The Best Places to Play Pickleball in Virginia
Blog courtesy of Pickleheads.
Virginia is known as many things: the birthplace of the nation, home of the Appalachian Trail, and now a hub for the hottest new sport in the country—pickleball. With interest in this sport growing every day, now is the perfect time for you to get started in the game and explore the best places to play pickleball in Virginia!
With so many great locations across the state to choose from, you'll never run out of places to pick up a paddle. From picturesque coastlines to majestic mountain ranges, Virginia has the perfect pickleball spot for everyone.
What Is Pickleball?
Combining elements of badminton, tennis, and ping-pong, the low-stress and social game of pickleball is a great activity for the entire family. Not only is it easy to learn how to play pickleball, but it’s easy to get hooked on.
With simply a ball, some paddles, and a stop at one of the beautiful courts on this list, you’ll quickly understand why the pickleball craze is sweeping the nation.
“My first goal is to grow pickleball,” said Linda Scott, president of the Pickleball Club in Chesterfield County, when asked about the explosion of interest in the sport. “It's still pretty amazing when I think about it.”
Her pickleball club has grown to a spectacular 2500 members in recent years. But that’s only a drop in the ocean compared to the 36.5 million players across the country, making this the fastest-growing sport in America.
Where to Play Pickleball in Virginia
With such a surge in popularity, there’s no shortage of pickleball courts in Virginia. But if you’re looking for the best of the best, check this list of courts that are worth a trip across this breathtaking state.
If you’re looking for a huge community of pickleballers to play with or for a fresh way to experience the game, Pickleball Virginia Beach is the spot for you. With 33 courts (and more on the way), it’s one of the largest pickleball facilities in the world.
This spot has beautiful, sprawling grounds, as well as a fully-stocked pro shop. If you become a member, you can play whenever you like. But for one-off trips, there’s a $15 fee.
As well as top-notch facilities, Pickleball Virginia Beach has loads of tournaments running throughout the year, including their 24 Hours of Pickleball tournament.
This unique competition has teams of six competing nonstop over a period of—you guessed it—24 hours. Competitors and spectators can camp out on the facility’s 15 acres of woodland and grass to enjoy the tournament.
“We’ll have food trucks, we'll have music, we'll have other games for the kids,” said Jim Aldrich, one of the owners of Pickleball Virginia Beach. The festivities will finish with a staggering $10,000 prize.
Is playing outdoors or in massive tournaments not quite your style? Then you’ll want to check out the ACAC Fitness & Wellness Center in Albermarle Square, Charlottesville.
The courts are first-come, first-served, and all the equipment is provided when you arrive! This makes it a great stop for first-time players and anyone trying to get their friends and family involved in the game.
Pickleball isn’t all this location has to offer. You can drop off the kids in the Kids Zone and unwind at the spa or take the whole family out to the Adventure Central water park after your match.
The Lubber Run Community Center in Arlington features a cool eight pickleball courts: four outside, four inside.
Jerusalem Solomon, the communications manager for Arlington’s Parks and Rec association, says pickleball is “a fun, active and accessible sport that is enjoyed by all ages!” He went on to say that if anyone is interested in picking up pickleball for the first time, they can check out Arlington’s ENJOY Arlington and 55+ catalogs to find a class.
After your games, be sure to explore the park next door, which is complete with walking trails and picnic areas to round out your day.
If you’re visiting the Chesapeake Bay area and want to change things up a bit with a new activity, head over to the Western Branch Community Center. With open play pickleball every week, your entire crew can grab a paddle and get swinging.
While you’re there, cool off in the spray park, or keep the fun going in the facility’s game room. There’s something for the whole family to enjoy before you head back to the waterfront.
Looking to play with a large group of people? Lynchburg’s City Armory provides a great space for you to set up a few games of pickleball and even run your own mini-tournament!
After you’ve hit the court, you can check out some of the classes and activities that Lynchburg Parks and Rec runs. From cooking and skateboarding to Tai Chi, there’s no shortage of ways for you to get out and meet people. You might even find your next pickleball opponent while you’re at it!
Richmond is the sixth-best city for pickleball in the country, so it’s no surprise that they’re about to have a state-of-the-art facility to fuel this city-wide passion. Performance Pickleball will be the largest indoor pickleball facility in the state, with 12 premium courts for players of all skill levels.
With a team of the top pickleball coaches and experts in Virginia, there’s something for everyone to learn at Performance Pickleball. One of the biggest selling points will be their top-notch scheduling system, ensuring everyone gets maximum playtime on their courts.
If you’re new to pickleball, “What are you waiting for?” asks Lynne de Wet, the organizer of RVA Pickle-Ball. “We’ve had an explosion of Pickleball.”
Don’t wait any longer to explore the excitement of pickleball in Virginia. With a plethora of beautiful facilities to explore, there’s a chance for fun around every corner. Each strike and point is a memory in the making. See you on the courts!