KIPTOPEKE STATE PARK
On Virginia's beautiful Eastern Shore, explored by Capt. John Smith in 1608, Kiptopeke offers recreational access to the Chesapeake Bay. It's also a great place to explore unique migratory bird habitat along the Atlantic flyway. The park has two and three-bedroom cabins, six-bedroom lodges, RV and tent camping, yurts and a bunkhouse. Guests also enjoy the park's boat ramp, lighted fishing pier, picnic areas, 5.1 miles of hiking and biking trails, playground, beach bathhouse and swimming beach. Seasonal interpretive and educational programs focus on natural history, birding and bay ecology.
The park has two two-bedroom cabins and two three-bedroom cabins. A week-long stay is required between Memorial Day weekend and Labor Day. This requirement is reduced to a four-night stay three months out and dropped to two nights in the last month before arrival. A two-night minimum stay is required the rest of the year. Cabin A rentals start on Fridays, cabins B and C start on Sunday, and cabin D starts on Saturday. Check-in is 4 p.m., check-out is 10 a.m. They are open year-round and may be reserved 11 months in advance. Theres parking for two cars for two-bedroom cabins and three cars for three-bedroom cabins.
Camping is available from the first Friday in March until the first Monday in December.
Between Memorial Day weekend and Labor Day, lodges are rented by the week. This requirement is reduced to a four-night stay three months out and dropped to two nights in the last month before arrival. A two-night minimum stay is required the rest of the year. Rental starts on Friday for lodges 1 and 3, Saturday for lodges 4 and 5, and Sunday for lodge 7.Check-in is 4 p.m. and check-out is 10 a.m. They are open year-round and may be reserved 11 months in advance.
There are two unguarded beaches on the Chesapeake Bay. Swimmers using the areas do so at their own risk. Kiptopekes northern swim beach is nearly half a mile long and open from Memorial Day to Labor Day. Pets, fishing, jet skis, canoes, kayaks and other boats are not allowed there. There is no additional charge for using the beaches, but swimming cannot be guaranteed should circumstances beyond the park's control require prohibiting it. The south beach is open to swimming, fishing, crabbing, boating and pets kept on a leash no longer than 6 feet.
The concrete ships located off the parks waterfront offer some of Virginias finest fishing. For the land-lover, a large fishing pier with picnic tables and lights to attract fish is available. No fishing license is required from the pier, but a valid Virginia saltwater fishing license is required for fishing from the shore. Those pier fishing who are over 16 and do not have a Virginia saltwater fishing license must, however, register for the free Virginia Fisherman Identification Program. Pier fees apply. The south beach is great for beachcombing and surf fishing, but a Virginia saltwater fishing license or Maryland license with a valid Virginia FIP number is required.