On Cape Henry in North Virginia Beach, First Landing State Park offers nearly 3,000 acres and a multitude of activities — swimming, hiking, biking, boating, fishing, picnicking, and more. The park has all the amenities and facilities you might need for a day trip, as well as accommodations for overnight stays, in cabins and at campsites.
The spacious park charges per carload, not per person, and you can expect to pay $4 per vehicle on weekdays and $5 on weekends. The grounds are open 8 am until sunset.
The beach is along the Chesapeake Bay and it’s open every single day. You must swim at your own risk, though, as there is no lifeguard on duty. No swimming is allowed in the Narrows or near the boat launch area. The beach is mostly uncrowded and the water is typically calm (at least calm for the Atlantic Ocean). It’s suitable for most weak swimmers and even children. The only drawback to this beach, versus some of those you might find if you go to the main part of Virginia Beach, is that there’s more vegetation, which leads to more small wildlife and insects. It’s also not regularly cleaned, so there are some seaweed and natural debris.
The beach offers four boardwalks that give you access to the shore. Amenities include an outdoor shower along each of the boardwalks. Restrooms are also available. Other attractions include an authentic Indian village and 20 miles of walking trails, as well as the site of the first landing of the Jamestown colonists in 1607. The park itself is the most visited in Virginia, though the beach is not.
Pets are welcomed to the beach, but watch for signage of designated swim areas while you are there. Pets should be confined or kept on a leash of six feet or less and under supervision during your entire visit. Pets are not allowed in public facilities like the bathhouses. Bring proof of your recent vaccines.