Catch Sunset on the Wild Shores of Back Bay National Wildlife Refuge

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Added by Jennifer Carr

Incredible sunsets over Back Bay make you forget that you're on the east coast.

At the far south end of Virginia Beach’s Sandbridge community lies a seldom visited natural treasure, Back Bay National Wildlife Refuge.  The expansive beaches feel wilder than the shores just a few miles north and are littered with the footprints of sandpipers, rather than that of humans.  On the west side, the marsh waters of Back Bay serve as the fishing holes for the Great Blue Heron and a wealth of others animals.  My favorite reason for visiting is to photograph the sunset over Back Bay.  Watching sunset from the west facing shoreline, you’d never imagine you were standing on the far east side of the country.  

To get to Back Bay from the Virginia Beach Oceanfront, follow General Booth Boulevard South 6 miles to Princess Anne Road, continuing on as it turns into Sandbridge Road, another 6 miles.  After making a pit stop for fresh homemade donuts at the Sandbridge Market, turn right onto Sandpiper Road and follow the road for 4 miles to the entrance of the wildlife refuge. Entrance fees are required from April through October.

Tip: Bring bug spray, you’ll need it!

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Incredible sunsets

You can really get some unbelievable sunsets here. On less windy days, the water can create a glass like affect that makes for amazing photo opps.

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Leave No Trace

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures and follow local regulations. Please explore responsibly!

We want to acknowledge and thank the past, present, and future generations of all Native Nations and Indigenous Peoples whose ancestral lands we travel, explore, and play on.

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