Travel Destinations

Boating Destination: Cape Charles, VA

Cape Charles, VA | Credit Visit Virginia

Cape Charles is considered one of the state’s hidden gems on the Eastern Shore of Virginia. It’s located between Virginia Beach and Chincoteague on the Chesapeake Bay. The Cape is a great vacation spot for families or anyone who wants to kick back and enjoy its small-town feel. Cape Charles is home to the only public beach on this long stretch of the Bay, complete with soft sand, gentle waves and warm, shallow water. Since the beach faces west, guests witness stunning sunsets almost every evening.

The main street, just around the corner from the public beach, offers boutiques, galleries and waterfront dining that features excellent local oysters. Refresh yourself with ice cream or coffee from Brown Dog Ice Cream or a visit Peach Street Books to break up your seaside day. Cape Charles’ historic district also makes for a lovely walk past the recently redesigned Central Park and colorful old homes.

You’ll also find a golf course in the area, as well as fun, local breweries. When you’re ready to come back to the beach, be sure to try your hand at fishing or crabbing, as the local seafood is spectacular. Visitors are also welcomed by acres of preserved land. The Cape Charles Natural Area Preserve is a wetland habitat for migratory birds with elevated boardwalk paths for visitors.

Farther down the coast, hiking and kayaking are popular activities at Kiptopeke State Park. Paddling a short distance from shore will bring you up close to the fleet of retired WWII “ghost ships” called Kiptopeke Breakwater. The Savage Neck Dunes offer hiking trails along the beaches and through coastal woodlands. With its well-preserved history, nature and the easy-going locals, most visitors leave with Cape Charles in their hearts, promising to return soon.


Cape Charles Harbor


Located in a protected bay, this marina offers basic amenities and a prime location a short walk from the main street. The harbor has 1,200 feet of dock space and 95 slips for vessels up to 120 feet.

Cape Charles Yacht Center


The Yacht Center can accommodate superyachts with its deep water slips and floating docks. They offer amenities, as well as a ships store and courtesy vehicles to ride into town in a golf cart or car.

The Oyster Farm Marina & Kings Creek


King’s Creek is a luxury resort that’s part of the Oyster Farms at King’s Creek compound. It offers laundry, cable TV and a pool. The fully cushioned slips accommodate vessels up to 150 feet. Also on the property are a wedding venue and seafood eatery overlooking the water and oyster beds.


Ambrogia Caffé & Enoteca


An intimate restaurant on the main street, Ambrogia serves delicious southern Italian food using fresh local seafood and produce. Reservations are strongly recommended.

The Shanty


Located along Cape Charles Harbor, the Shanty is a waterfront bar and local seafood joint, known for live music and dedication to the community wrapped up in a fun sports bar setting.

Rayfield’s Pharmacy


A classic old-school lunch counter place that serves up homemade vanilla cokes and diner food. Order a malt at the counter or a booth while rubbing elbows with the locals.

Hook @ Harvey


Located at the parking lot of Cape Charles Yacht center in an historic house, this waterfront bistro features just-caught seafood, along with creative meat, poultry and pasta options.

Deadrise Italian Kitchen


This newly renovated restaurant offers an organic spin on Italian classics in a friendly neighborhood setting. Brick-oven pizza is topped with fresh marinara sauce, and pasta dishes are hearty.

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