From marshes and bayous to rivers and barrier islands, the South has much to offer when it comes to waterfront appeal. Group travelers can board boats for wildlife-watching cruises or take guided kayaking adventures along some of the marshes and water features that pepper the area.
These five Southern waterfront destinations also feature some world-class attractions, including aquariums, botanical gardens and museums.
Colonial Beach, Virginia
The town of Colonial Beach has the second-longest sand beach in Virginia and is only 65 miles from Washington. Founded in 1651, it is on a peninsula surrounded by the Potomac River and Monroe Bay and is split into several distinct beach areas. Downtown is the busiest waterfront area, with a boardwalk, boutique hotels, water sports, a pier, food trucks and restaurants. North Beach/White Point is a smaller, quieter beach within walking distance of downtown to the north, and several narrow strips of beach extend to the south. The town is in the midst of a $25 million redevelopment that includes townhouses, waterfront condos, a hotel and retail space.
Two state parks nearby offer water sports, hiking, tours and events. Westmoreland State Park has a beach, a picnic area and a bathhouse with restrooms and showers. The park offers several guided and self-guided walks, including hikes that take visitors on a hunt for fossils and ancient shark teeth at Fossil Beach. Guided kayak tours take visitors out on the Potomac River to learn about the cliffs, birds and area history and include a stop at Fossil Beach.
Caledon State Park is known for its old-growth forest and the American bald eagles that make the park their home during the summer months. The visitor center has bald eagle exhibits, several picnic areas and trails that lead to the Potomac River. visitcbva.com
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