Pets allowed
Allowed with Restrictions
Guided tours
Backcountry camping
Please respect the outdoors by practicing Leave No Trace. Learn more about how to apply the principles of Leave No Trace on your next outdoor adventure here.

Kiptopeke State Park is located on the Chesapeake Bay along Virginia's eastern shore, and it provides access to the bay, so it is perfect for swimming or sunbathing in the sand. In addition to the beach, there's also a boat launch, fishing area, 4.5 miles of hiking/biking trails, and the most unique part: half-sunken concrete ships just offshore.

The beaches of Kiptopeke are perfect for low-energy relaxation, as the waters are for the most part very shallow, especially during low tide. This makes it a great place to take small children. It's also perfect for just floating around, so if you have some sort of flotation raft, remember to bring it. You'll be glad you did.

The most unique things about the park are the concrete ships off of the coast. Concrete ships may sound strange today, but during World War II there was a steel shortage, so concrete was used instead. The boats were used to transport supplies between South America, the Caribbean, and America.

These McCloskey ships were partially submerged here in 1948 in hopes of creating a breakwater for a ferry across the bay. After the construction of the Bay Bridge, the ferry was no longer practical and was decommissioned, but the ships remain to this day. They have become a haven for birds and marine wildlife and can be reached via boat or kayak for closer inspection.

There is an area for launching boats and kayaks, as well as a large area of picnic tables. A nearby pier parallel to the coast is perfect for fishing or crabbing.

Logistics + Planning

Preferable season(s)




Parking Pass

State Park Fee


Not very crowded. Great for small children.




Campgrounds + Campsites
Historically significant
Flushing toilets
Boat ramp(s)
Potable water
Picnic tables
Bird watching

Site type

Full hookups


Nearby Adventures

Nearby Lodging + Camping


Have updates, photos, alerts, or just want to leave a comment?
Sign In and share them.

You May Also Enjoy

Temperance River State Park, Minnesota
Custer State Park, South Dakota