17 Best Things To Do In Cape Charles, Virginia - Updated 2022

things to do in Cape-Charles VA
Aarti
Aarti 
Updated

A vibrant coastal town in Virginia, Cape Charles is famous for its old-Victorian houses, beaches, parks, nature trails, historic sites, museums, shopping centers, restaurants, and bars. For those staying overnight, there are great Airbnb and Vrbo vacation rentals in the area. There’s the amazing Kiptopeke State Park where you can relax amid nature, to Chincoteague Island where you can witness the wild ponies in their element, to Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel, a modern engineering marvel, there are plenty of places you can visit in this seaside town. In addition, you can explore, Cape Charles Museum, Chesapeake Bay, Central Park, and also play a game of golf at the famous Bay Creek golf courses. Whatever the reason for your visit may be, we have got your back. Here is a list of the best things to do in Cape Charles, Virginia.

1. Enjoy nature at Savage Neck Dunes State Natural Area Preserve

Editor's Note: There's no photo available at the time of writing

Savage Neck Dunes State Natural Area Preserve is a 298-acre (120-hectare) nature preserve that features a variety of amenities that are sure to be quite a treat for nature lovers. Part of the preserve includes Chesapeake Bay beach where visitors can take in the fresh ocean breeze while relaxing in the sand.

There’s also a wooded area that offers a great place to go on a hike or jog. And finally, the nature preserve has a migratory songbird habitat which is sure to be a draw for birdwatchers.

Savage Neck Dunes State Natural Area Preserve

Address: 2186 Savage Neck Rd Drive, Cape Charles, VA 23310, United States

Website: Savage Neck Dunes State Natural Area Preserve

2. Visit the fascinating Cape Charles Museum and Welcome Center

Editor's Note: There's no photo available at the time of writing

A non-profit organization, Cape Charles Museum and Welcome Center opened its doors to the public in 1996. The mission and the vision of this organization are to help the public understand and learn about the town’s history and culture, the Eastern Shore and the neighboring areas. As you walk around inside, you will witness the historical artifacts, structures, exhibits, and pictures placed across the museum. You will also find some old trains outback, rusty old tractors out front, an antique switchboard, and many interesting things around the center.

Cape Charles Museum and Welcome Center

Address: 814 Randolph Ave, Cape Charles, VA 23310, USA

Website: Cape Charles Museum and Welcome Center

Opening hours: Mon - Fri: 10am - 2pm; Sat: 10am - 5pm; Sun: 1pm - 5pm

Price: Free entry

3. Immerse in artworks at Lemon Tree Gallery and Studio

Editor's Note: There's no photo available at the time of writing

At Lemon Tree Gallery and Studio you can savor life and immerse yourself in art. You could either be enjoying a glass of limoncello by the patio or gazing at a painting with love-struck eyes, whatever you do at this studio, you will have a memorable day here at this Cape Charles historic town. Take part in interesting workshops, art classes, or indulge in music, ambiance, stand-up comedy, dance, and more. At Lemon Tree Gallery and Studio, you will get a chance to explore your creative side and connect with your inner artist and other artists at the studio.

Lemon Tree Gallery and Studio

Address: 301 Mason Ave #3203, Cape Charles, VA 23310, USA

Website: Lemon Tree Gallery and Studio

Opening hours: Mon - Thu: 11am - 5pm; Fri: 11am - 8pm; Sat: 10am - 6pm; Sun: 11am - 4pm

4. Camp at Kiptopeke State Park

Kiptopeke State Park (13378601953)
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user vastateparksstaff used under CC BY 2.0

Located in the Eastern Shore of Virginia, Kiptopeke State Park offers a chance to explore the coastal habitat and access the Chesapeake Bay. Breathe in the fresh air as you stroll around this state park, which gives access to the Chesapeake Bay shoreline, beaches, and migratory bird habitats. Boasting varieties of recreational activities such as hiking and walking trails, biking trails, playground, fishing, boating, camping, RV, and more, this state park is perfect if you are looking for a place to explore, relax and spend time amid nature.

Kiptopeke State Park

Address: 3540 Kiptopeke Dr, Cape Charles, VA 23310, USA

Website: Kiptopeke State Park

Opening hours: 6am - 10pm (daily)

Price: Mon - Fri: 3 USD; Sat - Sun: 4 USD

5. Travel back in time at Cape Charles Historic District

CapeCharles-church-library
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Joel Bradshaw used under CC0

Nestled in Cape Charles, Northampton County, Virginia, Cape Charles Historic District is a stunning old railroad town with plenty of historical buildings and nature. Inspired by late-Victorian architecture, most of the buildings in this historic town were built between the years of 1885 and 1920. Enjoy a walk through history as you witness the railroad heritage of the Eastern Shore Railroad, which is still one of the largest short-line railroads in all of America. Also, enjoy shopping, eating, or drinking at any of the bars and restaurants nestled within the historic district.

Cape Charles Historic District

Address: 5 T-1115, Cape Charles, VA 23310, USA

Website: Cape Charles Historic District

Opening hours: 24 hours (daily)

6. Drive along the Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel

Chesapeake Channel Tunnel, Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel, Chesapeake Bay, Virginia (14444644593)
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Ken Lund used under CC BY-SA 2.0

Recognized as the “Engineering Wonder of the Modern World,” Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel is a 21-mile-long (33 kilometers) bridge-tunnel located near Cape Charles, Virginia. For a one-of-a-kind experience, rent a car and drive to this bridge-tunnel that takes you over and under the water from Southeastern Virginia and the Delmarva Peninsula. This bridge-tunnel comprises bridges, tunnels, trestles, and causeways. You will also get to witness the man-made islands as you drive through the bridge.

Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel

Address: Virginia Beach, Cape Charles

Website: Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel

Opening hours: 24 hours (daily)

Price: 14 USD

7. Stroll around the Cape Charles Natural Area Preserve

Editor's Note: There's no photo available at the time of writing

Cape Charles Natural Area Preserve is a 29-acre (11.7 hectares) land, situated near Northampton County, Virginia. Offering a 0.9-mile (1.4 kilometers) trail amid a forest setting, this trail can be taken by people of all ages and is used mostly for walking, hiking, nature trips, and bird-watching. You can also bring your dogs along, as long as they are kept on a leash. Birdwatchers can enjoy spotting over 240 bird species all year round.

Cape Charles Natural Area Preserve

Address: 301 Patrick Henry Ave, Cape Charles, VA 23310-3245

Website: Cape Charles Natural Area Preserve

8. Sample the beers at Cape Charles Brewing Company

Editor's Note: Photo taken from the establishment's official social account

Posted by Cape Charles Brewing Company on Friday, June 18, 2021

Savor the best brews and tastiest grubs in town only at Cape Charles Brewing Company. A family-owned and operated establishment, Cape Charles Brewing Company is a coastal brewpub adorned with wood-paneled exterior and a lofty water tower standing tall at the entrance. Call it a day and spend a pleasant evening sipping varieties of brewed beer along with fresh, local seafood. Along with a relaxed atmosphere and a friendly staff, this brewpub is also pet-friendly. So, bring along your pets and spend a fun evening over a couple of drinks, food, and more.

Cape Charles Brewing Company

Address: 2198 Stone Rd, Cape Charles, VA 23310, USA

Website: Cape Charles Brewing Company

Opening hours: Sun - Thu: 11:30am - 9pm; Fri - Sat: 11:30am - 10pm

9. Catch a breath at Central Park

Editor's Note: Photo taken from the establishment's official social account

Posted by Cape Charles Citizens for Central Park on Saturday, September 28, 2019

When you travel to a new destination, the best way to know their culture is by attending cultural programs or spending time in the greenery and connecting with people. Head to Central Park, and spend some quiet time or simply strike a conversation with a fellow visitor. The park is also going to introduce ziplining, so the adventurous souls may also find this attraction amusing.

Central Park

Address: 217 Peach St, Cape Charles, VA 23310, United States

Website: Central Park

10. Savor a cup of tea at Dacha Tea House

Editor's Note: Photo taken from the establishment's official social account

Posted by Dacha Tea House on Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Ever wondered what Russian tea tastes like? Well, now you can taste the best of Russian tea at the Dacha Tea House. Using samovar, Jone, the owner of Dacha Tea House, makes and serves authentic Russian teas along with Russian food and desserts. Take a break from all the exploring you are doing around Cape Charles and step into this traditional Russian world for lunch followed by tea and dessert, or just for tea and dessert.

Dacha Tea House

Address: 439 Mason Ave, Cape Charles, VA 23310, USA

Website: Dacha Tea House

Opening hours: Thu - Fri: 11am - 4pm; Sun: 1pm - 4pm (closed from Mon - Wed)

11. Chill at the Cape Charles Beach

2017-07-12 11 18 47 View southwest towards U.S. Route 13 (Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel) from Cape Charles, Northampton County, Virginia
Source: Photo by user Famartin used under CC BY-SA 4.0

Located 10 miles (16 kilometers) north of the Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel, Cape Charles Beach is the only beach that offers free parking facilities to the public. Because of its shallow waters, this beach is perfect for all the beach activities including swimming, sunbathing, and picnicking. This beach is known for its clean and refreshing waters and provides plenty of space to the public for the perfect relaxation, and to indulge in other sports activities. Head to this beach if you are planning a family outing or to witness the best sunsets in town.

Cape Charles Beach

Address: Bay Ave, Cape Charles, VA 23310

Opening hours: 24 hours (daily)

Price: Free

12. Explore the Custis Tombs

Editor's Note: There's no photo available at the time of writing

Situated near Northampton County, Virginia, Custis Tombs, also known as Custis cemetery, is a renowned site of Arlington Plantation. Visitors from around the globe explore this scenic spot for the grand manor house, beautiful scenery, waterfront location, and the burial ground located within the property. This historic manor was built in the 1670s by John Custis and the two tombs in the property are surrounded by a concrete platform that is raised above the ground. One tomb belongs to John Custis and the other of John Custis IV.

Tomb of Custis

Address: 2157 Arlington Chase Rd, Cape Charles, VA

Website: Tomb of Custis

13. Go golfing at Bay Creek Resort & Club

Editor's Note: Photo taken from the establishment's official social account

Posted by Bay Creek Golf Course on Wednesday, August 4, 2010

When you are on vacation, there should be only fun and games. And Cape Charles promises great fun while you set out to play a game of golf. Bay Creek Resort & Club is a residential community offering golf courses, designed by renowned golfers, for a challenging yet fun game along the Chesapeake Bay and Plantation Creek. And if you are a golf enthusiast, you will definitely enjoy playing at the Arnold Palmer Signature Course or the Jack Nicklaus Signature Course.

Bay Creek Resort & Club

Address: 1 Bay Creek Pkwy, Cape Charles, Virginia

Website: Bay Creek Resort & Club

Opening hours: 24 hours (daily)

14. Visit the Old Plantation Flats Lighthouse

Editor's Note: There's no photo available at the time of writing

Built in 1886, this white screw-pile lighthouse is nestled at the Chesapeake Bay marking the channel to Cape Charles, Virginia and Old Plantation Creek. What was once a functioning lighthouse has been dismantled after being affected and destroyed by the ice flows that hit in 1893 and 1918. When the second ice flow hit in 1918, it was reinforced with concrete, and when it got deactivated in 1962, it was replaced with an automated steel skeleton tower. Tourists from across the world visit this attraction to learn more about the history behind the Plantation Flats Lighthouse.

Old Plantation Flats Lighthouse

Website: Old Plantation Flats Lighthouse

Opening hours: 24 hours (daily)

15. Get the best of seafood at The Shanty

Editor's Note: Photo taken from the establishment's official social account

Posted by The Shanty on Sunday, March 14, 2021

After exploring the coastal side, if the seafood craving kicks in, head to The Shanty located by the Bay in Cape Charles Town Harbor, Virginia. Offering fun and a relaxed atmosphere, this restaurant serves fresh, local seafood, and other dishes accompanied by lip-smackin’ cocktails and other cold beverages. With live entertainment organized over the weekends, you can also witness stunning sunsets over the bay every evening.

The Shanty

Address: 33 Marina Rd, Cape Charles, VA 23310, USA

Website: The Shanty

Opening hours: 11:30am - 9pm (daily)

16. Drink a pint at Kelly's Gingernut Pub

Editor's Note: Photo taken from the establishment's official social account

Not sure where to eat this Friday? We know a place - Call 757-331-3222 and place your order for takeout! View our...

Posted by Kelly's Gingernut Pub on Friday, August 20, 2021

Housed in a restored bank building circa 1907, Kelly’s Gingernut Pub is an Irish pub offering live music, casual fare, and an outdoor patio. Boasting up to 12 craft and imported beers, this pub features a 16-feet (4.8 meters) tin ceiling with warm touches of old brick and pub hues. Take a break after a long day and visit this good ol’ pub for a pint of Guinness, a tasty meal, a game of darts, live entertainment, and more.

Kelly's Gingernut Pub

Address: 133 Mason Ave, Cape Charles, VA 23310, USA

Website: Kelly’s Gingernut Pub

Opening hours: 11:30am - 2am (daily)

17. Grab breakfast at Cape Charles Coffee House

Editor's Note: Photo taken from the establishment's official social account

Posted by Cape Charles Coffee House on Sunday, May 23, 2021

A heaven for coffee lovers, Cape Charles Coffee House also has a reputation for serving some of the best breakfast in town. The rich aroma of coffee won’t escape you as you enter this coffee house. Established in 1910, this two-story historic building has been refurbished with rich paneled walls, tin ceilings adorned with art deco chandeliers. Upon entering, enjoy relishing in premium coffees including “Cafe Cape Charles,” a signature drink of the coffeehouse, followed by breakfast and dessert.

Cape Charles Coffee House

Address: 241 Mason Ave, Cape Charles, VA 23310, USA

Website: Cape Charles Coffee House

Opening hours: Wed - Mon: 8am - 5pm (closed on Tue)

Enjoy a beautiful vacation at Cape Charles

Cape Charles, Virginia - sunset from the Aqua restaurant - panoramio
Source: Photo by user David Broad used under CC BY 3.0

Whether you are here for a solo journey, family vacation, or a romantic getaway, Cape Charles has something for everyone. There are even pet-friendly vacation rentals all around the eastern shore of Virginia. So, what are you waiting for? Use this list as your itinerary and visit all your favorites. Your fun vacation awaits you.

Disclosure: Trip101 selects the listings in our articles independently. Some of the listings in this article contain affiliate links.

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Born in Mumbai and brought up in Bangalore, India, Aarti is a full-time freelance writer by profession. She is a lover of everything the ‘blue dot’ offers—world cultures, off-the-beaten tracks,...Read more

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