Local Parks Near Atlantic Shores
A day at the park is a day well spent! One of the best things about living and retiring in Virginia Beach is that it is not short on local parks. Getting out into nature and enjoying the fresh breeze, smells, and sounds of wildlife does wonders for your mental and physical well-being. And with how temperate Virginia Beach’s weather is all year round, it’s no surprise that the area has over 4,000 acres of city and state parks. Each one offers unique views and activities that everyone can enjoy, from open spaces for hiking and nature walks, biking or fishing, playgrounds, picnic spaces, ball fields, and more!
From serene natural havens to meticulously designed city parks, Virginia Beach beckons with a wealth of outdoor beauty and recreational opportunities. Whether it’s traversing scenic trails, casting a line for fishing, enjoying a leisurely bike ride, or simply basking in the open green spaces, these parks cater to every preference.
We recently talked about the many beautiful state parks that are dispersed across Virginia; now, we want to hone in on this area specifically and highlight some of the best local parks Virginia Beach has to offer.
Let’s dive in.
Red Wing Park
Red Wing Park, nestled just off General Booth Blvd, a quick drive south of downtown, offers a scenic escape perfect for leisurely outdoor enjoyment.
Renowned for its picturesque gardens, including the Reba S. McClanan Fragrance Garden and the Miyazaki Japanese Garden, Red Wing Park is a haven co-crafted by the collaborative efforts of Virginia Beach Parks & Recreation and the Council of Garden Clubs of Virginia Beach. This park also hosts the annual Cherry Blossom Festival, a local favorite event that occurs every spring.
Amenities At This Park: Five picnic shelters with charcoal grills, tennis courts, pickleball courts, basketball court, two volleyball courts, handball/racquetball court, horseshoe pits, two playground areas, shared-use paths, gardens, picnic areas with charcoal grills, dog park, open fields, vending machines, and public restrooms.
This park is a great option for spending time outdoors without having to drive hours away and includes a lot of comforts to ensure you enjoy your visit.
False Cape State Park
If you want something less forest and more beach, False Cape State Park is the perfect local spot to check out! Positioned as one of the few remaining untouched spaces along the East Coast, this barrier spit nestled between Back Bay and the Atlantic Ocean is a treasure trove of distinctive coastal wonders.
This park features over six miles of unspoiled beaches, both salt and freshwater bay habitats, and over fifteen miles of oceanside trails to explore. This captivating coastal panorama encompasses towering sand dunes, lush woodlands, sprawling farm fields, tranquil salt marshes, and oceanfront shores.
Visitors can keep an eye out for the extensive wildlife that lives in the area, including over 300 species of nesting and migratory songbirds, shorebirds, ducks, otters, white-tailed deer, red foxes, loggerhead turtles, and more.
Amenities At This Park: Coastal primitive campsites, 9 miles of hiking/biking trails, educational programs, a tram tour, accessible beaches, kids programs, boat access, and drinking water (in specific locations.)
Mount Trashmore Park
Mount Trashmore Park may not initially stir excitement with its name, but trust us, it’s a local gem that should not be overlooked!
Serving as a counterpart to Haginodai Park in Japan, this sister park has an impressive 165 acres of expanse and offers multiple attractions and amenities for visitors to enjoy. The park’s most distinctive feature is its pair of man-made mountains, standing as a testament to innovation and sustainability. Rising 60 feet tall and stretching 800 feet in length, these mounds were meticulously shaped by compacting layers of solid waste and pristine soil. The result is a spectacular landscape that’s both awe-inspiring and eco-friendly.
Amenities At This Park: Playgrounds, lakes, a skate park with a vert ramp, picnic tables, charcoal grills, volleyball courts, an outdoor pavilion, cradle swing seats, concessions, outdoor fitness stations, horseshoe pits, vending machines, public restrooms, and more.
First Landing State Park
No need for long drives to experience the wonders of a state park—Virginia Beach is home to some of these natural treasures, including the iconic First Landing State Park! This idyllic park covers an expansive 2,888-acre area along the Chesapeake Bay and has over a mile of beach and nineteen miles of hiking trails through protected salt marsh habitats, freshwater ponds, beach, dunes, forest, tidal marsh, and cypress swamps.
Being a registered National Landmark, First Landing State Park holds a special place in the hearts of locals and visitors alike. Its significance is rooted not only in its diverse ecosystems but also in the range of amenities it offers.
Amenities At This Park: Hiking trails, guided kayak ecological tours, visitor center exhibits, climate-controlled cabins for rent, campsites, picnic tables, a swimming beach, boat ramps, kayak rentals, bicycle trails, an Amphitheater, public restrooms, and more.
Beach Garden Park
This urban park is located near the Oceanfront and covers an 18-acre area. While its location places it within the heartbeat of the city, Beach Garden Park is a testament to the power of green spaces in nurturing community bonds and providing ample recreational opportunities.
Known more as a community park, it boasts many recreational amenities and activities. It has paved pathways that circumnavigate a well-maintained field surrounded by tidal marsh thickets and a wetland area. Several ponds and small salt marshes litter the area, providing a nice opportunity to watch for shorebirds during the migrations and overwintering waterfowl.
Amenities At This Park: 2 Ballfields, an open playing field, playgrounds, three mini-shelters, walking paths, public restrooms, parking, and picnic areas.
Back Bay National Wildlife Refuge
Although technically not a park, Back Bay National Wildlife Refuge deserves a spot on our list.
Established in 1928, this area covers over 8,000 acres of freshwater refuge and borders the Atlantic Ocean on the east and Back Bay on the west. The refuge’s strategic location along a slender coastal strip lends it a unique blend of landscapes, each more captivating than the last. Barrier islands serve as a buffer between the turbulent ocean and the tranquil Back Bay waters and feature sand dunes, maritime forests, marshes, ponds, beaches, and an expansive list of wintering wildfowl.
This spot is perfect for those who are looking for a more secluded beach area to rest and relax.
Amenities At This Park: Visitor/Nature Center, bicycle trails, environmental study area hiking trails, parking, restrooms, kayak/canoe launch sites, and wildlife.
City View Park
Rated one of the Three Best Public Parks in Virginia Beach, it’s easy to see why. City View Park covers 43-acres of parkland and is a great place for families to visit and reconnect with nature together.
Sports enthusiasts can take advantage of the well-lit softball fields, baseball fields, and multi-purpose fields, try their hand at the horseshoe pits, and take a jog or bike ride along shared-use pathways. Families have their fair share of outdoor picnic spots that offer some serenity among the hustle and bustle of Virginia Beach and make for a great day spent in the sunshine.
Amenities At This Park: Walking trails, Basketball courts, playgrounds, Dog-friendly, Volleyball courts, Tennis courts, gardens, green spaces, picnic tables, public restrooms, and more.
Stumpy Lake Natural Area
This natural area surrounding the gorgeous 278-acre Stumpy Lake is the perfect spot to take a leisurely hike, walk, or trail run and escape from day-to-day responsibilities.
Consisting of approximately 970+ acres of undeveloped forest land, 1.65 miles of trails, a 174-acre golf course, and an ADA-compliant raised overlook, Stumpy Lake Natural Area offers opportunities for passive recreational users to spend time in nature and enjoy the natural beauty of the area.
This park is perfect for hikers, walkers, runners, bird watchers, cyclists, fishers, kayakers, and photographers.
Amenities At This Park: Walking trails, golf course, canoe/kayak launch, ADA compliant, picnic shelter, parking, green spaces, bird watching.
Don’t Miss Out On All That Local Parks In Virginia Beach Have To Offer
Rediscover the joy of a day well spent in the heart of nature – at your local parks! Virginia’s retirement landscape is graced with an abundance of state and local parks, each offering a tapestry of natural beauty and engaging activities. From invigorating hikes to tranquil waterfronts, these parks are your gateway to vibrant health and well-being.
As you live out your golden years and the serenity they bring, indulging in outdoor activities becomes a cherished ritual. A stroll in the park isn’t just a leisurely pursuit; it’s a rejuvenating experience that fosters physical vitality and mental clarity.