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4 Best Beaches in Virginia Beach

Jon Fesmire | December 6, 2021 @ 12:00 AM

It’s tough to talk about Virginia Beach without repeating the word “beach” a lot. That’s because life here centers on waves, sun, and sand. There’s a lot of beach area, too, from the record-setting 3.5-mile Boardwalk area to the 0.75-mile-long Croatan beachfront.

This city, with its population of 460,000, is also full of amazing shops, restaurants, amusement park areas, and a lot more. There are beaches filled with tourists, and areas known primarily to residents. All deserve a visit.

Here are our choices for the four best beaches in Virginia Beach.


The Boardwalk

This is the area that the city is famous for. The Virginia Beach Boardwalk is a 3.5-mile cement boardwalk that dates back to 1912. It’s the prime tourist attraction in Virginia Beach for good reason. You’ll find unique stores, ice cream shops, live music, festivals, historic landmarks, local restaurants, amusement parks, and much more. While the beach itself isn’t as top-tier as some of the others on this list, it’s a nice place to relax, swim, and surf, and you’ll have full access to everything on the boardwalk.

Note that parking is not free and can be hard to find, so for your best chance of getting a perfect spot without having to drive around for a while, get here early in the day. There’s also fishing on the pier and a good chance of seeing dolphins leaping from the waves in the distance.

Also, make sure to pay your meter and get back to your car before it runs out. The towing companies here have a reputation for being strict. You don’t want to return to your parking spot to find your car missing.


First Landing State Park

Also called Seashore State Park, this gorgeous area of government land is open to all visitors. It’s 3,000 acres of freshwater cypress swamps where you can see a lot of beautiful wildlife in the section called The Narrows.

Between the Virginia Beach Boardwalk and Chic's Beach, First Landing State Park features many hiking and biking. The park includes camping and boating, with a boat launch site. There’s also a lot of local historical significance to this site, as it’s where the first settlers landed in 1607. It's also rumored to have been a hideout for Blackbeard.

Of course, you’ll find a gorgeous beach here too, where you can swim and relax. The beach is a quarter of a mile long. Dogs are welcome, and the state park is close enough to residential neighborhoods that you can park for free and just walk farther to get here, or you can pay $4.00 on weekdays, or $5.00 on weekends and holidays, to park in the lot.



Croatan is a residential area, and thus less known to tourists. Of course, it’s a public beach, and you’re welcome to visit. The good news is that even though it’s a bit of a local secret, this beach has a big parking lot. Locals pay $3.00 for all-day parking, while out-of-town visitors pay $5.00.

The beach has separate areas for surfing and swimming, so surfers don’t have to worry about dodging swimmers, and swimmers don’t have to worry about surfers running into them. There’s also a lot of room for both activities on this three-quarter-mile beach.

Croatan has public restrooms, a shower area, and a dressing area. That makes it easy to rinse off after hours in the sand or the waves before heading out to eat or going home.

This beach is south of the boardwalk, but not nearly as busy. Oh yes, and in the summer, you’ll find surf camps here and a lifeguard on duty.


Chic's Beach

This beach is a not-so-well-kept secret. You’ll find it raved about online if you do a little searching. The thing is, most tourists head to the Virginia Beach Boardwalk and overlook this beautiful spot. Chic’s Beach is, like Croatan, a neighborhood and a beachfront, and it’s popular among locals.

The beach itself is along Shore Drive, which has plenty of entrances to the sandy shores. Since this is part of a neighborhood, it’s easy to find free parking.

Unlike the boardwalk or Croatan areas, the waves here are calm. Because of that, it’s not an ideal place to go surfing or boogie boarding, but that’s okay. It is a great place to swim, go kayaking, or even get on a big float and relax on the water. Just don’t let the gentle waves take you out too far. You can also enjoy a picnic, make sandcastles, and have a pleasant day with your friends, family, or a date.


Do you live in Virginia Beach and need a place to store your beach toys, surfboard, and surfing gear? Or, do you perhaps run a small business and need somewhere to keep paperwork and inventory? 


Maybe you enjoy camping or boating and need somewhere to keep your boat or RV safe. At Jack Rabbit Storage, we have ten facilities in Virginia Beach ready to help. Just visit us online and find a nearby facility, or call us. We’re happy to answer your questions.

Jon Fesmire
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