First Landing State Park
Virginia Beach, VA

Park Size: 2,888 acres. Beach, 1.25 miles.

HISTORY:
In 1933, the Commonwealth of Virginia bought the park's more than 2,000 acres from the Cape Henry Syndicate Inc. for $157,000. The park was built in the early 1930s by mainly African-American CCC workers. It was dedicated June 15, 1936. In 1965 the park’s natural area was included in the National Register of Natural Landmarks because of its distinction as the northernmost location on the East Coast where subtropical and temperate plants grow and thrive together. In 1977, the park's trail system was designated as part of the U. S. Department of Interior's National Recreational Trail System.

The park's name was changed in 1997 from Seashore State Park to First Landing State Park to reflect its heritage as the first place where members of the Virginia Company landed. They went on to settle Jamestown. In 2007, the park hosted a re-enactment of the first landing. The National Register of Natural Landmarks and the National Register of Historic Landmarks have listed First Landing State Park because of its heritage.

THINGS TO DO:
The park, which is Virginia’s most visited state park, is nestled in Virginia Beach. First Landing offers boating, swimming, nature and history programs, hiking, biking, picnicking, a boat launch, cabins and 20 miles of trails on 2,888 acres. The park also includes a courtyard with gazebo and a amphitheater.

Enjoy campsites with water and electric hook-ups and nearby access to restrooms and showers. Swim at your risk in Chesapeake Bay; no lifeguards. There are no designated swimming areas at the Narrows or boat launch. The Bay Store has a variety of groceries, snacks, camping supplies, firewood and outdoor recreation supplies.

Fishing and crabbing are popular from the Narrows located between Broad Bay and Linkhorn Bay. A valid Virginia saltwater fishing license is required. Annual parking-launching passports are available by calling 1-800-933-PARK.

The Trail Center has a meeting room for up to 45 people. It is available for rent; call (757) 412-2320. The center features exhibits on the natural and cultural history of the park.

The park offers many various self-guided and guided programs that cover crabbing, junior rangers, beach walks, nature hikes and structured environmental education programs. Large clubs, school groups and community organizations can request specific historical, cultural and environmental programming related to their educational goals. The park participates in Virginia's State Parks: Your Backyard Classrooms, a 40-activity curriculum guide used by K- 12 teachers and home-school coordinators. Call the park for more detail.

The area's biggest paddle sports event of the year, PaddleFest, takes place at First Landing in mid-September. There's something for both newcomers and pros alike at this hands-on event. Associated parking and try-out fees support the park. Click here to view park events, festivals, workshops and interpretive programs.

First Landing's Chesapeake Bay Center features a wet lab and educational displays that focus on the First Landing by English settlers here in 1607. The center features programs developed in cooperation with the Virginia Aquarium and Marine Science Center. A visitor information center at the park also has information on area tours and attractions.

CONTACT INFO: 
First Landing State Park
2500 Shore Drive
Virginia Beach, VA 23451-1415
Phone: 757) 412-2300
firstlanding@dcr.virginia.gov

LOCATION: From I-64, take Northampton Blvd.-U.S. 13 North (Exit 282). Go through eight lights, then turn right at the Shore Drive/U.S. 60 exit (last exit before the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel). Take a right on Shore Drive and go four and a half miles to the park entrance. To reach the Chesapeake Bay Center, park office, camping or cabins, turn left off U.S. Rt. 60 at the stoplight and check in at the contact station. For the Trail Center, picnic area and trails, turn right instead.

Learn more about park offerings by calling 1-800-933-PARK or email resvs@dcr.virginia.gov.

Visit at: www.dcr.virginia.gov/state_parks/fir.shtml