Photo Credit: Gregory "Slobirdr" Smith

With 35 gorgeous miles of unobstructed beach views, secluded Sandbridge and the Chesapeake Bay, the coastline of Virginia Beach is not to be missed. And one of it's best features? It's a playground for dolphins. As one of the most beloved marine animals, dolphins have been a merman’s best friend long before Flipper and The Little Mermaid. Luckily, anyone can have an up close encounter while visiting Virginia Beach. Whether you see one on surfboard, stand-up paddle board, clear bottom kayak or a dolphin tour boat, you are sure to fall love at first sight.Dolphin Boat Tour: Probably the most popular way to see a dolphin in the wild in Virginia Beach is by a dolphin boat tour. With several departures a day, it’s easy to book a tour in between beach time and dining.

Stand-Up Paddleboard: Stand Up Paddle Boards are surprising easy for any age participant and any skill level. Within minutes, boarders can learn the basics and be paddling around the water. While getting your balance, keep your eyes on the horizon, as dolphins are sure to pop up every so often. Most often traveling in pods, dolphins love to jump and spin out of the water, putting on quite the show for paddlers.

Kayak: The Chesapean Outdoors company offers a "sit on top" ocean kayak that offers a fresh perspective for kayakers. Glide through the water fast and get off further than the breaking waves. Since large pods of dolphins are often spotted off the coast of Virginia Beach, you’re almost guaranteed a sighting.

Surfing: There’s something pretty special about being at eye level with the dolphins and surfers get a pretty phenomenal view. While waiting for the next wave, remember to keep your eyes peeled for the dolphins coming up for air. Unlike sharks, dolphins’ fins are curved and they’re very friendly.

No matter how you want to see dolphins in Virginia Beach, you are signing up for an adventure. With the abundance of seafood and cool Atlantic waters, the ocean waters off the Virginia Beach coastline are a dolphins playground. Just remember to keep your eye out and check around sunrise and sunset for large groups swimming together off the coast.