020 3411 3889

Virginia Beach

Sustainable coastal escapes await in Virginia Beach

Virginia Beach

About Virginia Beach

Virginia Beach, nestled on the eastern coast of the United States of America is home to over 35 miles of pristine coastline, and a perfect blend of natural beauty, vibrant culture, and endless fun for all the family.

Beyond the beach, Virginia Beach offers a wide range of activities for visitors. History fans will love local sites such as Cape Henry Lighthouse and the Military Aviation Museum. Nature fans will find themselves at one with the local flora and fauna at the Back Bay National Wildlife Refuge. Adrenaline junkies will get a thrill from surfing on the Atlantic. For those less inclined to be active, the Virginia Beach Boardwalk is the perfect place for a picturesque stroll, dotted with charming shops, delicious places to eat, and lively entertainment.

Whether you’re looking for outdoor adventure, cultural exploration, or simply a relaxing beach-side break, Virginia Beach provides an unforgettable coastal escape.

What makes Virginia Beach a sustainable place?

With miles of coastline and waterways, state parks, a national wildlife refuge, rural agricultural communities and a diverse population of marine wildlife, thinking sustainably is crucial to daily life here.

Virginia Beach prides itself on its commitment to sustainability, with eco-friendly initiatives aimed at preserving its natural treasures for generations to come. From eco-friendly accommodations to locally sourced cuisine, you can indulge in guilt-free experiences without having to worry too much about your environmental impact.

See it for yourself

Virginia Beach Gallery

Virginia Beach

Quick Facts

When to Visit Sustainably

Spring: When the very best of Virginia Beach is in bloom, there are plenty of opportunities to explore the coastal city's vast outdoors.
Summer: With 'Beach' in it's name, it's not had to guess which season is the most popular. Warm sunny weather and long days are on the menu during this season.
Autumn: Locals pick 'fall' as their favourite of the seasons in Virgina Beach, maybe because of the milder weather, the changing trees creating a colourful backdrop, or maybe it's that the sunsets over Chesapeake Bay are more spectacular.
Winter: Trade in your snow shovel for a Virginia Beach winter getaway and find yourself riding horses on the beach, taking in countless trails and sights, slurping down local oysters and seeing Virginia Beach' largest annual guests: humpback whales!

Suggested Season

For less rainy days, pleasantly warm temperatures and fewer crowds, May to Mid June is the perfect time to explore Virginia Beach. Spetmeber to October is just as mild, with fewer crowds and autumn foliage.

Time Zone

US Eastern Standard Time (-5 UTC)

How to Get There: Fast / Slow

Fly from London year round (and Edinburgh for some seasonal flights) into Washington D.C. and Baltimore.
Alternatively, if you want to include Virginia Beach as part of a larger US Trip, you can reach the beach in a day or less by car, train, or bus, from major cities such as Washington D.C, New York City, Philadelphia, and Charlotte, NC.
Chesapeake Bay is also reachable for a recreational boater from as far north as Boston, MA and as far south as Brownsville, TX!

Currency

US Dollar

Tipping Etiquette

Generally, the average tip is 15% to 20% of the total meal cost. Tipping practices can vary depending upon the location in the U.S.

Your Peace of Mind

Ready to visit?

Find out more and speak to one of our travel experts today

Sustainable highlights in Virginia Beach

  • Virginia Green

    Visit Virginia Beach is proud to be a supporting partner of the Virginia Green program, the state’s initiative to encourage green tourism practices in all aspects of the tourism industry. Certified Virginia Green Travel Partners have made significant commitments to reduce waste production and water and energy use, and to embrace other sustainable practices. You can reduce your environmental footprint during your Virginia Beach holiday simply by supporting certified Virginia Green partners. You can search for Virginia Green-certified businesses here.

    Virginia Green is run through a partnership among the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ), the Virginia Tourism Corporation (VTC), the Virginia Restaurant, Lodging and Travel Association (VRLTA) and the Virginia Green Travel Alliance. The program seeks to reduce the environmental impacts of the tourism industry and raise environmental awareness.

  • Cheasapeake Bay Foundation's Brock Environmental Center

    The Chesapeake Bay Foundation’s Brock Environmental Center, located at Pleasure House Point in Virginia Beach, is one of the most energy-efficient, environmentally smart buildings in the world. The Center has achieved LEED Platinum, which is the highest possible rating the U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Program can award. CBF’s award-winning environmental education programs are operated from this building and provide significant outdoor learning experiences for thousands of students, teachers, citizens, and community leaders. The facility is also home to local conservation groups, such as Lynnhaven River NOW. The facility offers conference rooms for community meetings and conservation training. Come be amazed and inspired and explore the Brock Environmental Center.

  • Virginia Aquarium

    Virginia Aquarium’s mission is to connect people to the marine environment, inspiring a more sustainable future. The aquarium aspires to be a driver in conservation, education, tourism, and sustainability, leading the charge to save wildlife and their ecosystems.

    The Virginia Aquarium’s guided boat trips present the area’s best opportunity to get on the water and view its marine mammals and seabirds. Whale-watching boat trips are available from December through mid-March and dolphin-watching boat trips run from late March through October.

    Additionally, guests are invited to enjoy the peaceful 1/3-mile Nature Trail connecting the Main Building to the newly renovated South Building. The trail contains an elevated tower and several decks that extend out over the water to enhance views of the marsh and osprey nesting platforms along Owl Creek. Portions of the boardwalk meander through a woodland habitat complete with pine, oak, and maple trees as well as a wide variety of native flowers. In addition to the many native woodland species, quiet visitors are bound to spot several land birds and marshland animals that frequent the shores of Owl Creek.

    Inside, the Virginia Aquarium & Marine Science Center offers an inspiring, educational, and entertaining experience all tied into one, featuring thousands of animals representing over 300 species. Guests are invited to enjoy interactive exhibits. For guests, schools, educators, and families the Aquarium offers an extensive array of educational programs onsite, virtually, and via outreach programs which include activities designed to foster conservation and an appreciation of local natural resources.

  • Pleasure House Oyster

    Hop aboard an unforgettable oyster-farming boat tour with Pleasure House Oysters, and help harvest some legendary Lynnhaven oysters, known for their delectable size and saltiness.

    Oyster aficionados, curious travellers, foodies, and water lovers alike can hop aboard the Pleasure House Oyster farm boat tour to cruise the waters of the Lynnhaven River, learn about the legendary Lynnhaven Oyster and slurp up a few succulent bivalves. Groups of up to six people can bring their own bottle of wine and enjoy their choice of a two-hour “Tasting Tour” or a four-hour “Waterman Tour,” which provides a truly hands-on oyster-farming experience.

  • Surfing

    Virginia Beach is the home of the esteemed East Coast Surfing Championships (ECSC), the longest continuously-running surf contest in the world, and produced a host of well-known wave riders. The best of the best compete at ECSC, including more than 200 of the world’s top professional male and female surfers, as well as an estimated 300 amateur surfers. In addition to the competition, visitors may enjoy food and drink concessions and live music on the beach.

    Whether you’re a surfing grommet or a seasoned wave-rider, the waters of Va Beach are prime for surfers of all experience levels.  Whether you’re looking to get in the water or simply relax on the beach and take in the show, you’ll want to go where the locals go, to the jetties at 1st Street and Croatan Beach at the Oceanfront, Croatan Pendleton, and the Little Island Pier in Sandbridge. The swell changes depending on the season and weather and scoping out the ideal conditions in Virginia Beach has become an art form in its own right. As many of the resident wave-riders will tell you, riding the perfect wave in Virginia Beach comes at the cost of patience, tenacity and a little bit of luck. Enjoy more beginner-friendly waves during summer, when many local shops provide lessons to even the youngest of surfers to get up and going in the water. Come from autumn to spring and enjoy the show of surfers or catch a few more advanced waves for yourself.

  • Get out on the waterways

    A virtually undiscovered ecological treasure, Virginia Beach is home to one of the last great salt marsh habitats on the East Coast. The miles of waterways take the form of rivers, bays, lakes, marsh areas and fingers of water that all flow into the Atlantic Ocean and Chesapeake Bay and there’s no better way to explore than by hopping on a kayak or stand-up paddleboard and jumping in. Equipment can be rented from one of many recreational outfitters throughout the city so you can be out on the water in no time.

    The tapering waterway bordering First Landing State Park, known as The Narrows, is a firm favourite among locals. With its calm waters and low traffic filtering into the beautiful Broad Bay and Linkhorn Bay, it’s perfect for kayakers of every skill level.

    These inland waterways are also incredible sports to take in a relaxing sunset. Local outfitters, Chesapean Outdoors offer sunset-guided tours for small groups, launching out of Linkhorn Bay and GoKayak! offers guided kayak nature and dolphin tours out of Rudee Inlet and First Landing State Park in Virginia Beach.

  • Cape Henry Lighthouse

    There are two lighthouses located at Cape Henry within Fort Story military base near the northern end of Virginia Beach. While the original Cape Henry Lighthouse is the 4th oldest lighthouse in the country, it was the first lighthouse authorized by the U.S. government, dating from 1792. It was the first federal construction project authorised by President George Washington after the Revolutionary War, for an original contract amount of $15,200 (an additional $2,500 was required to finish the lighthouse). In 1881, a newer lighthouse was constructed 350 feet from the original.

    The original Cape Henry Lighthouse was acquired in 1930 by Preservation Virginia and a brick lining and an iron stairway were added to the interior in 1867. It was designated as a National Historic Landmark on January 29, 1964. In 2002 the American Society of Civil Engineers designated the lighthouse a National Historic Civil Engineering Landmark. The original and newer lighthouses were each placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1966 and 2002, respectively. The original lighthouse is open to the public and an unimpeded coastal view can be enjoyed from the 360-degree lantern room.

  • Sustainable Restaurants and cafes

    Commune, a farm-to-table restaurant, is founded on the philosophy that the best-tasting food just also happens to be the freshest and healthiest food both for the diner and the environment. To that measure, the daily menu has been made to be flexible and based on what local producers can provide throughout the seasons. The bustling cafe in Virginia Beach’s Creative District serves local, seasonal and sustainable fare in an open setting with community-style seating.
    The Shack on 8th is Virginia Beach’s first community-driven, all-outdoor restaurant, where sustainability and a Green Initiative are the foundation upon which the restaurant is built. Being one block from the beach makes this restaurant the perfect place to just get away. Enjoy family-friendly outdoor games and lose yourself in an island oasis.
    Fruitive believes in feeling good about what you eat – how it tastes, how it is made, and how it sustains the environment. Fruitive has created its own distinctive blends of superberry bowls, liquid meals and juices, as well as delicious wraps, salads, and soups. Fruitive strives to use only the freshest and highest quality natural ingredients that are free of any artificial flavourings, colours, or additives.  Fruitive is the place to go for a quick snack or a satisfying meal. Fruitive’s philosophy is simple – to encourage and support healthy lifestyles while sustaining the world around us. Fruitive’s involvement in the community extends beyond our door at Hilltop North Shopping centre by sourcing as much local organic produce as possible, sponsoring local athletes and artists, and limiting waste by recycling and sending compostable material back to local farms to nourish future crops.

  • Farms

    The rural neighbourhood of Pungo, just south of Sandbridge Beach, is home to 8,000 acres of farmland, including 16 ‘You-Pick’ farms. Depending on the season, you can pick your own bushel of strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, kale, cabbage, or even your own bouquet of wildflowers! Stopping by Pungo’s roadside stands or exploring one of the area’s working farms makes for an adventurous family outing and is a great alternative to the beach.
    Coastal Cattle is a Hereford Farm in Virginia Beach, VA. The farm takes pride in its pasture-raised, grain-fed beef. The Vaughan Family has been farming and living on the same land since the early 1700s. Sustainable farming is not just a phase; it is a way of life passed down from generation to now the 8th generation. Named a Century Farm in Virginia, and now also a Bicentennial Farm and proud to still be actively farming.

  • Tilth and Oak

    A new artisan market and refill store is rooted in sustainability and stocked with unique and functional treasures. Restock your pantry or bathroom, source garden and pet supplies and shop baby products in the Town Center store that also includes a refill bar for 50 different food, household and body products.

Virginia Beach

Where in the World?

Suggested Journeys for You

Ready to embark on your own Sustainable Journey? Check out our related Sustainable Journeys below that will either take you to this destination, or offer an alternative location that you may want to consider for your next trip!

Starting in Bogotá, this 13-day luxury Sustainable Journey will see you delve into the...

Begin in vibrant Delhi and explore the city by rickshaw and metro. Travel to...

Embark on a captivating 13-day journey through Morocco, exploring the ancient traditions of the...

Virginia Beach, nestled on the eastern coast of the United States of America is...

Sustainable Stays

Want to see the sorts of Sustainable Stays we offer? From hotels and resorts to lodges, cabins and B&Bs we ensure that the properties we feature have been considered on a range of factors which contribute toward their overall sustainability. Learn more and view our suggested Sustainable Stays.

Starting in Bogotá, this 13-day luxury Sustainable Journey will see you delve into the...

Begin in vibrant Delhi and explore the city by rickshaw and metro. Travel to...

Embark on a captivating 13-day journey through Morocco, exploring the ancient traditions of the...

Virginia Beach, nestled on the eastern coast of the United States of America is...

Discover the Sustainable Journal

Read inspiring and informative articles on a range of sustainability topics, written by leading travel journalists and sustainability experts. Learn something new, and be inspired by the incredible world we live in.

Call it what you will – green, eco, responsible or sustainable travel – we...
Being deeply entrenched in the Sustainable Journeys ethos of sustainable tourism, I often confront...
In the ever-increasing conversations of sustainable tourism, it's becoming increasingly clear that our travel...

Virginia Beach, nestled on the eastern coast of the United States of America is...

Discover the Sustainable Journal

Read inspiring and informative articles on a range of sustainability topics, written by leading travel journalists and sustainability experts. Learn something new, and be inspired by the incredible world we live in.

Virginia Beach, nestled on the eastern coast of the United States of America is...

See it for yourself

Virginia Beach Gallery

Login