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“Wonderful, inexpensive getaway for campers with lots to do!” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Westmoreland State Park

Westmoreland State Park
Colonial Beach, VA
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Type: State Parks, Outdoors
Activities: Hiking, Motor-boating, Swimming
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Attraction details
Owner description: A state park that consists of rivefront beaches, hiking trails, and boat rentals over 1,300 acres.
Fredericksburg, Virginia
4 reviews 4 reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
“Wonderful, inexpensive getaway for campers with lots to do!”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 22, 2011

We reserved our campsite at Westmoreland online, and the confirmation email told us check-in was at 4pm. When we showed up at 4:10, the Visitor's Center was already closed and luckily a lady was still inside. She unlocked the door for us and begrudgingly explained to us that we could simply choose a site ourselves and put our reservation info in a pole in the ground. She also told us we could have shown up any time that day.

This rough start scared us a little, but once we found a campsite it was all uphill from there. We chose campground B and found several nice, flat sites. The old-fashioned "put-your-money-in-this-envelope-and-drop-it-in-a-covered-tube-sticking-out-of-the-ground" was a nice touch and reminded me of twenty years ago before technology took over. There was a trust built into the place; they trusted you to take your firewood and put 25cents/per piece in the pole with no one making sure you paid. That was a nice feeling. Camping was $20/night for a tent site.

There were tons of sites available so we chose one with a short walk to a bath house. (The spring door slammed until about 11:30 pm with other campers going in for their last trip, but otherwise being close to the facilities was wonderful.)
The bath house had two small, older showers but they were clean. There were a few toilet stalls and sinks and outside the mens and womens doors was a big, deep sink and huge counter for washing dishes. It had hot and cold water like a normal sink at home.
Also it was a covered room so you were out of the weather doing dishes. Nice touch, since a lot of campgrounds have spigots outside and that's it.

The site had a pebble floor for the tent, a picnic table, and a fire ring with a grill that sat over half of the fire and parking space.

As far as activities, there was way too much to fit in a one-night stay! We were there for a Thursday night and the kids and I drove to the Nature Center and watched a nature movie about the seashore in a cute outdoor movie viewing area. They had some wooden benches and a big screen with a laptop on a cart projecting onto the screen. The ranger was very nice and helpful and knew lots of neat things about the park. The Nature Center is only open on weekends, so we never ventured inside, but it was small and cute and looked like it had enough to keep kids entertained for maybe an hour.

We rented kayaks for an hour, at a cost of about $9/hr for a two-seater. We paddled down the shore line to the cliffs and it was hard to row in the waves (mom and dad did most of the work, haha) but it was such a beautiful view and a good workout.
The bait shop took care of the rentals and also had anything you might need for camping inside, as well as some souvenirs and toys for the kids.

The pool is HUGE and has a waterslide. There are two diving boards but they were out of service for some reason. Four or five YMCA Summer Camp buses came in bringing kids on field trips, but they were very organized and stayed on one end of the pool so they didn't affect the atmosphere very much. Their chaperones were very good at keeping them safe and contained to their area, and they only had 5 kids at a time on the slide, so the other guests could still use it plenty. When they left, the pool felt empty with just a few families there. Swimming is free if you camp, and $4/pp for the day if you are not a camper.

We ate lunch at the Snack Shack by the pool, where the teen staff was exceptionally nice and they had cheeseburgers, hot dogs, fries, nachos, soft drinks, chicken strips...nice theme park style food with an ice cream bar freezer. The food was inexpensive and very convenient!

We did exit the park in the morning to find some coffee and found a gas station right next to the park entrance that had ANYthing you might have forgotten for camping, as well as food and drinks.

There are so many beautiful trails including one to the "shark tooth beach," but we didn't have time to do any hiking on this trip.

We can't wait to go back and explore the many parts of the park we still haven't seen.
This was a great trip and a perfect one for the new camper as well as the very experienced.

Visited July 2011
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77 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
  • English first
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English first
Plano, Texas
18 reviews 18 reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
21 helpful votes 21 helpful votes
“Crabs and shark teeth, anyone?”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 11, 2010

I have been to Westmoreland twice, once in 2006, and again this summer. My sons and I both love fossils, and were informed that a beach off a trail was a good place for it. It sure was, plus something else, the CRABS! We stumbled upon it one morning in search of fossils, and was totally floored by the sights..........there it was, a whole beach full of crabs, hard and soft shells, big and small. We lived in the cabins both times, and they were very comfortable and affordable. The kitchen had everything we needed from pots(to cook crabs with) to plates to cups. The air conditioner was wonderful, and the beds comfortable(though I would bring more blankets). The beach looked a lot better this year, and plenty of watersports were offered. There was also a pool plus a whole lot of trails. We would love to go back again soon.

Was this review helpful? Yes 12
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Tidewater, VA
Top Contributor
74 reviews 74 reviews
13 attraction reviews
Reviews in 36 cities Reviews in 36 cities
39 helpful votes 39 helpful votes
“Impressed on a first visit......”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 20, 2010

Westmoreland is a very nice park with quite a bit more than some others in the VA state park system. It has quite a few camping spaces for both tents and trailers, as well as cabins for various sized groups and families. There is a very nice beach on the Potomac river, with a good number of trails through the woods for just experiencing nature. We found the staff there to be helpful and friendly. We are geocachers as well as hikers. There are about 5 caches in the park and several in the surrounding area. Staying here would also put you convenient to exploring Robert E Lee's home as well as George Washington's and James Monroe's. We plan on returning here again and would recommend it as on of the better parks in the state system.

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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
1 review
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
“favorite place to find treasures”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 28, 2008

I have been to westmoreland numerous times and absolutely love it ive taken my son also and it is a great place for mommy and son vacations. it is a great way to reconnect with one another. we have reservations for next wkend im very excited. i have found over a hundred shark teeth also. i always use a sifter which makes a world of differance. my largest one is about 3 inches long. and smallest about 4 millimeters. i highly reccommend taking the family to this beautiful state park. the people and cabins are very nice too. and the pool is very nice in the summer. its big and very clean they have a consesion stand also. ive stayed at the potomac retreat once with friends and theres no ruffin it there its amazing all amenities. with its own peir and a great deck to lounge in the evenings and have a drink or two and watch the moonlight reflect off the water its simply beautiful the sound of the waves just take you away. HOPEFULLY YOU ENJOY AS MUCH AS I HAVE. THERES ALWAYS NEW MEMORIES TO BE MADE. reccomennd kayak tours also.

Was this review helpful? Yes 8
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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