We spent the weekend at Kiptopeke State Park. My birthday is in a few weeks and what I wanted more than anything was to stay in a yurt. And so, we did. Kiptopeke is a tiny park (compared to nearby First Landing) about 30 minutes from Virginia Beach, on the Eastern Shore. Since we arrived after dark, we didn’t get to explore much, but L and the kids did pull out some flashlights and go stomping around for a bit. We played board games and read the yurt’s travel journal (every guest is invited to leave thoughts about their visit) till bedtime. The next morning, we were awoken by light in the yurt. Ok, that’s not entirely true. L who had been up since 6, woke me up. He had been waiting impatiently for us to get up. We were supposed to try to see the sun rise on the beach (a short walk away from us), but the morning was a bit cloudy.
Anyway, the light in the room was from the skylight. We heard tons of birds and really liked being able to see the trees overhead blowing in the breeze. We went for a walk on the beach before breakfast and noticed The Kiptopeke Breakwater. After breakfast, we went hiking. The kids enjoy hiking, especially when L sings military cadences and makes them march. OK, that doesn’t sound very fun, but really, it is.
We followed a boardwalk down to an open sandy area which probably had beach access once. I was really surprised to see many real and decoy fox dens there! Even more surprising was that L knew foxes have decoy burrows. Heh. We’d seen tracks on the beach, but I didn’t expect to find their habitats. Later that night, L saw a fox while out. We were wiped out after hiking, marching, exploring and a nap in the yurt sounded like an awesome idea. We promptly headed back and passed out for about two hours. More of the same from the previous evening followed while I wrote an entry in the yurt journal for our family.
We took one last walk on Sunday morning before heading out and vowed to make this an annual trip.
I notice many people stumble onto this blog looking for an interior photo of the yurt, which I forgot to post. So here are two:
The sofa pulls out to become a bed.
And there are two sets of bunk beds. Hope this helps!
A few technical notes:
- My friend Sarabeth camps with her kids regularly, so I relied on her advice about what to bring. We didn’t camp rustically, so some stuff didn’t apply, but I really wish we’d bought/brought some camp pillows. Ours took up so much space in the car. SB linked to this blog which has ideas about what to put in camping bins. I really liked that idea and so that’s how we housed our stuff. So easy to see and get to that way.
- No pets are allowed in the yurt, so Ollie camped out on a farm at a pet hotel.
- No food is allowed in the yurt, but there is a deck w/ a food prep area and picnic area right outside. We ended up going out to eat b/c we didn’t want to deal with trying to cook during what we knew would be a rainy weekend.
- The yurt is somewhat separate, so therefore a little more private than the rest of the park. However, the amphitheater (and a boardwalk) is only a few feet away, so if there are other guests from the park using it, the noise does carry.
- There are no bathrooms inside the yurt, and the closest set is a 3-5 minute walk away, or if you’re lazy like me, a minute drive. 😉
- We’d originally planned to get a park pack which would’ve included field guides and a GPS to go geocaching. We did fine without them, but I plan to buy guides as I am always wondering about some tree or flower while out.