By Guest Blogger Amalia Nappo

Coming from Long Island, NY where we have an abundance of options for beaches, we have found that when living in NC, going to the beach is a vacation for many. One of the beautiful aspects of living in NC is that you are not far from mountains or oceans, but let’s not forget about lakes. How about a state park that blends the Blue Ridge mountain majesty, history and an array of outdoor activities and yes even a swimming beach?

Fairy Stone State Park is Home of the legendary fairy stones, this park is well known for its 168-acre lake adjoining Philpott Reservoir. Attractions include cabins, a campground, group camping, an equestrian campground, a conference center, hiking trails, lake swimming, rowboats, canoes, paddle boats, kayaks, picnicking and two playgrounds, including one in the water.” ~ Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation

The park is located at 967 Fairystone Lake Drive in Stuart, VA. From most areas of the Triad, you can get there in about two hours or less. This is perfect because as many of us know a beach vacation usually requires some travel distance, finding accommodations, finding family fun activities, and the list goes on. But Fairy Stone State Park can be a day or weekend trip that can make you feel like you are on a “beach” vacation.

Two summers ago, my kids and I gathered our beach gear, bathing suits, sunscreen, cooler with drinks and lunches and took a day trip to Fairy Stone State Park. For a fee, it offers a wide sandy beach featuring a gentle entry into the guarded beach for swimming, playing and relaxing. The lake offers permanent water toys for children to play on, hence a playground in the water as noted above. The playground in the water offers a variety things to keep both kids and adults entertained including a diving board platform.

We loved that the beach is guarded with designated swim areas, options to dig your feet in the sand, or find a grassy area or even a tree to catch some shade. The views were beautiful, the park itself and bathhouse were extremely clean, and the concession stand offered a variety of food and items for sale such as short-order foods, drinks, candy and ice cream as well as beach supplies, gifts and souvenirs. WiFi is available outside the concession building and at the lower beach parking area.


Other traditional activities you can enjoy on the water are rowboats, paddleboats, stand-up paddleboards, kayaks and canoes. Because our trip was specifically to visit the park for cooling off on a summer day, we did not experience the many other attractions the park offers but we plan to make another trip sometime soon. (See equipment rental fees here.)

Frankly anyone who loves the water, will be drawn to the swimming beach but you will find plenty of room to roam throughout the park and activities to keep you busy for just a day or a weekend. Even if you don’t find one of the famed fairy stones on your trip and if you look hard enough, you will find the park offers just about everything necessary for a memorable outdoor escape! Find all the info you need here!

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