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The Best & Worst Times to Visit Virginia Beach in 2024

The Best & Worst Times to Visit Virginia Beach in 2024

What's the best time to visit Virginia Beach?

The best time to visit Virginia Beach is from mid-May through September, with the city bustling with events and outdoor activities in the summer. May, early June, and September are especially sweet spots, offering all the summer fun but with fewer crowds and more relaxed vibes.

Virginia Beach is packed with activities for visitors of every age. However, many of them are seasonal. That means you have to plan your travel dates carefully. Below, discover some top reasons why you should visit Virginia Beach.

Then, we’ll explain what it’s like throughout the year. Read about the best time to visit, uncover everything you need to know about Virginia Beach’s seasons, and get answers to your lingering questions. Let us be your guide!

Overall Best Time to Visit Virginia Beach

Boardwalk along the beach next to a statue of Neptune during the best time to visit Virginia Beach

VIRGINIA BEACH, VIRGINIA – JULY 13, 2017: The oceanfront boardwalk and resort area along the Atlantic coast, which features a 34-foot tall statue of King Neptune/Sherry V Smith/Shutterstock

The overall best time to visit Virginia Beach is in the summer, from mid-May through September. 

More specifically, if you want low crowds and less rain, visit in May, early June, and September. One of the main reasons is the weather. Virginia Beach isn’t far enough south to avoid cold winters.

While you probably won’t see snow, it’s far too cold to lay out on the beach or enjoy the rest of the outdoors. While the large military base contributes most to the economy, Virginia Beach recognizes the importance of tourism, especially to the waterfront area.

Therefore, they actively promote and welcome the summer throngs, leading to several fun events. These include the Stars and Stripes Explosion (July), Virginia Beach FunkFest Beach Party (August), and Beach Music Weekend (September).

The city comes alive in the summer. You’ll find storefronts with open doors, restaurants with tables on the sidewalks, and hundreds of locals and visitors enjoying the great outdoors.

It’s also a very pedestrian and bike-friendly city, but only when it’s warm enough. There are some downsides to visiting in summer’s peak weeks.

That’s why we especially recommend mid-May through early June and September if you’re looking to avoid heavy crowds and want the best chance to get a vacancy at the accommodation you want.

Cheapest Time to Visit Virginia Beach

Snow in the winter at Virginia Beach with sand dunes rising up above the flat beach

ESB Basic/Shutterstock

The cheapest time to visit Virginia Beach is during the off-season, in winter, especially in January and February. Winters in southern Virginia aren’t brutal.

Daily temperatures almost always reach the 40s, and sunny days in the 50s and 60s are expected. Still, that’s certainly too cold to lay out on the beach or engage in water activities without a wetsuit and some serious tolerance for the chills.

The good news is that you can score some fantastic deals on beachfront hotels. These establishments see a drop in visitors because of the cold but also because the focal center of activity shifts from the water to other parts of town.

In addition, there are several local events during the winter designed to draw visitors during the off-season and bring residents out in the cold. Whale watching is one of the best things to do in Virginia Beach in the winter.

It’s strictly seasonal, so you can’t even do it during the summer. That’s because whales migrate and are only in the waters off the Virginia coast in early winter.

Speaking of early winter, Virginia Beach goes all out for the festive season. One of the main attractions is Holiday Lights at the Beach, a dazzling display of luminescent decorations along all 30 blocks of the Boardwalk.

Town Center shopping district does a different kind of holiday display, the Snowglobe Spectacular. During this event, giant snow globes filled with festive scenes adorn the marketplace.

Perhaps most importantly, many year-round events can be experienced during this magical period. These include weekly farmers and craft markets and meet-ups for families and kids.

Believe it or not, a lot of people camp during the winter months. First Landing State Park is stunning this time of year, with warm, cozy cabins available for rent.

Least Busy Time to Visit Virginia Beach

Gorgeous beige sand on the beach pictured in an aerial photo during the best time to visit Virginia Beach


The least busy time to visit Virginia Beach is in the winter. However, consider a fall or spring visit if you want to enjoy some of the nice weather with fewer other tourists.

As the weather warms, the city comes alive with events and activity. Before it gets too hot, enjoy the East Coast She Crab Soup Classic in April. At the end of the month, the Something in the Water Music Festival is held, symbolizing the unofficial start of beach season.

Then in May, continue celebrating sound by attending the Virginia International PANfest, a celebration of Caribbean music and culture. Keep in mind that the weather starts to get warm early.

Though the ocean may still be a bit chilly, most days will reach the 70s by mid-April, while it’s frequently in the 60s, even in March. You don’t have to wait for summer to enjoy Virginia Beach’s outdoor activities.

Even after the crowds depart throughout September, there are more fall events for intrepid travelers. Fortunately, the weather stays beautiful during this period. Temperatures fall through the season, but only from the 80s and 90s to the 60s and 70s.

It doesn’t get cold until mid-November. The ocean water also stays warm from its exposure to summer’s strong sun rays, making it more comfortable to swim or try other fun water activities.

If you visit in September, check out the Beach Music Festival and Cruise-In, which features headline performers and a car show. In October, celebrate local brewmasters and their sudsy sips at the Virginia Beach Craft Beer Festival, which coincides perfectly with Oktoberfest.

Worst Time to Visit Virginia Beach

Snow on a fishing pier during the winter, the worst time to visit Virginia Beach

Sherry V Smith/Shutterstock

Most locals agree that winter is the worst time to visit Virginia Beach. It’s a city on the ocean, meaning many of the best things to do here require you to be outdoors.

While you can manage some of them in the cold, it’s not going to be as fun. Still, Virginia Beach has a lot to offer during the off-season, as we’ve already seen. Let’s look at other things to do indoors throughout the city.

Even if you plan to visit during the summer, you might run into a rainy day, so it’s a wise idea to have a backup plan. The attractions below are all ideal for when you need to move inside.

Besides the aquarium (discussed above), the ViBE district also houses the Virginia Museum of Contemporary Art. If you like museums, check out the Military Aviation Museum or the Virginia Beach Surf and Rescue Museum.

If you have antsy kiddos, take them to the spectacular Children’s Museum of Virginia in nearby Portsmouth. In addition, the city has several recreation centers with indoor pools and gyms.

Finally, as a large metropolitan area and major tourist destination, Virginia Beach has many excellent venues, such as an indoor trampoline park, escape rooms, indoor skydiving, arcades, and movie theaters.

So, What’s the Best Time to Visit Virginia Beach?

So, when’s the best time to visit Virginia Beach? The best time to visit Virginia Beach is from May-September. But it’s fun all year, with beaches beckoning during the warmer months and southern hospitality waiting to be enjoyed when it’s chilly.

However, regardless of the time in which you choose to visit, Virginia Beach is a great destination for all types of travelers and budgets. So what are you waiting for — book your trip today!