7 Ways to Enjoy the Great Outdoors in Virginia Beach

This article may contain referral links. Read our DISCLOSURE

On a fall trip, Virginia Beach activities are filled with outdoor adventures.
Fall is a fun time on Virginia Beach. Photo courtesy Virginia Beach Convention and Visitors Bureau

I love the beach in the fall. Don’t you? The hot, humid weather has moderated plus all the crowds have gone home. The tourism industry calls it “shoulder” season. But I call it a great opportunity to enjoy Virginia Beach activities mostly to myself.

Are you looking for a fall trip that combines relaxation on the beach with plenty of outdoor fun? This list of Virginia Beach activities will keep active boomer travelers busy enough to stay a month or two. Just look at the outdoor fun we can have:

Hike the Trails at First Landing State Park

With 2,888 secluded acres, First Landing State Park offers plenty of space for active boomers. Imagine what you’ll discover when exploring cypress swamp, maritime forest, dunes, wetlands and bay shoreline on the 19 miles of hiking trails. That’s a lot of variety.

With 20 rental cabins, plus camping spaces, this quiet Virginia Beach getaway is perfect for those off-the-beaten-path travel fans. Uh, that would be Alan and me. And don’t miss biking the 5.9-mile Cape Henry Trail or dipping your toes into the water at Chesapeake Bay Beach

Watch the Birds at Back Bay National Wildlife Refuge

Discover a birdwatcher’s paradise 18 miles south of the Virginia Beach resort area. Tundra swans, a variety of ducks as well as snow and Canada geese are just some of the birds that visit Back Bay National Wildlife Refuge during fall and winter migration.

Not a birdwatcher? You’ll find plenty more to do on the refuge’s 8,000 acres fronting both the Atlantic Ocean and the Back Bay. Hike or bike the marsh trails and boardwalks. Enjoy a relaxing walk on the beach. I’m tempted to sit back and let someone else do the driving while I enjoy a tram tour.

Explore False Cape State Park

Birds and sand are part of a fall day at Virginia Beach.
Birds and sand are part of a fall day at Virginia Beach. Photo courtesy Virginia Beach Convention and Visitors Bureau

You’ll have a hard time choosing which Virginia Beach activity to do first at False Cape State Park. Take a guided kayak trip, attend an interpretive program or relax on six miles of pristine Atlantic Ocean beach. Of course there’s hiking, biking and primitive camping, too. I’d sign up for the astronomy night in a heartbeat.

Part of the fun of exploring False Cape State Park is getting there. The park is only accessible by bicycle, foot, beach transport, tram or boat. Did I mention there’s great fishing?

Ride Horseback on the Beach

Imagine cooling off in the water—on your horse—after a trail ride that ends at the beach. Although there are plenty of horseback riding opportunities on Virginia Beach, one of the most unique is the experience offered by Easy Does It Riding Academy. The rehabbed rescue horses go right into the waters of Back Bay with you. Swim with a horse? Yes, you can.

Paddle a Kayak

You’ll find plenty of kayaking opportunities at Virginia Beach. Photo courtesy Virginia Beach Convention and Visitors Bureau

Freshwater and lakes aren’t the most common places for visitors to kayak in Virginia Beach. We have some recommendations to replace it! Whether you prefer paddling in a freshwater river or lake, salt water marsh or the Atlantic Ocean, you’ll find an outfitter on the Virginia Beach Visitor’s website.

Zip on by at Adventure Park at Virginia Aquarium

Swing through the trees on a fall trip to Virginia Beach.
Swing through the trees on a fall trip to Virginia Beach. Photo courtesy Virginia Beach Convention and Visitors Bureau

Shouldn’t all the fun be in the water at an aquarium? Not at Virginia Beach. Zip and climb to your heart’s content at the Adventure Forest at Virginia Aquarium. You’ll discover 13 aerial trails on this zipline adventure—don’t worry 170 tree platforms give you time to rest. The grandkids are going to be so jealous!

Soak in the History at Cape Henry Lighthouse

Did you know that the first lighthouse authorized by the U.S. Government is in Virginia Beach? Since 1792, the Cape Henry Lighthouse has beamed a safe path at the south entrance of Chesapeake Bay. Now there are two lighthouses. You can visit them on Fort Story military base, which means you’ll need to bring photo ID and be cleared at the guardhouse.

So where’s the action in this visit? Climb the stairs of the original Cape Henry Lighthouse to the observation platform for a fine view. You’ll be standing on a National Historic Civil Engineering Landmark.

Enjoy a vivid sunset on a fall trip to Virginia Beach.
Enjoy a vivid fall sunset. Photo courtesy Virginia Beach Convention and Visitors Bureau

Are you ready to enjoy Virginia Beach activities on a fall trip? I can almost smell the fresh salt air. I’m thinking a glass of wine on the beach at sunset would be a great way to end the day. What about you?

Disclosure: Virginia Beach Convention and Visitors Bureau has sponsored this article. I have been compensated for my participation. All opinions about Virginia Beach activities are my own.

Scratch those itchy travel feet!

Boomer travelers rely on our weekly email newsletter for fresh travel inspiration, tips, and advice. It's free! No spam, unsubscribe anytime.