Welcome to WaterLife

Your summer getaway guide.

Sandbridge Beach.

Photo by Mark Edward Atkinson

It’s not just wishful thinking: Science has proven time and again that being near the water makes people calmer, more creative, less stressed, and even healthier. No one seems to know exactly how or why it works, but some combination of blue water, whooshing waves or flowing rivers, weightless floating, and beachy breezes brings on the bliss for most people.

As it happens, Virginia is home to thousands of miles of beaches, riverfronts, and lakesides, and we have made it our mission this summer to inspire you to get out and enjoy them. WaterLife is dedicated to helping Virginians discover interesting places to stay and play, right here at home. Whether you’re looking for a new vacation destination or a home with a view, we’ve got plenty of places to peruse. 

For example, with two dozen new restaurants, a cool outdoor art installation, and its own newly arrived tall ship, Alexandria has a waterfront everyone’s watching this summer. Old Town has plenty to see and do, but you can also take a water taxi across the river to see the museums and monuments in D.C. 

Prefer your water with fish in it? St. Paul and Clarksville both offer outdoor adventures aplenty, including fishing, water sports, and boating. Plus, we checked in with the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries to find the Commonwealth’s best places to cast your line, and we researched some great places to go for stand-up paddleboarding, canoeing, kayaking, and rafting. 

Not a camper? No worries. Virginia has a number of amazing luxury resorts—most of them surprisingly family friendly—as well as romantic waterfront inns made for a relaxing weekend away. From great golf and spa pampering to the best water parks and even a bit of history, we’ll help you design a soothing getaway with or without the kids. 

I love dining and drinking outdoors, so I asked our authors to find a few spectacular waterfront wineries, breweries, and restaurants. The 10 or so we’ve listed look great, but if you know of more to recommend, please find us on Facebook and share your favorites.

And, of course, we want you to stay cool and look great all summer long. From bags to books and sunscreen to sunglasses—plus a refreshing new summer sip—we share the must-have gear for a comfortable, stylish season.

Whether you’re looking for traditional sun and fun or hoping a little water will make you healthier and happier, we wish you a summer of great getaways! We’d love for you to share your finds and favorites with us: @VirginiaLiving #VLWaterLife #VirginiaLiving

Click here to get your copy of WaterLife 2019.

June 11, 2022

Star Gazing and Laser Nights

Virginia Living Museum
July 9, 2022

Star Gazing and Laser Nights

Virginia Living Museum
August 13, 2022

Star Gazing and Laser Nights

Virginia Living Museum