The rates, crowds and heat are at a comfortable low during the autumn months in Virginia Beach, while activities are abundant!
Life in Virginia Beach doesn’t slow down after Labor Day. In fact, the city seems to pick up and become more active! Since we are in Virginia, which is for lovers, of course love is in the air. What people are loving are the colors, weather and all the perks of Virginia Beach in the Fall. The “tourist season” slows down as familial obligations like school and work begin ramping back up. Although the ability to travel and explore settles down for some, we’ve found that those who are still able to act on their longing for wanderlust become the elite few that get to enjoy some of the perks of our city’s shoulder season.
In the heat of the summer, the beach is the place to be. However, during September and October, Virginia Beach travelers still venture out and squeeze in many great beach days. These are the months to visit to enjoy the less humid temperatures and partake in some of the activities that make this town one of the Best Family Beach Vacations in the USA!
Here are the top 10 reasons to travel to Virginia Beach in the Fall!
1. Fall in Love with Festivals.
Art & Entertainment
Locals and travelers alike anticipate the Neptune Festival all year long. This festival features events like the Neptune Festival Art & Craft Show, International Sandsculpting Championship, fireworks, several stages of live music, food vendors, the Grand Parade and much more! If a weekend jam-packed with art, music, food and drinks sounds up your alley, this is one second to none!
Wine & Beer
If you are looking to “un-wine” during your trip then be sure to plan your timing around either the Annual Neptune’s Fall Wine Festival or the Virginia Fall Wine Festival where Virginia vineyards display their best vintages and show the vast varieties of wines our state is so proud to produce.
For those that prefer beer over the swirl, sniff and sip of wine, then there are two events you can explpore! The Virginia Beach Craft Brew Festival is held right on the oceanfront and touts over 50 craft beers from over 25 breweries. Beer in October not sound right to you unless someone serving them is in Lederhosen with a side of bratwurst? Then the Oktober Brewfest is for you! This day event transitions into ROCKtoberfest where local rock bands play late into the evening.
If fall brings out your inner-Gould or Witch then Virginia Beach is the place to travel to get in all your frights and scares. Hunt Club Farm has great fall fun all season long but starting at the end of September their Haunted Halloween Fest starts and you can purchase pumpkins, pet the animals as well as enjoy food and entertainment. Once the sun goes down their renowned Haunted Hayride, Village of Dead and Field of Screams kicks up – you’ll definitely want to leave the little ones at home for this as it is an elaborate production guaranteed to impress!
2. Refreshing Temperatures
Gone are the humidity and high temps of peak season and in roll the 70 and 80-degree temperatures! Here are the average temperatures for Virginia Beach in the Fall:
|Early September||Low 80’s||Late September||Mid 70’s|
|Early October||Mid 70’s||Late October||High 60’s|
|Early November||Mid 60’s||Late November||High 50’s|
3. Just like the Temperatures, Rates are Falling!
Virginia Beach Accommodations rates tend to increase by about 10% starting at the end of March and continue that trend through Memorial Day, which is about a 60% increase above off-season rates. By June 9th, rates are up another 26% and then by June 16th they rise another 10%. June holds pretty steadily until July 14th where the increase goes up another 5%. Increasing 5% more by July 14th and then again on July 21st – hitting the peak of the season. There is as much as an 80% drop from there heading into October.
In addition to better rates, hotels and vacation rentals alike lower their minimum stay requirements in the shoulder seasons (the average length of stay in the Fall by tourists is 3.9 nights), letting you fit a quick visit into your schedule at a much lower rate than peak summer months.
Video Courtesy of Virginia Beach CVB
4. Oyster & Seafood Season at its Peak
October is National Seafood Month. What better way to celebrate the month than by the water with a cold beer in hand? Local pallets are trained for this season as our culinary culture is centered around our waterways. From the hundreds of intricate winding inlets to the famously abundant Chesapeake Bay, Virginia Beach is best explored by boat. The Chesapeake Bay is considered to be the largest and most biologically diverse estuaries in the US out of the country’s other 840 estuaries!
Fall months lend themselves to both offshore and inshore fishing trips. Off-shore trips to the Chesapeake Bay Bridge or into the Atlantic will yield you white marlin, tuna, wahoo and swordfish. While staying in-shore surrounded by colorful trees, you’ll land flounder and spot that are migrating out of the Chesapeake Bay. The Lynnhaven and Rudee Inlets are teh place to find speckled trout and puppy them using light tackle. The Bay lends itself to great King and Spanish mackerel and little tunny fishing this time of year. While fall is the opening season for striped bass, the getting is good for this fish through the end of the year.
The oyster culture in Virginia Beach dates back to 1607. John Smith and his crew feasted on Lynnhaven River oysters and declared them “large and delicate in taste. ” Fall is prime season for oysters. The rule states that oysters are good in months that have an R in them. True oyster aficionados know that they are best in months that end in “-er”. These “Lynnhaven fancies,” as they were once coined, were popular nationally through the 18th and 19th centuries. They were even favorites of past presidents and royalty because of their perfect balance of creaminess and salinity along with their size – reportedly as big as dinner plates!
Thanks to local conservation efforts, the nearly extinct Lynnhaven oysters are back on the rise. These bivalves can be enjoyed at restaurants all around town. For the real immersive experience for those that are oyster lovers, we strongly recommend a Boat Tour with Pleasure House Oysters Captain where you strap on a pair of waders and learn about the history and ecosystem. You also partake in harvesting and tastings straight from the tranquil water surrounding you. Doesn’t get fresher than that!
5. Virginia Beach in the Fall creates a Nature, Bird or Golfer Lovers Paradise.
With smaller crowds and cooler temperatures, fall becomes the perfect time to explore the variety in nature that Virginia Beach has to offer. From parks to beaches to golf courses, our area is a haven for nature and golf enthusiasts. Virginia Beach has over 7,000 acres of community parks between the 293 different park facilities. Out of those 293 parks, there are a few that are not to be missed. First Landing State Park is the largest park we recommend and it offers a one-of-a-kind maritime forest ecosystem that spans 2,888 acres. Bald cypress swamps and tidal marshes make up the landscape for some really amazing trails for hiking or biking. With the vast watershed that winds through this park, kayak, fat tire bike, and stand-up paddleboard tours are recommended!
A little further south there are two parks perfect for those travelers who want to see more wildlife: Back Bay National Wildlife Refuge and False Cape State Park. The ecosystems of these parks include untouched barrier islands, cypress swamps, pine forests and bayside salt marshes. These backdrops create the perfect setting for wild horses, otters and nearly 300 types of waterfowl, bald eagles and songbirds. The parks have become a target destination for bird enthusiasts because they provide treetop perches to get up-close and personal.
For those looking to hit the golf course, world-famous architects like Arnold Palmer, Jack Nicklaus, Fred Couples and Pete Dye have designed Virginia Beach’s nine impeccably kept golf courses. Arnold Palmer’s design at The Signature at West Neck offers an 18-hole challenging championship golf course 20 miles from the Virginia Beach oceanfront. 13 lakes and natural wetlands encompass this course’s expertly maintained Tifsport Bermuda fairways and tees. Quite the recipe for a beautiful fall day on the green!
In contrast, Peter Dye’s design of Virginia Beach National with its rolling meadows and hardwood forests make up the backdrop for this 18-hole championship course has something for every level of golfer.
A unique way to take in the beauty of the shore that can only be experienced in the off-season is by taking a beach horseback ride. Only available from Labor Day through Memorial Day, guided tours through the surf are an amazing way to experience the Atlantic sand and spray!
6. Libations are Abundant.
The beach culture of Virginia Beach has had a large influence on the popular local Craft Beer industry. You can find some of the best breweries in the state here at the beach within about a 20-mile radius. Therefore, you either have to be a local or a seasoned visitor to have a good grasp on what each has to offer and where to go!
The atmosphere is what Back Bay Brewing Co. is known for. Settled in a beach shack style setting, this brewery mixes the Virginia Beach’s love for the beach hunting. Originating from coastal towns in California, Green Flash Brewery landed its 3rd location in a large warehouse that lets you really become a part of how this beer is made! With over 30 beers offered, you can have a taste of their go-to’s or go out on a limb.
There’s also O’Connors Brewery, Smartmouth, Young Veterans Brewery Company, Commonwealth Brewing Company, Pleasurehouse Brewing, Reaver Beach Brewing Co. Wasserhund Brewing Company and Home Republic Brewpub– with more popping up each day. If beer is your thing and you want to try the gamut and cannot make any of the beer festivals, do not fear. There are great brewery tours available to find your favorite spot. Food trucks litter the breweries to keep patrons well fed. A brewery tour can quickly become a culinary food truck tour as well!
7. The Air is better UP There!
Do heights give you excitement? We have three great recommendations for you that are not only unique but thrilling as well! iFly Indoor Skydiving is a fun, safe adventure for the whole family (catering to ages 3-103). You will be enclosed and lifted in the flight chamber to simulate the sky-diving experience. And you can leave out that whole jump out of the plane bit!
If you would like to challenge yourself a little and enjoy the changing colors of the tree-tops, then The Adventure Park at the Virginia Aquarium should be your first stop. This aerial forest park will have you swinging through the trees. The course includes 15 trails made up of ropes, platforms, high-wires, ladders, and zip-lines across the 6-acre maritime pine grove. The trails have different difficulty levels which makes this adventure great for ages 5 on up!
Lastly, one of the hidden gems of Virginia Beach is the Military Aviation Museum which is just minutes from Sandbridge Beach. This museum is home to one of the largest collections of WWI and WWII-era planes. Enjoy the sites of the Virginia Beach autumn landscape by riding in a real WWII biplane. Rather see these historical artifacts fly from the ground, then be sure not to miss the WWI Fly Show where real biplanes and triplanes from the Great War will be showcasing the historical birth of aerial combat.
8. Enjoy the Sites, Not the Crowds.
With Virginia Beach attracting almost 14 million visitors per year you can imagine that summers are pretty busy. Locals call fall months the “secret season” because it is such a hidden gem for vacationers and locals alike. Fall is the time get out and explore the city in great weather without the crowds!
9.The Air is Abuzz with Creativity.
The emerging ViBe Creative District is home to the funkier spirited part of town where museums, local craftsman (and women), roasters and restaurants, workout spots, along with artists of a vast variety of mediums call home. Start off at Three Ships Coffee for your morning pick-me-up of coffee that will be sure get your creative juices flowing.
Then make your way around the corner to The Alley and pick out a hand-crafted full-grain leather and cotton twill tote or duffle to stash the goodies procured from the many artisans of the District. If art is what you are after – the 17th Street Marketplace is a retail and consignment shop where you can hunt for your next treasure. Is more art viewing on your list? You can’t miss MOCA Virginia Museum of Contemporary Art.
Go for a quick workout at one of the yoga or pilates studios and finish off your day in the ViBe with dinner at Esoteric who uses its garden out back to sustain its carefully curated menu of cocktails and modern American cuisine.
10. Fall Flavors are Fresh Picked.
Forget farm to table, how about hand to mouth? With over 16 “you-pick” farms just 15 minutes south of Virginia Beach in Pungo, the farmland community is vast. Pumpkins, kale, blackberries and wildflowers are good choices this time of year. The real stars of Virginia farms in the Fall are the apples, squash, sweet potatoes and figs! If you are looking to take some of your experiences on the farm home with you, we recommend New Earth Farm that offers education for visitors on the local produce and sustainability along with classes on how to make your own kombucha or cheese!