In Virginia Beach, autumn can be an underrated travel season. Yet, for a lot of reasons, fall is still a good time to visit this Virginian coastal city. The temperatures get milder. Festivals and other fun or frightening events are happening. Plus, there are spots in Virginia Beach for viewing fall foliage. Here are ten reasons to visit Virginia Beach during the fall.
10 Apple And Pumpkin U-Picking
Virginia Beach has a rural farming community called Pungo, in which visitors can go for some fall U-picking opportunities. There are a number of farms offering apple and/or pumpkin picking.
Cullipher Farm Market has certain times and dates for its UPick Apples program. On their website, the farm has a long list of apple varieties with various periods set for picking readiness. These batches of apples include Somerset, Ambrosia, Crimson Crisp, Winecrisp, Pink Lady, and Gold Rush. Before heading there, check their Facebook page for postings of potential scheduling changes.
Hickory Ridge Farm holds a fall festival and a pick-your-own pumpkin patch from mid-September through October. It offers educational field trips this time of year. Also, for current information or updates on their u-pick schedule, see their Facebook page.
Mountain Pleasant Farms offers a U-Pick pumpkin season, too; it’s best to call them directly or see their Facebook page for availability. The Virginia Beach Farmers Market takes place year-round on Dam Neck Road and can be a great deal for finding fall produce and baked treats.
9 Harvest And Halloween Festivals At Hunt Club Farm
Alongside other farms in Virginia Beach, the Hunt Club Farm has a number of fall-related events and a pumpkin patch. The Hunt Club Farm puts on a Harvest Fair open daily from mid-September through the end of October. Also, during that time, the Hunt Club Farm can feel a little scary with their Halloween festival known as “Haunted Hunt Club Farm.” From the end of September through Halloween, this over month-long festival brings out four scary and gory attractions to the farm; purchase tickets in advance.
8 Virginia Beach Neptune Festival Boardwalk Weekend
As a summer send-off, this event puts the spotlight on this city’s big and beloved Neptune Statue through pageantry and a parade. Taking place in 2022, from Sept. 30 through Oct. 2, the Virginia Beach Neptune Festival Boardwalk Weekend features a fine art and craft show, a grand parade, a sailing regatta, and live music.
The weekend’s signature event is the International Sand Sculpting Championship. Craftsmen from around the globe come to Virginia Beach to create original sand masterpieces displayed in Neptune’s Kingdom Land of Sand.
7 Virginia MOCA Boardwalk Art Show
The Virginia Beach Boardwalk becomes the canvas for the annual Virginia MOCA Boardwalk Art Show. With the 2022 edition taking place Oct. 22-24, this outdoor and juried art show and sale brings nearly 300 artisans showcasing their original work in a wide variety of mediums.
This year, the juried show and sale also incorporate activities and public artwork throughout the resort’s walkable ViBe Creative District, punctuated by more than 50 murals of all sizes.
6 Seasonal Beers along the Virginia Beach Beer Trail
It’s common for breweries to release seasonal beers made specifically in timing with fall. Virginia Beach has a beer trail whose featured breweries are spread out across the city, including in the Oceanfront and Chesapeake Bay districts.
With two locations, Back Bay Brewing gets pretty creative in its recipes for its various beers and hard ciders. Their Facebook and Instagram pages announce new releases as their beer list changes weekly. The company also offers weekend tours of their farmhouse property, including their five-barrel high gravity brew system. The tour provides three tastings, which are chosen by the staff each day, in their custom branded farmhouse taster glasses. Your glass becomes a souvenir for you to take home after the tour.
5 Sampling Oysters
Virginia’s oyster season is at its peak in the fall, and Virginia Beach’s dining scene has good restaurants for ordering a platter full of them. In fact, the Lynnhaven oyster is local to Virginia Beach and is known for its large size and salty flavor.
Lucky Oyster is a seafood grill that serves oysters daily, with a raw bar or the option of having them as Oysters Rockefeller. Chick’s Oyster Bar is another place to go for oysters and is an attractive waterside venue along Vista Circle. Tautog’s Restaurant’s setting is just as appealing as an oyster serving—it’s located inside a cottage. Don’t let Blue Seafood & Spirits’ location in a strip mall fool you, as this restaurant has gotten high marks for oysters and other seafood servings.
Learn how Lynnhaven oysters are raised and harvested with Pleasure House Oysters, which takes people out on three-hour boat tours. The tours provide a behind-the-scenes look through various oyster farms along the Lynnhaven River. The experience culminates with the fresh-shucked fare on a waterfront tableau.
4 The Adventure Park At Virginia Aquarium
A different way to take in fall foliage is by being up in the trees by ziplining or climbing at The Adventure Park at Virginia Aquarium. The park is a network of tree-top bridges, swings, and zip lines in the maritime forest between the aquarium’s South Building and Bay & Ocean Pavilion.
Open to both adults and children ages five and up, The Adventure Park at Virginia Aquarium has different colored trails signifying different levels of ability. As a newbie or expert, each trail has at least two ziplines that suit every visitor’s age and skill level.
3 Go to a Winery Or Wine Bar
Currently, Virginia Beach has two wineries and some wine bars, where a weekend afternoon can be spent over a tasting. Mermaid Winery has two locations, with one of them being in Virginia Beach, in the Chix’s Beach area on Shore Drive, and the other in Norfolk. Their Virginia Beach location also serves lunch and dinner, with their wine selections including chardonnay, a sparkling rosé, merlot, cabernet franc, and malbec.
Virginia Beach Winery, a family-run small batch winery, produces its wines in stainless steel tanks. Their specialties are dry and sweet wines and alcoholic slushy mixes. The winery also hosts events regularly.
With wine bars, Tinto Wine & Cheese is known for souring small production, family-owned wineries from around the world. Along with their retail space, Tinto Wine & Cheese holds themed wine tastings, dinners, and classes.
2 Nightmare Mansion
As a haunted house, the Nightmare Mansion has been a frightful fixture in Virginia Beach for over two decades. Live actors greet visitors to the mansion in a way that is not delightful. The attraction is located on Virginia Beach’s resort trip. Note that children are not recommended to visit this place. The Nightmare Mansion coincides with Escape Nightmare Mansion, a theatrical experience meets escape room but with some scary activities.
1 Getting Out On The Water
Don’t count out getting on the water in Virginia Beach during autumn just yet. Non-motorized boating—as in kayaking—is one great way to experience autumn by paddling in waterways where fall foliage embraces the surroundings.
The Back Bay National Wildlife Refuge is a good kayaking spot, with a soft earthen launch at the refuge’s visitor center. The company, Moore to Sea Photo Expeditions, offers a guided photo expedition to capture Instagram-worthy photos with some beautiful leaves in the backdrop.
First Landing State Park has 20 miles of trails and 1.5 miles of sandy Chesapeake Bay beach frontage. The park’s habitats are quite mixed; there are bald cypress swamps, lagoons and maritime forests, and rare plants and wildlife. During fall, First Landing State Park features the phenomena of bioluminescent waters, which are said to be likely caused by microscopic dinoflagellate plankton floating in the water.
Stumpy Lake Natural Area is a 1,422-acre property that is partly broken down into 970-plus acres of undeveloped, forested land surrounding a lake with a raised ADA-compliant overlook. This nature area also contains a golf course and 1.65 miles of soft shared-use trails. It is perfect for hiking, fishing, bird watching, nature observation, and photography.