Tangier Island, Virginia is located in a part of the Chesapeake Bay called the Lower Eastern Shore [identified by the red mark on the map to the lower right]. It is made up of many small islands divided by marshes and small tidal streams. The islands are connected by wooden bridges. The main island has three ridges, called Main Ridge, Canton, and West Ridge by the inhabitants. North of Tangier Island is an island which was abandoned after the stream between the two islands (Oyster creek) became too wide to build a simple bridge over. This northernmost area is called Uppards, and originally had a neighborhood called Canaan. The only structures left on Uppards are duck hunting lodges from 1928 or earlier. A few of the homes on Main Ridge were moved from Uppards before flooding became a major problem.


Because of its distance from the mainland, Tangier Island is very isolated, its nearest neighbors being other islands such as Smith Island. The only methods of transportation off the island are boats, small private planes and helicopters. There is a small airport with just a runway, open from dawn to dusk (no runway lights). There are several boats that travel regularly from Crisfield, Maryland as well as Virginia across Tangier Sound to Tangier Island. Passengers, the mail & freight are carried on these boats.


With these means of transportation, residents have regular ways of staying in touch with the mainland, and the addition of cable television in 2010 keeps them in touch with the rest of the world. There is still a calm, peaceful atmosphere on the island, with four or five small gift shops, a few restaurants, a hardware store, and a food store as the only retail establishments. Alcohol is not sold on the island.  If you bring your own alcohol, be discreet and do not drink in public or you will face consequences.  There are no arcades, no drug stores, no department stores, no traffic lights, and violent crime is essentially non-existent. There are several Bed & Breakfasts for overnight guests & houses for rent, and a natural beach without lifeguards, boardwalk or concessions. Cell phone service is limited (your voice service may vanish about midway in your crossing then your text messaging may vanish).  Visitors will need to bring cash since there are no ATMs on the island. Many of the gift shops, eating establishments, and overnight accommodations now to accept credit and debit cards, but not all. Attractions include the Tangier History Museum & Interpretive Cultural Center (a must see), gift shops (check several out before buying if you have the time), restaurants, a private beach and lots more. Tangier Island is known for its seafood dishes, especially its soft shell crab sandwiches as well as its unique corn pudding (I have made corn pudding a number of times but it never was as good as what I found at Hilda Crockett’s Chesapeake House on Tangier Island). 


In 2010 Tangier Island got internet access and cable TV through a new microwave link.  Before 1966 when Western Electric hooked up a wired telephone system they could only make and receive calls by 3 radio telephones on the island.  Until Christmas 1947 residents only had intermittent direct current electrical power from local generators when the Rural Electrification Administration (REA) created the Chesapeake Islands Electric Cooperative with Smith Island and Tangier Island providing modern alternating current.  It wasn’t until many years later that they were connected to the power grid and the generators were put into a backup capacity.


One of the more unusual attractions is hearing the unusual and old accent of the watermen. Because of the centuries of isolation, the islanders still speak in a unique island way that is similar to the speech spoken when Tangier Island was settled in 1686. It is still strong enough that some people say they cannot understand everything said.


Enjoy dropping off the face of the earth for a while.  Even if you have some cell phone reception, turn it off and claim you don’t.  It’s not Brigadoon but it’s likely the closest thing you will ever find.


Sadly the island is sinking.  Channel dredging in the Chesapeake Bay could help save the island but it is being used to build up uninhabited islands in Maryland because of state boundaries.  They also need a barrier wall to slow down the erosion.    


If you are a Tangier Island business and wish to be added or to update your information please contact me at patentlaw@acm.org with full details and when I am able to I will, please be patient.

Bed and Breakfast


Bay View Inn    757-891-2396    tangiergetaways@yahoo.com

16408 West Ridge Road


Very nice people – fantastic huge breakfast with made to order omelets & much more, stuff yourself at breakfast then just eat dinner with only a snack in between.  Kayaks available free for guests.


Hilda Crockett’s Chesapeake House    757-891-2331    chesapeakehouseinfo@yahoo.com

    16243 Main Street (PO Box 232)

FYI the Chesapeake House B&B and Restaurant are currently being offered for sale to outsiders for the first time ever.

House Rentals


Mimosa Cottage    804-450-6039    please call


Island Girl Get-a-Way    757-787-2351 or 757-710-7293 (cell)    yryan@verizon.net

    16574 West Ridge Road


Waterman’s Hideaway 757-891-2999    contact Tony at fourbrothers@nnwifi.com

Gift Shops


Crab Shack Gift Shop


Island Treasures


Jim’s Gift Shop


Sandy’s Place – lots of t-shirts, clothing, etc.


There is also a small but very unique gift shop at the Museum. 


This is all I have, sorry I don’t have a complete list, locations or descriptions (shop owners & shoppers please contribute more info & pictures). 


One thing to note if you are a good shopper, the further from the dock you walk you will find some of the exact same items less expensive (location convenience pricing for the day trippers).  They each have their own unique offerings.  If you like the meals at the Chesapeake House they have a cook book they will sell you, just ask as it’s usually not on display $3 there or $4 with free shipping.






Tangier History Museum & Interpretive Cultural Center    757-891-2374   

Hours 11:00am – 4:00pm or there about Tangier time.  Admission only $3 – children under 11, military & Tangier Island residents free.   

16215 Main Ridge Road


Facebook https://www.facebook.com/Tangier-History-Museum-103672463001524/


A must see on your visit.  Watch the video presentation and look at the wonderful exhibits.  Make sure you see the displays about telephones and electrical power.  We went into space before they had telephone service, think about that.







Other Places


Daley & Son Grocery Inc.

The only food store on the island.  Located next to Lorraine’s.  Open 8am to 5pm Monday – Saturday.


David B. Nichols Health Center


Muddy Toes Library

16215 Main Ridge Road (located behind the Tangier History Museum & Interpretive Cultural Center)



                                         4432 Post Office Road, Tangier, VA 23440-3301


On Island Transportation (besides walking).


Four Brothers Crab House & Ice Cream Deck    757-891-2999   Tommy@FourBrothersCrabHouse.com

Golf cart & bike rentals year round.  If you are staying overnight the 24 hr rental is the best deal.



Fisherman's Corner Restaurant    757-891-2900    ookire@hotmail.com

Located at the corner of Main Ridge Road and Long Bridge Road.

Also visit a crab shanty for a unique experience (for crab shanty visit call 757-891-2269 and ask for Ookire {his home number} or call 757-891-2900 and ask)


Hilda Crockett’s Chesapeake House    757-891-2331    chesapeakehouseinfo@yahoo.com

    16243 Main Street (PO Box 232)

Enjoy a “family style” lunch or dinner from 11:30 am to 5:00 pm (last seating) make sure you eat the corn pudding (unique), crab cakes and more. 

FYI the Chesapeake House B&B and Restaurant are currently being offered for sale to outsiders for the first time ever.


Lorraine’s    757-891-2225

Open Year Round.
Simply the best food on the island and at very reasonable prices.  Short walk from the dock. If you can only eat at one place this is it.  They even deliver on the island or to your boat.


Spanky’s Place    757-891-2514

    16200 Main Ridge Road

Step back into the 50’s in an air conditioned Ice Cream Parlor with music from the 50’s, pizza, nachos & sandwiches.


Waterfront Restaurant    757-891-2248



You can of course take your own boat which will give you the most flexibility for arrival and departure times and even your own small plane or helicopter to their airport (sorry no night landings as there are no runway lights, there also is no control tower, no fuel available either – simply a runway).


Most travel links when you search are broken, circular or dead ends.  The following is what I have been able to glean from that quagmire. 


Carter Crabb provides air transportation to Tangier from the Accomack County Airport, Melfa, VA. 

                                         Call ahead for information & reservations.    757-789-3719

                                         This is not a scheduled airline but a small plane private charter.


Steven Thomas from Crisfield, MD runs in the May to October season.

                                         http://www.tangierisland-va.com/steventhomas/     800-863-2338 or 410-968-2338    info@tangierislandcruises.com

                                         While the web site lists meals as being available only snacks and beverages are.


Courtney Thomas from Crisfield, MD brings the USPS Mail, UPS, Fedex packages & freight to the island.  It runs Monday – Saturday year round.  Unlike other boats they do not cancel because of low bookings, etc.  Only bad weather will cancel their run because of their daily government and private contracts.

                                         757-891-2240    tocruise98@aol.com


RL Charters from Kilmarnock, VA (Tangier charters).

                                         http://www.tangierisland-va.com/tangier_charters/     804-435-6907 (home) or 804-436-3395 (cell)    rlcharters@hotmail.com


Sharon Kay III from Crisfield, MD runs year round (subject to cancellation if limited bookings or bad weather).

                                         757-891-2440    shar@tangiercharters.com


Tangier Onancock Ferry (aka Joyce Marie II) from Onancock, VA runs year round (subject to cancellation if limited bookings or bad weather).

                                         http://www.tangierferry.com/    757-891-2505    tangierferry@gmail.com


Chesapeake Breeze from Reedville, VA is seasonal (May 6, 2017 – October 21, 2017).

      https://tangiercruise.com/tangier-cruises/  804-453-2628   

Travel Logs & Video


                Tangier Island Video




US Government Official Information

United States Census Bureau

Community Facts

Household Type

2012 Demographic Survey

2000 Census Demographics

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