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Small Beach Towns Virginia Top 5 Exciting Places

Do you ever feel like you need to escape the hustle and bustle of city life? Do you crave the freedom of the open sea and the tranquility of a small town? Look no further than the small beach towns of Virginia. These hidden gems offer the perfect balance of relaxation and excitement, with endless opportunities for outdoor activities and exploration.

From the charming streets of Cape Charles to the wild beauty of Assateague Island National Seashore, Virginia’s small beach towns have something for everyone. Whether you’re seeking a romantic getaway, a family vacation, or a solo adventure, you can find it in these top 5 exciting places.

So pack your bags, leave your worries behind, and get ready for a journey of discovery and freedom in the heart of Virginia’s coastal paradise.

Key Takeaways

– Small beach towns in Virginia, such as Cape Charles, Chincoteague Island, Smithfield, Yorktown, and Onancock, offer a charming and historic atmosphere, pristine beaches, local cuisine, and outdoor activities.
– Kiptopeke State Park is a must-visit destination for camping, hiking, bird watching, and exploring natural history exhibits, with an abundance of campsites available and guided tours led by experienced naturalists.
– Virginia Beach is a lively and diverse destination that offers miles of sandy beaches, top surfing spots, unique opportunities for ecotourism and wildlife photography, kayaking, paddleboarding, and surfing, as well as a scenic boardwalk and breathtaking sunsets over the ocean.
– Historic landmarks in Virginia, such as Colonial Williamsburg, Jamestown settlement, and Cape Henry Lighthouse, offer a glimpse into the state’s rich past and its role in American history, while food festivals provide a chance to taste local flavors and mingle with locals. Norfolk, a vibrant city with unique attractions and a laid-back vibe, is also an excellent option for indulging in self-care.

Cape Charles


You’re gonna love Cape Charles for its charming Main Street and pristine beaches.

Exploring Cape Charles: A Guide for First Timers is a must-have before your visit.

You’ll find yourself drawn to the colorful storefronts, quaint coffee shops, and unique boutiques that line Main Street.

Take a stroll down the brick sidewalks and admire the historic homes that have been lovingly restored to their former glory.

When it’s time to hit the beach, Cape Charles won’t disappoint.

The town boasts some of the best beaches in the area, including Bay Avenue Beach and Cape Charles Beach.

Both offer soft sand and calm waters, perfect for a relaxing getaway.

So grab your sunscreen and beach towel, and let Cape Charles work its magic on you.

Chincoteague Island


Get ready to experience the charm and beauty of Chincoteague Island! This small beach town in Virginia is a must-visit destination for nature lovers and adventure seekers.

Here are three things you can do to fully explore the island and have a memorable trip:

1. Go on a wildlife tour: Chincoteague Island is home to the famous Chincoteague ponies, which you can see up close on a pony tour. But that’s not all – you can also spot dolphins, pelicans, and other wildlife on a boat tour around the island.

2. Visit Assateague Island: Just a short drive away from Chincoteague, you’ll find Assateague Island National Seashore, which offers miles of pristine beaches and hiking trails. Take a walk on the beach, go for a swim, or explore the island’s salt marshes and forests.

3. Sample local seafood: Chincoteague is known for its fresh seafood, and there are plenty of restaurants where you can try the local catch. From crab cakes to oysters, you’ll find plenty of delicious options to satisfy your appetite.

With so many things to do and see, Chincoteague Island is the perfect destination for those who want to explore nature and have exciting wildlife encounters. Don’t miss out on the chance to experience everything this charming beach town has to offer!



If you’re looking for a taste of southern hospitality, Smithfield is the place to be. Indulge in delicious local cuisine, explore the town’s historic sites, and experience the charming atmosphere of a small town.

You’ll find plenty to do in this quaint Virginia community. From wandering the charming streets to learning about the region’s rich history.

So come on down to Smithfield and discover the many delights this town has to offer!

Enjoy Delicious Local Cuisine

Indulge in the mouth-watering flavors of the local cuisine, and savor every bite as you soak up the seaside ambiance of these charming beach towns in Virginia. If you’re a seafood lover, then you’re in for a treat. From fresh oysters to succulent shrimp, you can try unique seafood dishes that are sure to tantalize your taste buds. Make sure to stop by the local seafood restaurants and sample their seafood platters, crab cakes, and fish tacos. You won’t regret it!

In addition to the seafood restaurants, there are also food festivals throughout the year where you can experience the best of the local cuisine. These festivals offer a great opportunity to taste the local flavors and mingle with the locals. Be sure to check out the Smithfield Wine & Brew Fest and the Poquoson Seafood Festival.

These festivals not only offer great food but also live music, crafts, and entertainment. So come hungry and leave happy after experiencing the amazing local cuisine of these small beach towns.

Visit Historic Sites

As you explore the small beach towns of Virginia, make sure to take a break from the sandy shores and delve into the rich history of the area. From Colonial Williamsburg to the Jamestown settlement, there are numerous historic landmarks that offer a glimpse into Virginia’s past. These sites not only provide a history lesson, but also a chance to discover hidden local gems and unique stories that make Virginia’s history so fascinating.

1. Explore Colonial Williamsburg, a living history museum that offers a glimpse into 18th-century life.

2. Visit the Jamestown Settlement, the first permanent English settlement in America.

3. Step back in time at Historic Jamestowne, where archaeologists continue to uncover new discoveries about the early settlers.

4. Take a tour of the Cape Henry Lighthouse, the first lighthouse authorized by the U.S. government, and enjoy stunning views of the Atlantic Ocean.

As you explore these historic sites, you’ll gain a deeper appreciation for Virginia’s role in shaping American history. From the early settlers to the Revolutionary War, the stories of Virginia’s past are woven into the fabric of our nation.

So be sure to take the time to explore these landmarks and discover the hidden gems that make Virginia such a special place.

Experience Small-Town Charm

You’ve explored the historic sites of Virginia, but now it’s time to slow down and experience the charm of small beach towns. These hidden gems offer a chance to embrace slow living and truly soak in the beauty of the coastline. Take a break from the hustle and bustle of city life and discover the top 5 exciting small beach towns in Virginia.

To help you plan your trip, check out this table featuring the top 5 small beach towns in Virginia. Each town offers its own unique charm, from the quaint streets of Cape Charles to the lively boardwalk of Virginia Beach. No matter which town you choose, you’ll find plenty of opportunities to relax, explore, and enjoy the natural beauty of the coast. So pack your bags, grab your sunscreen, and get ready to experience small-town charm like never before.

Town Description Must-See Attractions
Cape Charles A charming town with Victorian architecture and a bustling harbor Chesapeake Bay Beach, Cape Charles Museum & Welcome Center, Sunset Beach Resort
Chincoteague A serene island town known for its wild ponies and beautiful beaches Assateague Island National Seashore, Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge, Museum of Chincoteague Island
Yorktown A historic town with a scenic riverfront and plenty of outdoor activities Yorktown Battlefield, Riverwalk Landing, American Revolution Museum
Onancock A quaint town with a thriving arts scene and unique shops Mallards at the Wharf, Ker Place, The Red Queen Gallery
Virginia Beach A lively beach town with a bustling boardwalk and endless entertainment Virginia Beach Boardwalk, First Landing State Park, Neptune Statue

Whether you’re looking for a peaceful retreat or a fun-filled adventure, these small beach towns in Virginia have something for everyone. So why not slow down and embrace the charm of small-town living? You never know what hidden gems you might discover along the way.

Kiptopeke State Park


Are you ready for an adventure in Kiptopeke State Park? This beautiful park offers a variety of activities, including camping and hiking through its scenic trails.

If you’re a bird lover, you’re in luck because Kiptopeke is famous for its bird watching opportunities.

Don’t miss the chance to explore the park’s natural history exhibits and learn about the unique ecosystem of the Eastern Shore.

Get ready to immerse yourself in nature and create unforgettable memories at Kiptopeke State Park!

Enjoy Camping and Hiking

Don’t miss out on the chance to camp and hike in these exciting small beach towns in Virginia! Before you pack your bags, make sure to bring along all your camping gear essentials like a tent, sleeping bag, and cooking utensils.

Kiptopeke State Park has an abundance of campsites available for visitors looking to spend the night in the great outdoors. Wake up to the sound of the waves crashing against the shore and enjoy a cup of coffee as you take in the stunning views of the Chesapeake Bay.

Once you’re all set up, it’s time to hit the trails! Kiptopeke State Park has some of the best hiking trails in the area. The park offers a variety of trails ranging from easy to moderate difficulty levels, so there’s something for everyone.

Be sure to bring your camera as you’ll want to capture the breathtaking views of the bay and surrounding wildlife. Whether you’re an experienced hiker or just starting out, Kiptopeke State Park is the perfect place to spend the day exploring the great outdoors.

Experience Bird Watching

Experience the thrill of bird watching at Kiptopeke State Park – have you ever wondered what birds you can spot along the Chesapeake Bay? With its location on the Eastern Shore of Virginia, Kiptopeke State Park is a haven for bird enthusiasts.

Here are some of the best birding spots in the park:

– Hawk observation platform: Watch the raptors soar over the Bay and marshes.

– Seaside Picnic Area: Observe gulls, terns, and wading birds as they feed on the shoreline.

– Woodland Trail: Spot songbirds and woodpeckers in the forested areas.

– Dune Trail: Catch a glimpse of migratory birds resting in the dunes.

– Fishing Pier: Look for waterfowl and shorebirds along the pier and breakwater.

If you’re new to bird watching, don’t worry – Kiptopeke State Park offers bird watching tours led by experienced naturalists. These tours are a great way to learn about bird identification, behavior, and habitat.

So grab your binoculars and bird guide, and get ready for an adventure in the great outdoors.

Explore Natural History Exhibits

Discover the fascinating world of the Eastern Shore’s natural history through interactive exhibits at Kiptopeke State Park. This small beach town in Virginia boasts of a natural history museum that showcases the flora and fauna of the region. The museum has several exhibits, including a touch tank where you can feel marine animals, a bird exhibit, and a butterfly garden. You can learn about the migration patterns of various birds and the different types of butterflies found in the area.

Apart from the museum, Kiptopeke State Park also offers guided nature walks. You can explore the park’s diverse habitats, including wetlands, dunes, and forests. The park’s knowledgeable guides will take you through the trails and teach you about the plants and animals that call the park home. With so much to see and learn, you’ll leave Kiptopeke State Park with a newfound appreciation for the natural beauty of Virginia’s Eastern Shore.



You’ll love strolling down the charming streets of Onancock, a small beach town full of character and history. This town is perfect for those who want to escape the hustle and bustle of the city and experience the beauty of a small beach town.

Exploring Onancock is a must-do activity, and there are plenty of things to see and do here. One of the top activities to enjoy in Onancock is taking a stroll along the town’s beautiful waterfront. The peacefulness of the water and the stunning views will leave you feeling refreshed and rejuvenated.

When you’re done with your walk, grab a bite to eat at one of the town’s best restaurants. From seafood to burgers, Onancock has something for everyone. Don’t forget to check out the local festivals and events in Onancock. You’re sure to find something exciting happening throughout the year.

Virginia Beach


Now that you’ve explored the charming town of Onancock, it’s time to head to the bustling Virginia Beach. Known for its lively atmosphere, this coastal city is a favorite among locals and tourists alike.

With miles of sandy beaches, top surfing spots, and some of the best seafood restaurants in the state, it’s easy to see why. If you’re a thrill-seeker, Virginia Beach is the perfect place to indulge in some water sports. The waves here are perfect for surfing, and there are plenty of shops that offer lessons and equipment rentals.

But if you prefer a more relaxed activity, take a stroll along the boardwalk and enjoy the stunning views of the Atlantic Ocean. And when you’re ready to refuel, head to one of the many seafood restaurants that line the shore. From fresh oysters to succulent crab cakes, you won’t be disappointed with the local flavors.

So grab a seat, order a cold drink, and savor the taste of Virginia Beach.



Get ready to immerse yourself in the vibrant city of Norfolk, where the energy and culture will leave you feeling invigorated and inspired.

As you explore this small beach town, you’ll discover hidden gems that are off the beaten path. Check out the Chrysler Museum of Art, where you can admire an impressive collection of American and European works. Or head to the NEON Arts District, a colorful neighborhood filled with murals, galleries, and creative spaces. Don’t miss the local markets, where you can sample fresh produce and handmade goods from the area’s farmers and artisans.

When it’s time to unwind and relax, Norfolk has plenty of options for indulging in some self-care. Book a session at one of the best spas and wellness centers in town, like the Serenity Spa at The Main or the Balance Therapeutic Massage & Wellness. Treat yourself to a massage, facial, or other pampering treatment to rejuvenate your body and mind.

No matter what your interests are, Norfolk is sure to delight and inspire you with its unique attractions and laid-back vibe.

Assateague Island National Seashore


If you’re looking for a unique beach experience, you should definitely check out Assateague Island National Seashore. Here, you can meet the famous wild ponies that roam free on the island.

And if you’re into wildlife viewing, you’re in luck – Assateague Island is home to a variety of animals, from deer to foxes to migratory birds. Of course, the real star of the show is the pristine beaches – miles of untouched sand and clear water that will take your breath away.

Meet the Famous Wild Ponies

When you’re wandering around Chincoteague Island, don’t miss out on the chance to meet the famous wild ponies of Assateague! These majestic creatures have been living on the island for centuries, and they are an important part of the island’s history and culture.

Here are four things you should know about the wild ponies:

1. The ponies are believed to have arrived on Assateague Island in the 17th century, when a Spanish galleon carrying horses sank off the coast. The survivors swam to the island and established a feral herd.

2. The ponies are known for their distinctive coloring, which comes from a combination of genetic factors and their environment. They have dark manes and tails, and their coats range from white to brown to black.

3. The ponies are free to roam the island, but they’re managed by the National Park Service to ensure their health and safety. Visitors are asked to keep a safe distance from the ponies and not to feed or touch them.

4. Every year, the ponies are rounded up and swim across the channel to Chincoteague Island, where they’re auctioned off to raise money for the local fire department. The annual Pony Swim has become a beloved tradition and attracts thousands of visitors to the area.

So, if you want to experience the beauty and history of Assateague Island, make sure to meet the famous wild ponies. They’re a true symbol of freedom and the untamed spirit of the island.

Enjoy Wildlife Viewing

Now that you’ve met the famous wild ponies of Virginia Beach, it’s time to explore another exciting aspect of this small beach town: wildlife viewing.

With its diverse ecosystem, Virginia Beach offers a unique opportunity for ecotourism and wildlife photography enthusiasts.

From the calm waters of Chesapeake Bay to the rugged coastline of the Atlantic Ocean, Virginia Beach is home to a wide range of wildlife, including dolphins, sea turtles, ospreys, and migratory birds.

You can take a guided tour or venture out on your own to explore the natural beauty of this area. Don’t forget your camera, as you’ll have plenty of opportunities to capture stunning pictures of the local wildlife.

So, grab your binoculars and get ready to embark on a once-in-a-lifetime adventure.

Experience Pristine Beaches

Experience the crystal-clear waters and soft, white sand beaches of Virginia Beach, one of the most pristine beaches on the East Coast.

From family-friendly activities to romantic escapes, these small beach towns offer hidden gems for everyone.

Enjoy a day of swimming, sunbathing, and beachcombing, or take a stroll along the boardwalk and watch the waves crash against the shore.

For the adventurous, try your hand at kayaking, paddleboarding, or surfing. With miles of uninterrupted coastline, you’ll have plenty of space to catch the perfect wave.

For those seeking a more peaceful escape, take a sunset walk and witness the breathtaking colors painting the sky over the ocean.

Whatever your preference, Virginia Beach’s pristine beaches provide the perfect backdrop for any beach lover’s dream getaway.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I get to these small beach towns in Virginia?

Congrats! You want to visit the small beach towns in Virginia. Transportation options include cars, trains, and buses. Accommodation recommendations vary from cozy beach cottages to luxury hotels. Happy travels, adventurer!

Are there any pet-friendly beaches in these small beach towns?

Looking for pet-friendly accommodations in Virginia’s small beach towns? Some beaches allow pets during certain hours and require them to be on a leash. Check local rules and regulations before bringing your furry friend. Enjoy your beach adventure with your four-legged companion!

What are some popular water activities to do in these small beach towns?

Looking for water activities in Virginia beach towns? Try kayaking tours or surfing lessons! Explore the waves and enjoy the freedom of the ocean. Perfect for those seeking adventure and a break from routine.

Are there any local festivals or events that take place in these small beach towns?

Looking for a taste of local cuisine or a night out on the town? Check out the annual seafood festivals and live music events in these beach towns. And don’t miss the cultural landmarks and art galleries for a dose of artistic freedom.

What are some nearby attractions or day trip options from these small beach towns?

Looking to escape the beach? Explore nearby hiking trails like First Landing State Park or indulge in local cuisine at restaurants like The Bee and the Biscuit. The possibilities for day trips are endless.


Well done, adventurer! You’ve made it to the end of our list of the top 5 small beach towns in Virginia. But wait, before you pack up your sunscreen and hit the road, let’s talk about the true gems of this list.

Let’s start with Chincoteague Island. Sure, you may have heard about the wild ponies that roam the island, but did you know that they also have an annual Pony Swim where the ponies swim from Assateague Island to Chincoteague? Now that’s a sight to see! And if you’re feeling adventurous, you can even rent a kayak and paddle alongside these majestic creatures. But be warned, they may steal the show with their cuteness.

And then there’s Kiptopeke State Park. Not only does it offer stunning views of the Chesapeake Bay, but it’s also a bird-watcher’s paradise. With over 400 species of birds migrating through the area, you’re sure to spot some rare and beautiful feathered friends. Plus, if you’re feeling brave, you can even try your hand at fishing or crabbing. Just be prepared to get a little muddy.

So there you have it, folks. Five small beach towns in Virginia that offer more than just sand and surf. From wild ponies to rare birds, these towns are full of unexpected adventures. So grab your sense of adventure, pack your bags, and hit the road to explore these exciting destinations. Happy travels!