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First Landing State Park

About Teddy Bear rated picnic sites2500 Shore Drive
Virginia Beach, VA 23451-1415
Phone: (757) 412-2300
Email: First Landing.

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 settle Jamestown.

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 hours

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.

History

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 landed.

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 rental.

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 heritage.

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