What are the Best Beaches In Virginia For Families?

Aerial View of the skyline of the Virginia Beach Oceanfront looking South
Aerial View of the skyline of the Virginia Beach Oceanfront looking South

What are the Best Family-Friendly Beaches in Virginia?






Virginia is blessed with a huge amount of beaches due to its coastal setting. If you’re visiting the area and fancy a sun-soaked day with the family, here are some of the state’s best family-friendly beaches. 

Before we get into the list, though, let’s briefly talk about what makes a beach family-friendly. 

What Should I Look Out For On a Beach?

In order to know if a beach is suitable for the whole family, make sure it fits the following criteria:

  • Amenities – a beach must have facilities for both the adults and children to enjoy
  • Safety – no beach visit is complete without the feeling of total safety 
  • Location – a day at the beach is great, but you may feel like visiting other nearby attractions after your day by the sea has concluded. 

Now that we’ve got the criteria out of the way, let’s take a look at some of the best family-friendly beaches the state of Virginia has to offer. 

Virginia Beach Oceanfront

Aerial View of the skyline of the Virginia Beach Oceanfront looking South
Aerial View of the skyline of the Virginia Beach Oceanfront looking South

The hands-down best pick for family-friendly beaches in the state, Virginia Beach Oceanfront has everything from great amenities to beautiful scenery. 

If surfing or swimming isn’t your thing, then you can always walk along the 3-mile boardwalk and enjoy the sweeping panoramic views. The promenade is also home to festivals, events, and live music concerts. 

The surrounding area is packed with great hotels, making it extremely safe and hospitable. If you’re only able to take the family to one beach in Virginia, you’re best off taking them to this one.

Sandbridge Beach

Oceanfront morning at Sandbridge Beach
Oceanfront morning at Sandbridge Beach

A much quieter option than Virginia Beach Oceanfront, Sandbridge Beach is a serene, gorgeous stretch of shore that’s slightly off the beaten track. 

Located 15 miles from Virginia Beach’s resort area, you’ll find much smaller crowds at Sandbridge Beach. This, however, does not mean that the beach has no family-friendly attractions as nearby Little Island Park has several facilities.

Visitors can make use of the picnic areas, grassy pavilions, courts, and restrooms at Little Island Park and parking facilities are close by. There is, however, a $5 charge for parking during peak times. 

Sandbridge Beach is also in close proximity to Back Bay National Wildlife Refuge and False Cape State Park – areas plentiful in natural beauty. 

Chesapeake Beach

Chesapeake Beach
Chesapeake Beach. Editorial credit: Anne Katherine Jones / Shutterstock.com

The 2-mile long Chesapeake Beach is a mellow, tranquil stretch of coastline brimming with ocean and birdlife. It may lack the amenities of the aforementioned beaches, but its sheer beauty is enough of a draw. 

Though it’s visually stunning, Chesapeake Beach is best for a quick visit. The lack of nearby attractions and on-site attractions make it more suitable for a passing visit than an extended stay. 

Colonial Beach 

Colonial Beach 
Colonial Beach. Editorial credit: Liz Albro Photography / Shutterstock.com

Located at the northern tip of the state, Colonial Beach is a charming seaside community with a rich history. During its golden age, Colonial Beach was a bustling coastal hotspot visited by millions from all over the country. Today, the town retains its charm but has mellowed down somewhat.

The actual beach itself is the second-largest public beach in the state of Virginia. Boating, sailing, swimming, and fishing are all common activities here. 

After a day of relaxing by the beach, you can visit some of Colonial Beach’s many historical attractions such as the birthplace of the first-ever President Of The United States, George Washington. 

Chincoteague Island 

Chincoteague Island 
Chincoteague Island

The beautiful Chincoteague Island is famed for its horses, culture, history, and outdoor activities. The kids will love meeting the ponies on the beach, whilst the adults will fall in love with the area’s stunning sunrises and sunsets. 

From crabbing to boat rentals, there’s something for everyone at Chincoteague Island Beach. You can also supplement your visit by eating at some of the wonderful seafood restaurants and visiting the Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge. 

Ocean View Beach

Ocean View Beach
Ocean View Beach. Editorial credit: Sherry V Smith / Shutterstock.com

Stunning in appearance and incredibly safe due to the on-duty lifeguards, Ocean View Beach in Norfolk is one of the most family-friendly beaches in all of Virginia. 

With its sparkling clear waters and golden sand, Ocean View Beach is definitely rich in natural beauty and even has pet-friendly policies. The eastern end of the beach is more suitable for families, but the entire coastline will be enjoyed by multiple generations. 

Cape Charles Town Beach

Cape Charles Town Beach virginia
Cape Charles Town Beach virginia. Editorial credit: bleung / Shutterstock.com

Located 10 miles north of Chesapeake Bay Bridge, the serene Cape Charles Town Beach is an ideal spot to take the kids. Though it may not have a huge array of amenities, it does have shallow, calm waters meaning that the children can play in them without heading too deep. 

The beach is completely free to visit and offers stunning sunrises and sunsets. Head here for safe, relaxing fun. 

Jamestown Beach

Jamestown Beach Virginia during a Sunny Fall Day
Jamestown Beach Virginia during a Sunny Fall Day

Williamsburg’s Jamestown Beach is one of Virginia’s best lesser-known beaches. Complete with a kid-friendly park and relaxing lagoons, it’s one of the most underrated beaches in the entire state. 

Though it’s not particularly big, Jamestown Beach packs a lot of punch with its immaculate condition and host of family-friendly facilities. There’s a waterfront park with picnic tables, restrooms, and grassy areas for ball games and playing. 

If you’re eager to escape the hustle and bustle of some of the busier beaches in Virginia, a visit to Jamestown Beach will be ideal for you. 

Our Top Pick

With all these things considered, our top pick will have to be Virginia Beach Oceanfront. Its sheer fame, beauty, and host of attractions make it the undisputed choice for family-friendly beaches in Virginia. 

That, however, isn’t to say that the other beaches on this list aren’t stunning, because they definitely are, but we can’t look past Virginia Beach Oceanfront’s enduring quality and versatility. 

Final Thoughts

Virginia is jam-packed with family-friendly beaches and deciding which one is best for you is a matter of taste and experience. With so many great beaches to offer, it’s only a matter of time before you find one that you and your family find one you all fall in love with. 

See Also

US Beaches

What are the Best Beaches In Virginia For Families?

Hi and welcome to my travel blog! Based in London, I work in investment banking in a quantitative field and although I am not part of the travel industry, I have a ton of passion for travel. My blog is a reference guide for my fellow travelers with the same passion as me. Hopefully the blog is easy to navigate and my aim is to bring the most relevant and interesting information before you begin your journey!