9 Best Camping Sites in Virginia

In Virginia, there are beautiful campgrounds that can make one easily devote their entire lifetime to experience all of them. One can choose to either camp at the state parks or the private campgrounds. You will find some of the most spectacular sites that make you get up close to nature. If you have a problem with your back such that you cannot sleep in a sleeping bag, you will find other sites offering cabins for rentals and RV hookups.

Whatever your accommodation preference may be, you will not like to miss these ten spectacular campgrounds in Virginia. Take a look and prepare yourself for the adventure of your lifetime.

1. First Landing State Park

First Landing State Park - Outdoor Project
© Outdoor Project

First Landing State Park is located outside the Chesapeake Bay at Cape Henry in North Virginia Beach. The state park features a campground that has 214 single and family campsites. There are 20 cabins and group campsites available too. The camps vary in terms of location and size. Some are located next to one another, and others are pretty close to the highway dividing the park. Other camping sites have more space between sites and are closer to the beach. The 20 cabins are on the opposite side of Shore Drive from the campground.

The coast of campsites at First Landing State Park ranges from $24 to $32. Taxes and reservation fees also apply. Personal sites within the group campsite area are $24 a night. There are at least three and not more than 20 sites available for reservation.

The price of cabins ranges from $94 to $139 per night. It depends on the season and state residency. You can stick around for a minimum of one week which is required during the prime summer season. You can stay for a minimum of two nights at other times. Reservation and tax fees also apply.

Campsites at First Landing State Park are available from March 1st to early December. Cabins are open all year round, excluding holiday check-in dates.

You can reserve a campsite or a cabin online. You can also call the Telephone Virginia Parks reservation centers for reservations during the daytime on weekdays.  Reserve on Thursday f you would like to camp during the weekend. The park staff will assign you the actual site on arrival as reservations are made for a particular type of campsite. 

At First Landing State Park, a camp store is in the exact building complex with the main office. The store has various camping supplies, essential food items, and firewood. You can also rent bicycles in the camp store.

You will find a small laundry facility next to the camp store.

There are a picnic table and a fire-ring/grill at every campsite. There is no water and electricity at primitive campsites. The other campsites have water and electric hookups.

There are 20 campsites close to one another and a group shelter for group camping. The sites do not have water and electricity. Reserve at least three minimum sites for group camping.

You will find several bathroom facilities scattered around the campground. Every facility has hot showers and dish-washing sinks. Pets are allowed here for an additional charge of $5 per night.

The cabins at First Landing State Park have AC and heat, a fireplace, a deck, a screened porch, and an outside grill. They have two bedrooms. One bedroom has either a double or queen-sized bed while the other has two single beds. Up to six people can stay in a cabin at a time. You can also reserve sleeping cots for $3 per night to accommodate two more people. The cabins do not have dishwater, telephone, TV, or a dryer. Pets are allowed for an additional charge of $10 per pet per night.

Every campsite is limited to two cars. You cannot collect wood from the park grounds. Quiet hours start from 10 PM to 8 AM. Every vehicle is always required to display parking passes. 

2. Lake Fairfax Park Camping Site

Lake Fairfax Park Camping - Fairfox County
© Fairfox

At Lake Fairfax Park, it is recommended that you reserve your camping site. You are required to use a Visa or MasterCard to deposit for reservations. When camping as a group, you are required to deposit a minimum of $100 for every group site reserved. The main attraction at Lak Fairfax Park is the Water Mine Family Swimmin’ Hole. It is a western theme activity pool with an acre of interactive play features, including Rattlesnake River, Box Canyon Crossing, slides, and flumes. All these are designed to accommodate everyone. Campers will also enjoy fishing and boat rides in an 18-acre lake and a seasonal stream.

The campground at Lake Fairfax Park provides the campers with the following:

  • Potable water spigots at the bathhouse.
  • The bathhouse has sinks and hot showers.
  • Flushing toilets.
  • There are a picnic table and a fire ring/grill combo at each site.

In this park, tent and group camping is open from March 1st to November 30th. Campers are not supposed to bring firewood from outside. Only the wood purchased at FCPA campgrounds should be used or store on FCPA property. 

3. Chippokes Plantation State Park Camping Site

Chippokes Plantation State Park Camping - peregrinations
© peregrinations

The campground at Chippokes Plantation State Park has 58 single-family campsites. It is located beside the James River & Cobham Bay. To access the campground, one has to walk a short distance or ride a bike to the shoreline and beach.

The sites with electric & water hookups are 50. The campsites accommodate tents, RVs, and even trailers that are up to 30 feet. One can also rent a cabin as the state park has four of them. You can also camp as a group.

Campground amenities are drinking water, hot showers, flush toilets, and a dump station. You can also purchase firewood from the camp host. Each camping site has a table, fire ring, and grate.

There are two loops at the campground. The campground is open from the 1st Friday of March to the 1st Monday in December. Upon arrival, all campers are supposed to check-in at the office. If you arrive late, you will find the check-in information at the entrance’s contact station. Only a maximum of six people per night can occupy the site.

Check-in time is 4 PM, and the check-out time is 1 PM. You can arrive earlier than 4 PM and enjoy the park. Guests are allowed to reserve a specific campsite.

4. Occoneechee State Park Camping Site

Occoneechee State Park Camping - Steve W
© Steve W / The Dyrt

Occoneechee State Park has 48 single-family campsites, 11 cabins, three yurts, and 11 equestrian campsites. The state park is located next to Virginia’s largest lake, Buggs Island Lake (John H Kerr Reservoir. There are also two lodges to rent in the park. Half of the campsite is given based on first-come, first-serve while the other half is reserved only.

You can either pitch a tent, use a trailer, or RVs up to 35 feet at the campsites in this state park. There is a table, fire ring, and grate at each campsite. The camp host sells firewood to the campers.

Water and electric hookup campsites are available in camping loops B and C. All the Equestrian campsites have electric hookups. The state park campground offers drinking water, flush toilets, showers, and a dump station. It also provides a splash ground, picnic areas, mixed-use trails, and boat ramp. While at the park, you may like to spare time and explore the Occoneechee people’s history at the museum and visitor center. 

5. Douthat State Park Camping Sites

Douthat State Park Camping - minnienotes
© minnienotes

Douthat is famous for its lovely campsites. Some campsites will offer campers a beautiful view of Douthat Lake. You are allowed to have a pet at the campground at a fee per pet per night. There are 87 campsites at Whispering Pines campground, and you can camp any day of the year.

The Lakeside campground was closed during the 2020 camping season to add site facilities and replace a bathhouse.

There are 18 one-bedroom, 13 two-bedroom, and one three-bedroom cabins available at Douthat State Park. They are rented per week from Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day weekend. You will have to stay for a minimum of two nights at these cabins. The maximum occupancy varies.

Firewood is available in the park office. The camp store will bring a starter log or kindling. When campers arrive late, they find an instruction note on the park office door on how and when to register the following morning. Every camper will be provided with a map to find their way around the campground. You will find the park office at the first building on the right when you exit I-64 and pass the booth at the park entrance.

Each campsite has grills or a campfire for cooking. Ensure you keep the fires within the grill. You will also be provided with tables and lantern posts. Each campsite is allowed to have two vehicles. Additional vehicles should be parked in the parking area for an extra fee.

6. Smith Mountain Lake State Park Camping Site

Smith Mountain Lake State Park Camping - Katie M
© Katie M / The Dyrt

Camping at Smith Mountain Lake State Park is a fantastic way to enjoy the beauty, adventure, and peace of Virginia’s Blue Ridge. You can pitch a tent or set up the RV at Smith Mountain Lake.

Local businesses in the state park look for things to do like golf, art galleries, and shopping, dining, and other events.

If you are looking for an easy way to get straight from your camping site to the lake, the Smith Mountain Lake State Park has boat ramps for that.

The state park has 70 campsites, including 20 cabins, 26 tent-only sites, and 24 sites with standard electric hookups. The campsites have in-ground grills, a picnic table, and a lantern post. There is a full bathhouse at the campground. It has hot showers and sinks. Swimming and boat launch is suitable for campers.

Camping in the park is allowed from March 1st through the 1st Monday in December. Recommendations are encouraged during peak season, especially during summer and fall. The Smith Mountain Lake State Park will provide campers with an awesome experience no matter the outdoor adventure you are looking for.

7. Grayson Highlands State Park Camping Site

Grayson Highlands State Park Camping - Snows Out West
© Snows Out West

The campground at this state park offers beautiful views. The park is a way to the s highest peak, Mount Rogers in the state, and the Appalachian Trail entrance. Along the trails, you can hike, ride a horse, or even use a bike. There is also wildlife like wild ponies venturing through the region. The campsites have electricity but no water from November to March. There are no showers or bathrooms too.

8. Shenandoah National Park Camping Site

Shenandoah National Park Camping - National Park Service
© National Park Service

Shenandoah National Park campground offers more primitive camping than backcountry camping. Some areas prohibit night stay in the park. Campers at this park will get the opportunity to discover Virginia’s beautiful scenery and wildlife. Beginners are cautioned against backcountry camping in Shenandoah National Park. One should be experienced enough to prepare for an overnight trip in the mountains of Virginia. You should have survival skills and the right tools and supplies. You should also beware of the risks and rules of backcountry camping before planning to camp in this state park.

9. Pocahontas State Park Camping Site

Pocahontas State Park Camping - The Dyrt
© Adam P / The Dyrt

Pocahontas State Park is located 20 miles outside Richmond. The campsites in this state park have electricity and water hookups, picnic tables, and grills. The restrooms here have showers and hot water. There is also an outdoor pool and laundry facilities for guests. Campers can rent rowboats, paddleboards, kayaks, and canoes during summer. Overnight campers also enjoy fishing, swimming, and boating. Guests to the park have to pay for these activities. The fishing pond has crappie, largemouth bass, bluegill, and catfish. Pets are allowed in the park for a fee per night.

Conclusion

The state of Virginia has a lot to offer for those looking for subtler and gentler natural beauty. Pitching a tent at these beautiful campgrounds for a few days will guarantee you the best experience ever. You will be placing yourself slap bang in the middle of it all. There are many trails, lakes, rivers, and crags for you to explore. There are also rich historical and cultural highlights to be explored while camping in Virginia.

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