8 ON THE WATERFRONT
With pristine coasts and white sand beaches along the Atlantic Ocean and Chesapeake Bay, as well as tidal creeks, inland rivers and pure mountain lakes, Virginia’s waterways have everything you need to craft your perfect blend of relaxation and recreation. Waterside accommodation ranges from luxe beach resorts to quaint coastal-town B&Bs to charming lakeview cabins that can sleep a big family. After a day in the sun, unwind with an oyster roast, check out some of the popular oceanside food trucks or head to the Hunt Room at the historic Cavalier Hotel in Virginia Beach for a classic cocktail. Anglers can explore Virginia’s 4,500 kilometres of trout streams, or head to the coast and charter a boat for bluewater marlin fishing. Naturalists can take a guided kayak trip through marshes, barrier islands and coastal streams, taking in subtly beautiful landscapes and an abundance of birds and other wildlife. Thrill-seekers can choose from white-water rafting, wakeboarding, scuba diving or parasailing. For those looking for peace and quiet, some smaller lakes have a ban on gas-powered boats. When it comes to intergenerational travel, Virginia has lots of familyfriendly water spots. The islands of Assateague and Chincoteague feature wild beauty, educational activities and a chance to see the island’s famous wild ponies. Virginia Beach’s familyfriendly kayak tours let you paddle alongside playful bottlenose dolphins. Take teens on a tubing trip along an easy-flowing river or introduce youngsters to fishing at a stocked pond where a catch is (almost!) guaranteed. Virginia’s many waterparks will keep kids busy and happy for hours, with slides, water playgrounds and splashpads, plus water fun specifically designed for the under-five crowd. And if you’re bringing a four-legged friend on your Virginia trip, look for the list of pet-friendly beaches.