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Back Bay National Wildlife Refuge

Certificate of Excellence
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Address: 4005 Sandpiper Rd, Virginia Beach, VA 23456-4347
Phone Number: +1 757-301-7329
Website
Today
08:00 - 16:00
Closed now
See all hours
Hours:
Tue - Fri 08:00 - 16:00
Sat 09:00 - 16:00
Recommended length of visit: 2-3 hours
Description:

This Virginia Beach wildlife refuge offers visitors hiking, biking,...

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

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TripAdvisor Reviewer Highlights

Read all 249 reviews
Visitor rating
  • 167
    Excellent
  • 56
    Very good
  • 17
    Average
  • 4
    Poor
  • 1
    Terrible
Birding with Teens

My son and his friend really wanted to come here to bird. They did all the planning. I was the taxi service. They spent twice as long here than expected. I walked the paths and... read more

5 of 5 bubblesReviewed 1 week ago
William B
,
Lynchburg, Virginia
via mobile
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249 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Showing 245: English reviews
Lynchburg, Virginia
Level Contributor
316 reviews
82 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 81 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 week ago via mobile

My son and his friend really wanted to come here to bird. They did all the planning. I was the taxi service. They spent twice as long here than expected. I walked the paths and took in the nature. It was a wonderful Sunday in an outdoor church.

Helpful?
Thank William B
Management response:

William B, We are so glad to hear your son and his friend were so excited and motivated to come out to Back Bay NWR to bird. Thank you for being the taxi! ~Back Bay NWR Staff More 

Virginia Beach, Virginia
Level Contributor
222 reviews
47 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 224 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 weeks ago via mobile

5 STARS all the way for this national treasure. I'm not over stating myself. It is a national park and I believe it to be a treasure that we in Hampton Roads are so fortunate to have preserved. A small price get you and your family in. During the off-season they work on the honor system much like our state... More 

Helpful?
Thank J David H
Management response:

J David H, Thank you so much for your review of Back Bay NWR. We are so happy that you are enjoying your local national wildlife refuge! Now that birds are arriving on the winter migration we are in for fun days of bird watching and photography! Sincerely, Back Bay NWR Staff More 

Phoenix, Arizona
Level Contributor
120 reviews
43 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 50 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 weeks ago

We were in Virginia Beach in early November so maybe that is not a good time to visit the Wildlife Refuge, but there was not much to see. The tram was shut down for the season, there were virtually no birds around, we took a path to the beach, but that's about all. It was something to do but not... More 

Helpful?
Thank ECO1995
Management response:

Dear ECO1995, Thank you for your review of Back Bay NWR. We are sorry you felt there was not much to see at the time that you visited. Early November can be a bit slow as far as wildlife viewings, as the fall shorebird migrations have finished and the wintering waterfowl are just starting to arrive. We do hope you... More 

Woodbridge, Virginia
Level Contributor
45 reviews
9 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 3 weeks ago

Dropped by Back Bay Wildlife Refuge on a blustery November day. Most of the dike trails (longer trails in the refuge) are closed between November and spring, but there also is no entrance fee at that time. There is a nice enclosed viewing area / building including binoculars. Unfortunately the day was so windy that very little wildlife was to... More 

Helpful?
Thank Robert R
Management response:

Dear Robert R, Thank you for the review of Back Bay NWR. We are glad you enjoyed your visit. One of the dike trails will open April 1st, once the winter bird migration is complete. The migration has really picked up over the last couple weeks and lots of ducks have been seen on the bay in the morning, with... More 

Level Contributor
17 reviews
5 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 4 weeks ago

What an amazing place! We stayed on the paths and saw a lot of wildlife (including snakes). Took some fantastic photos. We will definitely be back to explore more!

Helpful?
Thank Debi M
Virginia
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 November 2016

This special place features an unsoiled beach for walking and enjoying the sea. There is a fee but we had our trusty national park pass which they honored. Behind the dunes you experience a coastal marsh with unique plants, animals (watch for sunning snakes), and birds. There were people fishing in fresh water ponds and in the ocean. Walking paths... More 

Helpful?
2 Thank Dan R
Norfolk, Virginia
Level Contributor
541 reviews
137 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 161 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 November 2016 via mobile

Don't come here looking for noises beyond the sound of waves or the cry of Osprey. There are no lifeguards or tropical drinks. There are miles of trails with wild creatures big and small. It is hot in summer and cold in winter. You can't drive on these beautiful beaches for miles. You won't see beautiful and opulent estates. In... More 

Helpful?
Thank Robert B
Management response:

Dear Robert B, Thank you for the review of Back Bay NWR. We are so glad you are enjoying the Refuge! Sincerely, Back Bay NWR Staff More 

Stratford-upon-Avon, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
23 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 30 September 2016 via mobile

Went twice on our trip to VB. Managed to see some wildlife before a pleasant walk up the beach, although got a bit too close to a cotton mouth. Love the fact you see something different every time you visit. Refuge is good to pop in for kids.

Helpful?
1 Thank shunt1969
Management response:

We are so glad you enjoyed your visit to the Refuge! We also love the fact that you see something different every day. We hope you can visit soon. More 

San Diego, California, United States
Level Contributor
17 reviews
9 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 27 September 2016

You can bike all the way to North Carolina! It is best with a mountain bike as it is a gravel path. You go past marshes, through beautiful trees and can spot some beautiful birds.

Helpful?
1 Thank Suzy B
Management response:

We are so glad you enjoyed the bike ride to North Carolina. Come again soon! More 

NJ
Level Contributor
22 reviews
5 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 25 September 2016

I don't know the optimal time of year to vist Back Bay Wildlife Refuge; but I know we didn't see any wildlife; although I'm sure they were there..... somewhere. ;-)

Helpful?
2 Thank Lady800cc
Management response:

Dear Lady800cc, You are correct - some times of year are just better for wildlife viewing! Winter is actually an awesome time to see wildlife. We see lots of ducks and tundra swans, especially in the mornings. The spring and fall are great times for viewing songbirds, turtles, frogs and snakes. Summer can be tricky (particularly very hot summers), but... More 

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Typical questions asked:
  • Do I have to buy a ticket for my infant?
  • How do I get there using public transportation?
  • Is there a restaurant or café onsite?