(February 24, 2008)
in the middle of Chesapeake Bay (here
to be more precise) there is a very small island
about 1 mile wide and 3 miles long called Tangier Island.
colonial times it was a native American fishing ground.
The first European explorer was apparently John Smith
in 1608, who stopped there during his tour of the Chesapeake
Bay. The British staged an attack on Baltimore from
its shores in the War of 1812.
recent hurricanes, Isabel (2003) and Ernesto (2006)
flooded much of the island. A few houses have been abandoned
while others are being elevated on new foundations.
most common way of making a living on Tangier is by
crabbing and oystering. There are now a few vacation
homes on the island but most homes are owned by natives,
whose family ties to the island go back generations.
population of Tangier was 79 according to the 1800 census
but by 1900 there were 1064 inhabitants. Now there are
probably only 600 people living on the island.
Access limited during low season due to the lack of
can't be legally sold on the island.
short day trips are provided by commercial services
(only for lunch and a walk).
there offers more flexibility but airport closed at
night (no runway lights)
enjoy more of the island you have to stay on the island
in the middle of Chesapeake Bay you cannot see mainland
from the island.
sometime fly with my wife from Princeton, NJ (39N) to
Tangier Island (TGI) for the day. We leave before the
sun rise if we can to enjoy the beautiful morning light
show and get to the island early.
As a pilot I love the destination, it feels like flying
to a Carribean destination (though forget about the
blue clear water which is not Chesapeake Bay main characteristic)!
Before or after the tourist season it is a very quite
place to land at. We are often the only plane showing
Once the plane secured on the small ramp we take a walk
to "downtown" Tangier and try to find a place
for a breakfast. Everything is very quite on the island
and life is definitively slower than in New York! A
day trip there makes me feel I took a few days off.
There are many trails to follow across wetlands to reach
isolated beaches where you may be by yourself.
only scheduled commercial service is by boat. There
are a few tourist ferries that go to Tangier Island
daily, from mid-April through mid-October:
Breeze - out of Reedville, VA.
Cruises - out of Crisfield, MD.
Eulice - out of Onancock, VA.
can use their own boat docking at Parks Marina. Parks
Marina is located on the western side of the Tangier
channel. Tangier Oil sells gasoline and diesel fuel
and is located in the Basin next to the tour boat docks
is the only other option but there is no commercial
service. Private planes can use the Tangier
Island airport small runway. Read
To Travel Around
Touring the island can be done walking, biking, or driving
golf carts as there are no vehicles. The best option
is walking as some area of the island would not be accessible
are a few restaurants on the island that you will find
wandering around. One of the obvious local delight is
crab! I am a big fan of their crab cakes. Among the
island restaurants are:
Crockett's Chesapeake House
Seafood & Sandwich Shop
are few options on the island and you should check ahead
of time. Some of the accomodations include:
Crockett's Chesapeake House Bed and Breakfast
View Inn Bed and Breakfast
Inn Bed and Breakfast