Parks & Recreation

Posted on: May 12, 2017

Hampton to open beach season with watercraft, food, fun and more parking for Buckroe Beach

Buckroe Beach- Lifeguard stand

May 12, 2017 - Additional amenities at Buckroe Beach are expected to draw more Hampton residents and visitors to the bay beach this summer, and the city is opening an overflow parking lot and running a free weekend shuttle service.

Coming to Buckroe this summer are:

  • Watercraft rentals — from jet skis to paddle boards to sea kayaks. The rental location will be adjacent to the Boardwalk Way and First Street parking lot.  Hampton Watersports will also sell beach items and concessions: weekends beginning May 20 and daily beginning Labor Day.
  • Six food truck vendors will rotate, offering a variety of fare from seafood and hot dogs to your favorite cold desserts.  Trucks will be based at the northern city lot adjacent to the park, along First Street between Buckroe Avenue and Boardwalk Way. The city has placed picnic tables in that grass lot to provide a place to eat. Food vendors include: Bubba’s Snoballs, Jumpn G’s Ice Cream, Kona Ice, Mama Neem’s Mobile Seafood Inc., Mr. Cream Cones and Perfect Touch Catering Inc.  
  • There are plans to add an offshore waterpark mid-summer, with giant inflatable connected pods offering such fun as tower slides, bounce domes, a wiggle bridge and more. Stay tuned for details.

Buckroe Beach and the James Wilson Fishing pier offer 588 nearby free parking spaces, which generally are sufficient for weekday crowds. Parking is not allowed on the grass lots because it’s an environmental hazard. (Oil and other vehicle fluids leak into the ground, and cars destroy the grass, creating muddy ruts that breed mosquitoes and cause runoff.)

To alleviate a parking crunch at peak times, the city is opening an additional lot at the old Buckroe Junior High school site, 710 Buckroe Avenue. For those who want to walk, it’s a half mile to the beach. On weekends and holidays the city will run a free, 42-passenger shuttle bus from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.

The Parks, Recreation and Leisure Services bus will make two stops: at Point Comfort Avenue and Resort Boulevard and at Buckroe Avenue and the beachfront, looping back to the parking lot about every 25 minutes. Groups or those with bulky chairs and coolers might prefer to drop gear and a guest or two at the beach, while the driver parks the car and shuttles back. (Remember, alcoholic beverages are not permitted at city parks, and dogs are not allowed in the park during the main summer season.)

Buckroe Beach offers a half-mile cement boardwalk and three-quarters of a mile of clean Chesapeake Bay beachfront. The park has three shelters with grills, a children’s playground, restroom facilities and a stage pavilion. A free observation pier behind the pavilion offers a great view, and a fishing pier on the southern end of the beach gives anglers a great place to socialize and catch a variety of seasonal fish. Admission includes a fishing license for the day.

For those who want a quieter beach experience, the city operates two other beaches in the summer:

  • Outlook Beach at Fort Monroe has lifeguards at the calm coves between jetties, and the water has a gradual slope ideal for young children and waders. The adjacent parking area has portable potties.
  • Grandview Beach Nature Preserve is rustic, with a half-mile hike to the beach. The preserve covers 475 acres of salt marsh, tidal creeks and bay beachfront.

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