Where to go, what to see in Tangier Island, Va.

Posted on 01 September 2010 Written by Stephen Blakely



Parks Marina is close to the western entrance of the main channel. It's the only marina on the island. It has 25 slips (at least 10 feet at mean low water) and showers, but no pumpout. Docking fees are $25 per night for boats to 30 feet and $30 for bigger boats - cash only. Electricity and water are an extra $5 per night. More information is available at www.tangierisland-va.com/marina.


Ferry service is dependent on weather. Boats are canceled in heavy weather until conditions improve, and it's a good idea to call and reconfirm that the boat is running. Schedules and rate information are available at www.tangierhistorymuseum.org. There are five ferries to Tangier Island, three of which are seasonal.

The Courtney Thomas - often referred to as the Mail Boat - operates Monday through Saturday, departing Tangier at 8 a.m. and arriving in Crisfield at 8:45 a.m. She departs Crisfield at 12:30 p.m. and arrives back at Tangier for the night at 1:15 p.m.

In-season, the Stephen Thomas cruise boat makes one roundtrip per day, leaving Crisfield at 12:30 p.m. and departing Tangier at 4 p.m. The crossing takes about 90 minutes.


Tangier Island is one of the best places on Chesapeake Bay for fresh, local seafood - soft-shell crabs in particular. Most of the crab shanties in Tangier's harbor have "shedding pens," where watermen keep the "busters" (hard-shell crabs that are in the process of shedding) until they have completely lost their shells and become the Bay's famous, delectable and valuable soft-shell crabs. Other specialties include crab cakes, clam or oyster fritters, and finfish such as flounder.


There are three B&Bs on Tangier, and all offer golf-cart pickup and delivery from the ferry dock or marina.


This article originally appeared in the September 2010 issue.