Saturday, October 8, 2011

Camping at Kiptopeke

If you take 64 east and then route 13 north you will pass over the Chesapeake Bay Bridge and Tunnel.  Once over the bridge you are on the eastern shore of Virginia.  Just a half a mile further up 13 is one of my favorite parks, Kiptopeke.  Kiptopeke State Park has been around as a birding observatory since 1963 and today provides a great place for camping, birding, swimming, biking, hiking and fishing. 

In the late summer of 2010 the family loaded up and headed east.  We actually ended up at Kiptopeke by accident.  We had planned on going to First Landing State Park but because they were booked full we just went a short distance further on 13 and stayed at Kiptopeke.  It was the best accidental discovery of the summer!  They had plenty of available sites, even with very short notice (that day actually).  And the sites were big enough to accommodate two large tents and all the crap stuff my family comes with.

Each site has a picnic table and a fire pit.  They have spaces for RV camping as well as tent camping and they also have lodges available for rent.  And when I say lodge I mean LODGE.  Sleeps like 16 people I think and when we were there they looked absolutely wonderful.  They are a little more secluded and have room for parking up to two vehicles.  The state website has more info on how to book a camp site as well as the lodge.  They also have a Yurt.  From looking at the web site I couldn't fully understand what a Yurt was but it turned out to be a tent on studs.  The camping is not directly on the beach but with a short walk you are able to stand in the sand and play in the waters of the  Chesapeake Bay.  And because you are in the Bay you don't have the high waves of the Atlantic crashing down. 

Yep we took a high chair!
One thing I do wish was that we got the name of a super restaurant we ate at.  One of the park rangers suggested a place for us that at first glance had us wondering what the heck we were in for....but when the food came out we were happily surprised.  This place was further up 13 and off to the left down a country road.  It was a fish supply company that cooked some of the food they caught and man was it awesome!  If seafood isn't your thing don't worry.  There was a chinese take out near by too :)

My mom and sister making some chow.
They have pavilions available to use for picnicking and a few hiking trails.  Because it's a fairly flat park biking would have been easy too (only I didn't take mine).  There was a camp store with ice cream and a few other food items.  They also sold a few camp souvenirs.  The park has a peir that you can fish from for a small fee, $3 I believe.  

The worst part of the trip was trying to keep Tommy out of the fire, Emma asleep at night and fighting the urge to eat all the marsh mellows single handed.  I figure Tommy is grown enough to know better and I played in it at his age too.  Emma, my baby girl, is NEVER going to sleep all night.  And next time I will hide the marsh mellows under my pillow. 

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