Visiting Virginia’s Eastern Shore

Last week, Niki and I “cashed in” our winning bid from an auction supporting the Theatre Lab for the Dramatic Arts in Washington, DC.  For whatever reason, we were under the impression that we had bid on a little cabin in the woods, as part of an oyster farm, about an hour south of Chincoteague National Park on Virginia’s Eastern Shore. When we pulled up to the “cabin,” located a mile or more on a dirt/grass path, we both gasped when we saw that the little cabin was indeed a large, contemporary home, situated between a freshly plowed field and an oyster farm in the nearby marsh. 

The house was large and beautiful, and full of the owner’s own art and the outfit of an oyster farmer, such as rubber bib pants and boots, oyster traps, and other tools of the craft.  And much to my pleasure, the large and fully stocked kitchen included a Viking gas range. Wisely, we brought most of our food from home, as the farm was pretty much in the middle of nowhere!  So I got to use a Viking, a top-of-the-line piece of kitchen gear.  The house was beautifully landscaped, as well, with many colorful flowers and bushes.

The first couple of days there were cold and raining. We comfortably stayed in the house and relaxed, while the last two days were dry and mild. Given the break in the weather, we began exploring the area.  On the top of our agenda was to find a restaurant that had crab cakes on their menu.  That mission was easily accomplished at a pub overlooking a tributary of the Chesapeake Bay. 

Next on our gastronomic list of desires was ice cream.  More than one person told us to visit a specific place (Island Creamery) in the town of Chincoteague, which is purported to be one of the best ice cream parlors in the country. While that might be a wee bit of exaggeration, it was awfully good. My double chocolate was almost like eating fudge!

Working our way home, we made brief stops at the National Park in Chincoteague and Wallops Island, the sight of many rocket launches that are open to the public.  Another crab cake dinner on Kent Island concluded our mini-vacation.

The following photos give you a flavor of our trip and of what an oyster farm actually looks like.

Text and photos by Gary J. Kohn. For more of Gary’s photos, go to his website.