First Landing State Park | Outdoorsy

First Landing State Park
Guide

Introduction

Located in Northern Virginia on Cape Henry, First Landing State Park is the first spot the Virginia Company landed on in 1607 and is where the English Colonists came ashore to establish the city of Jamestown. While it was originally named Seashore State Park, its current name was chosen to emphasize the park's historical significance.

The park is unique because it is the northernmost spot on the east coast that can host both temperate and subtropical plants. A wide variety of plants can coexist here. Because of that, visitors will have a rare opportunity to learn about many new species of plants that don't exist in their home states.

First Landing State Park visitors won't have to worry about drastic temperature changes from day to night, but they might want to bring an umbrella or raincoat in case of surprise showers. In the summer, the temperature will stay in the 70s and 80s while in the winter, it never drops below freezing.

RV campers won't be short of exciting things to do at First Landing State Park including activities like fishing and boating in the Chesapeake Bay, as well as hiking, biking, and lounging in the park's exclusive section of the Virginia Beach.

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Camping Accommodations

50'
Max RV length
50'
Max trailer Length
Electrical hookup
Water hookup
Generator use
Food storage
Sewer hookup
Dogs & cats

RV Rentals in First Landing State Park

Transportation

Driving

There are usually no driving issues for RVs inside the park, but visitors may want to keep in mind that there is more than one park entrance. Visitors will want to choose the entrance they take based on what activities they are coming to do or what parts of the park they wish to visit. The tree-lined US-60 runs right through First Landing State Park and is the only main road within the park, so it is easy to get around. Biking is also allowed on park roads and various trails.

Parking

Parking at First Landing State Park can be found easily in any of the three large parking lots around the park. Visitors might find it easier to set up their RV at a campsite and then take a car to explore.

Public Transportation

Campgrounds and parking in First Landing State Park

Campsites in First Landing State Park

Reservations camping

Virginia Beach KOA

Virginia Beach is home to the world's longest pleasure beach. Local attractions include the Chesapeake Bay and Cape Henry, site of the English colonists’ first landing. The Virginia Beach KOA offers deluxe KOA patio sites complete with full hookups, service up to 50-amp, and cable TV. Propane and firewood are available on-site. Other amenities include Wi-Fi, an activity park, two pools, bike rentals, a tour shuttle, and Kamp K9 for visiting dogs. RVs up to 45 feet long are welcome.

Cabins

There are 20 cabins available by reservation only. Each cabin has two bedrooms and can sleep up to six campers. However, several cabins only come with enough beds for sleeping four people, and additional cots will need to be rented in order to comfortably accommodate six people.

All cabins come furnished and include a fully-equipped kitchen, fireplace, and a screened-in porch that is perfect for sitting outside in the evenings and enjoying the fresh, cool night air. They also include heating and air conditioning. The cabins do not, however, include a washer and dryer, but campers can use the laundry facility at the camp store. Linens are provided for up to four people, so guests who have parties bigger than that will need to bring extra supplies with them.

The cabins are all pet-friendly, though an extra fee will be charged per pet for each night that is spent in the cabin. Cabins are open from Memorial Day through Labor Day.

First Landing State Park Campground

There are over 200 campsites available in First Landing State Park and the accommodations vary from site to site. Some sites are much more primitive and are tent-only. About 108 of the campsites have water and electric hookups and can accommodate RVs ranging from 20 to 50 feet in length. Some sights are located close to the beach, while others are located farther down the road and deeper into the park. Most campsites are located on gravel pads, and each site features a picnic table and grill or fire ring. With so many options, campers are sure to find a spot that is exactly what they're looking for.

Regardless of what campsite is selected, restrooms, showers, and dishwashing facilities are just a short walk away. There is also a camp store where visitors can get camping supplies such as firewood and food. All of the campsites in the park are open from March until December.

First Landing Yurts

A mix between a cabin and a campsite, the four yurts at First Landing State Park are all located in the dune along the Chesapeake Bay. These recreational structures are available by reservation only and offer visitors exclusive views of the Chesapeake Bay as well as easy access to the beach.

Each yurt has a wooden deck and comes equipped with two picnic tables, a grill, and a fire ring. Two parking spots are provided at the yurt. Any additional vehicles will be required to pay the park fees and find an open spot in the overflow parking area.

No smoking, cooking, or pets are allowed inside of the yurt, and it does not have electricity, water, or lighting of any kind, although guests are welcome to use the bathhouse that is located just a short distance away. Additionally, there is no shade over the yurt, but some shade can be found under its large deck.

Seasonal activities in First Landing State Park

Off-Season

Fishing

Between Broad Bay and Linkhorn Bay is a strip known as the Narrows. The Narrows is popular among fishermen because it hosts the only boat launch ramps in First Landing State Park. However, guests who don't have a boat can also fish directly from the shore, provided they have a valid Virginia saltwater fishing license. The Narrows beach area is popular among anglers who come to catch Blue Claw crabs and various other kinds of shellfish.

Visiting the Chesapeake Bay Center

The Chesapeake Bay Center is a great place to go if visitors are looking to learn a few fun facts. Inside the center, visitors will find two displays. One is about the history of the first landing of the Virginia Company and what life was like for both the natives and the European newcomers in the 1600s. The second display focuses on the aquatic environment that can be found in the Chesapeake Bay and includes many hands-on, interactive experiences that children are sure to enjoy.

Biking

Many of the trails open to visitors are bicycle-friendly. The Cape Henry Trail is one of the most popular trails for cyclists who want a fun, scenic, and relaxing ride through the park. Most of the trails in the park are well developed and flat, making them easy to navigate even for the most inexperienced bicyclists. Visitors shouldn't hesitate to bring their bike in their rig when they make their visit to First Landing State Park.

Hiking

There are nine trails in the park that total over 19 miles. The trails vary greatly in length. The Cape Henry Trail is the longest at six miles, featuring magnificent views of salt marsh and cypress swamps. The Fox Run and Kingfisher Trails are shortcuts that connect other trails, each coming in at less than a mile long. During the off-season, the High Dune Trail is one of the most scenic providing a nice outlook point overlooking the swamplands below. Before heading out onto the trails, visitors will want to park their RV at the Trail Center, which features displays on the wildlife you may encounter on your hike.

In-Season

Picnicking

The picnic area in First Landing State Park is a great place for families to get together for an afternoon of fun. There are numerous shaded picnic tables as well as a pavilion that is available for rent. The playground is close by for the kids to play and restrooms are also just a short walk away. Charcoal grills are available for your convenience. Additionally, there are electric hookups in the pavilion.

Checking out the Native American Community Life Display

Visitors who hike the popular Cape Henry Trail will find numerous displays of different structures meant to replicate early Native American life in the Chesapeake Bay. Visitors can even walk inside and explore the structures for themselves. Through interacting with these displays, guests are able to learn more about how the Native Americans lived in this area before the Europeans arrived. Information pamphlets can be picked up before heading over to the Cape Henry Trail.

Attending the Walks and Talks Program

First Landing State Park offers guests "Walks and Talks," a program meant to entertain and educate visitors on a variety of subjects. These Walks and Talks can be at night or during the day and may include topics like the wildlife or history of the park. Sometimes, they include movies at the amphitheater. Visitors can learn about wildlife, Native American history, and much more during these fun activities.

A Day at the Beach

Virginia Beach is well known for being the only city with a coastline that goes along both the Atlantic and the Chesapeake Bay. Despite this, the beaches at First Landing State Park still aren't as well-known as other beaches, so visitors won't have trouble with crowds even if they visit during the peak season. Visitors will find it easy to access the beach from the four boardwalks in the park, each of which offers convenient restrooms. Make sure to pack bug spray, and use caution while swimming since there are no lifeguards on duty. Remember that swimming in the Narrows area is prohibited due to strong currents.