Captain John Smith said “Heaven and earth never agreed better to frame a place for man’s habitation” when he first visited the Eastern Shore in 1608. The small region is seventy miles long and 22 miles across at its widest. Virginia Eastern Shore hotels cater to anglers in search of blue ribbon fishing, tourists passing through and armchair historians seeking the past.
The Fisherman’s Lodge
The Fisherman’s Lodge, located in Quinby about 35 miles north of the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel, promises “hospitality at an affordable price.” The budget friendly lodge, built in the 1930s has 10 guest rooms, six with private baths, and a wraparound rocking chair porch. A public boat launch and boat slips are nearby in Quinby Harbor, and the lodge provides on-site boat trailer parking. Quinby is just a few miles south of Wachapreague, a picturesque seaside village with crushed shell roads known for first class flounder fishing.
The Charlotte Hotel & Restaurant
Onancock is a small town on the bay side of the eastern shore founded in 1680. About 1,500 people live there, and shops, galleries and restaurants line the village’s downtown streets. Fishing charters sail from the town wharf. The Charlotte Hotel & Restaurant, built in 1907, has eight rooms furnished with hand made furniture and luxury bedding. Washingtonian Magazine said about the hotel’s restaurant, “Art and function meet perfectly in the hotel’s cozy dining room, where imaginatively prepared local game, fish, and produce are served on tabletops adorned with folk art.”
Chincoteague, home of the eastern shore’s miniature horses made famous by author Marguerite Henry in her book Misty of Chincoteague, is a summertime tourist destination. The town hosts an equal number of chain and privately owned motels and most charge seasonal rates. Many of the restaurants and shops close during the winter but the National Wildlife Refuge is open year round. Refuge Inn, with a hot tub, sauna and fitness center rents beach gear and bikes. The inn offers both standard rooms and one-bedroom suites with full kitchens.
Exmore, founded when the Pennsylvania and Norfolk Railroad built a line straight down the center of the eastern shore in 1884, hosts several chain motels. Route 13, the main north – south route along the eastern shore passes through the town. Best Western, Holiday Inn Express and Hampton Inn & Suites have properties in Exmore and an Americas Best Value Inn is about four miles south in Nassawadox. Best Western, Holiday Inn and Hampton Inn have swimming pools.