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Living Here: Beaches

Thanks to the ocean, the Chesapeake Bay and multiple rivers, beaches are plentiful in Hampton Roads. So, weather permitting, break out your blanket and sunscreen and head for a beach near you.


Gloucester Point Beach Park. 1255 Greate Road, near the Coleman Bridge on the York River, across from Yorktown Beach.

Swimming: Yes, but about half the water is restricted by the current.

Lifeguards: No.

Public restrooms: Yes.

Other: Concession stand; picnic tables and grills; picnic shelter available for rent; boat ramps; playground; self-guided history walk; two boat landings; saltwater fishing pier: free fishing, license provided.

Location: Off Route 17 on the Gloucester side of the Coleman Bridge, next to the Virginia Institute of Marine Science.


Buckroe Beach and Park. North First Street. An extensive beach, Buckroe was once a boardwalk amusement park. Today it has open, grassy areas with shops and restaurants nearby. Kayaks and paddle boats are available for rental. A small amphitheater and two picnic shelters are available for rent. No dogs allowed on the beach from May 15 - Sept. 15.

Hours: 7 a.m. to sunset daily.

Swimming: Yes.

Lifeguards: 10 a.m.- 6 p.m. Memorial Day to Labor Day.

Public restrooms: Yes, May 15 - Sept. 15.

Location: Pembroke Avenue and Mallory Street, Hampton. 850-5116.

Fort Monroe. The closing of Fort Monroe as a military base has opened up areas of Chesapeake Bay beachfront to public access. The city now operates a small stretch of beach near the former community center. There's a large parking lot with free parking.

Lifeguards: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. (hours may change) Memorial Day to Labor Day.

Public restrooms: Not at this time.

Location: On Fort Monroe; access through Phoebus.

Grandview Nature Preserve and Beach. State Park Drive. A "no-service beach" on Chesapeake Bay, featuring privacy and nature; limited parking.

Hours: Sunrise to sunset daily.

Swimming: Yes.

Lifeguards: No.

Public restrooms: No.

Restrictions: No pets, May 15 - Sept. 15; no alcohol, camping, fires, motorized vehicles.

Location: At the edge of Grandview Nature Preserve in the Fox Hill section of Hampton. A trail winds through the park to the beach.

Newport News

Huntington Park Beach. Beach on James River; popular with families.

Hours: Sunrise to sunset daily.

Swimming: Yes, but water is shallow.

Lifeguards: 10 a.m.- 6 p.m. daily, summer only.

Public restrooms: Yes.

Other: Concession stand; picnic shelters for rent; playground; boat ramp.

Location: 5500 W. Mercury Blvd., Newport News, at the end of the James River Bridge. 886-7912; 888-3333.

King-Lincoln Park. Neighborhood beach and park with 2,200 feet of shoreline on Hampton Harbor.

Hours: Sunrise to sunset.

Swimming: Yes.

Lifeguards: No.

Public restrooms: Yes.

Other: Basketball courts; playgrounds; three picnic shelters; tennis courts.

Location: 600 Jefferson Ave. 886-7912.


Ocean View beaches. Low-key beaches on Chesapeake Bay near stores, restaurants and bars. Multiple access points; picnic tables; free parking.

Swimming: Yes.

Lifeguards: 10 a.m.- 6 p.m. summer.

Public restrooms: Yes.

Locations: Three beaches anchor intersections along Ocean View Avenue in Norfolk — Sarah Constant Beach Park, Community Beach Park and Ocean View Beach Park; 757-441-1605,

Virginia Beach

Oceanfront. Atlantic Ocean beach; weekend crowds, high-rise hotels, T-shirt shops, bars — Virginia Beach has it all.

Swimming: Yes.

Lifeguards: Yes.

Other: Surfing in restricted area during certain hours, starting at 1st Street for 500 feet.

Public restrooms: At 17th, 24th and 30th streets on the Boardwalk, open all year.

Location: Along Atlantic Avenue. 491-7866;

Sandbridge. Atlantic Ocean; quiet and peaceful compared with the commercial strip at Virginia Beach. Popular with surfers, kayakers and wind jockeys. Parking lots near the two most popular entrances.

Swimming: Yes.

Lifeguards: 9:30 a.m.-dusk mid-May to mid-September.

Public restrooms: Yes.

Location: Several miles south of the Virginia Beach strip, off Sandbridge Road. 800-822-3224.


Yorktown Beach. On the York River, at the edge of historic Yorktown. Shops and bars nearby. The fishing pier is open year round, no license required. The beach and beach picnic area can be requested for weddings, company outings, picnics, receptions, family reunions, and other approved uses at no charge.

Swimming: Yes.

Lifeguards: No.

Public restrooms: Yes.

Location: Along Water Street in Yorktown, just off Route 17. 890-3300.

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