About the Eastern Shore

If you are looking to escape the hustle and bustle of the city with its endless traffic snarls, then the Eastern Shore of Virginia may an ideal location for you. Tucked between the Chesapeake Bay and the Atlantic Ocean, the Eastern Shore is known for its relaxed style of living, wild ponies, fishing, wildlife refuges, and old-world accents. Distinguished by tiny towns, winding waterways, farms and forests, the 70-mile stretch of land brims with history and natural charm.

The colonial heritage is an important feature of this area, and historic buildings from as far back as 1644 still stand in Cape Charles and Onancock. Like the rest of the coastal plain, the Eastern Shore has an extremely flat topography and predominantly sand-clay soils. The low coastline is carved into innumerable small bays, inlets and tidal creeks. The long swampy coastline coupled with the long growing season and mild ocean climate make agriculture and fishing the major commercial activities. The Shore also draws a certain amount of tourist and resort activity.

Things to do
There is something for everyone on Virginia’s Eastern Shore.

  • One of the best-loved events is the annual Assateague Island Pony Swim and auction held the last week of July on the little island of Chincoteague.
  • Sports enthusiasts and beachcombers find much to do on the Eastern Shore’s waters. There is swimming, biking, boating, canoeing, kayaking, jet skiing, fishing, and crabbing.
  • Nature lovers enjoy ambling through the Eastern Shore of Virginia National Wildlife Refuge, Wreck & Bone Island Natural Area Preserve, and Kiptopeke State Park for bird watching and nature tours.
  • The Eastern Shore Railway Museum on Cape Charles attracts railroad buffs anxious to compare their own antique train collections.
  • NASA Visitor Center at Wallops Flight Facility is a great place to learn about rocket launches and astrology.
  • Roadside stands and tiny shops make shopping a leisurely experience.
  • Tangier Island, a small island off the western shore, offers an interesting peek into the past. Accessible by only by boat and isolated from the mainland for generations, the islanders have a unique dialect. Some believe their language resembles the dialect of the original colonists who landed in 1608.

Climate
The Eastern Shore of Virginia has a humid, temperate climate.

  • Average winter temperature: 40 degrees
  • Average summer temperature: 77 degrees
  • Annual average rainfall: 42 inches
  • Annual average snowfall: 6.0 inches

At a glance

  • Average drive time to work: 15-30 minutes
  • Population (2010): 8,001,024
  • Median age (2010): 46.5 years
  • Median family income (2010): $47,767
  • Housing units (2010): 3,364,93
  • Primary industries: Agriculture, seafood, railroad, space travel

Getting here
The Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel and the US Highway 13 connect the Eastern Shore of Virginia to the major metro areas of the East Coast. Several airlines provide service from Norfolk International Airport across the Chesapeake Bay.

Distance (from the town of Accomac)

  • 77 miles north of Norfolk
  • 163 miles east of Richmond
  • 189 miles southeast of Washington, D.C.
  • 339 miles south of Philadelphia

Education
Teacher-student ratio:
Elementary 10:1
Secondary 11:1

Schools

  • 7 elementary schools
  • 2 combined schools
  • 3 middle schools
  • 3 high schools
  • 1 community college
  • 6 workforce and technical centers

Resources
Eastern Shore of Virginia Guide, http://www.esva.com/calendar.htm
Eastern Shore of Virginia Tourism, http://www.esvatourism.org/es_home/home.asp
Chamber of Commerce, http://www.esvachamber.org/home/home.asp
Chesapeake Properties, http://www.chesapeakeproperties.com/html/esva.htm


 

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