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9 Places to Go Beach Camping in Virginia

When you think of sandy beaches and clear blue water, Virginia might not be the first spot that comes to mind. In reality, Virginia is a hidden gem for beach camping of all kinds and campers of all different skill levels!

Keep reading to learn about nine of our favorite places to go beach camping in Virginia.

Kayaks on the beach of Fossil Island in Westmoreland State Park. Beach camping in Virginia.
Fossil Island in Westmoreland State Park.

Beach Camping in Northern Virginia

1. Westmoreland State Park

Located on the Northern Neck of the Potomac River, Westmoreland State Park is the perfect Virginia beach camping spot!

At this state park, you can go fishing off the fishing pier, take a boat ride with the help of the park’s power-boat ramp or even search for fossilized shark teeth on the banks of the Potomac River.

Boats, paddleboards and kayaks are also available for rent during the summer.

If you’d rather keep your feet on the land, there are seven different hiking trails, and one runs right along the beach.

In addition, there are lots of great offerings for kids! Even the youngest campers can try out the on-site playground.

Westmoreland State Park also schedules fun events that run multiple times a week during the summer, like snake feeding and shark tooth necklace making.

Cabins and camping cabins are available at various points throughout the year depending on exactly when you want to go beach camping in Virginia. Some cabins are available all year round, while the camping cabins are open from the beginning of April to mid-October.

The major difference between the regular cabins and the camping cabins is that cabins have their own kitchens and living rooms while the camping cabins are basically just a room with four beds in it.

2. Chincoteague Island

Wild ponies on Virginia's Chincoteague Island.
Wild ponies on Chincoteague Island.

Chincoteague Island is the only place where you can go Virginia beach camping on an island!

This spot is famous for the herds of wild horses that live on the nearby Assateague Island and migrate to Chincoteague Island every year.

The island even holds an annual Pony Swim every summer, which is a multi-day festival where the horses are herded over and swim from Assateague Island to Chincoteague Island and back!

If you’re interested in seeing all the other animals that live in and around the island, consider taking one of many available boat cruises to see all the local wildlife, including maybe even dolphins.

Local companies also offer guided kayak tours and fishing trips if you want something a little more hands-on.

Chincoteague Island has a wide variety of campgrounds to choose from based on your preferences and experience level beach camping in Virginia.

Jellystone Park Chincoteague Island is one great spot for campers and glampers alike! They offer lots of RV and tent sites but also have plenty of fully-furnished cabins if that’s more your style.

There are all sorts of amenities on this campground, including an outdoor pool, a beach-side fire pit, a fishing pier, and a kayak and paddleboard launch.

Beach Camping near Virginia Beach

A wooden boardwalk leading to a sandy beach in Virginia.

3. First Landing State Park

First Landing State Park is a slice of history that you’re sure to love for your next Virginia beach camping trip! This area is named First Landing because it’s the area where settlers from England first stepped foot in America way back in 1607. It’s been used by adventurers and campers alike ever since!

First Landing is the most-visited state park in Virginia, and for good reason. It boasts 20 miles of trails for hiking and biking as well as 1.5 miles of beach access along the Chesapeake Bay.

The park also has a boat ramp that gives you direct access to the Chesapeake Bay. It’s the ideal place to try your hand at crabbing or fishing as long as you have the appropriate license.

Here you’ll find a diverse offering of cabins, yurts, and campsites depending on what kind of beach camping in Virginia you’re looking for.

Yurts are a scaled down version of the cabins, with no water, heat or electricity. Don’t let this scare you away from them, though! Because these yurts are elevated, they offer stunning views of the surrounding wildlife.

4. Holiday Trav-l Park Virginia Beach

The Holiday Trav-l Park Virginia Beach is a spacious campground for Virginia beach camping with lots of fun things to do!

If you want to get away from the beach for a little while, there’s plenty to do right at the campground. Try your hand at basketball, volleyball, horseshoes, or mini golf, or go swimming in one of the four outdoor pools.

The great thing about this campground’s location is that it allows you some peace and quiet away from the direct chaos of Virginia Beach but offers a parking lot only a block away from the beach itself for easy beach access.

There are so many lodging options to choose from at the Holiday Trav-l Park Virginia Beach based on the Virginia beach camping experience you want!

Some are basic campsites that give you the space you need to do some authentic car camping, but accommodations go all the way up to rental trailers, lodges, and cabins.

For those wanting to bring their RV in and keep it simple, there are plenty of spots that offer a combination of water, sewer, electric, and cable hook-ups.

You can also upgrade to a supersite, which is perfect for even the largest RVs and trailers.

5. Virginia Beach KOA

Virginia Beach KOA is a fun and vibrant camping spot for beach camping in Virginia that’s right near all the action!

Bring out your adventurous side by going down the zipline, try out some of the games and activities at the Pocket Park or bring your pup to the dog park.

This campsite even has bikes, pedal carts, and golf carts you can rent to zip around the campground or head over to the beach.

Although the beach isn’t directly accessible from the campsite itself, Virginia Beach KOA offers a trolley that makes stops all along the oceanfront.

Lodging for this Virginia beach camping spot ranges from a weekend at a tent site to extended stays in an RV. For example, there are a plethora of tent sites that you can choose based on what kind of tent pad you want (either grass or sand) as well as proximity to the bathhouse.

Deluxe cabins and camping cabins are also available if you don’t feel like roughing it. These are customizable based on how many people you’ll be camping with.

If you want to stay for multiple weeks or months at a time, there are a number of extended-stay campsites for RV and motorhome campers. Those sites offer all the hookups and amenities you’ll need to make your campsite feel like home!

Beach Camping in Southern Virginia

A sand crab at the beach in Virginia's Kiptopeke State Park.
Sand crab at Kiptopeke State Park.

6. Chippokes State Park

Another historic campsite, Chippokes State Park is just a stone’s throw from Jamestown. This spot for beach camping in Virginia was established as a plantation in 1619 and has been a working farm ever since.

Chippokes State Park features miles of trails, ten of which are for campers who want to bike, hike, and even ride horses through these stunning natural areas.

You can also do some fishing in the nearby freshwater, although motorized boats are not allowed. However, you can easily fish from the shore or bring your own canoe or kayak.

In addition to a host of self-guided outdoor activities, Chippokes State park provides tons of fun and educational programming for curious campers of all ages! These activities include historical building tours and demonstrations of colonial-era activities like paper quilling and hearth cooking.

A combination of 51 campsites, yurts, and cabins are available for visitors who want to stay the night.

Campsites are hospitable to both car camping and RV camping. They generally open up in early March and are available all the way until December.

Yurts are the perfect in-between option for campers who want a little more structure to their Virginia beach camping experience than tent camping provides.

The cabins are rustic and idyllic lodging spaces built anywhere from the 1700s to the early 1900s and named after their original tenants.

A view of a sandy beach and the ocean with sea grass in the foreground.

7. Kiptopeke State Park

Kiptopeke State Park is a serene campground perfect for beach camping in Virginia that gives you unparalleled access to the Chesapeake Bay in all its beauty.

Take a hike or ride your bicycle down five miles of wooded hiking trails, where you’ll find all sorts of unique flora and fauna!

The stretch of beach that Kiptopeke State Park borders makes a superb hiking trail as well. Parts of it feature a boardwalk so that it’s easier for hikers to admire the surrounding sand dunes.

A major plus of Kiptopeke State Park is that it’s one of the very few state parks to offer swimming. Although there are no lifeguards around, you’re welcome to splash around in the refreshing Chesapeake Bay at your own risk.

Another upside to Virginia beach camping at Kiptopeke State Park is that it offers multiple locations for crabbing and fishing on the shore, pier, and concrete ships.

Campers of any budget and group size will find accommodations here in the bunkhouse, yurts, cabins, or lodges.

One unique aspect of the lodging at Kiptopeke State Park is that the yurts come in deluxe and standard offerings. The deluxe yurt has air-conditioning, heat, and a refrigerator.

If you’re looking for a pared-down camping setup, the bunkhouse is a spare but useful living space with seven bunk beds, a refrigerator but no kitchen, air conditioning and heat, and no bathroom.

8. False Cape State Park

Camping at False Cape State Park is a one-of-a-kind wilderness experience that you should definitely add to your itinerary! Bordered partially by the Atlantic Ocean and partially by Back Bay, this state park is one of only a few spots of Atlantic shoreline that is still undeveloped.

Because of all this undisturbed land, the only way you can stay the night in False State Cape Park is through primitive camping. There are four different primitive campsites that you’ll have to travel to either on foot or by bike. Wood fires aren’t allowed, which means that it’s a good idea to pack a camp stove. In addition, only pit toilets are available, so you’ll want to plan accordingly.

While this camping experience isn’t geared toward the committed glamper or the novice beach camper, it’s an incredibly valuable opportunity for more advanced campers to enjoy the peaceful seclusion and beauty of the wilderness.

Even for just a day trip, False Cape State Park allows you to take full advantage of all that nature has to offer!

Take a hike or a bike ride on the more than 15 miles of trails and soak in the surrounding marshes, maritime forests and dunes. You can even do both freshwater and saltwater fishing in the two different surrounding bodies of water.

Park staff also do a great job of organizing group activities, like guided kayak tours. They even have a four-hour tram tour during which you can do some wildlife spotting and go on a short hike through the surrounding woods.

9. North Landing Beach RV Resort and Cottages

Staying at North Landing Beach RV Resort and Cottages allows you to access some prime real estate to go to the beach whenever you want!

This spot for beach camping in Virginia is incredibly close to Virginia Beach and its oceanfront. However, North Landing Beach RV Resort and Cottages also has its own private beach mere minutes away.

Enjoy some swimming, fishing or crabbing at the private beach. If you want to take part in more water activities, you can also rent paddleboards, kayaks, and canoes or take a boat out using their boat launch ramp.

For campers who want to stay on land, there are plenty of ways to get active and have fun, including ping pong, pickleball, mini golf, and a batting cage.

There are many activities to do on your own, but if group fun is more your thing, this resort has you covered! North Landing Beach RV Resort and Cottages takes care of the planning for you with events like weekly movie nights, arts and crafts time, shrimp boils, and pig roasts.

While the resort is the perfect spot for pull-through or back-in RV campers, people without RVs can also book a stay for some Virginia beach camping and have just as much fun!

This resort offers one-bedroom and two-bedroom cottages right by the beach and facing the woods. These spacious cabins provide you with everything you’ll need to feel comfortable and enjoy your trip.

Enjoying Beach Camping in Virginia

A view of the Cape Henry Lighthouse with the Atlantic Ocean in the background.
Cape Henry Lighthouse.

There are so many wonderful places to go beach camping in Virginia, and hopefully our round-up has introduced you to some of the best! Next time you’re planning a spring break trip or summer vacation, Virginia should be at the top of your list.

If you enjoyed reading all about the best beach camping spots in Virginia and want to learn more, check out our Beach Camping page for tons of inspiration!