10 Free Things to Do in Virginia Beach This Summer

Cost-Free Activities to Enjoy in Virginia Beach This Summer

Virginia Beach offers plenty of budget-friendly activities year-round, perfect for enjoying the parks, wildlife, and sunny beaches.

Here are some of our top free activities to check out this summer.

10 Free Things to Do in Virginia Beach Infographic

1. Explore Our Beaches

Sandbridge Beach, Virginia

Sandbridge Beach, Chesapeake Bay Beach, and the Oceanfront Resort Beach are all free and accessible to everyone.

You can enjoy a unique Virginia Beach experience by watching the sunrise over the Atlantic Ocean at Sandbridge or the Oceanfront Resort Beach, and then catch the sunset over the Chesapeake Bay in the same day.

2. Fly a Kite at Mount Trashmore

Fly a Kite at Mount Trashmore

Mount Trashmore Park is a well-known landmark spanning 165 acres, featuring two man-made mountains, two lakes, two playgrounds, a skatepark with a vert ramp, and multi-use paths.

The main mountain, Mount Trashmore, stands 60 feet tall and 800 feet long, created by compacting layers of solid waste and soil.

Celebrated for its environmental innovation, the park also has a xeriscape garden, requiring minimal water.

The park’s elevation makes it an ideal spot for kite flying.

3. Hike or Bike Through Beautiful State Parks

First Landing State Park spans 2,888 acres along the Chesapeake Bay, featuring 1.25 miles of beach and over 19 miles of hiking trails.

As Virginia’s most visited state park and a registered Natural Landmark, it contains the rare maritime forest community.

The trail center, located at the south entrance off Shore Drive, is the starting point for nine trails through seven distinct ecosystems.

The six-mile Cape Henry Trail, accessible to both hikers and bikers, runs from the northern border to the southern entrance on Atlantic Avenue.

For a scenic hike, the 1.5-mile Bald Cypress Trail offers a loop through enchanting cypress swamps, complete with boardwalks and platforms for great photo opportunities.

False Cape State Park features 15.3 miles of trails for hiking and biking, along with six miles of pristine beaches.

This park’s diverse habitats include dunes, woodland, salt marsh, maritime forest, and wooded swamps.

It is home to a rich variety of wildlife, including over 300 species of birds, otters, deer, foxes, turtles, eagles, feral pigs, wild horses, and various reptiles

4. Explore the Wildlife of Back Bay

Back Bay National Wildlife Refuge

Back Bay National Wildlife Refuge covers 9,108 acres and includes barrier islands, dunes, woodlands, freshwater marshes, maritime forests, ponds, and ocean beaches.

Located on a narrow strip of coastline typical of the Atlantic and Gulf coasts, most of the refuge’s marshlands are situated on islands within the waters of Back Bay.

5. Explore the Cape Henry Lighthouse

Cape Henry Lighthouse

Located within the Fort Story military base at the northern end of Virginia Beach, Cape Henry features two historic lighthouses.

The original Cape Henry Lighthouse, dating back to 1792, is the fourth oldest lighthouse in the United States and the first authorized by the U.S. government.

It was the first federal construction project authorized by President George Washington after the Revolutionary War, costing $15,200 with an additional $2,500 to complete.

In 1881, a newer lighthouse was built just 350 feet from the original.

Visiting the Cape Henry Lighthouses is one of the many free things to do in Virginia Beach. Whether you’re looking for free activities this weekend or just some cheap things to do in Virginia Beach, exploring these historic landmarks offers a fascinating glimpse into the area’s maritime history.

6. Take in a Free Concert by the Water

Virginia Beach Concerts

Enjoy the Live! on Atlantic Free Summer Concert Series, offering nightly entertainment at the Virginia Beach oceanfront from May through the summer.

From 7:00 pm to 11:00 pm, the boardwalk transforms into a lively stage, creating a magical and memorable atmosphere.

This family-friendly event is one of the best free things to do in Virginia Beach, providing great music and fun for everyone.

7. Old Beach Farmers Market

Old Beach Farmers Market in Virginia

Located just a short walk from the boardwalk, the Old Beach Farmers Market is a year-round outdoor marketplace open every Saturday during the summer.

This market offers a variety of local products, from seasonal fruits and vegetables to freshly caught seafood, eggs, coffee, handmade leather goods, soaps, jams, and more.

It’s a great way to connect with Virginia Beach’s family farms, watermen, chefs, and businesses, celebrating all things local.

Visiting this farmers market is one of the best free things to do in Virginia Beach, perfect for those looking to explore the local culture and flavors.

8. Check Out Our Art Scene

The ViBe Creative District is the heart of Virginia Beach’s artistic community, fostering creativity and collaboration among local artists.

Visitors can experience this vibrant scene during the district’s monthly First Fridays events or by visiting the Virginia Museum of Contemporary Art, which offers changing exhibits, studio art classes, and special events.

A must-do activity is the ViBe District Mural Walking Tour, where you can explore a collection of colorful murals created primarily by local artists.

This easy one-mile walking tour showcases the district’s artistic talent and adds a splash of wonder to your visit. Enjoying the art scene here is one of the top free things to do in Virginia Beach.

9. Discover the Local Legends

The Virginia Legends Walk

Explore the Virginia Legends Walk at the oceanfront 13th Street Park to learn about some of the most influential figures from Virginia’s history.

From Thomas Jefferson and Captain John Smith to Ella Fitzgerald and Patsy Cline, this walk honors the contributions of these local legends.

It’s a fascinating and free activity that provides insight into the state’s rich heritage.

10. Dolphin Spotting in Virginia Beach

Dolphin Spotting in Virginia Beach

For the best chance of seeing Atlantic bottlenose dolphins playing and jumping near the shore in Virginia Beach, head out between 10 am and noon, or early in the morning when the ocean is typically calm.

While dolphin sightings can be unpredictable in terms of numbers and behavior, sunny days provide ideal conditions for spotting them.

With miles of coastline along the Atlantic Ocean, dolphins are a common sight year-round in Virginia Beach, making it a thrilling and free activity for visitors and locals alike.