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Where in the World // Camping, Jurassic-Style, in Virginia Beach

August 29, 2016

Where in the World // Camping, Jurassic-Style, in Virginia Beach


We just finished a clinic in Norfolk, VA, and while that was a blast, I have to admit, I was equally thrilled to get back to my favorite place on earth, Virginia Beach.

My aunt and uncle have a beach cottage here, and since I was born, every summer until the last 3 years, I’ve been spending a week or two at the beach with my family. Doesn’t matter how old I get, the family vacations are the most relaxing times of my life. Running the beach in the morning, chilling with my parents and sister, and—because it was always in late August—a chance for me to take some time to get ready for back-to-school, mentally, physically and emotionally. Seriously, even as an eight year old, I was sitting on the beach with a notebook writing down goals for the year. (I was a weird kid.)

So to have the chance to drop in—right in time for ‘back to school’ (or at least, back to ‘cross)—was perfect for Peter and I! The cottage is under construction, so we ended up booking a campsite right up the road in First Landing State Park, and it’s pretty awesome. It’s right on the Chesapeake Bay, about $25 per night, and as you can see above, the campsites are pretty rustic, but pretty rad (and private). It’s marshy and green and feels like you’re in Jurassic Park, but half a kilometer away is the beach with the bay.


(Of course, when we woke up this morning, we made tracks for the actual ocean for a long morning run before breakfast.)

The park has great amenities—nice bathrooms, decent showers, and a really on-top-of-it staff, plus RV-friendly sites and even cabins for less rustic campers. There’s hiking, boating, jet-skiing, SUPing, riding… basically, all the outdoor activities. And while it seems pretty in-the-woods, it’s right on the main stretch, so it’s easy to bust out for a quick dinner (try the fresh-caught salmon at The Dockside and definitely get a margarita!) or for groceries, etc. And there are in-park activities like guided hikes and nature walks, plus stuff for kids. Really, really cool spot and it’s gotten even better in recent years.

OK, one photo for the road and then we’re back to the beach, because, hey, we’re only here 24 hours!


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  1. Ev Coop

    Thanks for the tips at the 'cross clinic, it was great to meet you both IRL.

    • Thanks! It was a blast for us—so much fun!

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