Hey everyone. I did this meetup 2 years back and we all had a great time. This is a nice state park that offers a beach and natural setting along the James River. There are also trails along some swampy areas as well as the old plantation house and a few exhibits of old farm equipment. Definitely worth a look. It is also down the road from Bacon's Castle. The morning time is great and there is plenty of birds the few times that I have been even Bald Eagles. There are bald cypress along the shore offering shots of their roots coming out of the sand/water depending on the tide. The beach is littered with all kinds of shells like clams, muscles, scallops and then there are barnacles and if your lucky shark teeth and sea glass. It has a lot of texture. There is also plenty of wildlife as on the beach like crabs running around. You can bring a tripod and ND filter if you want to try long exposure on the small waves that come in from passing boats. The beach is long and offers a lot to shoot.
We will meet at the visitor center parking lot at 8:00 am. When you come through the entrance the signs direct you straight ahead to the visitor center. I would bring shoes that you do not mind getting wet, wouldn't recommend bare foot because all the shells are hard and rough. The low tide that morning is at 8:37 am which will give us a wider beach to work with, more shells to see and the cypress roots will be out of the water. High tide is around 2:20 pm. There are a few logs and some drift that was on the beach this past weekend that I had to scoot over once the tide came in. The price for entrance per car is $5.00 and that early in the morning there sometimes is no one at the front gate and you have to deposit it in an envelop and attached the receipt to the rear mirror.
Sunrise is at 6:13am if you want to make that!
Bacon's Castle is 10 minutes away and recommend checking that out if you have not before either!
Parks webpage: http://www.dcr.virginia.gov/state-parks/chippokes-plantation#general_information