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(2021 - Spring/Summer Issue)


Did you know that Virginia Beach, at the mouth of the Chesapeake Bay, is the closest warm-water beach to Ontario and Québec? Famed for its miles of safe, beautiful beaches and warm, swimmable waters, visitors to Virginia are spoiled for choice when it comes to planning water-time vacation fun.

Slow down, enjoy the surf, and indulge in the favourite local occupation of beachcombing. Suss out shells such as periwinkles, oyster drillers, and the rare Queen Helmet Conch.

Adventure seekers have their pick of watery thrills. How about rafting the rapids on the Shenandoah River? Or paddling along the water trails through the hidden coves of the Chesapeake Bay?

Families can splash all day at Water Country USA, Virginia’s largest water park. In this wet world of slides and coasters, ample activities create a great escape for all ages.

Let us further whet your appetite with these watery wonders:

Aquatic Adventures

Conquer the mighty James River through downtown Richmond. Revered as the best “River Town” in the USA, it’s the only place in the country where you can ride Class IV whitewater rapids in an urban setting. Catch a guided expedition featuring stunning views of the city skyline.

If you’re a serious backcountry paddler, try a multi-night trip to a freshwater reservoir such as Buggs Island Lake, or explore the banks of the Potomac or Rappahannock rivers. Camp on an island along the way and relax in tune with nature. Belle Isle State Park in Richmond has paddle-in camping sites with canoes or kayaks available for rent.

Lazy Rivers

If you’re looking to take it slow, Pohick Bay is perfect for families who want to cruise the Potomac River by kayak, canoe or stand-up paddleboard. Take a lazy paddle along the marshes around Pohick Creek and spot shorebirds and hawks. Listen closely for busy woodpeckers and spot bald eagle nests with eagles soaring above.

Love the rush of a river, but want to let the water do the work? Try tubing! Get ready for a lazy day enjoying the river with one of the many outfitters along the Shenandoah and James rivers. Front Royal Outdoors offers life vests, maps—and even a cooler tube—for your float day along the South Fork of the Shenandoah River.


For the ultimate family-friendly beach and water day, head to Virginia Beach for a thrilling paddle with the local dolphins and porpoises on a respectfully distanced guided kayaking tour.

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