Virginia’s Eastern Shore
Settled in the early 1600s, Virginia’s Eastern Shore evolved in relative isolation from modern America for hundreds of years. Before 1964, when the 23-mile Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel was built, it was a long ferry ride to mainland Virginia, and an inconvenient car, rail or boat trip to points North.
The region has more than 78,000 acres of preserved parks, preserves, refuges, and a national seashore. The Shore is a popular outdoor recreation destination for fishing, boating, hiking and kayaking. Additionally, it is an important birding hotspot along the Atlantic Flyway.
The region contains six public beaches, including Cape Charles town beach, Kiptopeke State Park beach, Savage Neck Dunes Preserve beach, Tangier Island beach and the Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge abutting the Assateague Island National Seashore.
The area includes 70 miles of barrier islands, the longest chain of undeveloped barrier islands in the global temperate zone, and a United Nations International Biosphere Reserve.
At the northern end of the Atlantic side is the beach community of Chincoteague, famous for its annual wild pony roundup. Wallops Flight Facility, a NASA space launch base, is located right outside of Chincoteague. At the southern end of the Chesapeake Bay coast, the beach community of Cape Charles, a historic railroad town, is home to the Cape Charles Yacht Center, a superyacht service center. The town of Wachapreague on the Atlantic coast is a popular destination for fishing and guided trips out to the wild barrier islands. Onancock, a harbor town on the Chesapeake Bay, has a ferry service out of the Onancock Creek to Tangier Island, during Spring, Summer and Fall.