The beach area of First Landing State Park faces towards the Chesapeake Bay. The two miles of beach in front of the campground is a much quieter beach experience than the Virginia Beach oceanfront. Please be aware there are no lifeguards.
It’s not uncommon to see pods of dolphins feeding near the pilings in the water before dusk. The pilings are also a favorite resting spot for pelicans and cormorants. In the cooler months when there are fewer visitors and it is too cold for swimming, the beach is a great place for kiting, taking a leisurely stroll, or watching the sun set.
Dogs are allowed on the beach, on leashes six feet or shorter. There are no trashcans on the beach, so bring an extra tote to carry any pet waste until you reach the boardwalk entrance.
There are 4 boardwalks that you can use to access the beach. Walking on the dunes is prohibited, but you wouldn’t want to walk on them anyway due to all the brush and sand burrs.
Boating – Boat Launch
First Landing offer boating on Broad Bay. The Boat ramp is near the Narrows, a popular spot that locals go to enjoy boating and water sports away from tourists.
The boat ramp has 4 launch ramps, restrooms, dock, and plenty of parking. It is located about 2 miles down off the right side of 64th Street near the oceanfront side of the park (at the intersection of Atlantic Ave & 64th Street). It is free to use if you are camping at the campground.
From the campground, you would take a left onto Shore Drive, continue for 3.5 miles as it turns into Atlantic Ave, travel 1.3 miles along Atlantic Avenue then take a right onto 64th Street to the park entrance. From there, travel approximately 1.75 miles along 64th street to reach the boat ramp.
There are 20 cabins available at the park. They are all furnished, and fairly secluded. More information about the cabins can be found here. They are located on the trail side of the park. You would need to cross Shore Drive towards the campground to access the beach. Bringing bikes is definitely recommended.
The camp store is located behind the Visitor Center in the campground. You can buy firewood, ice, souvenirs, items for your pet, laundry supplies, gifts, and a few select camping items. It also has a snack bar (it is currently closed due to COVID).
The park across from the campground features a Healthtrek fitness trail. There are various workout signs located along the trail with varying degrees of difficulty (Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced).
The sandy area above Collier loop is not officially an amenity. But for campers at the top of Collier and Wingfield loops, there’s a large sandy area in the center of the common area that is a popular spot for children. In the off season, it can be a semi-secluded spot to get some sun while shielded from the wind, or just to relax.
The dump station is located across from the campground entrance. It can get busy around check-out time (1pm).
The park ordinarily offers a variety of programs throughout the year for adults and kids, which have been scaled back due to COVID. The Virginia State Park website has a calendar of events detailing opportunities.
Fishing – Saltwater
There are 22 tent camping sites at the campground that are designated as group tent sites. You can going camping with family and friends and everyone gets their own individual camp site. There’s a bathhouse nearby, as well as a sheltered picnic area that is available by reservation. Click here to learn more about group tenting or here to view individual group tent sites.
There are 10 trails at First Landing that are rated from easy to moderate. They range from one third of a mile to over 6 miles longs. Only two trails, Live Oak and Cape Henry trails, allow bicycles. The longest trails, Cape Henry Trail, starts at the Trail Center and ends near the boat ramp. The trails weave through swamps, dense forest, saltwater marshes, and sandy areas. A few are especially popular with bird watchers. Click here for more information about the trails.
There are two picnic shelters available by reservation. One is reserved for campers using the group camping sites. The other picnic shelter is located on the trail side of the park and can host up to 80 people.
There is a nice sized themed playground located to the right of the campground entrance.
The park typically holds several events throughout the year. The events calendar can be found on the state park’s website.
There are plenty of restrooms located throughout the park. Both the Information Center and Trail Center have restrooms. Throughout the campground, there are several bathhouses which have showers and restrooms.
Biking makes it easier to get around the campground, to the bathhouses, the boardwalks, camp store, etc. If you enjoying biking, there are two trails in the park that allow biking, Live Oak trail and Cape Henry Trail.
Water spigots are available throughout the campground tent sites.
The Trail Center has a conference room available for rent for meetings, weddings, and other functions.
Trail Center and Gift Shop
The Trail Center has a small gift shop and is open from 8 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. The trail center is located on the trail side of the park. It houses exhibits on the park’s natural and cultural resources. It is a nice place to stop before you walk the trails so that you’ll know the names of the trees, plants and some of the wildlife you might see. It has a manned information desk as well as maps and pamplets.
A 24-hour laundry facility is located behind the visitor center and sits across from the camp store. It is open during camping season. If you need laundry supplies, they can be purchased from the camp store directly across from the laundry facility.
Office – Visitor Center
The First Landing visitor center is located to the left of the campground. It features educational displays detail the First Landing by English settlers in 1607. Brochures are available about the different aspects of the park as well as nearby attractions.
Behind the visitor center is an amphitheater and a large courtyard with a gazebo. The gazebo can be rented for special occasions.