Virginia Beach is a popular seaside destination along the Atlantic coast that offers beautiful beaches, great seafood, and plenty of family-friendly attractions. But, when is the best time to visit the Virginia Beach attractions?
The answer is October. Yes, October is a wonderful time to visit when the crowds of summer have thinned out, but the weather is still mild and sunny. Here are my top 10 Virginia Beach attractions in October to visit with families!
8 Must-See Virginia Beach Attractions for Families to Visit this October
1. Walk the Virginia Beach Boardwalk
If you are looking for the best Virginia Beach attractions in October to visit, you must head to Virginia Beach. No trip to Virginia Beach is complete without a leisurely stroll along the scenic 3-mile boardwalk.
You can take in the fresh ocean breezes, gaze out at the rolling waves, and check out the street performers and colorful beach shops selling everything from taffy to souvenirs. The boardwalk is bustling in the summertime, but October brings fewer crowds so you can really relax and enjoy the sights in these most-visited Virginia beach attractions.
2. Virginia Aquarium & Marine Science Center
The second one of the highly rated Virginia Beach attractions for families is this aquarium. It houses over 10,000 animals including sharks, sea turtles, river otters, and seals. You can get up close with marine life through interactive exhibits, animal feedings, touch pools, and even kayak tours. Particularly, don’t miss the aquarium’s newest exhibit – Ghost Sharks – opening this October!
3. Ride the Virginia Beach Amusement Park Rides
Next, one of the best Virginia Beach attractions for the family to enjoy with their kids is the Amusement park rides. Located along the boardwalk, the Virginia Beach Amusement Park contains plenty of thrilling rides for all ages. You can test your courage on the roller coasters and free-fall rides or take it easier on the classic carousel and tilt-a-whirl. With special Halloween-themed events in October, these Virginia Beach attractions for families are the best option.
4. Relax at First Landing State Park
Immerse yourself in nature with a day trip to this 2,888-acre park featuring hiking trails, camping, swimming, and access to both the Chesapeake Bay and the Atlantic Ocean. You can walk along Cape Henry and see the historic lighthouse or join a guided kayak tour to spot local wildlife including osprey, egrets, and peregrine falcons.
With fewer crowds in autumn, First Landing State Park is ideal for a peaceful outdoor retreat. And, this makes it one of the Virginia Beach attractions to visit.
5. Shop at the Virginia Beach attractions of the Farmers Market
Pick up fresh, locally grown produce, meats, cheeses, and baked goods at this open-air farmers market located right on the lively Virginia Beach attractions. Operating every Friday through Sunday in October, the market also sells arts & crafts made by local artisans. So, grab a snack from the array of food vendors or stop for a glass of Virginia wine.
6. Tour the Cape Henry Lighthouse
One of the popular Virginia Beach attractions for family is Cape Henry lighthouse. Climb to the top of this historic lighthouse built in 1792 as one of the first acts of the new U.S. government. The 127 steps lead to panoramic views of the Atlantic coastline. Inside the Cape Henry Museum, you can learn about lighthouse keeper history and explore exhibits about Virginia Beach’s coastal environment.
7. Go Whale Watching
Get out on the open waters of the Atlantic for your chance to see majestic humpback whales and pods of dolphins as they migrate along the coast in the fall. Whale and dolphin-watching boat tours provide a thrilling way to spend a morning or afternoon and Virginia Beach’s coastline offers prime views of these incredible marine mammals. It is one of the top Virginia Beach attractions on this list.
8. Attend the Neptune Festival
Taking place from late September through October, Virginia Beach celebrates the cultural, musical, and artistic heritage of the coastal region during this popular festival. Enjoy two boardwalk parades, a sand sculpture contest, art displays, and a huge block party. With many events free of charge, the Neptune Festival provides family-friendly entertainment all month long.
1. How far is Virginia Beach from colonial attractions like Williamsburg and Jamestown?
Virginia Beach is located just a 1.5-hour drive southeast of the historic colonial attractions in Williamsburg and Jamestown along the James River. The scenic Colonial Parkway connects the three points, making it easy to visit both the beach and colonial sites in one vacation.
2. Is Virginia Beach crowded in October?
No, Virginia Beach is not crowded at all during October since it is past the summer tourist season but before the cold winter months. There are fewer people on the beaches, restaurants, attractions, and roads. Hotel rates also drop significantly from peak summertime prices. October has wonderful weather with fewer tourists.
3. Is October a good time to visit Virginia Beach?
Absolutely! October is an ideal time to visit Virginia Beach with warm autumn temperatures, fewer crowds, lower lodging rates, and fun seasonal events happening as the Neptune Festival. The ocean water is still warm enough for swimming through early October. It’s cooler than summer but has far better weather than winter on Virginia’s coastline.
4. How cold is Virginia in October? What should I pack?
Virginia Beach averages highs of 70°F and lows of 50°F during October. Most days are sunny and mild. It’s a good idea to bring a mix of shorts, lightweight pants, t-shirts, sweatshirts, and a light jacket for the evenings. The ocean water stays warm enough for swimming into early fall, so bring your swimsuit and beach gear to enjoy the coastline.