacking in outdoor activities, including opportunities for cycling, kayaking, camping, and canoeing to just name a few. From wild ponies and pods of dolphin to sand dunes and wooded forests, you’re sure to encounter something special on your trip to Virginia Beach.