Greetings fellow Wanderlusters!
As you may have guessed our journey has now brought us from Alaska to Virginia! Being back in this familiar place I wanted to share some of the amazing beaches that are in the Hampton Roads area of Virginia…that doesn’t include Virginia Beach.
Not to entirely exclude VA Beach but it doesn’t need to be highlighted as a special place but these lesser known beaches are pure gold if you are a beach bum or enjoy more of a private, less populated beach setting.
1) First View Beach, Norfolk
This beach has lots of memories for me from when I was stationed at Norfolk Naval Station and living off Granby St. What I loved about this beach is that you have all the great views of a big beach without all the people. Most of the beach lovers you’ll find here are all locals who live along the beach line. Perfect place to relax, not deal with as bad as parking fees and struggles as going to Virginia Beach while being able to lay out alone, with a friend or bring the kids down and make a day of it!
2) Buckroe Beach, Hampton
Buckroe Beach is slightly bigger and more populated but you still aren’t dealing with a fraction of the foot traffic as you are in comparison to VA Beach. This beach is on the Hampton side of the HRBT (Hampton Roads Bridge Tunnel) so getting there you don’t have to deal with as much traffic. If you move away from the “main” beach area and park on the street you can enjoy basically an empty beach with a beautiful view and warm waters! This beach also has lifeguards patrolling up and down the beach daily and flags will indicate when lifeguards aren’t on duty anymore.
3) Grandview Natural Preserve Beach – Hampton
Grandview is a SUPER hidden beach, you have to hike to get out there and this is a beach you have to “know someone” to know about it. So, not populated, dog friendly, and on natural preservation land so you know that the state works are out making sure that the land is kept up, trash cleaned up and if you want a slice of solace while visiting Virginia…this is the beach to visit!
4) Fort Story Jetty, Virginia Beach
This is one of the beaches I visited A LOT while living in VA. I visited here because of the historic lighthouse that sits on the shore behind where this photo was taken. I LOVE this beach! Mostly military families use this beach because it is located on Fort Story/Little Creek Base, but the gate closest to the lighthouse is very tourist friendly because of the Lighthouse and its historical value to travelers. Here you can sit all day and can plan a perfectly romantic evening watching the sunset on white sand beaches.
5) Yorktown Beach
If you couldn’t tell, I lived close to a lot of beaches when I lived in VA. At one point I lived up the hill within walking distance from this beach so I tended to take a lot of pictures here and spend a lot of time just letting my soul soak in the view. Another smaller beach that is mostly frequently visited by the Yorktown locals, it can get a little crowded on weekends, especially in the hype of summer, but if you look hard enough there is always a little nook away from the crowds that you can set up camp at with your loved one, alone or with your family. There is also great places to eat on the other side of the street from the beach that you shouldn’t miss out on! One is a sandwich shop and the other is more like a tavern, all family friendly and the food is amazing!
Whichever beach you visit, know that there is no wrong choice. Living here for several years and now returning with a toddler to travel with, I can understand and appreciate when you can visit a beach that isn’t an hour away (without traffic – depending on where you’re staying at in VA) and have family friendly locations to visit or if you just need a little alone time on the beach with a beautiful view!
More travel tips to come from the Traveling Photographer!