Crabbing is the primary occupation in this 525-resident fishing village filled with some of the most beautiful scenery on the Chesapeake Bay!
While the island is open year-round, it's probably best to visit between mid-April and mid-October. I plan to visit this summer and I'm so looking forward to it!
Here's an interesting article I found online.
The island is accessible by small plane or boat. Here's a video clip of the final approach in a Cessna 172:
When I visit, I plan on taking a boat. If you go, from Colonial Beach, you'll want to head down Route 205 and take a left there at the stoplight by the Shell station. This puts you on Route 3 east. Follow that down to Reedville, VA and catch the "Chesapeake Breeze" boat - call 804-453-BOAT(2628). The boat departs at 10:00am and you get a 1 1/2-hour narrated cruise over to Tangier Island.
Once on the island, you can rent a bike or golf cart and visit places like the Tangier History Museum and Cultural Interpretive Center, grab a bite to eat, go on The Waterman's tour, and/or walk the 1.5 mile pristine beach where you can search for arrowheads, antique bottles and sea glass!
You'll probably get to meet some of the local watermen and they have amazing stories to tell about their way of life:
You may notice an interesting language when hearing the locals speak. This is "Tangier Talk" - a unique dialect derived from their Cornish ancestry, known for wonderful phrases and a way of "talking backward" or "over the shoulder."
The boat back to Reedville returns at around 4pm, but if you feel you'd like to spend more time in Tangier Island, you can stay at one of the Bed & Breakfast Inns like The Chesapeake House (phone 757-891-2331). It's located on Main Street near the dock and serves big family style dinners.
There's also the Sunset Inn with rooms and cottages on waterfront property and a great view of the Bay. Their phone number is 757-891-2535. There are nine (9) cottages plus a Family Cottage and a Cottage Apartment available to guests on a first come, first served basis. The Family Cottage is a separate unit and has its own deck. Each cottage has large rooms, private bath, refrigerator, cable television, heat & air, and deck. Shirley's Bay View Inn is another lodging option. It's one of the island's oldest homes. For information, call 757-891-2396.
Sunset tours are also available on Tangier Island. Tour the island and the Chesapeake Bay and see a variety of wildlife like blue crabs, pelicans, ospreys, herons, stingrays and more! Just remember to bring a lightweight jacket and a camera with you.