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Old 08-05-2011, 09:14 AM
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I will be in the Richmond area for a few days in Sept. and i would like to have a beach day at some point during the trip. What is the best beach within a 1.5 hour drive from Richmond. Maybe someone can describe the differences between Bay beaches and ocean beaches. Are the waves the main difference? I want to go to a clean, low key beach. Advice?
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Old 08-06-2011, 05:36 AM
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I can't speak about the bay beaches in the Richmond area but I believe there are few options open to the public. Most are private land.

Wave action is largely dependent on the weather - local for bay beaches. Ocean beach waves can be rough due to storms miles out to sea even if the local weather is fair and calm. One of the biggest differences in bay and ocean beaches in this area is the presence of sea nettles - i.e. stinging jellyfish. They tend to arrive earlier and in greater numbers at the bay beaches. If you are not acquainted with them, trust me when I say "You don't want to be!"


Given your stated preferences, Sandbridge Beach (south of Virginia Beach) is your best bet, however, it will take you somewhat over two hours to get there, if you leave early enough to avoid major traffic delays.

There are several historic threads on your topic so I suggest searching through them for additional information. http://www.city-data.com/forum/hampton-roads-area/1290146-needing-day-trip-beach-advice-richmond.html
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Old 08-06-2011, 02:38 PM
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Thank you ersatz. I have been stung by a jelly and would not want to experience that again! Sounds like a real ocean beach is my best option.

Drive time would not be significantly longer from Richmond to Sandbridge vs. one of the beaches farther north, correct? I'll be doing my beach day on a Monday in Sept, so hopefully traffic and crowds will be less of a concern.
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Old 08-07-2011, 04:35 PM
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Which beaches further north?

There's bay swimming at Sandy Point but I don't recommend it. It's located at the foot of the Chesapeake Bay Bridge and is full of sea nettles. Closest northern ocean beach would be Assateague, which would be around a four hour drive.
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Old 08-07-2011, 05:46 PM
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The closest beach to Richmond (that I know of), a Bay beach ia in Hampton, Buckroe Beach.. Otherwise drive across the I-64 bridge-tunnel to Willoughby's Spit (yes, that's it's name, just a little spit of land) and Ocean View.. nice Bay beaches (no waves) There is a public parking lot at the first exit past the bridge-tunnel.. at Bayview & 13th View St.. 2 block walk to beach..

On edit.. looks like there is on street parking on 13 View St right at the beach..


Last edited by Beach-rat; 08-07-2011 at 05:59 PM..
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Old 08-09-2011, 05:39 PM
Location: Fredericksburg, Va
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Va. Beach is the closest REAL ocean beach...The Chesapeake Bay is a tad closer.....The Bay has virtually no undertow and small waves. The Atlantic Ocean can have a great deal of undertow and larger waves. However, the ocean has the lovely boardwalk area, restaurants, shops, etc.....the Bay will not have those amenities.
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Old 08-15-2011, 11:11 AM
Location: Virginia (804)
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Virginia Beach all the way!!! I first went in Aug 2009 on a Girls' Bday trip. I brought boogie boards back for my sons to use at Point Lookout's beach in Maryland. I quickly learned that the Potomac does not make waves like the Atlantic and so we've been trekking to VB since 2010. Now, I live 2hrs away and I can head out on Saturday at noon, lose energy to the beach/boardwalk/strip and driving, return by midnight and not feel any more worn out than if I'd stayed home.

As for jellyfish I think the more populated beaches have nets in the water placed/required by the city/state to keep the jellyfish from crossing into the swimming area. I also think when the water is cooler they don't come close to the shore. Feel free to correct me, anyone. The little ones might get through but I haven't witnessed any incidents at VB Oceanfront. I have seen humongous jellies at private beaches where there are no nets. I would NEVER want to meet those things in the water.
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Old 08-16-2011, 09:40 AM
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The town of Colonial Beach, Virginia - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia is a long public beach on the Potomac River, with numerous older motels.
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Old 08-21-2011, 08:32 PM
Location: Virginia
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Yorktown Beach.
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