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Back Bay National Wildlife Refuge

#10 of 124 things to do in Virginia Beach Features Animals
4005 Sandpiper Rd, Virginia Beach, VA 23456-4347
+1 757-301-7329
Review Highlights
Excellent place for kayaking

This is a beautiful place to investigate in a kayak or small raft. Easy access, much to see. With... read more

Reviewed 1 week ago
Anita G
Beautiful place. Friday evening ranger tour a plus

We visited the refuge many times during our visit to sandbridge. Morning runs along easy dike... read more

Reviewed 1 week ago
Kathie L
via mobile
Read all 274 reviews
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This Virginia Beach wildlife refuge offers visitors hiking, biking, fishing, kayaking/canoeing and nature photography in a completely natural environment. The Refuge grounds are open sunrise to sunset daily. The Visitor Center hours of operation are the following: Memorial Day - Labor Day: Tuesday-Friday 8am-4pm, Saturday & Sunday 9am-4pm Labor Day - Memorial Day: Tuesday-Friday 8am-4pm, Saturday 9am-4pm
  • Excellent69%
  • Very good23%
  • Average6%
  • Poor1%
  • Terrible1%
Travellers talk about
Closed Now
All hours
Hours Today: 08:00 - 16:00
Suggested Duration: 2-3 hours
4005 Sandpiper Rd, Virginia Beach, VA 23456-4347
+1 757-301-7329
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Reviews (274)
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1 - 10 of 269 reviews

Reviewed 1 week ago

This is a beautiful place to investigate in a kayak or small raft. Easy access, much to see. With each visit we enjoyed many birds, crabs, sting rays, etc. A relaxing place to paddle around with old, young and anyone in between. No cost enjoyment...More

Thank Anita G
Reviewed 1 week ago via mobile

We visited the refuge many times during our visit to sandbridge. Morning runs along easy dike, afternoon walks on the deserted beach, bike ride to False cape in the drizzling rain, and the 6pm ranger led tour Friday night. Whenever you come, the scenery is...More

Thank Kathie L
Management response:Responded 6 days ago

Dear Kathie L, It is so good to hear that you enjoyed visiting Back Bay NWR during your visit to Sandbridge! We are also very happy to know that the Friday night tram was an enjoyable program. We hope you can come back to visit...More

Reviewed 4 weeks ago

We were there too early in the season, and saw noThing but the beauty of the surf and sand. It was very peaceful in March, and also quite chilly.More

Thank loist51
Management response:Responded 4 weeks ago

Hi Loist51, It is good to hear you enjoyed your peaceful visit. We definitely recommend coming in the winter (November - February) to see the ducks, geese and swans. Then, a little later in the spring, around April and May, is a great time to...More

Reviewed 13 July 2017 via mobile

Best $5 we've spent so far. Wish it wasn't so hot but we visited during a heatwave. Altogether, it's very peaceful and beautiful. A nice coastal ride. A lot of Birds and tons of dragonflies. We didn't see any snakes or dangerous wildlife but the...More

Thank FoodBucketList
Management response:Responded 18 July 2017

Dear FoodBucketList, We are so glad you enjoyed your hot but peaceful visit. Summer has definitely hit hard the last couple weeks! We hope you can visit again to see snakes, turtles, frogs, deer and others. Sincerely, Back Bay NWR Staff

Reviewed 11 July 2017

This is primarily a review of the Blue Goose Tram which, in the summer, departs 9 am daily from the visitor center. Fortunately the weather was not to hot (mid 80s) and as a result we had a nice trip. My fellow passengers included 4...More

Thank Ed C
Management response:Responded 13 July 2017

Dear Ed C, Thank you so much for your review of the Blue Goose Tram. We will pass along to Herb and the Back Bay Restoration Foundation. We hope you will come back and visit soon! Sincerely, Back Bay NWR Staff

Reviewed 27 June 2017

This is the southernmost tip of Sandbridge, and a great opportunity to see unspoiled beaches and appreciate nature. Quiet & tranquil, the peacefulness of the area can't be beat. Bring your camera. There is a tram that gives you the opportunity to travel further into...More

Thank SaraSueCK_
Management response:Responded 27 June 2017

Dear SaraSueCK_, The peacefulness of the area is certainly one of the most alluring aspects of the refuge. We are glad to hear you felt it too. Come visit again! Sincerely, Back Bay NWR Staff

Reviewed 23 June 2017

A real gem at the southern end of Sandbridge that is protected by a mile-long no entry zone - even at beach level - between the developed areas and the pristine dunes, ponds, and bay. From the Refuge one could walk (almost) forever southwards along...More

Thank Marshall B
Management response:Responded 27 June 2017

Dear Marshall B, Congratulations on your yellow perch! Fishing has been a lot of fun the last couple weeks. It is such a great activity to get in touch with nature. We hope you can visit again. Sincerely, Back Bay NWR Staff

Reviewed 20 June 2017 via mobile

Visitor center, fishing, hiking, biking and lots of trails to hike. Nice beach area. Ranger hikes and programs. Bring lots of sunscreen and insect repellent. Can be very hot in summer. Kayak launch is also available. Worth a visit for sure.More

Thank B W
Management response:Responded 27 June 2017

Dear B W, Thanks for the review. You are right - it can be very hot in the summer! Mornings and evenings are the best for wildlife viewing, and for our own internal thermostats! We hope you can visit again soon. Sincerely, Back Bay NWR...More

Reviewed 17 June 2017

We took the tram tour of Back Bay National Wildlife Refuge and False Cape State Park. Though it was a cold,windy day, we enjoyed the tour. Our volunteer guide was excellent and was willing to stop when we wanted pictures. We were especially fascinated with...More

Thank Jane N
Management response:Responded 21 June 2017

Hi Jane N, We are so glad to hear you enjoyed the tram ride. It is an excellent opportunity to view both the refuge and the park. Hopefully the next time you visit it won't be raining! Sincerely, Back Bay NWR Staff

Reviewed 13 June 2017

We had a cool dreary day and could not go to the beach and I found info on the Back Bay and decided to take the kids for something to do. We had a really good time. We stopped at the visitors center and a...More

Thank Scott S
Management response:Responded 27 June 2017

Dear Scott S, Wow - a bobcat! That is a great wildlife sighting. We are so glad the refuge was able to provide a fun day away from the beach. Hope your return trip is soon! Sincerely, Back Bay NWR Staff

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Questions & Answers
Te'ara M
3 July 2017|
AnswerShow all 2 answers
Response from Scott S | Reviewed this property |
I hate snakes big time. The women at the visitors center said they are out and about but that they normally stay away from people. We took the one trail by the bay and it was high grass on both sides with a gravel path. I... More
Lauren P
5 September 2016|
AnswerShow all 6 answers
Response from Erica B | Reviewed this property |
I have 2 children 4 and 7 when we went there and they loved it! They were content with just seeing a blue heron and a couple turtles.😊
Vickie S
10 April 2015|
AnswerShow all 3 answers
Response from kevincollins999 | Reviewed this property |
I would also contact Back Bay National Wildlife Refuge. You might be able to off the beach?????