In Virginia Beach, fall can be an underrated travel season. Still, for many reasons, fall is always a good time to visit this coastal Virginia town. Temperatures are getting milder. Festivals and other fun or scary events take place. Plus, there are places in Virginia Beach to view the fall foliage. Here are ten reasons to visit Virginia Beach in the fall.
ten U-pick apples and pumpkins
Virginia Beach has a rural farming community called Pungo, where visitors can enjoy some fall picking opportunities. Several farms offer apple and/or pumpkin picking.
Cullipher Farm Market has certain times and dates for its UPick Apples program. On its website, the farm offers a long list of apple varieties with different periods set for preparation for picking. These batches of apples include Somerset, Ambrosia, Crimson Crisp, Winecrisp, Pink Lady and Gold Rush. Before heading there, check their Facebook page for posts of potential schedule changes.
Hickory Ridge Farm hosts a fall festival and pumpkin picking from mid-September through October. It offers educational outings at this time of year. Also, for up-to-date information or updates on their pick-up schedule, check out their Facebook page.
Mountain Pleasant Farms also offers a U-Pick Pumpkin Season; it is best to call them directly or check their Facebook page for availability. The Virginia Beach Farmers Market is held year-round on Dam Neck Road and can be a bargain for fall produce and baked goods.
9 Hunt Club Farm Harvest and Halloween Festivals
Along with other Virginia Beach farms, the Hunt Club Farm offers a number of fall-related events and a pumpkin patch. The Hunt Club Farm hosts a daily harvest fair from mid-September to late October. Also, during this time, the Hunt Club Farm can seem a bit spooky with its Halloween festival known as “Haunted Hunt Club Farm”. From late September through Halloween, this month-long festival features four spooky and gory attractions on the farm; buy tickets in advance.
8 Virginia Beach Neptune Festival Boardwalk Weekend
As a summer farewell, this event highlights this city’s great and beloved statue of Neptune through a show and parade. Taking place in 2022, from September 30 through October 2, the Virginia Beach Neptune Festival Boardwalk Weekend features an arts and crafts show, grand parade, sailing regatta, and live music.
The highlight event of the weekend is the International Sand Sculpting Championship. Artisans from around the world come to Virginia Beach to create original sand masterpieces on display in Neptune’s Kingdom Land of Sand.
seven Virginia MOCA Boardwalk Art Exhibit
The Virginia Beach Boardwalk becomes the canvas for the annual Virginia MOCA Boardwalk Art Show. With the 2022 edition taking place October 22-24, this open-air, juried art exhibition and sale brings together nearly 300 artisans showcasing their original work in a wide variety of mediums.
This year’s exhibition and juried sale also incorporates activities and public artworks throughout the walkable ViBe Creative District, punctuated by more than 50 murals of all sizes.
6 Seasonal beers along the Virginia Beach Beer Trail
It is common for breweries to release seasonal beers made specifically at the time of fall. Virginia Beach has a beer route whose star breweries are spread throughout the city, including the Oceanfront and Chesapeake Bay neighborhoods.
With two locations, Back Bay Brewing gets quite creative in its recipes for its various hard beers and ciders. Their Facebook and Instagram pages announce new releases as their beer list changes weekly. The company also offers weekend tours of their farm property, including their five-barrel high-gravity brewing system. The tour offers three tastings, which are chosen by the staff each day, in their personalized tasting glasses from the farm. Your glass becomes a souvenir to take home after the visit.
5 Oyster sampling
Virginia oyster season is at its peak in the fall, and Virginia Beach’s food scene has some great restaurants to order a platter full of. 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 raw sea bass or the option to have them as Rockefeller oysters. Chick’s Oyster Bar is another place to go for oysters and is an attractive waterside spot along Vista Circle. The setting of Tautog’s restaurant is every bit as appealing as a serving of oysters – it is located inside a chalet. Don’t let Blue Seafood & Spirits’ mall location fool you, as this restaurant got high marks for oysters and other seafood.
Learn how Lynnhaven oysters are raised and harvested with Pleasure House Oysters, which takes people on three-hour boat tours. Tours offer a behind-the-scenes look at various oyster farms along the Lynnhaven River. The experience culminates with the freshly scaled fare on a waterside board.
4 The Virginia Aquarium Adventure Park
Another way to admire the fall foliage is to climb the trees by ziplining or rock climbing at the Virginia Aquarium Adventure Park. The park is a network of treetop bridges, swings, and ziplines in the sea forest between the aquarium’s south building and the bay and ocean pavilion.
Open to adults and children ages five and up, the Virginia Aquarium Adventure Park features differently colored trails indicating different ability levels. For beginners or experts, each trail features at least two ziplines suited to the age and skill level of each visitor.
3 Go to a cellar or a wine bar
Currently, Virginia Beach has two wineries and a few wine bars, where a weekend afternoon can be spent tasting. Mermaid Winery has two locations, one 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, 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, sweet wines and alcoholic slush blends. The winery also regularly hosts events.
Along with its wine bars, Tinto Wine & Cheese is known for its small, family owned wineries around the world. In addition to their retail space, Tinto Wine & Cheese hosts themed wine tastings, dinners and classes.
2 nightmarish mansion
As a haunted house, the Nightmare Mansion has been a spooky place in Virginia Beach for over two decades. The live actors greet visitors to the mansion in a way that isn’t delightful. The attraction is located on the Virginia Beach resort course. Note that children are not recommended to visit this place. The Nightmare Mansion coincides with Escape Nightmare Mansion, a theatrical experience meets an escape room but with spooky activities.
1 Get out on the water
Don’t plan on getting on the water in Virginia Beach in the fall just yet. Non-motorized boating, like kayaking, is a great way to experience fall by paddling the waterways where fall foliage embraces the surroundings.
The Back Bay National Wildlife Refuge is a good place to kayak, with a soft dirt ramp at the refuge’s visitor center. The company, Moore to Sea Photo Expeditions, offers a guided photo expedition to capture Instagram-worthy photos with beautiful leaves as your backdrop.
First Landing State Park has 20 miles of trails and 1.5 miles of sandy beach in the Chesapeake Bay. The park’s habitats are quite mixed; there are bald cypress swamps, lagoons and maritime forests, as well as rare plants and fauna. In the fall, First Landing State Park features the phenomenon of bioluminescent waters, which are likely caused by microscopic dinoflagellate plankton floating in the water.
The Stumpy Lake Natural Area is a 1,422-acre property that is partially divided into over 970 acres of undeveloped woodland surrounding a lake with an ADA-compliant elevated view. This natural area also includes a golf course and 2.65 km of flexible trails for shared use. It is perfect for hiking, fishing, bird watching, nature observation and photography.