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The Best & Worst Times to Visit Virginia (Updated for 2023)

The Best & Worst Times to Visit Virginia (Updated for 2023)

From the soothing waters of the Chesapeake Bay to the Virginia Mountains region, Virginia has picturesque landscapes to satisfy all travelers’ preferences within the state.

You can explore lesser-known areas, marvel at enchanting small towns, spend the day visiting kids’ attractions, unwind at a local festival, or simply unplug from the daily stress by basking in the sun on a secluded beach.

Let us help with planning your Virginia getaway.

Continue on for the best time to visit Virginia, more tips to consider before planning your trip, and frequently asked questions to help you make an informed decision.

Let’s get into it!

The Best Time to Visit Virginia

Aerial view of the endless beach in Virginia Beach pictured on a nice day with few people on the coast for a piece on the best time to visit Virginia state

Main Focus Media/Shutterstock

The best time to visit Virginia is from April through early October, with the exception of July and August, when many areas get very hot.

April is a pleasant spring month in the capital city, with temperatures ranging from an average low of 49.3°F and an average high of 68.4°F. It’s also the last month when you may encounter snowfall.

April isn’t a beach month, but travelers can enjoy trekking the trails at First Landing State Park or reaching the top of Cape Henry Lighthouse without fighting intense heat.

May is a warm month, with average temperatures varying between 58.1°F and 78.3°F. It’s also when the country prepares for its upcoming summer season.

Audiophiles can attend the Virginia International PAN Fest in May and celebrate Caribbean music and watch world-class performers.

Being hands-down one of the best music-focused events in Virginia, this spectacular show offers calming rhythmic sounds of drum music, an easy-going atmosphere, and mouth-watering food.

In essence, Memorial Day (May) all the way to Labor Day (September) is the peak season, so expect both higher prices and large crowds. However, this is the only time travelers can enjoy the waterfront the way they should, so going during this period is absolutely worth it.

June marks the beginning of this busy season and welcomes travelers with average temperatures fluctuating between 65.5F and 85.6F.

In June, both locals and travelers are equally excited about the North American Sand Soccer Championships taking place in the beautiful Virginia Beach. To take part, gather ten friends, form a team, create some fun shirts, and make sure everyone’s sand-ready!

Finally, October is a pleasant autumn month with average temperatures running between 52°F and 69.8°F. For October travelers, we recommend the Virginia Beach Craft Beer Festival.

With more than 80 craft beers from over 50 breweries, this festival features live entertainment for those who want to have fun, unlimited sampling for avid beer lovers, and a commemorative cup for memorabilia collectors.

Cheapest Time to Visit Virginia

If you’re trying to shave a few dollars off your Virginia itinerary, visit in the September–November or the December–February period.

September is the month with the least rainfall. It’s also a moderately hot month, with average temperatures varying between 81.3°F and 63.1°F.

As fall progresses, prices tend to fall more and more, so price-travelers should take advantage of it. Note that the autumn months aren’t ideal for sunbathing or enjoying the beach. Also, if you wish to stick to a tight budget as much as possible, plan your trip after Labor Day.

An event that stands out in September is the Beach Music Weekend. It’s days filled with bands on the beach, live entertainment, and awesome food and beverages. The atmosphere is accompanied by ocean waves and hot tunes.

If you decide to go in winter, however, prepare for frosty winter months. Being the coldest month of the year, January sees average temperatures fluctuating between 44.6°F and 29.7°F. It’s also the month with the most snowfall, so if you visit, then pack accordingly.

February, the last winter month, is a chilly month, with temperatures in the range of an average low of 31.8°F and an average high of 49.3°F.

And while these months are the coldest time of the year, they’re the most affordable ones too, which is why looking for indoor events is a good idea. Our suggestion is the International Wine Festival in January.

Visitors can sample over 40 wines from the entire world while getting immersed in live music sounds and exquisite desserts. Between bold red and fancy, bubbly sparklings, there’s a taste for everyone.

Least Busy Time to Visit Virginia

Empty boardwalk with an empty beach in the winter during the least busy time to visit Virginia

Alexandr Junek Imaging/Shutterstock

Virginia tends to be less busy in November and December. You’ll likely find fewer tourists, as well as fewer queues at major attractions.

November is a moderate month in Richmond, with the average temperature fluctuating between 40.8°F and 57°F.

December is a chilly month, with average temperatures varying between 49.1F and 35.1F. December is also one of the most humid months in Richmond. It’s also the month with the least sunshine.

You can probably see why December is one of the least busy months now! That said, this doesn’t have to negatively impact your Virginia visit. As major sights and attractions provide more “elbow room,” you get to experience more of the country than you would in other months of the year.

Also, events and festivals tend to be less people-packed. If you want some beach months during your winter travels, our top suggestion for a December event is the Holiday Parade at the Beach.

Approximately 90 parade units arrive at Atlantic Avenue for a playful celebration of the holiday season.

Expect marching bands, fire trucks, huge balloons, dance groups, performers, lighted boats, and motorcycles to usher in the holiday season! And the best part is that Santa himself makes an appearance to greet everyone and contribute to an already amazing event.

Worst Time to Visit Virginia

Although the “worst time to visit Virginia” (or anywhere else really) is entirely subjective and depends on your travel expectations, we believe you should avoid going there in July or August.

July is truly the definition of a tropical summer month, with average temperatures fluctuating between 90.9°F and 70.2°F. August, although the last summer month, is still a hot month, with the average temperature ranging between 88.3°F and 68.5°F.

However, not only are these two months the hottest in the entire year, but they’re the months with the most rainfall too! Namely, in July, rain falls for about 15.3 days and aggregates up to 64 mm of precipitation. August sees rain for 15.6 days, and there’s 73 mm of precipitation.

That said, visiting Virginia in these two months can still be an enjoyable experience — you just need to find the right events and places to go!

In July, you have to go to the Stars & Stripes Explosion for the Independence Day celebration. There are multiple oceanfront stages, live performances, and tens of thousands of attendees.

The evening wraps up with memorable fireworks. The Virginia Beach FunkFest Beach Party is a popular August event. There’s food, dance contests, merchandise, and funky vibes all over the place! While the event is free, capacity is limited.

Those desiring a more intimate viewing experience can opt for the ticketed “Preferred Viewing section” instead. If you’re traveling with kids, you’ll be thrilled to learn about the Atlantic Coast Kite Festival (August).

It’s a cool weekend filled with family fun and high-flying kites. The festival features kite demonstrations, kite-building workshops, and unique sights of even more unique kite flights. Kite-flying lessons are included too!

Things to Consider

Low exposure image of cars driving by the camera on the main street during the best time to visit Virginia

Sean Pavone/Shutterstock

What else is there to know before making your way to lovely Virginia?

Here are some extra things worth considering:

  • If you’re planning on driving in the US, make sure to check the relevant state rules.
  • Bear in mind the heat, especially if you travel in some of the hottest months. For instance, in July, the average heat index is a blistering 107.6°F; in August, it’s 102.2°F. Heat exhaustion is possible, so take all the precautions you can, such as staying hydrated and avoiding spending too much time outdoors when it’s boiling hot. Also, don’t forget to reapply an SPF cream regularly.
  • Check out the weather conditions before you travel. We dive deeper into Virginia’s natural hazards in the FAQ section.
  • If you drive during your stay note that under no circumstances should you drive more than 85 miles per hour (regardless of the maximum speed limit) or go over the speed limit by more than 20 miles per hour. This is perceived as “reckless driving,” and it may result in harsh punishment such as a $2,500 fine, a 12-month prison sentence, license suspension (up to six months), or six points on a Virginia DMV record.
  • Virginia has a myriad of accommodation options. From hotels or self-catering alternatives to cottages and comfortable farmhouses, Virginia has something for everyone. It’s worth sharing that there are many camping options throughout the entire state too.
  • Consider doing some shopping, particularly in outlets and discounted shops. You can find many stores in the malls across Virginia, such as the Potomac Mills outlet, the Fashion Center at Pentagon City, as well as the Tysons Corner Center.
  • Virginia has a diverse nightlife. From rock venues and comedy clubs to pubs and jazz gigs, you can visit a different venue each night during your stay in the state.
  • You can drink tap water in Virginia.
  • Credit cards, particularly MasterCard and Visa are accepted across the entire state. With that said, it’s always a good idea to carry a bit of cash with you in cases of emergency or smaller expenses.
  • Don’t forget to get travel insurance before you go!

Over to You — Book Your Trip Today!

Buoys hanging on a wooden dock above some rocks during the least busy time to visit Virginia

Sandi Cullifer/Shutterstock

On the whole, the best time to visit Virginia is from April through early October (with July and August being excluded). There’s a myriad of festivals and events for everyone’s taste, and the weather is pleasant.

If you want to visit Virginia on a budget, go either in the September-November or in the December-February period.

As these months aren’t the best for spending time at the Virginia waterfront, prices go down, airfare deals increase, and there’s an abundance of accommodation options. The least busy time to visit Virginia is November and December.

These two months are good for visitors who want to avoid big queues and bigger crowds. Unsurprisingly, the worst time to visit Virginia is in July or August.

These really are the dog days of summer. In fact, it’s so devastatingly hot that you may find it difficult to partake in plenty of activities. All in all, the best time to visit is up to you and what you hope to get out of this journey.

We hope our detailed guide helped you not only make up your mind about when to go but also provided other valuable Virginia-related insights. Just pick your travel dates, mark your calendar, and make this a trip to remember!