For nature lovers, beach vacations aren’t reserved just for summer.
Virginia Beach is home to nature lovers in both the cold and warm seasons. The forests, rivers, marshes, and oceans each have a place where an incredible array of wildlife and natural beauty are in abundance. Animal and nature lovers grab your cameras because winter is a great time to catch visiting wildlife and unique beach scenes.
Set Sail! Whale Watching and Wildlife Tours
Virginia Beach offers many opportunities for visitors to get a view of local wildlife on the open ocean. Rudee Tours and the Virginia Aquarium Sea Adventures offer special boat rides no matter the season. In the winter months graceful humpback whales grace the shoreline and can be seen breaking the surface. Boat tours also offer a great chance to see fin whales, minke whales, right whales, which are on the critically endangered list, harbor porpoises, harbor seals, sea turtles, and a wide range of seabirds all in their natural habitat.
Put on your walking shoes: Back Bay National Wildlife Refuge
If the high seas are not for you, the Back Bay National Wildlife Refuge can offer a more land-based method for seeing local wildlife in their natural habitat. The Refuge offers a number of hiking and biking trails, as well as guided tours. Visitors can use any of six spotting scopes that are placed throughout the refuge to get a close up look at deer, raccoons, bobcats, muskrats, river otters, birds, and more depending on the season. The Refuge is located directly south of the Virginia Beach Oceanfront at 4005 Sandpiper Road.
Take a trip to the beach – on horseback
There is no wrong way to enjoy the beautiful scenery and wildlife of the Virginia Beach Oceanfront. It can even be done from horseback! Companies such as Virginia Beach Outer Banks Horseback offer visitors the chance to saddle up and hit the sand. One-hour tours are available and offer a way to get in touch with nature without the hassle of crowds. Keep an eye out for whales and other marine life to surface closer to the shore, since there are no swimmers to scare them away in the winter.
Enjoy the Virginia Aquarium Walking Trails
The Virginia Aquarium is a fun, entertaining way to learn about and experience the wonder of the wildlife of Virginia Beach. It boasts two facilities with exhibits about the local ecosystem, live exhibits, and touch tanks. Visitors can get an up close look at river otters and harbor seals in special enclosures. The two buildings are connected with a beautiful walking trail with multiple wildlife outlook areas. The trail offers opportunities to see a host of sea and estuary creatures like periwinkles, crabs, sea birds, and more.
When visiting Virginia Beach, VSA Resorts is the perfect place to rest your head. Give us a call to learn about our special vacation packages. 1-800-340-1158.