Huntington is a public beach in Newport News located at the base of the James River Bridge. It has a nice sandy beach with close parking and grassy rigging. The desired wind direction is limited to Northwest and Southwest but it can get good in the winter when you can sail out to the channel and get some good swell. Watch out for currents in slackening winds which can send you underneath the bridge. You will end up on shore but will have a rather long walk back to the launch.
On a Southwest wind, Huntington Beach actually works very well. The beach juts out a little (curves towards the Crabshack Restaurant) so sailing past the swimming area and boat ramp is very easy. You are then on a tack that takes you right up the river as far as you want to go (past Hilton school, past Mariners Museum park if you want to). The wind has a 5 mile fetch across the river so its clean. If there is too much S in the wind then there may be some turbulence next to the bridge. Best parking is towards Crabshack restaurant, but don't use parking right next to the restaurant. If you park right next to the grass to te left you will be next to the beach but outside the designated swimming area. In middle of summer parking is terrible, there are too many swimmers, and there are jet-skiers buzzing around.
The Crab Shack is right next door and has great sandwiches. The sandy beach is pretty clean but in the water there has a fair amount of glass and other nasty debris so watch where you step near the shore. It's pretty clean further out. Jetskis rank among the highest at any launch around so watch out for them in the summer months. The closest iWindsurf sensor (MMMBT) is located on the south island of the Monitor Merrimack-Memorial bridge-tunnel.
The entrance to Huntington Beach is at the traffic light at the Peninsula side of the James River Bridge (Route 17).
Convenient to Peninsula and Isle of Wight residents in North winds, nice paved parking lot, great grassy rigging, clean sandy beach, no shore break, bathrooms (open in the summer only), food nearby.
Narrow wind direction, moderate current near bridge, some debris in water near shore, heavy jetski traffic in summer only.