Being a beach town of sorts, you would think that Virginia Beach would be devoid of fun activities in the winter months, but that isn’t the case! For the “locals” and others who happen to visit Virginia Beach in the winter, there is a peaceful calm after the tourist invasion of the summer. Although tourists are very much appreciated, it’s nice to be able to park, to find a table at a restaurant, to walk on a deserted beach, or visit local attractions during the winter without being overwhelmed by the throngs of tourists.
Here are some of fun winter activities in Virginia Beach.
1. A walk on the beach on a sunny afternoon: I just love walking on a quiet beach in winter. Recently, on a warmish afternoon, I took my kids to Sandbridge (a local beach), where we looked for pirate treasure, picked up seashells, collected driftwood, and observed the pelicans, skate egg cases, and other natural phenomena. There were just a few people on the pier fishing and the beauty of the lonely beach was breathtaking.
2. Taking a whale-watching cruise: While whale sightings are not guaranteed, the Virginia Aquarium on General Booth Boulevard in Virginia Beach offers whale-watching cruises and the extraordinary chance to see these amazing creatures up close. From late December through mid-March, you can view an array of seabirds as well as other marine life and, hopefully, some whales along the Virginia Beach coastline.
3. Visiting the Virginia Aquarium: Now is the time to visit the Aquarium and other local museums. You can sit in front of the tanks of assorted fish, sharks, and sea turtles for as long as you wish without struggling for a glimpse among the huge crowds that visit in summer. This very popular destination provides a peaceful, educational, relaxing experience for families during the winter months as long as you don’t happen to coincide with a school group on a field trip!
4. Boating on a sunny afternoon: With fairly mild winters, Hampton Roads boaters are able to enjoy this activity year-round. The Chesapeake Bay and its countless tributaries provide endless opportunities for adventure. Stop at the many quaint villages along the Bay for waterfront dining or searching for antiques. A check of the weather and boating forecast is always in order when boating in our area.
5. Attending local events: While summer is replete with festivals and events, there are a few noteworthy events that take place in the winter. Perhaps one of the largest and most worthwhile is the Polar Plunge, a yearly fundraiser for the Special Olympics. This year’s event is on February 3 and features the plunge where scores of people, some in crazy costumes, brave the cold waters of the Atlantic to raise money for the Special Olympics. Plunge activities include live entertainment, kids’ activities, and ice sculpting. Other local events include the Hampton Roads International Auto Show from Jan 19-21, the Mid-Atlantic Home & Garden Show from Feb 15-18, and assorted boat and recreational vehicle shows among others.
6. Doing sports: The winters in Virginia Beach are generally mild enough that we are still able to participate in many outdoor activities during the winter months including boating, fishing, sailing, cycling, golfing, skating, walking, playing tennis, and even surfing (with a wetsuit!) on the better days! Bundle up and head outdoors for a little fresh air and exercise. It makes the winters more tolerable!
Winter is slower, no doubt – maybe it’s our chance to hibernate and get ready for the spring and summer fun! Still, there are many activities that are enjoyable and healthy outlets during the long winter months. Rather mild Virginia Beach winters allow you to stay active, be healthy, and enjoy local events and attractions without snow shovels, four-wheel drive, or winter parkas. Enjoy and think spring!