Jamestown Beach Event Park FAQ

1. Are there lifeguards at Jamestown Beach Event Park?
No, there are no lifeguards at this beachfront park. Swimming or wading in the river is at your own risk. Visitors are asked to stay close to shore and a safe distance from boaters.

For your safety, please be mindful of the following:

  • Conditions on the James River can change quickly and are unpredictable;  
  • Dangerous currents are present away from shore; 
  • Watch for boats and jet skis beyond breakwaters; 
  • Leave the water immediately if you hear thunder or see lightning; 
  • Do not swim alone; 
  • Swim only during park operating hours; and
  • Watch children at all times.

If you are caught in a current:

  • Remain calm;
  • Do not fight the current—do float or tread water; and 
  • Wave your arms and yell for help.

2. Is Jamestown Beach Event Park staffed?
Yes, the park is staffed, and is visited frequently by the Park Ranger, James City County Police, Virginia Game and Inland Fisheries and the Virginia Marine Police. If you need assistance or have comments or questions, please call the Parks Office at 757-259-5360 or email parks.rec@jamescitycountyva.gov. Call 911 for all emergencies.

3. What time does Jamestown Beach Event Park open and close?
Jamestown Beach Event Park is open daily, 8 a.m.–sunset. Please visit the beachfront park only during this operating period. The park is home to the best sunsets, but please make provisions to leave the park before it gets dark. Beach concessions is open daily Memorial Day Weekend through Labor Day, noon to 6 p.m. weekdays and noon to 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. weekends and holidays. Kayak rentals are available when concessions is open.

4. Is there a fee to visit Jamestown Beach Event Park?
No; however, parking fees are charged 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. weekdays and 8 a.m. – 6 p.m. weekends and holidays Memorial Day Weekend through Labor Day. There is no parking fee for residents of James City County or the City of Williamsburg. Residency is defined as anyone who physically resides in James City County or the City of Williamsburg. Visitors with a "Williamsburg" address but pay taxes to another locale are not residents of James City County or the City of Williamsburg. To find out if your "Williamsburg" address is in James City County or the City of Williamsburg, click here: Street Name Search--you'll have to type in your street address and click on the "Search" icon. Residents may prove residency by providing a valid Virginia driver’s license or valid Virginia identification card that shows current address. If the driver’s license or identification card does not show current address, residents may present a current lease agreement, utility bill or Voter registration card along with a photo ID.

Parking decals for residents will no longer be issued; however, previously issued decals are still valid provided the decal is readable. Decals that are not readable will no longer be valid and will not be replaced. 

Parking fees are not discounted, including for military or veteran’s status, or state/federal park association.

5. Is water quality testing performed at Jamestown Beach Event Park?
Yes, the James River Association conducts water quality testing at Jamestown Beach Event Park Memorial Day Weekend through Labor Day. View test results and other helpful information at the James River Association website.

6. Are personal grills allowed at Jamestown Beach Event Park?
Yes, visitors may bring their own propane grill; however, personal charcoal grills are not permitted. Charcoal may be used only in park-provided grills. Fryers and towable smokers/grills are not allowed. Open fires are also prohibited.

7. Are picnic tables available at Jamestown Beach Event Park?
Yes, picnic tables are available. During peak times, please limit the use of picnic tables to only two per group, so we may accommodate as many guests as possible. Picnic areas (shaded and unshaded) are not conducive to large group picnics so please take that under consideration when planning your visit. Picnic tables seat up to six people per table, and tables may not be held or reserved as they are available on a first-come, first-served basis. Picnic tables are not allowed on the sandy beach. ADA-accessible picnic tables are also available on a first-come, first-served basis and are located in an ADA-accessible picnic area with a park grill—these tables must remain in the ADA-accessible area.

8. May I use a tent for shade at Jamestown Beach Event Park?
Yes, single free-standing canopies, tents and other types of portable shade structures up 16’x16’ are permitted on the beachfront and in picnic areas and must be anchored per manufacturer’s recommendations with tie downs marked in a noticeable manner. Tents may not be set up in the parking lot or on pedestrian paths.

9. May I have an event at Jamestown Beach Event Park?
Yes, Jamestown Beach Event Park offers four areas for rent for events (large picnics, reunions, weddings, concerts, races, etc.). The beachfront and picnic areas are not available to rent. For more information on renting event space, please call 757-259-5360. 

10. Are dogs allowed at Jamestown Beach Event Park?
Yes, Jamestown Beach Event Park is a dog-friendly park. Dogs must be under the complete and immediate control of owners at all times and must be on a leash no longer than 8 feet. Owners are responsible for removing dog waste. Litter bags are available and owners should use only what they need while visiting the park. Nuisance barking is not permitted and dogs may not be left alone or tied to picnic tables, fence or park signs. Dogs may be off-leash in the water as long as the dog is obedient and not wandering along the beach. Dogs may also be off leash in the Off-Leash Dog Area near the park entrance provided dog owners abide by the Off-Leash Area Rules & Regulations. There is no fee to use the Off-Leash Dog Area. The Off-Leash Dog Area is open during park operating hours, daily 8 a.m.-sunset. Please note, the Off-Leash Dog Area will be closed during special events held at the Park to accommodate overflow parking.

11. May I listen to music at Jamestown Beach Event Park?
Yes; however, in accordance with James City County’s noise ordinance, music or noise may not be audible more than 50-feet away from its source.

12. Are alcoholic beverages allowed at Jamestown Beach Event Park?
No person shall consume or possess an open or previously opened container containing any alcoholic beverage, or be under the influence of an alcoholic beverage while in public parks or recreational facilities, except as otherwise provided for in the rules and regulations promulgated by the Director. Furthermore, no person shall consume, possess or be under the influence of any controlled substance, as defined by the Code of Virginia, while in public parks or recreational facilities.

13. Are metal-detecting and drones allowed at Jamestown Beach Event Park?
Metal detecting at Jamestown Beach Event Park is a staff-supervised activity offered October through March. Metal detecting is permitted only within the sand area of the beachfront; detecting is not permitted in the shaded picnic area, vegetated areas, and areas where general access is prohibited along the beachfront. A metal detecting schedule for October through March may be found on the event calendar on the bottom of the Jamestown Beach Event Park webpage. Metal detecting is not permitted April through September. Metal detecting is allowed in the James River; however, a permit is required for the activity in state-owned waters. Visit the Virginia Marine Resource Commission for more information.

Drones and other remote controlled aircraft may be flown at Jamestown Beach Event Park provided they are not flown over people or property, and are in compliance with all laws that govern their use.

14. Is camping allowed at Jamestown Beach Event Park?
No, camping is not allowed at the beachfront park. Chickahominy Riverfront Park, located at 1350 John Tyler Highway, offers over 120 campsites. Please call 757-258-5020 for more information.

15. Is fishing allowed at Jamestown Beach Event Park?
Yes, the designated area for fishing is on the peninsula next to the ferry bridge. Fishing is not allowed along the beachfront, on the breakwater rocks in front of the beachfront nor on the Observation Pier. A freshwater license is required.

16. When is the floating beach chair available?
The floating beach chair may be used by handicap/special needs guests who want to get into the river. The chair is available 12:00 - 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday Memorial Day Weekend and 12:00 to 5:30 p.m. weekends and holidays. There is no charge to use the chair and the chair is available on first-come, first-serve basis, or you may reserve the chair up to a week in advance—life jackets are available upon request but are required for children 12 years old and younger. The chair may be used on an hourly basis; however, if no one is waiting to use the chair at the conclusion of the hour, chair use may be extended upon request.  A state-issued I.D. is required for use and guests using the chair must be accompanied by a guardian 16 older or older. For more information or to reserve the floating beach chair, please call 757-870-3821 between 12:00 and 5 p.m. Monday through Friday and 12:00 - 6 p.m. on weekends and holidays, Memorial Day Weekend through Labor Day.