Notes of the shore from a "Come here" (a non-local)
"Off the Beaten Path" Many people who travel Route 13 Lankford Highway on their way north or south by way of the Eastern Shore of Virginia, have no idea of what they are missing as they travel through. There are many small towns that grew up from the stagecoach days, then the railroad days, and those that grew up around the wharfs on the tributaries of the Chesapeake Bay and the Atlantic Ocean. Small rural communities that make you think of days gone by.
My husband and I stopped on the shore after a trip to Williamsburg, VA. We had been looking for waterfront in Baltimore and Anne Arundel Counties in Maryland. Most of which was beyond our budget, but we went under contract on a few homes for which we could not get the permits to improve due to septic situations. So we thought, why not go back home by way of the Eastern Shore of Virginia, we could stop in a real estate office or two and see what they had to offer.
In one of the offices, we saw an aerial view picture on a bulletin board of a point of land on a creek off of Pocomoke Sound that we just loved, still out of our price range, but one we knew we would not be able to stop dreaming about. We watched the piece of land for over a year, and it came down in price a couple times to where we felt comfortable making an offer. After some negotiating it was ours with little down and owner financing. This was back in 1991 and we bought it to retire to but ended up building by 1996 and have enjoyed it ever since.
We left the Baltimore beltway commute behind and moved to an area where you may see just a few cars on the way to work. An area where you slowly drive the back roads while watching out for the abundant wildlife. Where small towns are no more than a post office and a couple blocks of "downtown", if that…. But yet it is only an hour to Ocean City from north Accomack County. Closer by is Chincoteague Island, a seaside resort in North Accomack County, which is more rural and less crowded than Ocean City. From Chincoteague, cross the bridge on to Assateague Island to see the wild ponies, go to the beach, and ride bikes on the trails, surf fish, clam or search for conch shells after rough seas. You can explore Chincoteague Island where everything slows down even the speed limit which is 25 mile per hour. Ice cream shops, restaurants, miniature golf, small shore cottages, Victorian homes, a few hotels, some bed and breakfast inns, a few condos, and a slow pace adds charm to the island.
The county seat of Accomack County is the town of Accomac. It was surprising to me to learn that Accomac has more original colonials than Williamsburg, Virginia. It is a beautiful old town. You should not miss a drive through this area full of charm and the aroma of boxwoods.
Along the seaside, public boats ramps and wharfs make access to the Atlantic Ocean a breeze through the inland bays and past barrier islands. The beauty of the area will take your breathe away. Fish for flounder, go out to sea for deep sea fishing or take a picnic on a barrier island. You can go out of towns of Wachapreague, or Quinby and Oyster to name a few.
If you are like me and prefer fishing the Chesapeake Bay then you are in luck. Boat ramps dot the shoreline of the bay and its tributaries from Saxis Island to Kiptopeke State Park. Access to the Chesapeake Bay is not far away no matter where you live on the shore.
One of the most talked about towns on the shore is historic Onancock. It grew up around the bayside wharf on Onancock Creek. The downtown area is full of restaurants, a movie theatre, a playhouse, galleries, and shops. There is history and charm to Onancock. Launch your boat at the marina for a day on the water and then come back to town to enjoy a meal. Bed and Breakfast Inns and a small hotel offer travelers a quaint place to stay. Take a stroll in the pet friendly town and enjoy the feel of "times gone by".
The Eastern Shore of Virginia retains the charm of its past while welcoming the newcomers who enjoy their vacation homes, or embrace their retirement, or move away from the stressful areas they once called home. Tourists turn into "Come Here's" and add their love for the area to the charm of the shore. Come explore the shore and see what a good fit it would be for you!