Virginia Celebrates Shark Week

by Casey Higgins | Posted: Jul 6, 2015 | Updated: Feb 19, 2016

Comments: 1 Comment

There’s no need to cage dive with sharks to get an education or enjoy all things #SharkWeek. Simply check out these destinations and pair them with your Shark Week on Discovery viewing! Don’t miss the map at the end.


In Newport News, the Virginia Living Museum focuses on the wildlife of Virginia, from the mountains to the ocean. In the Chesapeake Bay Aquarium, you’ll see Sandbar sharks and Lemon sharks. According to the VLM website, “the sandbar shark is one of the larger coastal sharks to visit Virginia waters; females may reach 8 feet in length. Although adult sandbars are temporary residents, the Eastern Shore of Virginia is one of the most important breeding grounds for this critical apex predator.” About the Lemon sharks, the VLM blog indicates they “have the potential of reaching up to 12 feet and have a moderately aggressive nature. These two young males, “Sippy” and “Citron” are already pretty fiesty.”

While You’re There:

  • During Shark Week, VLM hosts Shark Secrets Week, seven days dedicated to shark fun and education. The kids will enjoy make-and-take crafts and other activities. The week ends with a must-be-present-to-win raffle, tons of additional fun, and one of the aquarists will dive with the sharks at 2:30 p.m.

 Virginia Aquarium and Marine Science Center

Virginia Aquarium and Marine Science Center

Visit the Virginia Aquarium & Marine Science Center in Virginia Beach to get up close and personal with Sand Tiger sharks, beauties that can grow to 10 feet long and weigh more than 250 pounds. You’ll find them in the Norfolk Canyon Aquarium alongside of other shark species, fish, and rays. The actual Norfolk Canyon is 60 miles off the coast of Virginia Beach, and this specific aquarium was created in its likeness and for its actual inhabitants.

While You’re There:

  • The animated film, “Shark Tale,” is playing at select times in the National Geographic 3D Theater. Rated PG, this DreamWorks tale includes the voices of Will Smith, Robert DeNiro, Renée Zellweger, Angelina Jolie, Jack Black, and Martin Scorsese.
  • Be sure to check the time for Shark Shenanigans, an opportunity for you to learn interesting shark facts and make a shark hat.
  • Divers are in the tank with the sharks and an educator is on hand for Q&A each Wednesday at 4 p.m.



Want to touch a shark? Head to Nauticus on the Norfolk Waterfront for Shark Touch, an opportunity that occurs three times each day at 11 a.m., 1 p.m., and 3 p.m.

While You’re There:

  • Plan this hands-on experience around a viewing of “Great White Shark,” a 40-minute 3D movie shot in South Africa, New Zealand, Mexico, and California, known white shark hot beds. The film is shown at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. daily.

“Great White Shark” can also be seen at the Science Museum of Virginia in Richmond.



Scour the beach for fossilized shark teeth in a number of locations, including Colonial Beach and Westmoreland State Park, both on the Potomac River. While rare, it’s possible that you may find the fossilized tooth of C. megalodon, an extinct mega shark that is commonly believed to have grown to at least 50 feet in length and to have weighed more than 100 tons.



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Zachary Webb Nicholls Recent comment authors
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Zachary Webb Nicholls

Virginia doesn’t seem like a “sharky state” to some, but we have A BUNCH in our waters; about 55 species occupy the bays, coastline, offshore and deepwater environments around our area. Twelve of these sharks actually enter the Chesapeake Bay; Sandtigers, Sandbars and Smoothhounds are common, but we do get Bulls, Hammerheads and others as well (kinda rare).