The beach and ocean are often difficult for those with mobility issues. The softness of the sand and its constant shifting, the waves and the ebbing tide, and the incline and decline of dunes and areas the waves washed away. With the pandemic still in full swing, we chose to take a couple of days only a few hours away at Virginia Beach. We tried a couple of beaches with very wide beaches in hopes that people would be very spread out, but it was pretty tough to walk across the sand to set up camp for the day. I found an accessible beach and playground for kids and adults alike! Grommet Island claims to be the first park of its kind in the U.S. with a 100% accessible oceanfront park.
Grommet Island has a large parking lot (fee) across from it and also plenty of handicapped parking spaces along the perpendicular street and additional fee spaces on the parallel street. There were large bathrooms by the parking lot. Once you cross the bike path and boardwalk sidewalk, you see the large signs for the playground.
The playground was undergoing maintenance. It would be best to call to check on the schedule before a trip to Virginia Beach, if you mainly plan on frequenting this beach. The playground was shaded and had some nice equipment and benches off to the side. The equipment was accessible height and also geared toward people with sensory and visibility impairments. Check out the website for additional information on equipment available.
The area to the beach had this great platform and also steps. Steps are not ideal for many mobility issues and devices, but they are much easier for me to maneuver than ramps. Having the two options was great!
The website also mentions beach wheelchairs, but one must either see an attendant at the parking station (no attendant the day we went), or you have to call a number to reserve ahead of time. There was a section of beach/ocean closest to the pier was for surfers, and I am sure that would be fun to watch if people were surfing.
Grommet Island Playground and Beach was a great spot for an inclusive beach visit!