First Landing State Park
Virginia Beach, VA 23451-1415
Phone: (757) 412-2300
First Landing State Park (formerly Seashore State Park) offers
recreational opportunities at Cape Henry in the independent city
of Virginia Beach, Virginia.
GENERAL INFO: Originally built by the Civilian
Conservation Corps in the 1930s, First Landing State Park is
located on the Chesapeake Bay. 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 19 miles of
trails on 2,888 acres. It also has campsites that have water and
electric hook-ups and nearby access to restrooms and showers. 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
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.
Drive Time : Northern Virginia, three and a half hours;
Richmond, two hours; Tidewater/Norfolk/Virginia Beach, 20-30
minutes (this facility is in the area); Roanoke, five and a half
The state park is near the site of the first landing on April
26, 1607 of Christopher Newport and the Virginia Company colonists
before establishing themselves at Jamestown. The park includes
cabins, areas for camping, fishing, and swimming, and over 19
miles of trails for hiking and biking. Virginia's most popular
state park, it's visited by over a million people each year.
Development of the Seashore State Park began in 1933 by the
Civilian Conservation Corps on 1,060 acres of donated land. Most
of the workers were African American men. The new park opened on
June 15, 1936. Several additions of land and adjustments of the
border with Fort Story resulted in the current total area of the
park of 2,888.
The park�s natural area was listed as a National Natural
Landmark in 1965. In 1997, the park's name was changed from
Seashore State Park to First Landing State Park to reflect its
heritage as the first place where members of the Virginia Company
PICNIC SHELTERS: The picnic area is equipped with
drinking water, fire grills, refuse disposal, tables and restroom
facilities. A large picnic shelter is available for rent on a
first-come, first-served basis by calling the Reservation Center
at 1-800-933-PARK. Click here for park fees.
First Landing State Park Picnic Shelter
One shelter is available for rent. It can be rented from 8 a.m.
to dusk (all day). Parking fees are not included in shelter
Cancellation policy: No refund within 14 days before
reserved date. Before then, there's a cancellation fee.
Amenities: The shelter has six charcoal grills,
electricity, picnic tables and access to restroom (restroom closed
November 1 to April 1).
The shelter is in the main picnic area, which is not on the
beach side of the park (on same side of Shore Drive as the Trail
Center). The shelter can accommodate about 80 people under the
shelter. Seating for larger groups is available around the shelter
in the main picnic area. The picnic area as a whole is not
reserved and the general public will be permitted to use the other
tables around the shelter.
Other facilities, including a courtyard, gazebo and
amphitheater, can be rented for weddings, conferences, special
events and seminars. Call the park at (757) 412-2320 for details.
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 will re-enact the first
landing with a series of special events. The National Register of
Natural Landmarks and the National Register of Historic Landmarks
have listed First Landing State Park because of its historic
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