Day Trips and Excursions from Cape Charles
You could easily while away a week or two in Cape Charles, but don’t forget that there’s lots to explore within an hour’s drive of town. Here are some of our favorite excursions along Virginia’s Eastern Shore.
- Kiptopeke State Park — Three miles from the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel, this state park was explored by John Smith in 1608. These days you can fish, rent kayaks and explore the concrete ships just off the beach, bird-watch, and hike or bike the 5+ miles of trails.
- Savage Neck Dunes — About 15 minutes up the road, this secluded spot lets you hike through the maritime forest and along a secluded beach with a deserted island feel. The dunes are protected so you're not supposed to climb them, but they're still an awe-inspiring sight.
- Cape Charles Natural Area Preserve — This easy hike just on the edge of town guides you along a boardwalk through the maritime forest. It’s part of the Virginia Birding and Wildlife Trail, within the Audubon Lower Delmarva Important Bird Area. In other words, if you love bird-watching, this is paradise.
- Barrier Islands Center — Learn all about the fascinating history of Virginia’s barrier islands at this historical site in Machipongo.
- Eyre Hall — One of the best-preserved Colonial houses in Virginia, Eyre Hall is also home to some of the oldest gardens in the country. Find it in Cheriton just north of Cape Charles.
- Chatham Vineyards on Church Creek — Go sip locally produced wine on a farm that’s been around for four centuries.
- Onancock — About 40 miles up the Shore, Onancock is a charming little village with a quiet harbor and a bustling downtown. Browse art galleries, shops, restaurants and markets while taking in the scenery.
- Chincoteague and Assateague — Just over an hour away, Chincoteague and Assateague make for a perfect day trip from Cape Charles. Rent some bikes, check out the wild ponies, and grab some food at one of Chincoteague’s many restaurants.
Looking for more ideas? Be sure to check out the Eastern Shore of Virginia’s tourism site for information on events and attractions all along the Shore.