In calm conditions, paddling around the island is quite practical. In westerly conditions, these breakers at the western channel entrance can make for fun play.
The island town of the Bay, if you listen to the guide books. There has been so much written no benefit would come from more description here, except to say that it is unique, that it deserves a visit, and that those not involved in the tour boat trade are, perhaps, a bit tired of being “cute.”
The Upards. This is NOT the the swimming beach!
There is a very nice swimming beach—we think the nicest on the Bay—at the far end of island (Toms Hook), accessible by a ¾ mile walk from the dock. The flies can be a problem if you linger, so we generally keep our time flexible and scram when they show up. The Tangier Museum—also on the main street, as most businesses are—is a worthwhile stop if history is of interest. Spankey’s Ice Cream (also serves sandwiches, about 3/8 mile on the main street on the right, open 10-8:30 PM) and the Fisherman’s Corner Restaurant (open 11AM-8 PM, 200 yards on the main street) are our favorite stops. An excellent overnight stop.
Approach. From either the east or west the approach is straight forward for the shoal draft boat. Enter by one and exit by the other, for the full view.
Anchorage. Possible east of the docks in the harbor, but I have never seen anyone do it. Too busy, really.
- Parks Marina. Both slips and 3 bulkhead locations with daft over 6 feet. Showers, power, water. $25.00/night under 30 feet, $30.00/night over 30 feet, and $5.00 for power. 757-891-2581. Milton Parks.
Groceries and Ice.
- At the grocery store, a few hundred yards from the dock on the main road (path?) to town. The hours are 8AM to 5PM, and closed on Sunday.
- Cheaper ice (flake ice, $1 per bucket) at CJ Charnocks, next to the marina. Watermans’ hours, though extremely variable.
Fuel and Gas.
Just east of Parks Marina at Tangier Oil and Gas (the many above 20,000 gallon ground tanks make it obvious) . E10 and diesel. Open 7:30 AM to 4:30 PM.
Bike rentals are available (from the backyard of a house just past Crocket’s restaurant in mid-town).
Golf cart are available:
- Roger’s Rentals. Ask at the ferry dock lunch stand (Seafood Grill). Cheaper but a bit dilapidated.
- Four Brothers Crab House & Ice Cream Deck, Tele: 757-891-2999 Email: Tommy@FourBrothersCrabHouse.com). On the main street just south of the general store.
Kayaks: Everywhere is good. A small creek just west of the marina on the southern bank is short but nice. The harbor is nice. The north island has many nice guts and paddling around the outside is fun and very scenic.
- The Tangier Museum has a large collection of loaners for which they suggest a donation. A great way to expereince paddling.
Wi-Fi. I wouldn’t normally mention this, but cell phones don’t generally work on Tangier Island.
- The Heath Center has free wi-fi with a good signal outside 24/7.
While not a wetland or quite creek, exploring the harbor area close-up is a treat. A morning tour of the sprawling harbor full of waterman's shacks can be relaxing and educational.