First Landing State Park

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First Landing State Park
IUCN category V (protected landscape/seascape) (7352136860).jpg
Cypress swamp at First Landing State Park
Location Virginia Beach, Virginia, USA
Coordinates 36°54′22″N 76°0′55″W / 36.90611°N 76.01528°W / 36.90611; -76.01528Coordinates: 36°54′22″N 76°0′55″W / 36.90611°N 76.01528°W / 36.90611; -76.01528
Area 2,888 acres (11.69 km2)s (11.69 km²)
Visitors 1,000,000+ (in 2004)
Governing body Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation

First Landing State Park (formerly Seashore State Park) offers recreational opportunities at Cape Henry in the independent city of Virginia Beach, Virginia. The entire park is listed on the National Register of Historic Places as Seashore State Park Historic District, for its significance as the first planned state park of Virginia and for other reasons.

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 (31 km) of trails for hiking and biking. Virginia's most popular state park, it's visited by over a million people each year. Its main entrance is located on Shore Dr. across from the beach camping entrance. First Landing State Park charges a fee for its camping facilities and for the overnight use of its cabins.

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 (31 km) of trails on 2,888 acres (11.69 km2). 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 (though its former name is still commonly used by Tidewater locals).


Development of the Seashore State Park began in 1933 by the Civilian Conservation Corps on 1,060 acres (4.3 km²) 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 Joint Expeditionary Base East resulted in the current total area of the park of 2,888 acres (11.69 km²).

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.

Historic district[edit]

Seashore State Park Historic District
Cabin 1 (6106234268).jpg
A cabin in the park
Location 2500 Shore Dr., Virginia Beach, Virginia
Area 2,889 acres (1,169 ha)
Built 1933
Built by CEGG Assoc. LC; NPS, et al.
Architectural style Modern Movement
NRHP Reference # 05001267[1]
VLR # 134-0099
Significant dates
Added to NRHP November 16, 2005
Designated VLR June 1, 2005[2]

The Seashore State Park Historic District is a 2,889-acre (1,169 ha) historic district (comprising the entire park) with significance dating to 1933 for its architecture/engineering. It includes work by CEGG Assoc. LC and by the National Park Service and by others. It includes eight contributing buildings, six contributing sites and 10 contributing structures.[1]

The park was the first planned state park of the Virginia State Park system. Its plan was designed and developed with extensive consultation of the National Park Service, which provided architectural drawings and plans, and which educated about traffic circulation and other aspects of already-designed U.S. national parks. The work of actually building roads and buildings and other structures and features of the park was accomplished by Civilian Conservation Corps workers, in fact of three camps of 200 men each.[3]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Staff (2010-07-09). "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 
  2. ^ "Virginia Landmarks Register". Virginia Department of Historic Resources. Retrieved 19 March 2013. 
  3. ^ Kimble A. David (July 31, 2005). "National Register of Historic Places Registration: Seashore State Park Historic District / Seashore State Park / First Landing State Park" (PDF). Virginia Department of Historic Resources.  and accompanying four photos and accompanying map

External links[edit]