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Natural Wonders In And Around Colonial Beach


A Different Kind of Beach

The beach in Colonial Beach is unusual.  It is the second longest beach in Virginia, but that’s only one of the things that make it special.  Breakwaters create a graceful scalloped effect of multiple separate pools along the shore.   It’s a beach made for today’s tastes and lifestyle.  For one thing, many portions of the beach are shaded so it’s popular for people who don’t want too much sun exposure.  The waters are placid; its waves are ripples not white caps so it’s easy to swim there or play with small children at water’s edge.  No sharks have been reported for years, but you might get a thrill spotting pods of bottlenose dolphins weaving up and down in the water.  And the beach is generally not crowded so you can maintain safe distance, especially on weekdays.  And, of course, you also get to enjoy the show the ospreys put on diving into the water or fighting competitors for their fish.

(Note: as with all freshwater swimming it is advisable to shower after swimming.)

Marinas and Water Sports   

Its waters also make Colonial Beach a welcoming harbor for boats of all varieties.  There are nine marinas to accommodate big boats and small.  Some long-terms renters make their home on them.  Others boaters come back to the same marina year after year.  Together they build a sense of community like that found throughout Colonial Beach.


A lot of effort is put into providing a full range of amenities at the marinas.  At the Boat House Marina, for instance, owner Bill Bowman welcomes long term rentals, but also has numerous transient slips and makes a captains’ lounge, bathrooms, and showers available 24-7.  His marina also offers floating piers and a picnic area. Boaters can also shop in what Bowman calls “the largest marine store on the Northern Neck.” To check them out visit

The Nightingale Marina affords boaters a chance to regain their land legs.  It has fully equipped motel rooms and a beautifully landscaped area for picnicking and relaxing while taking in the sunset over Monroe Bay. The Swinks who operate the Nightingale are major contributors to community life in Colonial Beach.  For years Jan Swink has led creation of a winter wonderland in the center of town.  Her husband Bob’s real estate office, Colonial Beach Realty, houses one of the largest collections of Colonial Beach memorabilia to be found anywhere in town short of the museum.  Call (804) 224-7956 for more information.

The Colonial Beach Yacht Center

The Colonial Beach Yacht Center is located at the tip of “The Point” where the river and bay meet.  It has several claims to fame including “The Otter House,” a “tiny house” Airbnb located atop a pontoon boat docked there.  On the grounds is one of the town’s top seafood restaurants, Dockside.  It also offers live music in the cooler seasons at an indoor bar area, and its outdoor Tiki Bar attracts top regional bands and appreciative fans.  Learn more at

Other marinas include Parker’s Marina, Monroe Bay and Winkie Doodle Marina, the Ice House Marina, and Bayside Marina.  More information is available on all of the marinas through the Colonial Beach Chamber of Commerce at

Kayaking, canoeing, and jet skiing are also popular in Colonial Beach.  Rentals are available at many of the marinas and at the Ferry Landing Pier on the beachfront.