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Top 10 Dolphin & Whale Watching in Virginia Beach, Virginia (VA)

July 8, 2021Cedrick Jardin

Virginia Beach has all the elements of a classic seaside resort: gorgeous beaches, a lively boardwalk, plenty of restaurants and nightspots, and amusement rides sure to appeal to kids. Sports enthusiasts will find celebrated golf courses in Virginia Beach and the surrounding area, as well as sea kayaking and miles of hiking trails. Many believe Virginia Beach is at its best in the off-season, when the town is less crowded but the weather is still mild.
Restaurants in Virginia Beach

1. Kayak Nature Tours, Ltd.

Overall Ratings

5.0 based on 261 reviews

Kayak Nature Tours, Ltd.

Dolphin Kayaking Tours are the most exciting "thing to do in Virginia Beach." Our 2.5 hour guided Kayak Dolphin Tours start in April and continue through October, where you can experience wild dolphins up close and personal. This is our most exciting kayak adventure launching through the surf into the Atlantic Ocean. We have been operating 1996 as a professional guided kayak tour company in the Hampton Roads area. We offer fun, exciting, and memorable kayak tours throughout Southeast Virginia. We have built an excellent reputation among local guests and visitors alike. Our other 2.5 hour tours take place on calm inland protected waters to The Back Bay National Wildlife Refuge, First Landing State Park, North West River, or our sunset tour in the beautiful Norfolk Botanical Gardens. We have 2.5 hour trips to other locations and all day trips to the Deserted Beaches of the Eastern Shore and Lake Drummond in the Great Dismal Swamp National Wildlife Refuge.

2. Rudee Rocket

Overall Ratings

5.0 based on 169 reviews

Rudee Rocket

When we say, "Just Add Water and 2000 Horse Power," you know we are talking about the Rudee Rocket cruise along the Virginia Beach Oceanfront! Bring your family and friends and climb aboard our 70-foot bright yellow speedboat. This trip will have you experience the Atlantic Ocean and mouth of the Chesapeake Bay like never before! Enjoy a thrilling, fast ride at exciting speeds with plenty of seating for everyone! During the 60-minute cruise, you will watch bottlenose dolphins jump and surf in the boat's wake as the Rocket speeds along the oceanfront. It will then make its way along the shoreline past the famous and historic Cape Henry Lighthouses and our beautiful gold coast. With the throttles down and wind in your hair, you'll understand why we are THE greatest thrill ride on the Virginia Beach Oceanfront. All trips depart from the Virginia Beach Fishing Center.

3. Rudee Inlet Stand Up Paddle

Overall Ratings

5.0 based on 709 reviews

Rudee Inlet Stand Up Paddle

Rudee Inlet Stand Up Paddle is a school that teaches Stand Up Paddle. In business since 2011, we strive to spread aloha and have fun while teaching the way cool sport of SUP. We start out in nice calm flat water teaching intro to paddle..then graduate up to ocean and or yoga paddles....RI'SUP the place to start and continue your paddle journey!!

4. Porpoiseful Adventures

Overall Ratings

5.0 based on 22 reviews

Porpoiseful Adventures

Our Chesapeake Bay sunset tours are private charters that typically accommodate up to 8 passengers, though arrangements may be made for more. We love kids too. Their joy reminds us of the dolphins! Trips are approximately 2-3 hours in duration. Start times depend upon the timing of the sunset, but typically begin between 4-5:30 in the afternoon. The costs for your adventure is $375, which includes beverages of your choice and a cheese, vegetable and cracker platter.

5. GoKayak! Paddle with a Porpoise!

Overall Ratings

5.0 based on 60 reviews

GoKayak! Paddle with a Porpoise!

Guided kayak nature and dolphin tours. We specialize in guided kayak tours in Virginia Beach. Dolphins are regular visitors on our kayak tours from First Landing State Park. The First Landing State Park tour launches into beautiful Broad Bay. We paddle along the amazing and historical maritime forest of the park. We like smooth conditions! This is a flat water tour but sometimes we will paddle with some chop on the water. Dolphins are regular visitors on our kayak tours out of First Landing State Park. We try to give ourselves the best chances to see our favorite locals, dolphins! There are also bald eagles, ospreys and other wildlife on these tours. We have a few different families of Bald Eagles that live in First Landing State Park. Eagles can be seen daily soaring, fishing and resting on their perches. This is one of the best places in Virginia Beach to see a sunset as well! Reservations required. There are 3 time slots everyday. Visit our website to make your booking!

6. Patriotic Excursions

Overall Ratings

5.0 based on 18 reviews

Patriotic Excursions

Patriotic Excursions captains are former or active members of the military or local public safety. With their insider knowledge and vast experience, they have accepted the mission to guide you on a thrilling excursion, to keep you safe, to educate you about how our military works locally to support our nation’s interests worldwide, and to share their love of country with each of you.

7. MarVa Outdoors Charter Service

Overall Ratings

5.0 based on 6 reviews

MarVa Outdoors Charter Service

There's no better place than the Chesapeake Bay! From sunsets to fishing, we will help you create memories! We provide trips for all ages that will complete your trip to the Hampton Roads. We are located at the mouth of the Chesapeake Bay in Virginia Beach, VA, we are ready to hit the water! Come join us! Thank you in advance! ~Captains Trey and Tom Ritter

8. Virginia Beach Watersports

Overall Ratings

5.0 based on 29 reviews

Virginia Beach Watersports

Here at Virginia Beach Watersports we offer a variety of exhilarating activities that will leave your family begging to come back!! We offer activities anywhere from tubing, waterskiing, or wakeboarding, to sunset dinner cruises, to just a relaxing day on the water. Your wish is our command! We pride ourselves on safety first and FUN coming in a very close second! BOOK WITH US TODAY!

9. Noah Jenda Boat Cruises (Dolphin cruises)

Overall Ratings

5.0 based on 12 reviews

Noah Jenda Boat Cruises (Dolphin cruises)

Bob Ingram is a licensed U.S. Coast Guard captain. He has been a private airplane pilot, a Nascar driver, a wrestling coach, and a local business-man for forty years. He married his high school sweetheart Sally and has three grown children and nine grandchildren. Bob is a native of Virginia Beach and has been cruising its inlets, bays, and ocean for nearly half a century. Head out for a memorable boat cruise to see the dolphins! Call Captain Bob today to book a cruise! (757) 651-3587

10. Rudee Flipper

Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 387 reviews

Rudee Flipper

Looking for the longest running and most experienced dolphin eco-excursion in Virginia Beach? You have found it at Rudee Tours! A dolphin cruise aboard the Rudee Flipper is the essential trip for the both the aquatic enthusiast and the fun seeking vacationer. Each 90-minute adventure is narrated by our marine experts who are ready to share their knowledge & answer your questions about the dolphins and the Virginia Beach coastline. Each cruise boat is ADA certified, equipped with a climate-controlled indoor cabin, restrooms, and offers 360-degree views of the water from the multiple viewing levels. We also have a ship store (cash or credit accepted) with a variety of hot and cold food and drink options, including adult beverages! Our trips depart from the Virginia Beach Fishing Center, located at the corner of 5th Street and Pacific Avenue along the Virginia Beach Resort area. Connect. Respect. Protect. Experience the "only way to see the sea" with Rudee Tours!

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Dolphin and Boat Tours

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Virginia Beach, VA

Get ready for the Greatest Thrill Ride at the Virginia Beach Oceanfront! When we say, "Just Add... More ...

Virginia Beach, VA

Stand Up Paddleboard tours in Southeastern Virginia. The calm waters of the tributaries leading... More ...

Virginia Beach, VA

Kayak Nature tours offers Sea Kayaking and Dolphin trips in Virginia Beach, VA. Kayak First... More ...

Virginia Beach, VA

Thank you for considering one of our Cruises! Perhaps you're looking for a Dolphin Watching Tour... More ...


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Top 10 Tourist Attractions in Virginia Beach, Virginia

Virginia Beach is one of the most popular beaches for people to visit in the country, with sandy shores and clear water.

Every year, nearly 6 million visitors spend the night by Virginia Beach, meaning that it should come as no surprise that there are so many tourist attractions.

Many of the sites in Virginia Beach center on enjoy the water, sand, or sun, but this city is more than just that.

To make sure that you don't miss anything during your visit, check out these top 10 attractions in Virginia Beach, Virginia.

Best Things To Do in Virginia Beach

If you want a specific location along the beach in Virginia Beach to visit, head to the fishing pier. This pier measures 1,000 feet long and is along the boardwalk on 15th street. This attraction is right in the middle of the resort area, making it a popular attraction. You don't need a license to fish and there is a bait-and-tackle shop right there, complete with rental equipment. You can also get a meal or snack at the bar and restaurant.

Address: 15th Street & Atlantic Avenue, Virginia Beach, VA 23451

The Virginia Aquarium and Marine Science Center proves that there is more to this city than just the beach. The aquarium holds more than 800,000 gallons of water as well as live animal habitats. There are marshlands, a nature trail, an outdoor aviary, and numerous hands-on exhibits. You will find 300 different species in the aquarium with thousands of animals in total. Other highlights include the Indonesian Volcanic Island, Chesapeake Bay Touch Pond, and Red Sea Habitat. The center also hosts a 3D IMAX theater for the chance to watch breathtaking films about the natural world in a comfortable atmosphere.

Address: 717 General Booth Blvd, Virginia Beach, VA 23451

3: Ocean Breeze Waterpark

Ocean Breeze Waterpark

The family-friendly Ocean Breeze Waterpark is a great escape when you want to get in the water, but aren't in the mood for the sandy beach. There are 16 different water slides as well as the Buccaneer Bay Water Playground and Runaway Bay wave pool, the last of which has one million gallons of water. Float lazily along the Adventure River or get a souvenir at the gift shop or snack from the candy store or numerous food shops.

Address: 849 General Booth Blvd, Virginia Beach, VA 23451

While in Virginia Beach, be sure to stop by Back Bay National Wildlife Refuge. This 8500 acre area was created in 1938 with the goal of creating a protected spot where migrating or wintering waterfowl could stay. Today, nature lovers get the chance to see more than 300 species of birds, including endangered and threatened species. This top attraction also has multiple walking trails of varying lengths, perfect for jogging strollers. This particular attraction is ideal for when you want to truly interact with nature without man-made distractions.

Address: 1324 Sandbridge Rd, Virginia Beach, VA 23456

Also Read: 10 Best Wildlife Safaris in the USA

5: Captain Jack's Pirate Ship Adventures

Captain Jack's Pirate Ship Adventures

Children in particular enjoy Captain Jack's Pirate Ship Adventures, which is a family-friendly short cruise on a pirate ship, the Lost Pearl. A period Spanish galleon served as the inspiration for the ship and children get to participate in the pirate show while enjoying a snack of pirate booty. You can also hunt for treasure or participate in a sword fight. The whole tour lasts about 1.5 hours.

Address: 308 Mediterranean Ave, Virginia Beach, VA 23451

First Landing State Park is one of the top attractions in Virginia Beach for all ages. The park is the most visited of all state parks in Virginia and was first created during the 1930s. There are 2,800 acres of land, making it possible to bike, hike, boat, and more. Extend your stay in the park by spending a night in a cabin or tent. This state park also has a long history; this is where the very first pilgrims who settled Jamestown left their ships. For the best experience, visit early to avoid the heat and get the chance to see animals like snakes and foxes.

Address: 64th St, Virginia Beach, VA 23454

Also Read: 25 Best State Parks in the US

7: Old Coast Guard Station

Old Coast Guard Station

History buffs should remember to visit the Old Coast Guard Station by the boardwalk and 24th street. This station is historic enough to be a Virginia Historic Landmark and to be part of the National Register of Historic Places. In addition to the old building, you will also find a large museum collection containing 1,800 museum pieces and 1,000 photos showing Virginia Beach's oceanic past. This museum helps get your children interested and can lead to some great conversations.

Address: 2401 Atlantic Ave, Virginia Beach, VA 23451

8: Rudee Rocket

Rudee Rocket

Rudee Rocket is a 70 foot long boat that gives visitors the chance to experience Chesapeake Bay and the Atlantic Ocean in a new, exciting way. The ride is fast, but comfortable so you can sit back, relax, and enjoy the adventure while keeping your eyes out for aquatic life like bottlenose dolphins. Rudee Rocket also passes by Cape Henry Lighthouse, a historic site, and goes close to the ocean front. There is even a guarantee that you'll see a dolphin while on the boat.

Address: 200 Winston Salem Ave, Virginia Beach, VA 23451

You don't need a lot of time to check out the King Neptune Statue along the boardwalk, but it is still worth adding to your checklist. This bronze statue is 34 feet high and seems to rise right out of the Atlantic Ocean from the intersection of Atlantic Avenue and 31st Street, where it overlooks Neptune Park. This statue honors the Neptune Festival held in September and volunteers from this festival raised the money to hire Paul DiPasquale to design and create this famous statue.

Address: Virginia Beach, VA

10: Adam Thoroughgood House

Adam Thoroughgood House

Although the building is named Adam Thoroughgood House, historians think that the man it was named for might not have ever lived in the building. Instead, they think that a grandson of his built the home during the late 1600s or early 1700s. No matter its origin, this historic building is among the oldest houses within Virginia and is a cozy brick building with a high-pitched roof and white-washed walls. There are 4.5 acres worth of gardens outside as well. You can even request a guided tour to learn more during your visit.

Address: 1636 Parish Rd, Virginia Beach, VA 23455

Virginia Beach - RUDEE ROCKET - 2016 -

Rudee Tours

Our History:

Some of our employees have literally grown up working on the boats running out of the Virginia Beach Fishing Center. Skip Feller started working on his Dad's, Fred Feller's fishing boat, at the age of 10 and continues his life's work as a waterman with Rudee Tours. He is a jack of all trades, running the Specialized Deep Drop Fishing Trips, the Rudee Rocket Speedboat, and everything in between throughout the year all while helping manage the company.

Jeff Parks, our resident Rudee Flipper Captain, started running the dolphin cruises out of Rudee Inlet in 1980 on the then Miss. Virginia Beach. That boat was replaced with the Rudee Flipper in 2000. There is no better Captain at finding Dolphin and Humpback Whales throughout the year than Jeff Parks.

Mark Sterling entered the fold in 1995 as a mate on the fishing boats and started running the headboats as a Captain in 1997. He is a staple at the marina and works tirelessly for Rudee Tours running the fishing boats nearly everyday. His son, Tyler, is never far from his side learning from the best!

Wes Feller, Skip's son, started working as a mate for his Grandfather in 2003 and continued the family legacy by getting his Captain's license in 2006. He runs the Rudee Rocket and night fishing trips in the summer and the longer fishing trips throughout the year. He was born in to the family trade and is a natural at running boats.

Not to mention, all of the years of experience of our loyal boat mates and office personnel who have been with us for years. We couldn't operate without them! We've had engagements, weddings, babies, college graduations, new homes, and new boats to celebrate together. We pride ourselves on the family atmosphere we have created and the hard work we are all willing to put in to the company. It takes a village to make Rudee Tours run and we wouldn't have it any other way!

Over the years we have continued to grow our business by listening to our many loyal customers. We hope to remain a staple of the Virginia Beach oceanfront for many years to come. Whether you are Cruising, Fishing, or riding the Rocket, we hope to make your experience with Rudee Tours fun filled and memorable! Please come visit us for your adventure on the water. It's the only way to see the sea!

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Virginia beach boat rocket

Cruises from Virginia Beach

There are a few choices for cruises out of Virginia Beach. The oceanfront city is a natural place to enjoy a day cruise.

If you're looking for an overnight ocean-going cruise, you want one of the cruises from Norfolk VA, which is a busy port next to Virginia Beach. Cruises to the Bahamas are available from there in the spring and fall.

The Virginia Aquarium whale-watching cruises and dolphin-watching cruises are popular boat trips from Virginia Beach. The 2-hour trips may see whales, dolphins, seals and birds. Staff and volunteers help you understand the wildlife.

Rudee Tours dolphin-watching cruises also leave from Virginia Beach. The boat trip is 90 minutes on a 65-foot catamaran. A snack bar has food and drinks. The same company operates the Rudee Rocket speed boat cruises along the oceanfront. It's a fast, fun boat ride.

For something completely different, try Captain Jack's Pirate Ship Adventure cruise. The pirate boat goes along the oceanfront and includes pirate fights and treasure hunts for kids. It is a cruise from Virginia Beach.

Rudee Rocket Passenger Speed Boat

Rudee Rocket Dolphin Trip

The Rudee Rocket:  Flash.  Splash.  Speed.

Returning May 2022!

The Rudee Rocket is THE ultimate way to experience the Virginia Beach Oceanfront.

Cruise up the coast with your family and friends enjoying the salty air & wind while keeping an eye out for wildlife. Bottlenose dolphins are one of the highlights of these 60-minute trips, and you’ll want to be sure you have your camera ready to capture them jumping and surfing in our wake.

After viewing the Cape Henry Lighthouses, you’ll fully enter the splash zone as the boat twists and turns cooling off everyone on board.

The Rudee Rocket has it all- fun, sun, speed, saltwater, and dolphins! Ride along with us once, and you’ll know why we’re “the greatest thrill ride in Virginia Beach”!


Dolphin sightings are GUARANTEED! If we are unable to locate dolphins during your excursion, you can ride again FREE!

    • Each party must be checked in at least 30 minutes before departure at our main ticketing office.
    • Souvenir photos are taken when you board the boat. These can be purchased at the end of the trip, along with a variety of apparel!
    • The splash intensity varies by conditions & location on the boat. Swimsuits are recommended.
    • Departs from Rudee Inlet at the Virginia Beach Fishing Center (Parking is free while you are on the trip)



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Rudee Rocket, Virginia Beach

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