Virginia Beach offers a seemingly unending list of family-friendly activities for summer vacations, but when looking for a peaceful break from the hustle and bustle, the Sandbridge neighborhood offers a serene escape.
A blend of beautiful nature, fun outdoor activities and small-town dining is part of the secluded beachfront community’s draw. While relaxing by the long, mostly undeveloped shoreline there is no shortage of activities to help explore what some call the Outer Banks of Virginia.
For those looking to reconnect with nature, the Back Bay National Wildlife Refuge presents the opportunity for visitors to immerse themselves in the local wildlife. The refuge was established in 1938, protecting diverse habitats for various large aquatic birds when migrating since then while maintaining eight miles of trails. Hiking, biking, kayaking and fishing are just among the many things to do at the refuge on top of other programs and services at the Visitors Center.
Vacationers can head over to Surf and Adventure Co. for more paddling opportunities and group tours. Since 1974, Surf and Adventure Co. has worked to make its customers adore Sandbridge for all the unique waterways and the community around them. As the website states, “Paddling the waterways of Back Bay delivers an unforgettable experience of exploration and discovery.”
The company offers rentals for beach equipment, kayaks, bikes, surfboards, standup paddleboards and boat docks to explore on your own. To learn and explore with the comfort of a guide, there are surf camps and lessons, kayak and SUP tours, and even lunch and dinner tours by kayak.
After a long day in the sun paddling and swimming, there is a list of local restaurants to grab a bite to eat, followed by a sweet treat at Sandbridge Sugar Shack or Ben & Jerry’s. Blue Pete’s Restaurant calls itself “the local’s secret” in the Pungo area, a short drive from Sandbridge Beach. The creekside restaurant is where the Surf and Adventure Co. dinner tour stops for the meal, but by foot or kayak, anyone can enjoy the views, seafood, bar and live music. More live music and patio dining can be found at Baja Restaurant Sandbridge.
Just a quick drive up Sandbridge Road, stop for some steamed blue crabs and seafood at Margie & Ray’s Crabhouse and Restaurant. The establishment has been serving up seafood in a home-like environment since 1964.
If a paddling break is needed, head over to the Sandbridge Little Island Fishing Pier with your rods, though be aware of parking and fishing fees, or bring your golf clubs for a round at Hell’s Point Golf Club. Pop into Sea Lections or Sandpiper Beach Shop to pick up some souvenirs. Or continue the shopping and dining at the Red Mill Commons shopping center not too far from the golf course.
While Sandbridge may not be as lively as some busy areas in Virginia Beach, the atmosphere and community make this a tranquil vacation spot for a true escape from everyday stressors with a wide selection of places to experience.