Cape Charles: Town on the Bay

© by Mary and Bill Burnham

Cape Charles Beach

This historic railroad town near the tip of the Eastern Shore of Virginia, has a enviable half-mile free public beach. Here you can swim or kayak the calm waters of the Chesapeake Bay. Southeast Expeditions offer kayak tours and rentals

You may as well just park the car as soon as you get to this historic beach and railroad town. You can easily walk the Mason Avenue shopping district, or you can rent a scooter, bike or golf cart at Bayside Scooters and Bikes.

From here, a stroll down Mason Avenue will turn up surprising finds in unlikely places.

Rent me!

You never know what you'll find Ryan Dockiewicz working on at The Wooden Fish Gallery. What's for sure is you've never seen anything quite like his folk art decoys and whimsical fish carvings.

Stop in to say hello to the mayor, Dora Sullivan, inside the Office Supply Store. Along with staples and paper, you'll find unique jewelry she makes from beach glass found along Chesapeake Bay beaches.

Rummage through the knick-knacks and toys at Bad Girlz Collections and practical supplies at the old-fashioned Watson's Hardware.

Jack Nicklaus at his signature course at Bay Creek

Best Nest Interiors is an interior design store featuring colorful, comfortable furnishings, eclectic home décor and kitchen items, all with a frolicking beach house theme.

There's also the 350-seat Palace Theatre and Stage Door Gallery hosting community theater and art shows.

Get an ice cream and play a game of putt-putt at Birdie's Bayside Mini-Golf.

Or indulge in the real game at either of Bay Creek's two championship courses, designed by golf greats Jack Nicklaus and Arnold Palmer.

Chesapeake Bay sunset

End the day with a sunset stroll on the town beach--classical music is piped in at sunset. Click here to read about paddling near Cape Charles, around the tip of the Eastern Shore.

Go to for more information on visiting Cape Charles and Northampton County.

Places to Stay

Rooms at the Kellogg House, a Colonial Revival mini-manse, are more the size of suites. After fine wine by the fire, indulge in a bubble bath in an antique soaking tub, then snuggle under the down comforter on your feather-topped bed.

Cape Charles House

Cape Charles House Bed and Breakfast has been wining awards for its hospitality. The five guest rooms are filled with antiques and oriental rugs. A gourmet breakfast and afternoon wine and cheese are served.

The beautifully restored historic Cape Charles Hotel has 17 elegant bedrooms. The hotel has a wheelchair lift and one room that is fully ADA-compliant.

The 1,700-acre Bay Creek Resort community has dozens of townhomes, condos, and mini-mansions available for rental (two-night minimum), and two championship golf courses.

Places to Eat

Options include Kelly's Gingernut Pub inside an historic bank building, Cape Charles Coffee Company inside another fabulously restored old bank building, and the Chesapeake Bistro serves up jazz on Saturday nights.