If you usually camp at private campgrounds and this is your first visit to a state park campground, you’ll definitely appreciate the vastly different “back-to-nature” experience at First Landing State Park Campground despite its close proximity to the Virginia Beach oceanfront.
Private campgrounds tend to create amenities for their campers; pools, playgrounds, activity centers, etc. First Landing’s appeal is in the natural amenities. Swimming or kayaking in the Chesapeake Bay; walking or biking through miles of trails to see the cypress swamp, birdwatching, etc. Also see:
The asphalt roads throughout the campground are fairly narrow and not necessarily level. Most are one-way only, so you don’t have to worry about navigating around on-coming vehicles.
All the RV sites at First Landing State Park Campground have water and electricity hookups, a picnic table and a fire ring with a small attached grill. They do not have sewer hookups, but there is a dump station located at the entrance of the park.
There are no cable TV hookups and Wifi is not available. If your camper has a TV antenna, point it towards Suffolk for best reception.
You can access the beach using one of the four wooden boardwalks (walking on the dunes is prohibited). Once on the beach, you’ll be able to enjoy almost 2 miles of semi-private beach on the Chesapeake Bay. It’s not as crowded as the Virginia Beach oceanfront and the waves from the Bay tend to be a little calmer.
The actual park is located on the other side of Shore Drive directly across from the campground. The Trail Center is a good starting point to help you decide which trails to explore, either on foot or by bike.
First Landing is a much more natural camping experience; vastly different than a largely flat, sparsely treed private campground.
The majority of sites have partial to full shade from the live oaks, loblolly pines and wax myrtles. Tree clearance is usually appropriate for the size of each site, but a few of the 20 foot RV sites only have 10 feet of clearance. Bring pruning loppers to trim back any branches that might hit your camper.
While the driveways for each site are fairly level (or slightly inclined), the terrain for the surrounding campsite varies. Some are largely flat, while others might have irregular elevations. As such, your campsite may not be perfectly level. If you are bringing a camper, also bring leveling blocks for your jacks (just in case). If you are tent camping, pitch your tent at the highest level spot at your site (just in case it rains).
There are bathhouses with hot water for showers throughout the campground. They are more on the “rustic” side and are generally clean. Of course, cleanliness is dependent on the other campers that use them. The bathhouses closer to the beach tend to be cleaner than those closer to Shore Drive.
If your campsite is near a bathhouse, you may experience some odors especially after heavy rains. This also applies to campsites near the lower elevation marshes.
In the summer, you’ll definitely be dealing with mosquitoes so bring bug spray. There are plenty of squirrels, and you may see other wildlife like an occasional turtle or snake. If you leave your trash out overnight, you might get a visit by critters looking for food.
The campground is extremely popular, especially in the summer months. Aside from normal campers, there will be vacationers there specifically because it is a budget friendly option to visit the Virginia Beach oceanfront without having to pay $300 a night hotel room fees. Like any campground, there might be a few campers that don’t observe standard courtesies such as quiet time.
Campsites located closer to busy Shore Drive will hear traffic. And those sites closer to the Fort Story military base (located to the right of the campground) will be within earshot of military maneuvers and exercises.
Pets are allowed at all campsites except for the Yurts. They must be current on their vaccinations and kept on a leash no longer than 6 feet in length. If you take your pet to the beach, bring along an extra tote to store pet waste. There are no trash cans on the beach, so you will have to hang onto that doggy bag until you return to the entrance of the boardwalk.