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The Five-Point Weekend Escape Plan

Slurp Oysters on Virginia’s Eastern Shore


5. Oddball Day

The dramatic Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel extends 23 miles over and under the water.  

Shift your focus away from oysters to enjoy some of the Eastern Shore’s other pleasures. Start the day at the Cape Charles Coffee House, where homemade blueberry muffins ($2.25) are served straight from the oven along with bottomless cups of strong coffee ($1.50). Leave the Eastern Shore briefly to drive over the 23-mile Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel, an engineering marvel when it opened in 1964 and still striking today. Cruising along, the bridge appears to suddenly end—as if it’s yet to be completed—making for an exhilarating ride across bridges and down through tunnels beneath the water. Loop back toward the Eastern Shore and stop to savor the 360-degree views of the Chesapeake Bay from the edge of a wooden fishing pier at Virginia Originals (you can find a wide selection of local wines inside). Next, follow the locals into Sting-Ray’s, a roadside greasy spoon serving up local seafood such as crab cakes ($22) and fried catfish ($15). Then, catch some air at the Eastern Shore Hang Gliding Center (from $149 for twenty minutes; by appointment, weather permitting), where a specially designed aircraft will lift you and an instructor to either 2,500 or 4,000 feet over the rural landscape. Back on the ground, have a hearty dinner at Bill’s Prime Seafood & Steaks. There are more oysters to be had—Chincoteague salts ($8.50 for a half-dozen)—or you could skip seafood altogether and opt for herb-roasted prime rib ($25). Finish the night with a craft beer ($5) in Cape Charles at Kelly’s Gingernut Pub, a local favorite located in a historic building that was formerly a bank. Ask for a table inside the original vault complete with a heavy steel door.

Published on Jan 11, 2013 as a web exclusive.

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