Virginia’s beaches are often overlooked after Labor Day, and that’s a shame. Here are five reasons you should give the sandy shores a fresh look in the fall and winter months.
1. THE BEACH IS ALL YOURS
If you’re looking for a place of solitude with gorgeous sunrises (and sunsets, depending on location), great dining options, and plenty of attractions to choose from, the beach is a great place to be during the shoulder season. Rarely is there a wait for a table at a restaurant, or anywhere else, for that matter. It’s like the entire destination is there just for you to enjoy.
2. OFF-SEASON ROOM RATES
When the sun sets on summer, the nightly room rates plummet. That’s a huge score for you. Oceanfront Virginia Beach rooms start around $60 per night right now while cottages on the Eastern Shore and Chesapeake Bay can be snagged from $100 per night.
3. THE BOARDWALK LIGHTS UP
If you think the Virginia Beach Boardwalk is a sight to behold during the summer, see it in a different light – or strung in lights – during the shoulder season. Virginia’s 100 Miles of Lights stretches from the famed Boardwalk to Richmond, with illuminated communities ushering you along, including McDonald’s Holiday Lights at the Beach. What other time can you drive on the boardwalk? There isn’t one.
4. THE WHALES ARE COMING
Cooler weather means it’s nearly migration season for the humpback whales, which happens to occur just off the coast of Virginia Beach. Check with the Virginia Aquarium and Marine Science Center in Virginia Beach about whale watching boat tours December through March. *Whale sightings are not guaranteed.
5. FRESH SEAFOOD IS PLENTIFUL
Not that fresh seafood isn’t always available in Coastal Virginia, BUT there are signature flavors that are more readily available in the off-season. For example, November is Virginia Oyster Month and the oyster farms are right there under your nose. Go to places like Merroir in Topping (home of Rappahannock River Oysters), Anderson’s Neck Oyster Company in Shacklefords, and Pleasure House Oysters in Virginia Beach.
Plan for November Wine and Brine Month on the Eastern Shore, which means a calendar chock-full of great oyster and wine events.
In addition, late fall and winter are the seasons of the hardy rockfish (striped bass). Did you know that Virginia Beach is known as the Striped Bass Capital of the World? If you like to fish, this is your season. If you like to eat fish, this is your season. Book a fishing charter to try your hand.
Need more inspiration? See our “A Virginia Beach Winter Getaway” or “Getaway to the Beaches of Coastal Virginia – Eastern Shore” for specific recommendations.