The idea of going on a camping trip usually conjures up images of a dense forest or rugged mountainside. And there are more than a few of these in this amazing state. But that’s just the beginning. Did you realize Virginia had so many incredible coastal camping sites as well? You can trade in the sound of chirping crickets or howling coyotes for soft breezes and lapping waves. You won’t just have a day at the beach – you can have the whole night there, too! Here are some coastal campsites you’ll want to consider next time you plan your weekend camping trip.
1. False Cape State Park
Just south of Virginia Beach, False Cape State Park offers stretches of pristine shoreline. Visitors can set up camp here and brave the elements with little distractions and few amenities. In fact, access to the beach can only be made by foot or bicycle. 12 camp sites are offered along the peninsula's coast. Be sure to pack plenty of bug spray, though. Mosquitoes can be especially pesky in this part of the state.
2. Kiptopeke State Park
Kiptopeke State Park is located at the southern end of Virginia's Eastern Shore. Visitors can enjoy a mile of shoreline along the bay. Something unique about this beach is that 150 miles offshore, there are old concrete ships from WWII that serve as a breakwater. The campground here accommodates both tent and RV camping and there are two large bathhouses for convenience. During the summer months, be sure to make reservations ahead of time as these spots can be very popular.
3. Chippokes Plantation State Park
Overlooking the beautiful lower James River stands the picturesque Chippokes Plantation State Park. The nearby tract of land is actually the oldest continually worked farm in the country, as it's been in operation since 1619. The park is named for the 1850s plantation which also overlooks the James. Camping here is quiet and serene. The sites are tucked back near the the pines. Nearby features include a swimming pool, hiking trails, and of course, the waterfront.
4. Maddox Family Campground
This campground allows campers to explore the unspoiled beaches of Assateague Island. These protected beaches of the Atlantic shoreline make the most memorable backdrop to your camping experience. The family campground has been in business since 1968 and offers over 500 sites. These sites are located in a convenient spot to amenities on Chincoteague and the unspoiled beaches of Assateague. Spots can be reserved ahead of time, and tend to fill up quickly on holiday weekends.
5. Westmoreland State Park
Westmoreland State Park is situated along the beautiful coast of the Potomac River. Much of the park is heavily wooded, although the most breathtaking spots are a mix of sand and cliffs. One of the most noteworthy features of Westmoreland is the abundance of fossilized shark teeth that can be found here. There are 133 campsites here, all of which are roomy and secluded. You can expect these sites to fill up quickly in the summer, so reservations are key.
6. First Landing State Park
Just outside of Virginia Beach, First Landing is one of the state's most frequently-visited state parks. The camping sites themselves run parallel to the Chesapeake Bay, offering beautiful views of the surrounding area. Campers can enjoy exploring boardwalks or hiking the 19 miles of trails that the park has to offer. This is also a great site for nature enthusiasts, as it is one of the most biologically rich areas in the state.
What are your thoughts on coastal camping? Have you stayed overnight on any of Virginia’s shores? We’d love to hear about your camping experience!