After staying for one night at Kiptopeke State Park, we came here for our second night of a weekend trip. While Kiptopeke was lovely, it had one problem: no dogs on the beach. First Landing, on the other hand, was a great for dog lovers.
First, the sites. On a Saturday night, we had our choice of a few different tent camping sections and picked section B. The tent-only sites with no electric or water tend to be closer to the highway, so if you want a site closer to the beach, you need to pay for an electric/water site. The advantage, though, was that these tent-only sites were well shaded. They varied in size, but we found one (B2) that was extra private. We were bordered by trees on three sides, and the site had a nice flat spot for our tent. There was a small pond on one side, and we were visited by a pair of Mallard ducks who seemed quite used to people. We named them Rachel and Filbert. A red fox also visited us that night, but our dog warned him away. The only drawback for these sites is the noise from the highway.
The bathrooms were clean (with soap and hand dryers), and there was also a "slop sink" area for washing dishes. Campground B also had plenty of water taps.
The beach extends the length of the campground, and there is a well stocked campstore and a visitor's center in the middle, which provides access to the beach via a boardwalk. You can also walk over the dunes at certain points along the beach to get to it. The advantage of using the boardwalk by the store is that there are bathrooms, showers to rinse off, and the store if you get hungry and want a snack.
On a Sunday, the beach was pretty busy, but not unbearably so. The best part, for us, was that dogs were allowed on the beach during the day. No one seemed to worry much about dogs being on a leash, so our dog (and many others) enjoyed playing and swimming.
The camp store has RV and camping supplies, firewood, bait and fishing tackle, snacks, souvenirs, and more. We saw a few people fishing towards dusk, and they seemed to be catching a lot (mostly spot).
First Landing is located in Virginia Beach, so the advantage is that there are stores, restaurants, and gas stations nearby if you need supplies (as opposed to Kiptopeke, which requires you to cross the Chesapeake Bay Bridge and has fewer amenities nearby). However, it feels less secluded as a result and, as I mentioned above, there's noise from the highway. Overall, though, this is a great way to enjoy the Chesapeake Bay and its calm waters for swimming.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Park that offers rustic cabins and camping. ... more less
- Also Known As:
- 1st Landing State Park
- First Landing State Park Hotel Virginia Beach
- First Landing State Park Hotel Va Beach