Tangier Island

For this Memorial Day, Pentecost, and anniversary weekend, Melissa and I made our way out to the Northern Neck of Virginia. We left early Saturday morning, and arrived at the small fishing town of Reedville around 9:30 a.m. From there, we boarded the Tangier Island ferry for an hour-and-a-half trip to the island.

Tangier, VA is a tiny town located on an island in the middle of the Chesapeake Bay. It is sustained entirely by the fishing industry (specifically soft-shell crab) and tourism. It is a really fascinating place. For most of its history it was somewhat isolated from the rest of the United States, so many residents have their own English dialect that isn’t found anywhere else—it kind of sounds like old British English mixed with southern American English. There are very few cars on the island, and people get around primarily by walking, bicycling, riding scooters, and (most predominantly) with golf carts. The streets are tiny, and many of the houses have miniature driveways to accommodate the carts.

We had a nice lunch as soon as we arrived—I had a crab cake and soft-shell crab combo, both locally sourced—and then we rented a golf cart and cruised around the island. We were only afforded two hours on the island before we had to return to the ferry, which I had thought might be too short . . . but it turns out that even after killing a half hour for lunch, we still ended up running out of places to explore. It’s really that tiny a place. It definitely has a lot of character though.

Then we returned to Reedville on the ferry, another hour-and-a-half ride, which put us back on the Northern Neck in time for an early dinner. We drove from the marina into the actual town of Reedville and stopped by the well-regarded Crazy Crab restaurant for another great meal of local seafood—this time, I had the Northern Neck rockfish. It was delicious.

We’re actually staying in the town of Kilmarnock, Virginia, which is the nearest town to Reedville that is big enough to have a WalMart and a Catholic Church. The Tangier trip was the only thing I really had planned out, so after Mass today we will play it by ear and find other places to go today and tomorrow. But so far, the weekend is going great.

Here are some photos from Tangier and the ferry rides:

Scott Bradford is a writer and technologist who has been putting his opinions online since 1995. He believes in three inviolable human rights: life, liberty, and property. He is a Catholic Christian who worships the trinitarian God described in the Nicene Creed. Scott is a husband, nerd, pet lover, and AMC/Jeep enthusiast with a B.S. degree in public administration from George Mason University.