Things to do in SandbridgeWe all love a good vacation - a chance to relax, unwind and escape the hustle and bustle of everyday life. So choose a destination where time stands still, worries fade away, the sound of the ocean fills the skies and the sun rises spectacularly over the Atlantic to give way to another day.
Sandbridge is a quiet, charming seaside village, a barrier island nestled between the Atlantic Ocean and the scenic Back Bay National Wildlife Refuge, known as the “Outer Banks of Virginia.” Our pristine white sand coastline invites you into a simpler way of life, perfect for a slow-paced vacation yet only 20 minutes away from the vibrant strip of Virginia Beach, where an abundance of attractions and activities await. Another fun way to spend the day before retreating to the peace and seclusion of your beautiful Sandbridge vacation rental.
TOP 24 THINGS TO DO IN SANDBRIDGEEnjoy serene bliss on the quiet shores of Sandbridge, explore the vibrant boardwalk of Virginia Beach or head to the exciting seaport of Norfolk. Venture with us as we share our top picks of things to do in and around Sandbridge:
- Go to the beach - Sandbridge’s five miles of wide, soft sandy beaches are the perfect stop for a day by the ocean. Build sandcastles, chase sandpipers and play in the calm shallow waters of this perfect secluded beach hideaway. The pristine coastline continues north through the well-known Resort Area Beach of Virginia Beach up to Chesapeake Bay with plenty of hidden gems scattered along the way.
- Anglers have plenty of options for fishing! Cast your line off Little Island Park Fishing Pier or head to Back Bay for some freshwater fishing. There are many boat ramps to launch from, or cruise off on a salt water fishing charter on Chesapeake Bay.
- Play at Little Island Park – A great family spot on the shores of Sandbridge. Swim in the safe ocean waters, play with the kids at the playground or cast your lines from the fishing pier. Little Island Park is a great place for water sports and the starting point for tram tours to Back Bay National Wildlife Park.
- Observe wildlife in its natural habitat in the Back Bay National Wildlife Refuge, scenic barrier islands of maritime forests, towering dunes, marshes, ponds and ocean waters. Immerse yourself in over 8,000 acres of scenic trails for hiking and biking, birdwatch from the boardwalk overlook and search for turtles, whales and dolphins in the Atlantic waters. An absolute must on your Sandbridge vacation.
- Wander not far from Back Bay to the pet-friendly False Cape State Park for complete solitude on six miles of unspoiled secluded beach along with nine miles of hiking and biking trails.
- Once a landing point for English settlers in 1607, the historic First Landing State Park, just north of Virginia Beach, is today a haven for nature lovers with lagoons, semi-tropical forests, giant sand dunes, hiking trails, water sports and more than 600 species of unique trees and plants. Climb the stairs of the Old Cape Henry Lighthouse and Memorial, a National Historic Landmark across the street from First State Landing Park on the grounds of the Fort Story Military Base. Your four-legged friend is welcome in the park and on the beaches.
- From beautiful shore lines to the famous Virginia Beach Boardwalk. Lined with quaint benches, bike and walking paths, restaurants and shops, the Boardwalk is a bustling hub of entertainment. King Neptune stands tall at 31st Street overlooking the park, the Norwegian Lady overlooks the Atlantic Ocean at 25th Street, a memorial of the tragic shipwreck in 1891 and neighbour to the National Aviation Monument, three bronze statues telling a unique story of aviation history. Step back in time to explore the areas maritime history at The Old Coast Guard Station Museum, a small museum just off the Boardwalk on Atlantic Avenue. The kids, of course, will want to head straight to 15th Street to spend their pennies at the Amusement Park.
- Shopping is a must on any vacation, and Virginia Beach is the place to shop! Beach stores, fudge and candy stores, souvenir shops and eclectic one-of-a-kinds line the waterfront behind the boardwalk and Atlantic Avenue.
- The Virginia Aquarium & Marine Science Center is located along the shores of Owls Creek. Walk through the glass Red Sea Tunnel, meet the Komodo dragons and Gloria the rare crocodile and marvel at the unique educational exhibits. Swing your way through forests overlooking Owls Creek on the zip-line obstacle course at Adventure Park, or take a boat trip to experience dolphins and whales in their natural environment (additional fees apply). December through March is the best time to see the beautiful humpbacks as they migrate through the area.
- The kids are in for a treat with plenty of amusement! Go indoor go-karting at Motor World, head to the roof terrace of TopGolf, search for treasure on Captain Jacks Pirate Ship or hit the exhilarating slides at Ocean Breeze Waterpark and the nearby Busch Gardens.
- Enjoy evening entertainment with a show at the Sandler Center for the Performing Arts in Virginia Beach which hosts ballet, musicals and opera in true broadway style.
- Art lovers will appreciate the diversity of the Virginia Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA). Browse the ever-changing exhibitions from paintings and sculptures to photography and video from both international and local artists.
- Pack a picnic and relax on the lakes of Mount Trashmore, a green volcano-like mountain that arises amidst the urban sprawl. A fun stop for kids with great amenities, playgrounds, skate park and outdoor fitness stations.
- Virginia Beach perfectly blends in the old and new with many historical sites and buildings. The Adam Thoroughgood House is a National Historic Landmark, possibly the oldest surviving colonial home in Virginia Beach. Other historical buildings include the Adam Keeling House, Lynnhaven House, Ferry Plantation House, Wishart-Boush House and Francis Land House.
- View one of the largest private collections of World War I- and World War II-era military aircraft in the world at the Military Aviation Museum with over 60 flight-worthy aircraft on display. You can also take a tour (May through September) of the F14 Tomcat Fighters, FA18 Hornets and over 200 jet aircraft at the Oceana Naval Air Station.
- For something completely different, step into your waders and take a behind the scenes look at the art of oyster farming on an Oyster Farm Boat Tour. An on the water experience unlike any other.
- Execute the perfect shot one of our great golf courses. The award-winning Hell’s Point lures you through 18-holes of challenging greens and Heron Ridge’s “open-to-the-wind” links-style quality offers a great beach course with 13 of the 18 holes featuring water. Nature lovers can go for a hole in one at the Arnold Palmer Signature Course at Bay Creek Golf Club, scenically nestled on the shores of Chesapeake Bay.
- No need to leave your furry friend alone in your pet-friendly Sanbridge vacation home! Unleash your best friend at one of the many pet-friendly parks in Sandbridge and nearby Virginia Beach. Your pets can join you on the beaches and the boardwalk before Memorial Day and after Labor Day. During the summer months, pets are limited to the north end of Virginia Beach and on Sandbridge beaches prior to 10am and after 6pm. Red Wing Dog Park and Woodstock Dog Park in Virginia Beach have fenced areas for your pets with proof of license and vaccinations and Bayville Farms Park has separate fenced areas for small and large dogs.
Day Trips From Sandbridge Worth Taking
- Take a scenic drive across the Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel, one of the seven engineering wonders of the world, connecting Virginia’s eastern shore to Virginia Beach. You’ll be welcomed by crystal clear salt water as far as the eye can see. Choose from four islands for a scenic lunch stop and spectacular sunsets.
- History buffs will appreciate the drive through the town of Hampton, home to the Virginia Air & Space Center , as well as a step back into a bygone era in Colonial Williamsburg, an area rich in history with old buildings, grounds and the Jamestown Settlement.
- Head to the exciting seaport of Norfolk, where a world of wonders awaits. View art from ancient Egypt at the Chrysler Museum and discover the history of the railroad at the Norfolk Southern Museum. Learn through discovery at the interactive Nauticus, a maritime museum on Norfolk’s waterfront, and tour the USS Wisconsin before hopping aboard a classic Schooner for a harbor cruise. Visit the bongos, bears and binturongs at the Virginia Zoo and tour the nearby Norfolk Botanical Gardens. A day well spent not far from the pristine shores of Sandbridge.