A Day Trip to Cape Charles, Virginia (With Things To Do)

Cape Charles is a charming small town in Virginia you’ll love visiting. The town is located on the Eastern Shore of Virginia along the Chesapeake …

Cape Charles is a charming small town in Virginia you’ll love visiting. The town is located on the Eastern Shore of Virginia along the Chesapeake Bay. It was founded in 1884, and its current population comes in at around 1,000 people.

This quaint bay town is filled with history, eclectic shops, vacation rentals, and tourists zipping around on carts. Below are a few things you can do and see while visiting Cape Charles, Virginia.

Vacation Rentals & Hotels

Beautifully renovated, beach-themed vacation rentals are popping up all over the Eastern Shore of Virginia, including Cape Charles.

If you’re looking for hotel options right by the beach, your options are the Hotel Cape Charles and The Northampton Hotel. If you don’t have your heart set on staying right at the beach, there are other hotels, motels, and camping options along US-13.

Cape Charles Beach

Grab a golf cart from CC Ryder Rentals or Cape Charles Cabs, Carts, and Carriages, and head down to the beautiful unspoiled and uncrowded beach!

Cape Charles Beach, which is on the Chesapeake Bay, is about half a mile long. A paved boardwalk parallels the beach for joggers, bikers, runners, and others to enjoy.

You’ll also find a fishing pier, which includes a walkover, known to the town as the “Fun Pier.”

Cape Charles Historic District

The Cape Charles Historic District offers shopping, dining, and entertainment options. Grab a made-from-scratch breakfast pastry from The Bakery on Mason or a cup of joe and breakfast sandwich from the Cape Charles Coffeehouse.

Need a little retail therapy? Check out the many unique beach shops for souvenirs and gifts you won’t find anyplace else! Then catch a movie, sometimes free, at the Historic Palace Theatre.

Take some time and wander around downtown– you never know what hidden gems you’ll stumble upon!

Cape Charles Distillery

Cape Charles Distillery

Located in the Historic District, the Cape Charles Distillery is an intimate tasting room with an outdoor seating area.

“Stopped in here a Saturday afternoon while exploring Cape Charles. Both the inside rooms and the outdoor patio were beautiful; a great environment for trying their products.

Our server was friendly and had an extensive knowledge of the products this distillery made. I enjoyed trying a flight of four of their products for $12; the cocktails are fantastic as well.

I saw others were ordering raw oysters and Charcuterie boards as well. I recommend the solera whiskey Can’t go wrong!” – TripAdvisor Review

Cape Charles Brewing Co.

Cape Charles Brewing Co. is a family-owned and operated production brewery and brewpub. The pub has a plethora of outdoor seating and outdoor entertainment. Get out for a night of fun and live music– and don’t forget to try a flight!

“My friends and I picked this place out of the breweries we were near during our road trip and were soooooooooo pleased with what we chose!

As soon as you walk in, you are welcomed by the friendliest people who work there. The food was excellent. Between the three of us we had the crab cake sandwich, rockfish sandwich and blackened salmon sandwich…all were delicious!!!

The beer was also so yummy. Our waitress Deborah was fantastic! She was so welcoming and really just added to our overall experience there. If you are road tripping or in the area, definitely visit this place!” – TripAdvisor Review

Cape Charles Lighthouse

Cape Charles Virginia

Once a Cape Charles icon, sadly, the Cape Charles Lighthouse is in bad shape and is no longer maintained by the U.S. Coast Guard.

In 1963, the lighthouse Fresnel lens was removed and donated to the Mariner’s Museum in Newport News. Once removed, the lighthouse ran on an automated system by the coast guard from Portsmouth, Virginia.

In 2019, the U.S. Coast Guard abandoned the lighthouse, no longer aiding in ship navigation. Visiting the lighthouse on Smith Island is no longer recommended and can only be reached by boat.

A Day Trip to Cape Charles, Virginia (With Things To Do)
Alexandrea Sumuel

Alexandrea Sumuel is the founder of Wander With Alex, where she provides vacationers and travel enthusiasts with trip ideas, travel guides, news, and itineraries. She travels to experience, eat, and explore-- and, on occasion, escape! Alex’s mission is to help people travel better.