Virginia Beach/Sandbridge


May 27th, 2001, 12:37 PM
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Virginia Beach/Sandbridge

I'm trying to plan a future family vacation in the Va. Beach area. I read that the center of Va. Beach is mighty crowded and congested, but that both Sandbridge to the south and the North End (above 57th?) are much nicer.

I was planning to rent an oceanfront house for a week or two. But I'd also consider one of the nicer resort places with kid-oriented amenities like cool pools (if they exist?).

What about the beach conditions? I have younger kids (11+14) that love to play in the ocean, boogie boards, body surf, etc. and worry about sea walls eating up the beach at high tide or sudden dropoffs in the water...

Any comments or suggestions that I should consider? (I have done a bit of online research and am looking for first-hand comments from people who have been there relatively recently.)

For comparison and points of reference, we are familiar with most of the southern Jersey shore, the Outer Banks beaches, and mid-Florida Atlantic shore beaches.

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May 28th, 2001, 03:20 PM
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We vacationed in VA Beach about 6 years ago and will be going back again this August. We did visit Sandbridge Beach, south of VA Beach one day-it was wonderful, not crowded and well worth going to. Also, the beach north of the city, I can't remember the name of it-but there is a lighthouse and it is located on a miliary base-it very good. I believe it was a bay beach-we were able to watch dolphins frolic! Check out First Landing State Park, north of VA Beach. It is a wonderful gem of a park-nice bay beach, many walking/hiking, bike trails. We are staying in a cabin there and were very impressed with the whole park.
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May 28th, 2001, 06:25 PM
Don in VA
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I've been to both beaches many times over the past 5 years. Sandbridge is residential--nice year-round beach homes and some pricey rentals available, too, with just a couple of stores and restaurants. No need to be concerned about seawalls; it is integrated with the boardwalk along the main strip, and at SB it is back 100-200 feet from the water just to preserve the dunes--so no dropoffs. If money is no object, get a place in Sandbridge for the week. If you want to be able to take a vacation next year (and not have to keep paying for this year's Sandbridge cottage!), then go for a less-pricey hotel or motel. The Cavalier Hotel anchors the north end of the beach--near 57th Street--and offers modern oceanfront rooms as well as a large, renovated art-deco (around 1920) original hotel across the street with indoor pool, tennis, etc. Much quieter up on that end, too.

There's plenty of putt-putt, paintball, and the like along the strip to keep the kids entertained at night. Follow Atlantic Ave. south beyond 1st Street and it leads you to the Virginia Marine Science Museum with it's impressive aquariums and IMAX movies if the family is into that sort of stuff. Or, take the Expressway from the Beach to downtown Norfolk for concerts, weekend festivals, art (Chrysler Museum), the Nauticus National Maritime Center with the USS Wisconson moored next door, family entertainment (Jillian's at Waterside), pubs and cafes, shopping (MacArthur Center), harbor cruises, a baseball game, etc.

Enjoy Virginia!
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