Enjoying a beach vacation looks different to every family. Some opt for a schedule of beach, beach and more beach, while others pack in attraction after attraction to keep everyone in the family entertained. While a day at the beach is great for a tan, exploring Virginia Beach from the water is a must for any family making their way to this ocean destination. One popular and worthwhile excursion is taking a dolphin watching boat trip facilitated by the Virginia Aquarium and Marine Science Center.
The highlight of this trip aboard the 65-foot Rudee Flipper is the possibility of seeing dolphins swimming along beside the boat, poised for your picture taking. Cruises are offered April through October from the fishing pier at Rudee Inlet. (Tip: The best months for dolphin sightings are from June to September).
Although there is no guarantee of seeing the playful bottlenose dolphins, chances are good that the dolphins will come out to play. (Tip: be patient when trying to take pictures of videos of the dolphins. They move quickly and often. Enjoy watching them with your own eyes instead of worrying about capturing them digitally). The trip is also a chance to learn about the birds, other wildlife, and coastal information from the Virginia Aquarium and Science Center docents that narrate the trip.
Another aspect of this trip is the view of the oceanfront and Virginia Beach skyline from the water. Paralleling the coastline, the Rudee Flipper takes passengers from Rudee Inlet all the way to the Cape Henry Light House at Fort Story. (Tip: Keep children engaged on the trip back to Rudee Inlet by having them count the number of hotels along the coast.)
The cruise leaves the Virginia Beach Fishing Center at 2pm, and people start arriving to buy tickets as early as 1pm. One tip: being at the head of the line to get on the boat does not really help you. Although passengers quickly find the spot that they think they will want on the boat, at the first spotting of dorsal fins, everyone moves from port to starboard and from the bow to the stern, around and around.
While you are in the area, living the life in Virginia Beach, plan to have lunch and eat like a local before the cruise at Big Sam’s Raw Bar right next door. From fish sandwiches for the kids to she crab soup or oysters on the half shell for mom and dad, relaxing is easy at Big Sam’s.
I was a guest of the Virginia Beach Convention and Visitor’s Bureau during my stay in Virginia Beach. No other compensation was received. All opinions are my own.