VIRGINIA’ S EASTERN SHORE...A "SPORTSMAN’S PARADISE"
Map of Virginia's Eastern Shore.
Click image for expanded view
Virginia's Eastern Shore is a unique coastal area located between the Chesapeake Bay and the Atlantic Ocean. It is the southern tip of the Delmarva Peninsula and centrally located between Virginia Beach, VA and Pocomoke City, MD. It is about 70 miles in length and averages 7 miles in width. Lying outside the reach of the major northern cities’ sprawl and cut off from the mainland of Virginia by the Chesapeake Bay, this area has been outside the coastal development frenzy. It has been allowed to grow quietly into a secluded waterfront paradise with a commitment towards environmental conservation while maintaining its history of seafood production.
The Eastern Shore is only one hour north of Norfolk and Virginia Beach and three to four hours south of Washington DC, Philadelphia, and Baltimore. US Highway 13 is the major artery for traffic and has become a favorite route for vacationers as they travel from New York, Pennsylvania, Delaware and Maryland south over Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel to Virginia Beach and the Outer Banks of North Carolina, with many now stopping to explore the waterfront possibilities here.
Our bayside is a combination of the incredible Chesapeake Bay and its tidal
creek and cove tributaries. The Chesapeake Bay, the largest estuary in the U.S. and the third largest in the world, extends for over 200 miles from its beginning
in Virginia Beach, VA to Havre de Grace, MD. It ranges in width from 4 miles near Aberdeen, Maryland to 30 miles near Cape Charles, Virginia. It completely dissects the State of Virginia, leaving the incredible Eastern Shore of Virginia and nearly dissects Maryland’s Eastern Shore. There are over 150 rivers and creeks that flow into the Chesapeake. In Virginia, the Chesapeake is very sandy and tidal, creating beautiful white sandy beaches along its shoreline. As it extends north it becomes a bit muddy and is more suitable for boat docks and marinas. The bay is world renowned for sailing, fishing, crabbing, and spectacular sunsets.
Our seaside (ocean side) is a combination of bays, inlets and salt marshes that lie between the interior shore line and the barrier islands. No one lives on our barrier islands, except for a very few “grandfathered” properties. Fourteen of the eighteen islands are listed as the Virginia Coastal Reserve and protected by conservation zoning to remain uninhabited. Enjoy a trip through one of the largest salt marsh habitats in the world and the unforgettable experience of a day on an uninhabited island. The islands of the Virginia Coastal Reserve are accessible only by boat. There are many free public boat launches available for easy access to the islands or to deep sea fishing in the Atlantic Ocean.
With a commitment towards environmental conservation, the Eastern Shore’s property is available in larger tracts than normally found in coastal and golf / yachting resort areas. It is not uncommon to find a spectacular 2.5 or 3 acre waterfront property here. Our zoning is for single family homes. Condos and townhouses require special permits in most areas. New zoning ordinances require 5 acre or more minimum building sites. No overcrowding here!
On the Eastern Shore you will find a diverse selection of private waterfront properties. The Chesapeake Bay lines our western shoreline with beautiful sandy beaches and cuts into the shore with several large creeks (actually they are salt water inlets of the bay) which in turn flow into many smaller coves. Our seaside is lined with bays, inlets, salt marshes and tidal flats which lead to eighteen barrier islands. The seaside tidal flats are the largest producer of oysters and clams for the Mid- Atlantic area. The Eastern Shore hosts several festivals highlighting the oyster, clam and crab harvests as well as the abundant locally grown produce.
35" Cobia caught between Cape Charles and the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel
The Eastern Shore offers unparalleled fishing for cobia, speckled trout, rockfish and drum, world renowned sailing destinations, and spectacular sunsets. It is home to 32 free boat ramps, 4 public beaches, 14 uninhabited barrier islands, free licensed fishing piers and several affordable marinas.
The bayfront offers sandy beachfront sites while the large creeks and smaller coves offer beautiful protected sites for boaters and nature lovers. Kayak the quiet, scenic coves, ski the deep water creeks or sail the majestic Chesapeake Bay, all within minutes of your own dock.
The Virginia Inland Passage flows through the seaside bays. Book a kayak tour with Southeast Expeditions to tour the seaside bays leading to The Virginia Coastal Reserve, consisting of 14 of our 18 beautiful, uninhabited barrier islands, offering over 40 miles of oceanfront beach. The islands are wonderful for picnics, fishing, surfing, crabbing, clamming, beachcombing, and bird watching. The islands are free to explore and are easily accessible from your own dock or the many free boat ramps available on the seaside. On the seaside, you have the best of both worlds with a quiet harbor for your boat dock, protected by the barrier islands, with deep sea fishing or ocean beaches just minutes away.
The Eastern Shore is a sportsman’s paradise with fishing in the Chesapeake Bay, seaside sounds, and the Atlantic Ocean. The most popular choice being Wachapreague “the flounder capital of the world”. Other areas such as Willis Wharf, Quinby, and Oyster are also seaside launching sites. On the bayside, Morleys Wharf, Harborton, Cape Charles and Kiptopeke offer launching sites for exploring Cabbage Patch (near Cape Charles) and the Cell (near Hungars and Mattawoman Creeks), which are very well known areas for catching the BIG ONES. All offering free launching and some with licensed fishing piers and reasonable dock rentals.
42" Rock Fish caught in the Chesapeake Bay
List of Free Boat Launching Facilities
There are no factories polluting the air or pumping sewage into the waters. Our waterfront hosts a bountiful harvest of fish, clams, crabs, and oysters, with the opportunity of buying directly from the commercial fishing boats returning to their docks.
Our beach front communities are very private. Our beaches are not open to the general public. You own your own beach with riparian rights (you own to mean low water). Public beaches are available in Cape Charles, Kiptopeke State Park, Savage Neck Dunes Preserve and Assateague Island National Seashore. Many of our communities own waterfront areas that are available to all owners within the community, like the Peacefuls private beach with pool and walkways over the water fowl nesting ponds.
Kiptopeake State Park
Kiptopeke State Park, our 375 acre new state park on the Chesapeake Bay is within 5 to 25 miles of the properties. The campground and park feature sandy beaches and a 700 ft. lighted fishing pier. The park hosts boat launching, canoe tours and bird observation areas.
Assateague Island, part of the National Seashore, offers a beautiful beach on the Atlantic Ocean just 30-45 minutes north of most of our home sites. While on Assateague be sure to visit the famous Chincoteague ponies or join us in July when the Chincoteague Fire Company hosts the famous Chincoteague Pony Swim, Penning and Auction.
We have a four season climate without harsh winters or direct hurricane hits!
The mean average temperature is 72 degrees making our energy costs low. The majority of our land is 9 to 25 feet above sea level and has a 12 month growing season.
The Mid- Atlantic coast of Virginia, Maryland and Delaware have never been directly hit by a hurricane according to tracking since 1851.
Taxes are low. Most water access lots are under $200 per year and many waterfront lots are under $1,000 per year. Our current rate assessment in Northampton County is .83 cents per $100 of assessed value, ($830.00 per $100,000), and in Accomack County it is .61 cents per $100 of assessed value ($610 per $100,000).
Comprehensive medical services are available at Riverside Shore Memorial Hospital who just built a new state of the art facility in Accomack County. Well trained ambulance service with paid emergency medical technicians (EMT) is available.
Shore Plaza, the Regional Shopping Center and commercial area, in Exmore, and near most of our properties, has Food Lion, ABC Store (VA State Alcohol sales), China Wok, Ace Hardware, Nail Salon, and Subway. Rent Way, BB&T Bank, Sunrise Grill and Sunoco are on the out parcels. Dollar Tree, Dollar General, Verizon, Atlantic Union Bank, Edward Jones Investments, and Rite Aid Pharmacy are in the commercial area across the street.
Map of Hurricane Landfall Locations since 1851
New elementary public schools have recently been built in Willis Wharf and Kiptopeake. Broadwater Academy, is an excellent private school with classes from K through 12th grade.
Accomack County Airport is just 8 miles away and has a 5000 foot long paved runway with two 1000 foot paved overruns. The private airport is capable of accommodating a jet. Our convenient commercial airport in Norfolk is just 35-60 minutes away from our properties.
The Shore is a peaceful low crime community where you know your neighbors. The area’s population (just over 45,000 for the two counties) is made up of locals, week-enders, and retirees. Most homes are owner occupied, not weekly rentals as found in other coastal areas.
You will enjoy excellent air quality and many seaside fragrances. An abundance of seafood and fresh vegetables are available from local producers. There are commercial fishing wharfs where you can buy fish and crabs as the watermen are unloading their catch. We are also home to award winning vineyards. While many are concerned with their contribution to global warming, we are comforted by the fact that the abundance available in our area can support us without the major importation of food that most areas are limited to.
The area is a paradise for bird watching, fishing, and hunting. Bird watching and fishing can be done year around for a large number of species. Hunters come from several surrounding states for a chance at our abundant waterfowl and deer. If your style of hunting is done in antique shops and flea markets, we have wonderful hunting grounds for you as well. There is an abundance of art galleries that feature local as well as nationally known artists and rail road museums reliving the history of the Eastern Shore.
We are surrounded by natural beauty and are culturally blessed with theater playhouses, an international film club and an art society which brings us the Virginia Symphony and the Richmond Ballet.
The pace of life is relaxed for the Shore’s residents who have been born locally and chosen to maintain the quality of life offered by their surroundings, and for those of us who have given up on a fast paced life style in the cities and have chosen to transplant ourselves into a more serene, naturally beautiful seashore existence.
Private Beach in the Peacefuls Community
There are many qualified builders in the area. Bring your building plans and we can make an appointment for you to discuss them with a builder while you are here. We do not have a time frame in which you must build, you are free to buy now and build later.
Building costs are as low as $100 per square foot, and as low as $150 per square foot for a more custom built home. Our communities have protective covenants; well and septic permits, underground electric and paved roads built to state standards. Our properties are reasonably priced, starting at just $18,000.
Golf is available at the crimson crepe myrtle tree lined golf course, the Eastern Shore Yacht and Country Club in Melfa, and Bay Creek in Cape Charles which offers two signature golf courses designed by Arnold Palmer and Jack Nicklaus. The courses cross one another giving you the unique experience of playing both courses during your 18 hole round. All of the courses are within 15 - 45 minutes of the properties.
Virginia Beach (Virginia’s largest city) and Norfolk are just 35 miles away. Colonial Williamsburg and Busch Gardens are just 1 ½ hours away. Ocean City, Maryland is just 1 ½ hours away.
Choose from three quality golf courses within minutes of any of our available properties
Things to do on the Eastern Shore
Cape Charles offers a public beach with spectacular sunsets over the Chesapeake Bay. The historic downtown is undergoing a restoration to become a beautiful accompaniment to the new Arnold Palmer and Jack Nicklaus Golf Courses and the 224 slip marina complex with a deep water harbor for mega yachts. It is home to the historic Palace Theater offering live performances, ballet, music and art exhibitions. There are several wonderful restaurants including the Cape Charles Coffee House offering gourmet coffee selections, wonderful lunches and homemade desserts.
Exmore, near the county line of Northampton and Accomack Counties, offers an abundance of antique stores and gifts in the newly restored historic downtown. It is home to the Shore Plaza Shopping Center on Hwy. 13, where you can restock for fishing trips and outdoor excursions. Just a mile to the east of Exmore is Willis Wharf, a sea side fishing village where you can board boats offering eco tours of the barrier islands and fishing excursions.
Wachapreague, located on our seaside is home to the Wachapreague Marina and the Island House Restaurant.
At the marina, you can charter a boat for off shore fishing or rent a boat to explore our beautiful, private barrier islands.
Dine at the restaurant with a view of the islands where you may hear tales of the day’s catch from one of the charter boat captains.
Onancock, is a wonderful bayside town with beautiful Victorian homes, many now presented as bed and breakfasts and fine dining restaurants. The town’s marina hosts luxury yachts traveling the Chesapeake Bay and the ferry to Tangier Island. In Onancock, enjoy a quiet dinner (and lovely art) at the beautiful Charlotte Hotel, a gourmet feast at Bizzottos Gallery and Cafe, or a live show at the North Street Playhouse.
Parksley, just north of Onancock, offers a step back in time for the railroad enthusiast with a railroad station museum and an annual festival of “Railroad Days”. Also a great stop for lovers of Victorian architecture to view the many grand ladies lining the streets of this town.
Just north of Virginia Eastern Shore is Pocomoke City, MD with a very sophisticated antique store specializing in French and European 16th to 19th Century art, antiques and jewelry called Classic Collections at the Vault located at 105 Market Street in the historic downtown. The Discovery Center Museum and Marva Theater are in the same historic area. You can also eat a half block away on the Pocomoke River by the picturesque drawbridge.
The Pony Swim from Assateague Island to Chincoteague
Chincoteague Island, hosts the famous pony swim from Assateague Island to Chicoteague Island. The ponies live on Assateague Island and are owned and cared for by the Chincoteague Volunteer Fire Co. The “saltwater cowboys” round up the herd each year for their annual checkup and swim the ponies across the channel to Chincoteague, where some of the ponies are auctioned. The pony swim and auction draws thousands of visitors each year including many celebrities and government officials. It is an annual event held in July. Chincoteague is the gateway to Assateague Island, a part of the National Seashore, and along with Wallops Island (NASA) are the only barrier islands that you can drive to.
For a unique experience of the barrier islands and the salt marsh habitat, take a tour with Broadwater Bay Ecotours. Your captain, Rick Kellam, holds a commercial license with the US Coast Guard and is a guide, naturalist, author and historian, whose ancestors lived on Hog Island.
Tour Virginia's Eastern Shore