First Landing State Park sits on the shores of the picturesque Chesapeake Bay and is a perfect place for a peaceful, relaxing camping experience. Nearly 20 miles (32.1 kilometers) of biking and hiking trails, two miles (3.2 km) of Atlantic coastline, and 3,000 acres of land make up First Landing, Virginia’s most visited state park. Campsites feature electric hookups, and visitors have access to water, restrooms, and showers. Pets are welcomed!
First Landing State Park, 2500 Shore Dr, Virginia Beach, VA, USA, +1 757 412 2300
Located at Milepost 51 on Shenandoah National Park’s Skyline Drive, Big Meadows Campground has endless hiking trails, many of which are within close proximity to three waterfalls. Big Meadows is within a stone’s throw to several vineyards, distilleries, and breweries, including Sharp Rock Vineyards, Hopkins Ordinary Ale Works, and Little Washington Winery & Vineyards. After a few glasses or pints, head back to the campsite to enjoy the rest of the evening stargazing and munching on s’mores by a toasty warm fire.
Big Meadows Campground, Skyline Dr, Stanley, VA, USA, +1 540 999 3500
Nearly 500 acres and 150 campsites make up Lake Fairfax Park, an oasis in the middle of the city. Campsites feature utility hook-ups, fire rings, grills, a bathhouse, hot showers, and toilets. There’s a 20-acre lake with fishing and a family-friendly water park, boat rentals, a carousel, athletic fields, picnic areas, a playground, and plenty of hiking trails.
Lake Fairfax Park, 1400 Lake Fairfax Dr, Reston, VA, USA, +1 703 471 5414
Chippokes Plantation has been a working farm for 400 years and is one of the oldest of its kind in America. Restored tenant houses have been refurbished into cabins that are available to rent, and camping lots are available for tents, pop-ups, and RVs. Chippokes lies on the historic James River, a sanctuary for wildlife, including bald eagles, otters, ospreys, herons, foxes, river otters, and more.
Unlike some of the other places listed, Occoneechee offers an equestrian campsite and plenty of land for horseback riding. The park was named after the Native American tribe who once populated the land around Bugg’s Island Lake (John H. Kerr Reservoir), and there is a museum on-site that pays homage to the Occoneechee clan. There are 11 cabins available for rent, complete with rustic furnishings, linens, picnic tables, and grills. Campsites are also available and include water views, hook-ups, and 24-hour access to the bathhouse. Enjoy the days boating, hiking, and biking, or picnicking on the grounds overlooking the water.
Burke Lake Park is an 888-acre, family-friendly campground that is home to an operational miniature train, rowboats, a carousel, golf course, and an ice cream parlor. The lush grounds are surrounded by forests and popular fishing holes. Open April through October, the campground offers 100 sites, and guests have access to sinks, toilets, a camp store (where ice and firewood are available to purchase), grills, and dump stations.
Burke Lake Park, 7315 Ox Rd, Fairfax Station, VA, USA, +1 703 323 6600
Tucked away in the Allegheny Mountains along the West Virginia border, Douthat State Park offers mountain trails, a lake beach, cabins, tent sites, and swimming. The historic park has been open to the public since 1936 and is home to a 50-acre lake stocked with trout for fishing (there’s even a kids-only fishing area).
Douthat State Park, 14239 Douthat State Park Rd, Millboro, VA, USA, +1 540 862 8100
The 50-mile-long (80 km) Smith Mountain Lake envelopes 20,000 acres of land and is home to Virginia’s second-largest freshwater lake. Black bass is the fish species of choice most sought after by anglers and can be caught by the shore, out on a boat or from a fishing pier. Located in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains, this is also a great destination for tent campers.
Smith Mountain Lake State Park, 1235 Rd 888, Huddleston, VA, USA, +1 540 297 6066
The closest campground to Virginia Beach’s oceanfront, Holiday Trav-L-Park is a full-service campground with nearly 100 tent sites, 50 camper cabins, and 62 “super” sites. There is a miniature golf course, four playgrounds, basketball, horseshoe pitches, and a one-acre, fenced-in dog park for your furry friends. Seasonal activities include movie nights, live music, karaoke, and religious services.
A favorite on camping review sites, Pocahontas State Park offers tent sites, camping cabins, and 65 miles (104.6 km) of hiking trails. During the summer season, enjoy the park’s Aquatic Center, which has a kid’s pool, leisure pool, and two tubular water slides.
Pocahontas State Park, 10301 State Park Rd, Chesterfield, VA, USA, +1 804 796 4255