Tangier Island Travel Guide

  • Bay View Inn
    Bay View Inn
    by UncleBrian
  • Another beautiful Tangier Island sunset!!
    Another beautiful Tangier Island...
    by UncleBrian
  • A beautiful Tangier Island sunset!!
    A beautiful Tangier Island sunset!!
    by UncleBrian

Tangier Island Things to Do

  • Do what the locals do...

    Two of the biggest activities on Tangier are fishing and going to Church.On a Sunday some businesses will be closed as most islanders will be sharing family worship throughout the day. This to some is an interruption in the vacationing pleasure, to others an interesting custom. Here this "activity" is commonplace and expected, in many other areas...

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  • Island Tour by Golf Cart

    Unfortunately, I didn't get a picture of the actual multi-passenger golf cart.While you can undoubtedly walk all around the island (there are only two roads lengthwise and it is impossible to get lost), it is relatively cheap to do the tour, and you get the information about the island that you might not otherwise get or think to get.The next time...

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  • Marine Science Park

    This is admittedly a huge name for a tiny attraction. We often come to expect large showy displays to explain the flora and fauna that surrounds us.This is a charming backyard attraction. Simple succint and worth the suggested donation. The "tanks" have the expected Chesapeake Bay Blue crabs. What suprised me though were the sea horses and various...

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  • A muse-ing Museum

    This tiny "museum" is at the back of on of the local shops. The lady sits in the front of the shop knitting afghans for sale along with various and sundry souveniers.They have a small but charming selection of local books and pen and ink postcards. After you have looked about for a bit wander to the back of the store to enter the Museum. Donation...

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  • When surrounded by water...go fishing

    The Chesapeake Bay offers some of the best fishing in the United States. This Bay is the largest estuary in the U.S.Tangier is noted for its Fisherman. The water is the primary source of income for them. You are able to hire a head boat to go out for serious fishing or a tour boat for lighter family style crabbing and exploring.

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  • Stroll around the Island

    This is a quiet Island. There are no "amusements" you make your own. Go for a stroll through the little town or on the beach by the tiny airpark. You are able to walk the entire Island in about 2 hours.Beware of "Sunday go to meeting" traffic jams. The streets become almost deserted during Church service yet fill to overflowing when between...

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Tangier Island Restaurants

  • Under the Red Four

    This restaurant is apparently run by another branch of the Crockett family, and they have a web page with pictures and menus.The web page says in part:The Channel Marker Restaurant has a seating capacity of 135 persons. You have the option of enjoying the air-conditioned section of our restaurant or our air fresh Crab Deck... "The Island welcomes...

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  • Ice Cream

    One of the main things to do after dinner is to go to Spanky's for ice cream. We didn't do that as we had plenty to eat at Hilda Crocketts, but the teenage boys that were sitting with us at the table did - they rode their bikes down to get ice cream. They also have sandwiches and snacksWhen we walked up here to get some ice cream in 2007, they were...

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  • No longer exists

    We didn't eat here, but I stopped to pet the cat that was outside. I have been informed that the cat's name is Otis. We saw several folks that come over on the ferry who went in here to eat. When the Blue Crab was running, they offered seafood sandwiches, appetizers, soups, salads, deli sandwiches, wraps, crab cakes, gourmet coffee, desserts,...

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  • Takes credit cards

    Open May 1 to Sept 30Monday to Saturday 11 - 7Sunday 12:30 - 5Lunch specials were:Cup of Tangier Crab soup with Oyster Sandwich $9.95Meatloaf with mashed potatoes and 1 sideCrab & Shrimp dip w/ Salad $7.99Fish Sandwich with Crabby Fries (dusted with Old Bay and served with vinegar) $8.50Crabcake/Fried Shrimp Dinner w 2 sides $18.99The dinner menu...

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  • Family Style

    Restaurant Hours open: 6:30 AM until 6:00 PM No one will be seated for dinner after 5:15 so that the restaurant can close at 6. Also the restaurant is only open during the season (May 1 to October 31) Dinner is $17.00 each for all you can eat. They start out putting the cold dishes on the table (cole slaw, potato salad, pickled beets, ham, and...

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  • Tangier Island Billboards

    There are signs on this fence for four eating establishments - Fisherman's Corner (where we had lunch), Spanky's, Lorraine's Sandwich Shop, and the Channel Marker restaurant. We never got to Lorraines. The sign says:"Come in and enjoy our daily homemade specials, Friendly Atmosphere, Air Conditioning.""We offer a wide variety of seafood, subs,...

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Tangier Island Nightlife

  • Magnificent Sunsets

    The sunset and a "cuppa" tea is the best nightlife. It also happens to be about the only nightlife. There are no bars. This is a conservative and religious community by and large.Enjoy an evening stroll and a chat with a local.

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  • Watching the Sun Set

    Hilda Crockett's Chesapeake House doesn't seat you for dinner after 5:15 pm. So no matter how slowly you eat, you are done by 6 pm. About all there is left to do in town is walk around, and then watch the sun set.

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  • Feed the Ducks

    The boat that was cattycorner from us in the marina was feeding the ducks with the crumbs from their dinner.

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Tangier Island Transportation

  • Private Plane

    We ate dinner with a guy who flew in on his own private plane to Tangier. He had come before by boat, but his boat was damaged by Isabel, and because he leases his plane to a flight school, he says it is cheaper to run a plane than it is to have a boat, and he can keep the plane closer to his house (which is in western VA). He was unable to stay at...

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  • Emergency Transport

    The fire department has fire trucks. They are one of the few regular vehicles on the island, and they probably can't get down some of the narrow lanes.If there is a medical emergency , a heliocopter comes from Salisbury to airlift someone off the island. (There is one policeman on the island, but if more is needed, they come from Virginia probably...

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  • Oldtimey Ferry to Tangier

    You are able to take a ferry to Tangier from Reedville on the western shore of Maryland, near Washington D.C. or out of Chrisfeild on the Eastern Shore of MD. In Virginia go to the Onancock town wharf (home of Historic Hopkins Bros. and the Mallards Wharf restaurant) you can get to Tangier on the Capt. Eulice. This ferry runs daily, weather...

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Tangier Island Shopping

  • Gifts and Museum

    Wanda's is a gift shop that is primarily notable because she has a soft shell crab exhibit showing the stages of the crab molt and how they are harvested. It's something that is easier to see in person than to really understand by reading about it. This is a season exhibit which she runs with her son Teddy. Teddy's crab shedding shack is behind the...

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  • Little Local Gift Shops

    There are a number of tiny buildings which sell gifts to tourists Jim's advertises that he hasHistoriesJewelryCharmsCookbooksPlatesMugsGlassesBooks

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  • Waterfront Shopping

    Bob got ice at the local grocery store, but if you've got a little boat and are going fishing, you can get ice and bait here.

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Tangier Island Local Customs

  • Post Office Traffic Jam

    The Post Office is a small building across from the Methodist church. The mail comes in by boat from Crisfield every day about 10:30, but there is no mail delivery on the island. People have to come to the PO in order to get their mail. So all afternoon, the folks of Tangier come to the PO to get their mail - they walk, they bike, they have...

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  • Roads and Bridges

    There are two main roads on Tangier Island. Main Street, and Ridge. Ridge is on a ridge which is about 5 feet higher than Main Street. In between Main and Ridge is a swampy area (photo 2) crossed by four bridges. This is one of them and photo 2 and 4 shows others

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  • Crab Shedding Sheds

    Blue crabs live 2-3 years. They grow by shedding (molting) the hard shell (exoskeleton). The molting takes place more than a dozen times during their lifetime.When the blue crab comes out of the hard shell it is very soft. That's why it is called a soft-shell crab. About two weeks before the crab sheds the hard shell it becomes what watermen call...

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Tangier Island Warnings and Dangers

  • black flies

    Tangier Island is great, but watch out for those black flies. We were there in late August, and I've never seen so many. Locals swear by Avon Skin So Soft as a bug repellent. Didn't have it so don't know if it's effective. Went to the beach and got into the water as deep as we could just to get away from the flies. Water washed off such bug...

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  • Storms and Floods

    Probably not a problem for visitors, but this IS an island and subject to storms. Hurricane Isabel wiped out a lot of the docks - many of the docks you see in town that look new ARE new, as they've been rebuilt since October 2003. The dock in photo 2 (taken in 2004) and photo 5 (taken in 2007) have obviously not been rebuilt.Subsequent hurricanes...

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  • BUGS!

    Take LOADS of bug spray! The island is full of small black biting flies. The flies are around day & night. If you think you'll need 1 can of bug spray, take 2! Also, there were quite a few jellyfish in the water when we were there in August. Other than that, it was a great trip.

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Tangier Island Off The Beaten Path

  • grandmaR's Profile Photo

    by grandmaR Updated Oct 10, 2004

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    The Rev Swain wrote A BRIEF HISTORY OF TANGIER ISLAND, VIRGINIA
    Description: Copywrite by Gail M. Walczyk. Originally written by Reverend C. P. Swain in the 1890's, it relates the history of both the people and the Methodist religion on the island. It is now has been indexed and a dateline has been included. 81/2x11, paper, index, 32 pp Cost: $18.00

    From 1808 through 1858 up to 10,000 people swelled the island each summer for Methodist camp meetings.

    In a letter to the Richmond Dispatch, July 30, 1899, Rev. Swain wrote:

    "In 1835, when there were only a few people here, they built a small famed church, 18 by 18 feet. In 1842 they enlarged the building to 22 by 26. N 1860 the house was again enlarged to accommodate the ever-increasing congregation. IN 1870 a new building was erected, 36 by 50, at a cost of $2,400, and made to cover about 2,000 square feet of ground floor and to seat 600 people. In 1896 it was found that a larger building was needed, and the present structure, modern ln its construction and conveniences. Lighted with gas and heated with steam, was erected at a cost of $10,000, about $7,000 of which has been paid in cash, and the rest is all subscribed."

    According to the sign on the church foundation wall, this church was renamed the Swain Memorial M. E. Church in 1900 the year after the above was written. I presume he had died before the church was named after him, but I can't find any information out about that. The marble memorial was erected in his memory by the citizens of Tangier.

    Memorial beside Swain church Another view of the Memorial beside Swain church Church from the other side of the island Church from the road Church steeple
    Related to:
    • Budget Travel
    • Historical Travel
    • Religious Travel

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Tangier Island Sports & Outdoors

  • Beach

    I am assured that Tangier has beaches, most of which I understand are on the south side of the island. I haven't tried to access the beaches myself. It is probably typical of the island beaches. The beaches will not be crowded - this picture was taken at the beginning of August and the guest houses were fullVT member hcm71284 tells me that the...

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  • Parks Marina

    Parks Marina is very small and informal. Mr. Parks lives in a house behind the marina. The actual marina consists of this little house on stilts (which houses the bathroom/shower rooms for men and women and also a front section which could be an office) and several slips which you can see two of on the right side of the picture.The marina does not...

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  • Anchorage in harbor

    The harbor in Tangier has a very swift current in it, and it is a very busy harbor. Not only are there fishermen who run around in the harbor, but there are the ferry boats from Crisfield and Reedville that come in and turn around. Also, there are depth problems at some places even in the channel.The marina in Tangier is NOT very expensive. it is a...

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Tangier Island Favorites

  • Low lying island

    Tangier is really a cluster of marshy islands in the Chesapeake Bay about fifteen miles from the Eastern Shore. Tangier has been eroding away for years. The island now is only about a mile wide by three miles long. The land is flat and marshy with the highest point on the island at about seven feet above sea level. Island residents are clustered in...

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  • Golf Carts

    Golf Cart rentals are available at the Sunset Inn, which is located near the beach. Highly recomended. They are a little pricey, but well worth the money. Get there early because they don't have that many available.

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  • Crab Shedding

    About two weeks before the blue crab sheds its hard shell, it becomes what local watermen call a 'peeler crab'. The men get up very early in the morning and search for peeler crabs. They bring the peeler's home and keep them alive in the soft crab farms until they shed their hard shells and are ready to sell.The peeler crab goes through 3 stages...

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Comments

 
Explore Deeper into Tangier Island
Burial, necessity begats tradition.
Local Customs
Rock and roll with the waves, not the party.
Local Customs
No Longer a Hazard
Warnings and Dangers
Small airpark
Transportation
Local Communication
Local Customs
Motor Scooters
Transportation
Crab Farms
Things to Do
Advertising
Local Customs
It's Not Just a Wall - It's A Bulletin Board
Favorites
Still May Be a Problem
Warnings and Dangers
Deep Religious Convictions
Favorites
Walk
Transportation
Take a Boat
Transportation
Ducks
Favorites
Ride a bike
Transportation
Golf Cart
Transportation
Above Ground Burial
Local Customs
Lighthouse Trash Cans
Favorites
School Days
Local Customs
From Reedville, Crisfield or Onacock
Transportation
Island Traffic Jam
Transportation
Rent a Bike
Transportation
Recipe Fence
Local Customs
Fishing
Nightlife
Crabcake
Local Customs
Map of Tangier Island

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