When the average person thinks of Blacksburg, a beach does not come to mind; rather, the complete opposite. Little do they know that there are a number of secret spots within a few miles of town that can satisfy the desperate needs of students in Blacksburg for the summer to lay out on the “beach.”
If you’re in town for the summer studying the art of finding things to do, by now you know that you can’t pack up the car and head to the coast with mountains in the way; although, there is still hope.
You’re not going to find palm trees and cabanas, but you might find “your beach.” Depending on your definition, the Blacksburg area can be home to quite a few great beaches.
I’m going to start this list out with the most realistic option, in case you find the others all too ridiculous — Claytor Lake. There’s real sand, water and unmonitored children — it’s the closest to an ocean view that you will get. About a 30-minute drive from Blacksburg, Claytor Lake State Park is a beautiful little spot for anyone who loves the outdoors.
Claytor Lake has a small public beach that is great for pitching an umbrella and enjoying the rest of the day. This little gem is perfect if you have a longing for the white sand usually found on the coast.
There are plenty of areas to swim out on the lake, whether on the beach or on a boat. The park is also great for hiking, fishing and camping. With the number of activities available to the public, it’s hard to get bored here.
About a 20-minute drive from Blacksburg, the New River Junction is a park where people can camp, hike and fish — as well as tube. Unlike Claytor Lake, the New River Junction is a river. The only thing missing is the sand, but it is not the end of the world with all of the other activities available.
Tubing is the best activity on the river, no doubt. This is where you can really feel like you’re at a “beach.” Go out and rent a few inner tubes, put on your swimsuit and get in the water. Make sure you stay awake because you might wake up in North Carolina. I wouldn’t call that a bad day, either.
The nearest volleyball court
College wouldn’t be college if it weren’t for the massive quantity of beach volleyball courts in a place where it rains heavily one to seven times a week. These spacious sand-squares are located all over the place, from the residential side of campus to many off-campus apartments.
The volleyball courts of Blacksburg are a perfect place to simulate the beach. You can take your lawn chairs, dig them in the sand and kick back. You can even bring your favorite beach music with you — just watch out for volleyballs being spiked from all directions.
If you’re lucky enough to have access to a roof, whether you have a house or apartment, you can easily turn it into a beach with two simple things — a beach towel and moderate expectations. If you don’t have this luxury, you can also use your car, or better yet, the bed of a truck.
This is pretty imaginative, as you might think — but that’s the fun part. Play your favorite beach playlists, get an umbrella and find a place for your cooler. Don’t feel judged by the people staring at you — they’re just jealous they aren’t invited to your beach party.
If you happen to be in the ‘Burg for the foreseeable future and crave the warm sand of the beach, I hope you enjoy these suggestions. They may not all have sand, water or tropical palm trees, but hey — use your imagination. With beach music, a swimsuit and a lawn chair, anything is possible.