Quiet towns, beautiful beaches, exquisite cuisine. Sounds like something you’d find on an island faraway, doesn’t it? As it turns out, your escape to paradise may be a little closer to home.
As you cross the engineering wonder that is the Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel, take a moment and breathe in the salty air from the Fisherman’s Island overlook. You’ve made it across the beautiful Chesapeake Bay and you’re embarking on an incredible journey through the peninsula of Virginia’s Eastern Shore. This overlook is a perfect spot for experiencing ESVA sunsets!
Once largely undiscovered, this jut of land is now teeming with life while still preserving the longest stretch of natural coastline in the Eastern United States. You can see conservation in action from the moment you arrive! The ESVA is home to multiple wildlife refuges, natural area preserves, and parks.
Find ponies, rockets, and a classic beach-town vibe on Chincoteague Island at the northern end of the Shore. Drive across to Assateague Island and explore the Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge. Cape Charles features a classy array of boutique businesses and restaurants in a town that perfectly balances historical and beach-town qualities. There are three spots in Cape Charles on Mason Avenue that were once banks–can you find them all? Wander the streets of historic Onancock and enjoy the thriving artisan scene on the Bay. Want a slower pace and a little more room? Check out towns like Wachapreague, Parksley, Cheriton, or Saxis or catch the ferry from the Onancock Wharf and spend a couple of days exploring Tangier Island. Miles of trails are waiting for you all along the Shore to explore by foot or bike. In the fall, stop by the hawk watch on Kiptopeke State Park and try your hand at identifying some of the hundreds of birds that migrate through the Shore. Every year, at least one rare species is spotted–you may be the one to find it!
During the winter months is the perfect time to wander the wildlife refuges and experience the hush that falls over the marsh. Watch migrating waterfowl enjoying the waterways and check out historical sites along the trails. Learn more about the area by stopping into one of their local museums and shopping at their small businesses. It’s also a great chance to try an Eastern Shore oyster or clam from one of their local producers. Their waters are some of the cleanest you can find and are the perfect place for growing incredible seafood!
Year-round, there is always something to enjoy as you explore the Shore.
From nature to history to arts to incredible food, you can find a little of anything you want to experience right there on Virginia’s Eastern Shore. What will you discover as you make memories to last a life time on Virginia’s natural coast? Find your piece of paradise between the Chesapeake Bay and the Atlantic Ocean. Virginia’s Eastern Shore can’t wait to see you!
Learn more about Virginia’s Eastern Shore at visitesva.com