The Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel is an architectural marvel designed to let both ships and cars cross the Chesapeake Bay. It is also a marvel that transports you from an otherwise mundane coastal part of Virginia to an enchanting little peninsula rather unimaginatively but aptly named “The Eastern Shore”.
The Eastern Shore is the storybook version of coastal Virginia – the softest white sand, warm bay water, cute little houses, a town with a delicious ice cream shop and an abandoned railroad. It reminded me of the summers I dreamed about as a kid – fun (but safe!) adventures followed by a picnic on the beach.
When we first drove into Cape Charles, I was tempted to stop at every street corner to admire the houses. But I am so happy that we drove straight to the beach, for I will always associate Cape Charles with the loveliest sand I’ve sunk my feet into. I don’t think my words will do adequate justice to this sand, it cleansed our feet after we got them out of the water, rather than clinging on to our feet and getting into our cars, beds and general lives outside of the beach. It was nice sand.
The water was much warmer than I was used to, coming from the Pacific coast. It was perfect.
Once we were deliciously satisfied with the beach, we walked into town (it takes about five minutes through a very pretty street) and grabbed a handcrafted ice-cream from Brown Dog Ice Cream. I got the strawberry goat cheese flavor and it was delicious! I think their flavors change every few days, so hopefully it’s around when you are!
Now enough about us, what else could YOU do on your Cape Charles Day? After a berry nice refresher (get it?), you could walk around town to do some shopping (window or otherwise). Each shop is more colorful, more original and cuter than the last – I promise you won’t get bored.
Then wander into the side streets and stumble upon ‘Drizzle’ – a Tasting Shop. They have a wide range of tastings – coffee beans, olive oils, balsamic vinegars, different types of salt and pepper – it’s like walking into Ali Baba’s cave of amazing food! A word of caution before you enter – you probably won’t leave without buying something – but that’s ok – at worst, it will tempt you to eat more salad.
Stumble upon treasures hidden in plain sight – I was amused to find a mermaid statue in the middle of the side-walk, and even more amused to learn that it’s pretty common in Virginia!
Cape Charles is ideal for biking and has a couple of convenient bike rental shops. It’s also ideal for picnics, and I found this wine and cheese / grocery store that would be perfect to pick up supplies. Btw, there is a winery called Chatham Vineyards near Cape Charles that you could actually kayak to! Please let me know if you end up doing this, I can’t wait to try it next time!
You could also replicate my favorite Cape Charles moment and find this cute abandoned house with greenery growing over the stairs. It’s as if nature would not allow the little house to be abandoned, she claimed it as her own.
Before driving back across the Chesapeake Bay Bridge and ending your little fairy-tale, I urge you to go searching for the Lighthouse. You won’t be able to get close to it, but there are a couple of spots on the Eastern Shore ideal for viewing it. The fog had descended by the time we left Cape Charles, so our lighthouse search was unfortunately fruitless. If you do find an amazing spot to view it, please share it with me? 🙂
Wow this looks beautiful! I’ve never been Virginia but this definitely makes me want to.
Yes!! This was my first time in Virginia too!
What a lovely trip !! Photos are awesome and it was a hidden gem 😁
Thanks to you for suggesting it!! <3
What a quaint and charming beach setting! I had no idea this existed off the coast of Virginia! I would have to check this place out the next time I’m in that state. Also, love your photos.
Riight!! I had no idea either! Was such an amazing surprise 🙂
Thanks about the photos, made my day!!
This place looks so lovely! The ice-cream already motivated me to visit here 🙂 Thanks for sharing this hidden gem.
Aww glad you like it! Wish I had some of that ice-cream now lol
I love reading your US-day trips stories! Always some beautiful beach, lovely store or coffee shop, hipster restaurant…it makes me want to visit so badly! Your mother in law’s photo of the beach reminds me of the beach on which Dobby the Elf died (where is the monkey covering his eyes emoji when you need it?). Also, love the little free beach library, it would come in handy right now as I miss my library in Zagreb here in Istria. Will you take us on a day trip like this when we come to the US? :))
Aww you are the sweetest!! Yesss, when you visit I will take you wherever you want! 🙂 ooh I didn’t even think of the beach Dobby died, I need to do a Harry Potter marathon one of these weekends. You should start a free, crowd sourced library in Istria!!
The next time you visit Virginia Beach/Cape Charles consider coming in May and stopping by the Military Aviation Museum in Pungo. The spring airshow Warbirds Over The Beach and the fact that over 70% of the airplanes are “air-worthy” (they still fly) when those in the Smithsonian are not capable of flight, make it the best living history museum in the world. Plus the docents have great humorous stories about each exhibit if folks are interested and it is one of the places you may still meet a WWII vet (an honor I have been lucky enough to have experienced several times). Pungo is also home to “The Bee & Biscuit” – a local eatery that uses local fresh produce- and the annual strawberry festival is also not to be missed. The beach at Sandbridge, another fav of locals, is only a couple of miles from here.
Thank you so much for sharing these tips, they sound lovely!
I’ll definitely use these suggestions next time I visit!!
Meanwhile, I hope it helps other people who read this post