Battle of the Beaches

Northerner takes on VB to decide which beach is truly best


Nina Luangrath

On April 9, 2022, Oceanfront in Virginia Beach, VA hosts many tourists and locals alike as the weather is partly cloudy and the sky is a vibrant view.

As someone who grew up about half an hour away from Washington, D.C., going to the beach was more of an annual vacation over the summer rather than an easily accessible weekend getaway. Exploring beaches in the area has become quite the treat for me, and I have decided to give locals a taste of an outsider’s review.

Before my move, I had never been to Virginia Beach; however, there are certain requirements and conditions that a beach must meet to become a favorite. Ideally, beaches should be quiet, intimate and clean. They should be in a nice area around yummy food places and somewhere that has good parking is best.

The first beach I visited was only about two months ago and less than 10 minutes away from my house: the Oceanfront. 

Don’t get me wrong, Oceanfront is adorable and so much fun, but it is ridiculously crowded and traffic can be rough. It is more of a tourist attraction than anything, and the beach itself is kind of dirty and too busy.

“I don’t usually go down to the Oceanfront, since there is so much to do that it attracts a lot of tourists which creates chaos,” said senior Zoey Turnage, who has grown up in Virginia Beach.

I would not necessarily call myself a local yet, but a lot of typical attractions at the Oceanfront have lost their appeal. 

For example, the shops and stores are crowded and tacky, the food is overpriced and there is so much smoke in the air, it could not possibly be safe.

The next beach I visited was during spring break: Sandbridge. This beach was much more secluded, which is preferable, and only a few minutes extra on the road than the Oceanfront. For the most part, Sandbridge was clean, and I have visited a number of times afterward.

“For me and most of the locals here, we go to Sandbridge to get away from all the crowds,” said senior Delaney Ludwig. “It is clean, well maintained and has a few good restaurants that are filled with locals in the prime summer.”

At Sandbridge, it is much easier to partake in activities without the fear of looking like a caged animal in front of tourists walking the Oceanfront. It is much more spacious for families to play beach games like volleyball or spikeball without having to interact with other parties there also.

So far, this beach checks off all the requirements and has worked its way right on top of the list of best beaches in VB. Sandbridge is much more preferred for future experiences and those few extra minutes it takes to get there than Oceanfront do not take away from all of the really good qualities.

The next and final stop on the tour of VB beaches was Croatan Beach.

Croatan Beach was not crowded at all, just with locals, and is mostly a surfing beach, so everyone, including surfers and locals, has their own space which is quite nice. As a non-surfer, Croatan is just not really ideal due to the waves, the parking being far from the beach itself, and the sand is not the brightest or cleanest so it just is not worth the hassle.

It is probably so that Sandbridge and Croatan are much cleaner than Oceanfront because they are more residential, but that should not stop efforts in cleaning up the beaches, picking up after yourself, and reducing smoke.

That being said, in my utmost opinion, Sandbridge Beach takes the cake as the best beach in VB as it trumps the other two in lack of popularity, cleanliness and proximity, so it would be in your best interest to take a few visits this summer.