Day Tripping: Cape Charles

Day Tripping: Cape Charles

Chincoteague Island sits off the coast of Virginia's Eastern Shore, a 70-mile peninsula that divides the Chesapeake Bay from the Atlantic Ocean. 

Locals divide the peninsula into two regions, the seaside and the bayside, Chincoteague sits on the Atlantic coast making it a seaside town.

Seaside towns have their own rhythms and personality, while the bayside towns are a different speed all together.

During your next stay at Chincoteageu Island KOA, after you've explored Chincoteague, head down to the Cape Charles area and discover the other side of Virginia's Eastern Shore. 


After playing in the surf on Assateague Island, the calm waters of the Chesapeake Bay will be a complete change of pace.

The beaches in and around Cape Charles are great for little kids because the waves are gentle and at a low tide the waters are shallow. You have several beaches to choose from when you visit Cape Charles. 

Cape Charles Public Beach

Along Bay Avenue in Cape Charles, just steps from shopping and dining, is the town's public beach. There's lots of free parking along the street and the shore is just a short walk away. Spread out on this wide, sandy beach or stroll down the fishing pier and drop a line in the water.

Kiptopeke State Park

There's so much to do at the beach inside this state park. The southern portion of the beach is open to swimming, fishing, boating, crabbing and pets. The half-mile stretch of beach to the north is reserved just for swimming. There's a small fee to enter the park, but it's worth it. 

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Sunset Beach

This beach is known for gorgeous sunsets and beautiful views of the Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel. It's not open to the public but if you dine at The Jackspot you can wander down to the shore and find a spot in the sand.

Craft Beverage Tastings

Cape Charles has more than its fair share of craft beverage producers. The town is only about a mile across, but you'll find a distillery tasting room, a cider tasting room and a brewery within town limits. 

Cape Charles Distillery

You'll feel like you've wandered into a speak easy when you make your way into this cozy tasting room. You can do a tasting and try their bourbon, whiskey, vodka and moonshine or grab a cocktail and a seat in a comfy chair. 

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Cape Charles Brewing Company

This brew pub has an impressive tap list. You'll find staples like Ole' Reliable lager alongside limited release brews and seasonal specials. Grab a flight so you can try a few different beers or grab a pint and a bite to eat. On the outdoor patio, gather around the fire pit or play a game of corn hole with friends. 

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Buskey Cider on the Bay

Stop by the Cape Charles outpost of this Richmond-based cidery for a pint or a flight. You can sip cider and play board games in the tasting room or hang out on the deck and play giant Jenga. 

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Cape Charles has a great dining scene! You can grab a sandwich to go for a beach picnic, enjoy a delicious meal at a white tablecloth bistro and find everything in between. 

The Shanty

For great sunsets, refreshing cocktails and local seafood head to The Shanty. This laid back waterfront restaurant is the perfect place to sit down to dinner after a day on the beach. Grab a bite to eat on the deck or sip cocktails and play corn hole with your toes in the sand out back. 

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The Local Cape Charles

Whether it's breakfast, lunch or dinner this little spot is bringing amazing flavors to Cape Charles. Dash in for a coffee and breakfast to go in the morning, build a beach picnic with their grab and go items at lunch or treat yourself to an amazing sushi spread at dinner time. 

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The Jackspot

This restaurant is on the grounds of Chesapeake Bay KOA and Sunset Beach Hotel, but it's open to the public and has spectacular views of the Chesapeake Bay. Grab a seat on the deck overlooking the water and enjoy delicious cocktails, tasty snacks, fresh seafood and crisp salads. 

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Coastal Baking Co.

From flaky croissants to hearty sandwiches and Indian dishes on Thursday, Coastal Baking Co. is shaking things up. Grab fresh baked goods for breakfast, take something sweet home with your or sit down for a delicious lunch. 

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Brown Dog Ice Cream

It's not uncommon to see a line out the door at this adorable ice cream parlor, it's just that good. Don't worry though, the line moves quickly and it's well worth it. You'll find delicious renditions of familiar flavors like chocolate, coffee and vanilla alongside a rotating cast of fun flavors like lemon poppy seed, black raspberry and snickerdoodle. 

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Cape Charles has a picturesque downtown that is perfect for a relaxing stroll and a little retail therapy. 

Gull Hummock 

Load up on delicious snacks before heading to the beach, shop their incredible selection of wine or load up on tasty souvenirs at this inviting gourmet market.

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At this award-winning consignment shop you'll find designer goods at affordable prices as well as home decor and locally made items. The charming historic storefront is the perfect place to have a shopping spree without breaking the bank. 

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Lemon Tree Gallery

Browse artwork from local creators and international artists in this beautiful gallery. Stop by on Friday evening for live music or just kick back on their shady patio and watch the world go by. 

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Outdoor Adventure

Virginia's Eastern Shore is surrounded on three sides by water and is home to thousands of acres of park land, so nature is always within easy reach. Here are a few ways to explore the region's beauty. 

Eastern Shore National Wildlife Refuge

This park is great for hiking, bird watching, hunting and educational fun. Stop by the visitors center to learn more about local ecology and the park's past life as a military base, watch birds and butterflies through the wildlife window and explore the network of trails. Don't miss the giant gun barrel! 

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Southeast Expeditions Kayaking

Rent a kayak and paddle the waters around Cape Charles or book a tour with an experienced guide to learn about local wildlife or dig your own clams in Cherrystone Creek.

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Cape Charles Boat Tour Company

Take a relaxing sunset cruise or hit the water in search of dolphins with Cape Charles Boat Tour Company. If you want to walk along a deserted island book a trip out to one of Virginia's barrier islands.

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During your next stay at Chincoteague Island KOA take some time to explore the rest of Virginia's Eastern Shore and see what the region is all about. 

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