Students engage in sandy socialization

Virginia Beach, and its surrounding cities, are home to an overwhelming number of beaches—each unique in its ambience and environment. Incoming students new to Virginia Wesleyan University, or even seasoned Marlins who are unfamiliar with the area, should look to diversify their beach list. As the weather is heating up, college students will be flocking to nearby beaches for end-of-semester gatherings. The current students of Virginia Wesleyan were more than happy to share some of their favorite spots.

If you’re looking for gentle waves, gorgeous sunsets, clean sand and fewer tourists, Virginia Wesleyan’s students—Britni Arrington, Mandi Pesha and Sophia Kaminaris—recommend East Beach. 

Surrounded by a pleasant neighborhood, it’s definitely well kept and safe. Beach-themed eateries, cafes, and fast food are scattered around every street corner. East Beach is also only 15 minutes from campus—it doesn’t have to be an all day commitment.

Tucked away, near the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel, Chic’s Beach is only 14 minutes from campus. As a part of the bay, it offers a serenely isolated experience, fine sand, warmer waters, and serene waves. 

Wesleyan freshman Sam Silvia endorses Chic’s as “safer to be alone [at] as a young woman and quieter, both noise-wise and with the waves.” Beach houses encompass the area, meaning that between vacationing families and summer visitors parking is definitely limited, “but even the farthest parking isn’t that far of a walk,” assures VWU student, Jenna Elswick.

For Madelyn Yale, Chic’s is a “home away from home,” reminding her of New Jersey shores. Overall, Chic’s beach functions both as a friendly place for locals and students to congregate and a college hotspot on the weekends.

The Virginia Beach Oceanfront is definitively the most tourist-heavy beach, for many reasons. Hotels, restaurants, bars, tattoo parlors and apparel shops line the boardwalk, as well as the Oceanfront Bike Path—a popular spot for exercise. The beach itself is often crowded and, despite repeated incidents, remains an active spot for pop-up events, excellent food and vacationers.

Just above and below the Oceanfront, both the North End Beaches and Croatan Beach were recommended, by sophomore Alex Cain and junior Garrett Page, for their decent waves and surfer-friendly atmosphere.

A part of the North End, 82nd Street is a super popular stretch of beach for Wesleyan’s students to set up all-day Spikeball tournaments and surfing lessons. Overall, the Oceanfront and neighboring beaches are just about 30 minutes away.

A remote landscape, near False Cape State Park, Sandbridge Beach is a habitat for wildlife. Roughly an hour from campus, Tess Jones, a Virginia Wesleyan senior, stated “It’s really relaxing and more natural than other beaches I have been to.” Sandbridge is absolutely picturesque and an excellent place to picnic, especially with its distance from restaurants and shops.

Hopefully, this guide allows you to safely navigate the beaches this spring and summer!

By Sasha Saxon