First Landing State Park
Virginia Beach, VA
Chesapeake Bay Gateways Network

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Brief Description: First Landing State Park is located near the mouth of the Chesapeake Bay close to the spot where Captain John Smith landed in 1607 on his way to establishing the first permanent English settlement at Jamestown. With beaches along the Bay, First Landing is Virginia's most popular state park, attracting over a million visitors each year. Originally built by the Civilian Conservation Corps in the 1930s, the park now preserves and interprets a unique part of the Chesapeake.
Location / Directions: 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. For camping, turn left off U.S. 60; for cabins and visitor center, turn right (west) off U.S. 60 at the stop light and check in at contact station
Driving Directions
Address: First Landing State Park
2500 Shore Drive
Virginia Beach, VA 23451-1415
Visitor Phone: (757) 412-2300
  • Fishing and crabbing (valid Virginia fishing license required).
  • Boating: Motorboats and other small craft may be launched from boat ramps in the park's southern area (no rentals available).
  • Swimming: at your risk in Chesapeake Bay.
  • Interpretive Programs: Crabbing, Junior Rangers, Kritter Kids, evening programs, beach walks, osprey hikes, nature hikes and night hikes.
  • Trails: Hiking, bicycle trails (and bike rentals), self-guided trails; 9 walking trails total approximately 19 miles.
  • Picnicking: picnic area equipped with drinking water, fire grills, refuse disposal, tables and restrooms; large shelter available for rent on a first-come, first-served basis by calling 1-800-933-PARK.
  • Environmental Education Center: First Landing's Chesapeake Bay Center features a wet lab, educational displays and an ecotourism welcome center; programs for grades K-12 with curriculum guide for teachers.

Biking Birding and Wildlife Viewing Boat Access Camping Educational Programs Fishing Hiking Picnicking Swimming Canoeing / Kayaking

Operating Hours: Park is open year-round with primary season from Memorial Day to Labor Day
Fees: Daily Parking - $4 weekdays $5 weekends.
Visitor Facilities: Chesapeake Bay Center: visitor information, environmental education, displays; Trails Center with exhibits on the history and marsh life in the park. Campgrounds, picnic areas and shelters, trails, bike rentals.
Size: 2,888 acres
Accessibility: Most facilities are handicapped accessible; see park website for details.

Chesapeake Bay Gateways Network - Comments or Questions: Call: 1-800-YOUR-BAY