We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Back Bay National Wildlife Refuge

Features Animals
Closed Now: 8:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Open today: 8:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Review Highlights
Virginia Beach's Best Kept Secret

If you are a nature lover don't miss visiting the Back Bay National Wildlife Refuge. Experience... read more

Reviewed today
Linda R
Very good tour

I went on a tour of the Back Bay which not only included wildlife but also the ruins, mostly a... read more

Reviewed 1 week ago
Vermontraveler18
Read all 317 reviews
325
All photos (325)
Full view
Certificate of Excellence
Traveler Overview
  • Excellent70%
  • Very good23%
  • Average5%
  • Poor1%
  • Terrible1%
Travelers talk about
About
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...more
Closed Now
Hours Today: 8:00 AM - 4:00 PM
See all hours
Suggested duration: 2-3 hours
Contact
4005 Sandpiper Rd, Virginia Beach, VA 23456-4347
Website
+1 757-301-7329
Call
Improve This Listing
Recommended experiences in and around Virginia Beach
from $35.00
More Info
from $65.00
More Info
from $60.00
More Info
from $55.00
More Info
Reviews (317)
Filter reviews
312 results
Traveler rating
216
73
17
4
2
Traveler type
Time of year
LanguageEnglish
More languages
216
73
17
4
2
Show reviews that mention
All reviews false cape state park visitor center tram tour bird watching nature lovers natural beach bring water sand dunes walking trails worth the trip few hours get away clams snakes deer hike bike
FilterEnglish
Updating list...
1 - 10 of 312 reviews
Reviewed today

If you are a nature lover don't miss visiting the Back Bay National Wildlife Refuge. Experience Virginia's shore line and wetlands in their natural state. Highly recommend the tram tours. Bird watcher's delight as well.

Date of experience: May 2018
Thank Linda R
Reviewed 1 week ago

I went on a tour of the Back Bay which not only included wildlife but also the ruins, mostly a graveyard, of an old settlement. Our guide was extremely knowledgeable on the subject and amusing, as well. I thoroughly enjoyed myself, although it was a...More

Date of experience: November 2018
Thank Vermontraveler18
BBNWR, Guest Relations Manager at Back Bay National Wildlife Refuge, responded to this reviewResponded 1 week ago

Hi Vermonttraveler18, Thank you for your review. We are so glad to hear that you enjoyed the tram through Back Bay National Wildlife Refuge and to False Cape State Park. We hope you can visit again! Sincerely, Back Bay NWR Staff

Reviewed October 28, 2018

Leave the VB bustle behind and take the longish drive to the Back Bay National Wildlife Refuge. There are also some other parks along the way. Give yourself time to explore those, too. I always love the variety of the watery landscape that lies behind...More

Date of experience: October 2018
Thank Chrisjazz
BBNWR, Guest Relations Manager at Back Bay National Wildlife Refuge, responded to this reviewResponded 3 weeks ago

Hi Chrisjazz, Thank you for your review of Back Bay NWR. We are so glad you enjoyed the refuge. The other visitor area you may have noticed on the west side of Back Bay is a kayak/canoe launch on Horn Point Road. This site is...More

Reviewed October 13, 2018

You don't need to be a hunter or fishermen to enjoy this little piece of heaven. Absolutely no dogs are allowed in this park, not even in the cars. I waited until the morning of TS Michael's arrival to hike through this refuge to False...More

Date of experience: October 2018
Thank conniegum
BBNWR, Guest Relations Manager at Back Bay National Wildlife Refuge, responded to this reviewResponded 3 weeks ago

Hi conniegum, Thank you for this detailed review of the wildlife refuge. We are glad you had a good hike to and from False Cape State Park. It certainly is an interesting and serene landscape. We also find that we see a lot of wildlife...More

Reviewed October 3, 2018

We went to try to see some local birds but they must have been hiding that day. Makes for a nice senic hike.More

Date of experience: September 2018
Thank Marilyndec2016
BBNWR, Public Relations Manager at Back Bay National Wildlife Refuge, responded to this reviewResponded October 5, 2018

Hi Marilyndec2016, We are so sorry to hear that your search for local birds was not a fruitful one. We recommend a winter hike when ducks, geese and swans are visiting the refuge on their winter migration. December and January are the peak seasons for...More

Reviewed October 2, 2018

Quiet, peaceful, beautiful, reflecting its stand-out advanced ecological state of being! Wonderful paths and not crowded.

Date of experience: August 2018
Thank 2FOODY2017
BBNWR, Public Relations Manager at Back Bay National Wildlife Refuge, responded to this reviewResponded October 5, 2018

Hi 2FOODY2017, Thank you for your review! Come back and enjoy the trails and the wildlife anytime. Winter is a great time to see wintering waterfowl, especial December and January. Sincerely, Back Bay NWR Staff

Reviewed September 9, 2018 via mobile

The clouds did the heavy lifting. The beach this day is surf high and breezy. You can hear the ocean all day. There is the occasional blue heron, Great egret, Osprey, and many butterflies. We spot one black snake and two water moccasins. It is...More

Date of experience: September 2018
Thank VirginiaKayak
BBNWR, Guest Relations Manager at Back Bay National Wildlife Refuge, responded to this reviewResponded September 12, 2018

Hi Robert B, It is impressive when storms are coming. You can really see the changes happening before your eyes! It sounds like you had an excellent tram tour. Come visit again soon! Sincerely, Back Bay NWR Staff

Reviewed September 3, 2018

If you're looking for something to do that is off the beaten path look no further. Back Bay has beautiful boardwalk ramps that take you into the marsh on the water around the park. Views that can't be matched in the Virginia Beach area.

Date of experience: August 2018
Thank kaspiolea
BBNWR, Guest Relations Manager at Back Bay National Wildlife Refuge, responded to this reviewResponded September 6, 2018

Dear kaspiolea, Thank you for your review. We so glad you enjoyed the views on the refuge. Come back and visit again! Sunsets during the winter months are another beautiful time to visit. Sincerely, Back Bay NWR Staff

Reviewed August 27, 2018

Be prepared to walk or bike. It's beautiful and clean. You have the ocean on one side and the bay on the other. There is a shuttle that leaves once a day in the morning that will take you further down the Refuge. We discovered...More

Date of experience: June 2018
Thank mtabino
BBNWR, Guest Relations Manager at Back Bay National Wildlife Refuge, responded to this reviewResponded September 6, 2018

Dear mtabino, It is great to hear that you enjoyed your visit enough to come back to the refuge multiple times. We hope you will continue to visit. As you have seen, there are new things to see with each season. Enjoy the coming of...More

Reviewed August 15, 2018

If you want to escape the crowdy city you definately have to go here. Beautiful, peaceful place. We saw a couple of snakes. Birds, Lots of Dragon Flies, Frogs etc.

Date of experience: August 2018
Thank Fabs42
BBNWR, Guest Relations Manager at Back Bay National Wildlife Refuge, responded to this reviewResponded August 21, 2018

Hi Fabs42, Thank you for the review of Back Bay NWR. We are certainly happy to provide an escape from the city, for both our wildlife and our people! We hope you can visit again. Sincerely, Back Bay NWR Staff

View more reviews
Nearby
Nearby HotelsSee all 110 nearby hotels
Royal Clipper Inn and Suites
622 reviews
10.22 miles away
Schooner Inn
457 reviews
10.28 miles away
Ocean Key Resort
555 reviews
10.43 miles away
Beach Quarters Resort
593 reviews
10.48 miles away
Nearby RestaurantsSee all 1,631 nearby restaurants
Margie & Ray's Crabhouse
613 reviews
4.46 miles away
Blue Pete's Restaurant
317 reviews
3.97 miles away
Simply Steamed
32 reviews
4.12 miles away
Sandbridge Island Restaurant
158 reviews
4.20 miles away
Nearby AttractionsSee all 350 nearby attractions
Sandbridge Beach
1,299 reviews
.42 miles away
False Cape State Park
104 reviews
4.79 miles away
Sandbridge Little Island Fishing Pier
104 reviews
4.29 miles away
Questions & Answers
Ask a question
Jihong W
November 2, 2018|
AnswerShow all 3 answers
Response from mtabino | Reviewed this property |
Not sure what birds are there this time of year. I don't live in the area, but try to get there when I'm visiting.
0
Votes
Te'ara M
July 2, 2017|
AnswerShow all 3 answers
Response from SaraSueCK_ | Reviewed this property |
Yes. There are snakes at the refuge. I did not see them, thankfully. Check with the naturalists at the visitor's center so you are informed and know what to look out for. There are seemingly an infinite number of snake... More
1
Vote
Lauren P
September 5, 2016|
AnswerShow all 6 answers
Response from Erica B | Reviewed this property |
I have 2 children 4 and 7 when we went there and they loved it! They were content with just seeing a blue heron and a couple turtles.😊
0
Votes