The place where the first permanent British colony in mainland North America was founded in 1607, Virginia is a state with an exceptional history and abundant natural attractions. From colonial towns and Revolutionary and Civil War battlefields to various Presidential Homes, including one that is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, history is never far away when camping in Virginia. Nature, too, is an intricate part of Virginia’s state identity.
On the coast, you’ll find several state parks and wildlife refuges. Additionally, there are significant historic sites such as Colonial National Historical Park, which includes Historic Jamestown and the Yorktown Battlefield. Across Chesapeake Bay, a calm wave-less bay, lie popular Cape Charles and glorious Assateague Island National Seashore with its feral horses galloping along the beaches. All around Chesapeake Bay, extensive sand beaches and shallow water attract huge crowds of sunbathers and families camping in Virginia over Summer break.
More inland, rolling vineyards and horse farms characterize the Monticello American Viticultural Area, while the beauty of the Shenandoah Valley and Blue Ridge Mountains to the west has been praised in many a country song. It’s in this region, with its undulating forested hills, rocky outcrops, countless waterfalls and rich biodiversity, that you’ll want to go camping in Virginia.
Shenandoah National Park, protecting a section of the Blue Ridge Mountains’ crest, is an outdoor playground for hikers, cyclists, wildlife watchers and road trippers alike. The only road through the park is Skyline Drive, a world-class mountain road lined with trails, campgrounds, a couple of historic lodges, and more than 70 overlooks.
At the park’s southern entrance, Skyline Drive links up with the equally scenic Blue Ridge Parkway. Connecting Shenandoah with Great Smoky Mountains National Park in North Carolina, its 469 miles make it the longest linear park in America. From historic homesteads and the Blue Ridge Music Center to viewpoints, hiking trails and waterfalls like Crabtree Falls, its numerous attractions, combined with free access, make this the most visited unit in the entire National Park Service system.
Other great destinations for camping in Virginia are the Allegheny Highlands, home to natural hot springs, and Grayson Highlands State Park featuring rock-strewn mountain meadows, panoramic vistas and wild ponies.
Love this park. Lots of biting flies and mosquitoes during the summer! The left loop sites are a good size but not much shade or privacy. I would definitely stay in the right loop area next time for tent camping. Newer bathrooms and showers. Pretty basic camping setup with fire ring and picnic table.
We love the pool in the summer! Free pool passes when you camp there. It has never been too crowded for us. The plantation area is pretty cool with a farming equipment museum and farm animals. Great playgrounds for the kids. Love the hiking trails here and hunting for fossils at the beach.
Overall, not a bad experience, just bring your bug spray and sunscreen!
MY husband and I stayed two nights in a 1 bed efficiency CCC Cabin at Fairy Stone State Park for a short weekend away from the kids. We visited in December so it was pretty cold weather but the cabin was so cozy and comfortable! We loved having the fireplace! The cabins have a bathroom, shower, kitchen with sink, fridge, oven/stove, microwave, toaster, everything you need! They have heating and a/c as well. The cabin was built in the 1930s and is so charming! Loved everytihg about our experience here.
There is no cell service or internet/wifi at the cabins though so come prepared with something to do! We found it to be very relaxing to unplug!
This was a nice little campground, and my friends and I had a great time here. Originally I picked this place because most of the other campgrounds in the area were already booked up. We went in the middle of October when the leaves were changing in Virginia. It was a good place to stay overall. We stayed in one of the "primitive" campsites with no water or electric hook ups. For these you park at a small parking lot and walk a few hundred feet or so to the campsites. The sites in this area were pretty close together, some closer than others. We stayed at site 7, which was a little closer to some other campers than I would have liked. It was flat and grassy and the woods were very nice though. There were also some rv sites in the campground, which also seemed a little close together.
I wold say the best thing about this place is how close it is to stuff. Crab tree falls and spy rock are both really nice hikes right in the area. Bold rock hard cidery is about 40 minutes from the campground. All around a really awesome area with plenty to do. I would recommend it.
This is one of the few Virginia State Parks that does not have camping. Nevertheless, it is definitely worth a visit! The hike to Fossil Beach to search for fossils is a must. Kayaking and canoeing is available as well. The views of the York River are amazing!
Love this park. I stayed in cabin #4 twice in the last year and had a great time! The park offers several activities: hiking, biking, fishing, wildlife viewing, boating (if you bring your own boat), stargazing (the park has been recognized as International Dark sky and there are two telescopes that can be checked out for free at the visitor’s center). The staff is very polite and the gift shop is great! While staying there I saw a skunk, a groundhog, several deer and a great variety of birds. We enjoyed gorgeous sunsets from a little beach area near the cabins. The cabins are rustic (they date back to 1936) but very cozy and clean.
First Landing State Park is a great place, especially if you want beach access! We also have a large tipi tent (15’x15’), so we need a larger than normal space…and they have it! It’s also very nice to see pictures of the camping spots before you pick, ensuring that we get a spot that meets our desires.
This campground has a long and steep paved road going to it from up the mountain. We really enjoyed going up and down each time, it’s nothing to be scared of! Once you get to the grounds itself, their is a huge canopy of Oak and Hemlock shading the sites. It really is a gorgeous place to stay
I gave this campground 5 stars because it is super convenient to I81, the staff is wonderful, my tent spot was right on the creek, the bathrooms are immaculate with hot water showers, and they allow dogs. The only caveat is there is a small local road that winds around the primitive sites but traffic is pretty light so it didn’t really bother me. The RV sites seemed pretty tight and they fill up on the weekends. I was the only tent camping that night so I had the area mostly to myself. Nice area with a quaint town to explore if you’re touring around.
There are four different campgrounds in this state park, one being paddle-in. The park is a linear park that is known for its flat-ish trails and bike/horse paths. Of the 57 miles of this park, about 39 are on the New River. All campgrounds are primitive; no RV sites, no bathhouses (pit toilets only), but potable water is available.
Millrace Campground is right on the river and near Foster Falls; you can rent canoes and bikes here. Reservations required.
Cliffview Campground is in Galax and has 13 sites on the Chestnut Creek. Reservations required. There are a few equestrian sites here (room for your trailer).
Double Shoals Campground: first-come, first-served.
The paddle-in sites are located at Baker Island Campground.
Really cool campground located right on the New River, located at Foster Falls. The river sounds amazing at night. You have to walk everything into the campground from the parking area, but it's not a long walk so you can still bring all of your "car camping" luxuries. There are no RV sites and there are no bathhouses, only pit toilets which can be a little funky, but it is what it is. Just a short walk from the campground, you can explore the area which includes stables, a wildlife center, visitor center with local artisan goods (we got some local teas, stevia, and handmade jewelry/ornaments as gifts), an abandoned hotel/grounds (you can check them out from the outside), an old train car, and much more. Pet-friendly.
Sites 2, 6, and 9 would be my personal picks for next time. If you have a large group, G17 is HUGE. You can also use this campground for day-use, picnicking, etc.
Shot Tower State Park isn't far from here either, so definitely check that out while you're in the area. Millrace Campground is located within the New River State Park. We went in October and the colors were really starting to change.
Hungry Mother State Park, Royal Oak Campground, Marion VA…site 3. https://www.dcr.virginia.gov/state-parks/hungry-mother
Campground Overview: Located outside of Marion VA
Hungry Mother State Park is somewhat split up and fragmented on either side of a local highway and the first campground is distanced from the other two. So a little different than most parks but not necessarily a negative.
The Visitor’s Center is on the left after the first campground (Camp Burson) and across the roadway from the reservoir and beach area. The remaining two campground loops are past the beach area…one to the right along a feeder stream (Creekside Campground) and opposite that is the third loop (Royal Oak Campground) on the side of a hill with wooden platforms for tents.
I was hoping to paddle this meandering reservoir but it was being drained for bridge work…so it was six feet or so lower than normal. Even the migrating geese weren’t too happy about it, as they waddled around on the mud.
During the peak of the summer season, it appears that it would be very popular with s nice swimming beach, paddlecraft rentals, cabin rentals, conference center, ample covered picnic pavilions and both paved and dirt trails.
I stayed on site 3 in Royal Oak Campground, pitching the tent on a 20’x20’ leveled wooden platform. Several pros and cons to elevated platforms.
Pros: It’s level and large enough for any tent I’ve ever seen. Water drains pretty decent between wood decking, so no pooling. D-ring lashing points were attached to the decking to assist in securing tent or rainfly.
Cons: When the cold wind blows, it’s hard to retain heat in the tent…360 cold. While there are D-ring lashing points, they don’t accommodate every tent of rainfly. Previous knucklehead campers drill Tapcon screws or nails in the wood decking and rails to secure their tent…then leave them there so everyone else snags or rips their tent on them.
It rained for 12 hours straight with cold, high winds…so it was a bit chilly, but still enjoyable.
What I enjoyed: deer wandering through the grounds, the Molly’s Knob Trail and Vista Summit,
The ugly: the lake (reservoir) was drained. Heaters weren’t on in the shower rooms…37 degree showering gets tricky.
Went for a Halloween weekend, big campground, lots of spots, some of which are a little too close together. Zero shade, make sure you have your awning and/or extra tents. Nice facilities, nice size beach, golf cart rental, has a restaurant as well but did not eat there to judge it. Has awesome hammocks that look over the beach, nice place to relax.
This campground is great! Primitive camping at its best. Very friendly staff. We stayed here and went tubing on the Rappahannock River one day. The tubing trip was organized by the same people that run the campground so that was very convenient!
Very nice and quiet rv park with plenty to do. Rented a cabin. Very lovely and very modern cabin that’s sure to not disappoint. There house cleaning crew does a great job in timely manner which allows for early check in a lot of times. Spacious cabins as well
Just recently stayed here during a weekend getaway to Kings Dominion. Nice and peaceful campground from what I could tell. Did not go through entire park during this stay. Clean grounds and nice shower houses. Friendly staff in the check in center. One convenient option that comes with staying is they have a shuttle service to the amusement park that runs by roughly every 25-30 mins. They even run until 12-1 in the morning for those who plan to do the Haunt the park has during the Fall/Halloween season. Not close to a lot of restaurants but within 10 miles of a nice selection of stores/restaurants
Best campground in the Va Beach area. 1 mile roughly to the ocean front but they have there own beach parking lot and provide you with a parking pass for use. Nice cozy stores. Several pools to choose from so you don’t have to be packed in at one main pool with all the campground guests. Wooded with nice sized sites and plenty of wildlife. Have stayed 4 times and plan to have many more stays in the future
Stayed for three nights in October. We had site B9 which was near a group site - so be mindful of this! During our trip it was full of loud and unsupervised kids.
We paddled around the lake on Sunday; there are a couple of different boat launches in the park. The cliffs are freaking amazing from the launch closest to the park entrance. It’s so beautiful on the water, especially this time of year.
There’s also a camp store/visitor center. Our site included a fire ring, two lantern posts, and a picnic table. Firewood and ice are available at the entrance station (can use credit card), and wood is available from the camp host (cash only). Lots of hiking and bike trails throughout. Very clean restrooms and showers. We had a really great time and will totally be back in the spring 🍂🍁
Great little campground, close to local breweries. The camp store has sports equipment you can check out (badminton!), and has everything you didn’t know you forgot. They have a pool and VERY clean restrooms. Pet-friendly, sometimes have live music or karaoke. We always enjoyed our stay here. Very nice owners.
Campground: What’s not to love!? Shenandoah National Park is right around the corner. This state park campground is clean, with spacious sites and beautiful views of the mountain ranges and the Shenandoah River that backs right up to the campsite. You will enjoy 30/50 amp electric and water. No sewer at the sites, so plan on using the dump drain on the way out.
Product review: As a ranger for the Dyrt, I get to test products from our awesome partners. While camping at Shenandoah River State Park, I’ve been testing out my Terrain hat from Banner and Oak https://bannerandoak.com. Here is what I think about the hat:
My Banner & Oak hat fits great. It’s durable and looks great. I especially like apparel with Buffalos on them, so this fits the “bill”. Banner & Oak are all about the great outdoors and exploring. Check out their hats, apparel and other things on their website!
First Landing was great. There are several campsites that range from basic to rv. They even have yurts and cabins to stay in. Easy access to bathrooms, fresh water, and the boardwalk down to the Chesapeake bay. There are so many options for water activities, but since I went during October and it rained, I stuck to hiking the trails and walking the beach. The staff was very accommodating and knowledgeable. The campsite was great too even if a bit close to the main road.