During my media trip to Virginia, we spend a morning on Virginia’s Eastern Shore – a place I hadn’t really heard much about before. We headed out on the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel – one of the Seven Engineering Wonders of the Modern World. Although the Bridge Tunnel is 20-miles long, we stopped “on” the bridge, at Virginia Originals and Chesapeake Grill, a gift shop/restaurant located on the bridge. It’s definitely worth a stop – the gift shop offers some exclusive items made in Virginia, and the food at the grill is excellent.
Things to do on Virginia’s Eastern Shore
After getting off the bridge tunnel, we stopped at the Eastern Shore of Virginia Refuge, which includes 1,393 acres. There’s an indoor educational center, as well as paths to explore. There’s also a World War II bunker, which we had the chance to check out. After just a short time exploring the beach and the rest of the refuge, we headed out to Kiptopeke State Park, just down the street.
Kiptopeke State Park offers fishing, camping, swimming and more, all in one area. Five separate lodges are available for groups of 16 people to stay overnight. They are great for family reunions or multi-family vacations – with several bedrooms, bunk beds, kitchens, BBQ grills, and more. Families looking for a more rustic experience may choose tent camping, RV hookups, or the very unique yurt, which accommodates six.
After our tour, we headed to Aqua for a delicious lunch overlooking the water. During lunch, we met with two fascinating women entrepreneurs who live on the Eastern Shore – Pamela Barefoot of the Blue Crab Bay Co, and Kristin Willis of Eastern Shore Coastal Roasting Co.
Finally, we had a chance to spend some time visiting downtown Cape Charles, Virginia, a friendly town filled with unique, local-owned shops. While I had good intentions of visiting all of the shops, I ended up spending most of my time at the Gull Hummock Gourmet Market, a quaint shop offering local and national gourmet brands. The owners kindly offered us tastings of many of the local offerings. This is a place where I’d definitely spend my time if I were a resident of Virginia.
The Eastern Shore of Virginia is such a quiet, beautiful place that I can see why so many great people have settled there. It’s such a wonderful spot to check out while on a Virginia Beach vacation.
See other spots for East Coast family vacations here.
Disclosure: As a guest of the Virginia Tourism Corporation, I was treated to complimentary meals, lodging, and activities.