Best Time to Visit Virginia Beach for Weather, Prices, and Crowds

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The best time to visit Virginia Beach depends on your budget, the crowds and weather
The inviting shores and blue skies in Virginia Beach from June-September

Virginia Beach is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the southeastern US. However, a trip in January can be vastly different from a trip in July, so there are a few things to consider when determining the best time to visit Virginia Beach.

If you want access to all of the city's amenities and activities, going during the summer (June-September) is recommended. Everything will be open, and the water will be warm enough for swimming. Summer is also the best time to go if you prefer warm weather since temperatures are usually between 70 and 86 degrees Fahrenheit.

If you want to avoid high crowd levels, spring (March-June) and fall (September-December) are seasons to consider, especially if you want lower prices.

No matter when you visit, Virginia Beach will have something fun and unique to offer. Keep reading to figure out when you should book your ideal trip!

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Virginia Beach Vacation Planning Questions

Home and buildings with roads and trees next to a beach
Planning a vacation to Virginia beach
A long wooden pier with the sea and beach sand underneath
Virginia Beach is a popular summer vacation spot with warm but comfortable weather

When is the best time to visit Virginia Beach?

May-September is the best time to visit Virginia Beach. Most activities and businesses are open and host multiple events like the Virginia Beach Music Weekend, which is usually held at the end of May.

However, while the late spring (March-June) and summer (June-September) periods are great if you want to experience everything the city offers, they're also busy. Virginia Beach is a popular summer vacation spot since the water is warm and there are many activities for families to enjoy.

You likely won't find many hotels or flight deals because of the high demand for them. Booking your trip early is also highly recommended to ensure you have transport and accommodation options.

Virginia Beach's climate between May and September is warm and comfortable. Temperatures usually vary between 76 and 87 degrees Fahrenheit. Spring and summer can both be rainy seasons, with about a week of precipitation each month.

A group of trees in a park with a wooden picnic shelter
Virginia Beach is the cheapest to visit during March-June and September-December

When is the cheapest time to go to Virginia Beach?

Spring (March-June) and fall (September-December) are the cheapest times to visit Virginia Beach. These are both "shoulder seasons," which means they're off-peak times for tourists.

Since fewer tourists are in the area, many businesses will lower their prices. You can find budget-friendly hotel rooms, and flights to the nearby airports will also be cheaper.

Norfolk International Airport is the closest option, and it's about 30 minutes from the city. However, since it's the most convenient, it's often the most expensive. March-May and October-December are the best times to book flights with airlines that service this airport.

The weather during these times can be hit or miss. Spring temperatures are usually between 56 and 70 degrees Fahrenheit and Fall, on the other hand, is warmer, with temperatures between 54 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit. Both seasons have similar amounts of rainfall, usually about seven days per month.

Kyle J Little/
A large Ferris wheel surrounded by cars and buildings
Virginia Beach is a popular destination during the summer months

When is Virginia Beach's peak season?

Virginia Beach's peak season starts in May and lasts through the summer (June-September). This is mainly because it is a popular spot for families to vacation when school is out.

There are a lot of pros to visiting at this time. All the city's businesses and tours are open because there is no shortage of tourists to fill the spaces. Don't expect to find many deals in these months.

The cheapest options tend to book up quickly, and the best hotels on the beach can be a bit pricey if you're on a tight budget. Airlines also charge more for flights during the summer.

The weather is easily why the city is so popular in the summer. Temperatures rarely go above 86 degrees Fahrenheit, so it's not too hot but warm enough to swim. The nice weather is ideal for adventure activities like a wetlands zipline tour.

A long stretch of beach with buildings in the background
Spring and fall are the best time to visit Virginia Beach for budget travelers

When is Virginia Beach's off-peak season?

Spring (March-May) and fall (September-December) are the best off-peak times for travelers to visit Virginia Beach. When schools nationwide are still in session, fewer out-of-state families come to the area, resulting in less crowding.

This is an excellent time to visit if you're on a budget. The cheapest hotels near Virginia Beach are the first to offer deals in the spring and fall. However, it's not uncommon to find discounts at more expensive lodging, especially around March, November, and December.

The weather is a bit cooler during these seasons, with temperatures between 50 and 76 degrees Fahrenheit on average. You can also expect about seven days a month of rainfall in both spring and fall. Despite being the off-season, there's still a lot to do, from checking out local breweries and shops to experiencing a haunted ghost tour!

A beach with waves crashing on grey rocks at sunrise
Watch out for whales in January as they migrate to the Virginia Beach coast

When is the best time to see whales in Virginia Beach?

Humpback and fin whales both pass by Virginia Beach's coast during their migration to warmer waters in the winter (December-March). If you're interested in seeing these examples of the area's wildlife, January is the best month to visit Virginia Beach.

In January, humpback whales' migration season is in full swing. You can rent a boat to see them up close, but you can also get a great view from the shore.

Keep in mind that whales are generally more active before sunrise and after sunset. You'll catch a few glimpses of them at other times, but you're likely to see more around dawn and dusk.

If you don't have a view of the water from your hotel, pack warm outer clothing for a comfortable outdoor experience. Virginia Beach's temperatures during the winter tend to stay in the low-mid 50s Fahrenheit range.

A sandy beach with a pier and a body of water with a walkway and colored flags
Virginia Beach receives over seven million tourists annually

What is the number of tourists who visit Virginia Beach annually?

Virginia Beach is the biggest city in the state per capita, with over 440 000 residents. Part of its size is due to the city's booming tourism industry.

Over seven million tourists visit the area annually for an overnight visit, which doesn't include the many day trippers.

Most tourists come to Virginia Beach in the summer (June-September) when the 80-86 degree Fahrenheit weather allows for comfortable swimming. However, Spring (March-June) and fall (September-December) also see a lot of out-of-towners.

If you visit the area during one of these busy seasons and want a break from the crowds, the best time of day to go to Virginia Beach will be in the morning. Things are usually quieter before noon because it's not as warm, and some tourist activities aren't open yet.

Two dolphins swimming
Dolphins can be seen off the coast of Virginia Beach during the summer months

When is the best time to see dolphins in Virginia Beach?

Summer (June-September) is the best time to plan a trip if you're wondering when to visit Virginia Beach to see the dolphins. Dolphins can be seen off the city's coast between Memorial Day at the end of May and Labor Day at the beginning of September.

You can usually see the dolphins from the shore or through windows near the beach, but you can also rent a boat if you want to see them up close. You can even book a dolphin kayak tour if you're someone who likes staying active while on vacation.

Dolphins are active in bursts, so keep that in mind before you head out to look for them. You'll see them around dawn, late morning between 10 a.m. and noon, and around dusk. These are also less crowded beach times, so you'll have a little more seclusion if you want to dolphin-watch from the sand.

A marina with boats and a body of water with surrounding buildings
Norfolk and Virginia Beach have nearly identical weather in the summer

When is the best time to visit Norfolk, Virginia Beach?

Many Virginia Beach locals recommend planning a trip to Norfolk during your visit. The cities are about a 20-minute drive away from each other, making it a good day trip option.

Summer (June-September) is the best time to visit Norfolk if your main concern has nice weather. The weather is nearly identical to Virginia Beach's thanks to their proximity, temperatures usually hover in the 70-84 degrees Fahrenheit range, and there are around seven rainy days per month.

Summer is Norfolk's busiest and most expensive season, however. If you'd prefer to avoid crowds, winter (December-March) is ideal since you'll mostly encounter locals during those months. A lot of seasonal businesses will be closed, though.

Spring (March-June) and fall (September-December) tend to offer a good balance of cost, climate, and crowd levels. Temperatures are usually around 56-75 degrees Fahrenheit and prices are lowered due to less demand for amenities.

A tall, light-brown brick lighthouse with bushes in front under a clear blue sky
May-September is the best time to visit Cape Henry Lighthouse in Virginia Beach

When is the best time to visit the lighthouse in Virginia Beach?

May-September is the best time of year to visit Virginia Beach if you're interested in seeing the lighthouse. Cape Henry Lighthouse has been one of the most famous Virginia Beach landmarks since it first opened in 1881.

While the lighthouse is open all year, summer (June-September) will give you the best experience. Skies are usually clear, so you'll get a great view of the horizon if you climb the lighthouse.

The weather is also warm, with temperatures usually between 70 and 86 degrees Fahrenheit, which is comfortable if you plan to stay in the outdoor area around the lighthouse.

However, this is a crowded season for the city. You'll likely have to wait in line to enter, and many people will be around. If you'd prefer dealing with lower crowd levels, spring (March-June) and fall (September-December) are better times to visit.

Weather, Prices, and Crowds in Virginia Beach

Waves lapping at a pristine beach and a boardwalk beside it
Choosing a time to visit Virginia beach based on weather, prices, and crowds

Virginia Beach in winter

Though Virginia Beach in December has Christmas and New Year's Eve festivities, winter (December-March) is generally the city's least busy time. Very few out-of-towners come to the city at this time of year.

Virginia beach has over 400 000 residents, and they generally stick around when winter comes. Be aware that many tourist-based activities close their doors after Christmas and stay closed until spring (March-June). If you find yourself in the area around the holidays and are looking for something to do, consider booking a painting class.

Winter is the most budget-friendly time to visit, though. Airlines servicing the area will probably offer deals on flights, and hotels will also discount their room rates. If you want to go whale-watching, Virginia Beach is an affordable place to do so in the winter.

Virginia Beach rarely gets snow, but winter can be rainy. There are typically seven-eight days each month when there will be measurable rainfall, but they're usually showers that don't last long. Temperatures in the winter also rarely dip below 40 degrees Fahrenheit.

Virginia Beach in spring

According to locals, Spring (March-June) is probably the best time to visit the Virginia Beach area. The weather is nice and ideal for walking around; temperatures are usually around 56-75 degrees Fahrenheit, with about seven days of rain per month.

While crowd levels tend to be pretty low during the season, Virginia Beach gets busier in May. Since schools let out for the year around midway through the month, more families start arriving in the city.

Early spring is a great time to travel if you want an affordable trip. Nice yet inexpensive hotels in Virginia Beach, VA, will lower their room rates even further to encourage tourists to come to the city. You'll also find more budget-friendly flight options start to pop up if you begin looking at least a month or two before you travel.

Virginia Beach in the summer

Summer (June-September) is Virginia's busiest tourist season. People from all over the country come to the area to go dolphin-watching and swimming.

Unlike some beach locations, Virginia Beach doesn't usually get too hot; temperatures rarely go above 86 degrees Fahrenheit, and the daily average is usually around 75-80 degrees Fahrenheit.

Since hotels and airlines know many people like to travel during the summer months, they're less likely to offer deals. However, you're more likely to find options to fit your budget if you make your travel plans two-four months in advance.

If you wait until the last minute to book a summer trip, you're more likely to spend more to get seats on a plane and suitable accommodation, or worse, find that the entire city is virtually booked up.

Despite the crowds, summer can still be a great time for couples to travel. A lot of businesses open seasonally, so there are numerous romantic date activities you can do.

Virginia Beach in the fall

In the fall (September-December), you won't have difficulty finding cheap flights to Virginia Beach because there are fewer tourists. Around halfway through September and until the end of the season, prices on hotels and flights will start to drop. You'll also be able to find more last-minute options to suit your budget.

Though Virginia Beach in September can be busy, there's a noticeable drop in tourists after Labor Day weekend. Some tourist attractions offer deals about a week after the holiday to encourage visitors before they close until spring (March-June).

Virginia Beach's fall weather is consistent, with the summer highs steadily decreasing before reaching an average of around 56 degrees Fahrenheit in December. While swimming late in the season isn't recommended, the water is usually comfortably warm through the end of October.

In Summary

There's no "bad time" to visit Virginia Beach; since it's the most populated city in the state, there's always something going on.

Winter (December-March) offers stunning whale watching, low crowd levels, and lower prices. Summer (June-September) has warm weather, excellent swimming conditions, and a variety of entertainment options. Instead, spring (March-June) and fall (September-December) offer a mix of winter and summer advantages like lower prices and warmer temperatures.

Hopefully, this article has helped you narrow your travel preferences so that you can plan the best possible trip to Virginia Beach. All you have to do now is start planning!

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Written by Gabrielle T

ggtraveler1213 FORMER WRITER Gabrielle loves all things travel and culture. She is originally from the USA, but she has lived in Italy for over a decade. She's always ready to pack her bags, grab her passport, and head out on an adventure!

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