Exploring the Hidden Gems of the Lower Chesapeake Bay

By Teri Miller

The Chesapeake Bay is the nation’s largest estuary. While known for its expansive waters, ideal for sailing and cruising, it is also encompassed by over 100,000 navigable rivers, creeks, and coves. We may be tempted to hurry past those tucked away places, many of which are less than a few hours apart, but the coastal towns
and serene settings of the Chesapeake’s southern shores are worth the slowdown.

Onancock & Tangier Island

On the Virginia Eastern Shore, you will encounter the small coastal community of Onancock. Founded in 1680, Onancock’s deep-water access made it a perfect port town for steamboats traversing from Baltimore to Norfolk. These days boaters continue to enjoy the deep-water access, quiet coves and still water anchorages. Call ahead for a stay at the Onancock Town Wharf or use the free dinghy dock to explore this charming town. Adjacent to the town wharf is the historic Hopkins & Bros. Store exhibit and a dockside restaurant, Mallards at the Wharf. Onancock is walkable and bike friendly with streets lined with Victoria era homes and reclaimed buildings housing art galleries, shops, and restaurants. Be sure to wander further into town and visit Kerr Place. Kerr Place is a restored mansion and curated museum with an herb and kitchen garden that is stunning in any growing season…


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