What to pack for your trip to Cape Charles
What should you pack for a trip to Cape Charles? This isn’t your typical beach town, and your packing list should reflect that. Sure, you’ll need all your standard beach-going gear — swimsuits, flip-flops, beach towels, etc. — but there are a few more items you should pack that will help you make the most of your trip.
Before we get into our list, a quick note: Cape Charles is located in a fairly remote area on the tip of the Eastern Shore, but it’s not completely isolated. There’s a Food Lion and a Dollar Tree in town, plus a Walmart not too far up the road in Onley. And of course, it’s just a quick trip across the Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel to reach Hampton Roads, one of the biggest metro areas in the Southeast. In other words, if you forget something, it’s not a big deal.
Now that we’ve got that covered, let’s talk about a few not-so-basic items you should consider packing for your trip to Cape Charles.
- Pool floats. With its location on the Chesapeake Bay, Cape Charles’ waters are calm and shallow — no monster waves here. That makes it the perfect place to kick back on a pool float to enjoy the gentle waves. It’s also perfect for kayaking and paddleboarding; bring your own or rent them once you arrive in town.
- Walking/hiking shoes. If you’re visiting Cape Charles in the warmer months, you may think sandals are the only footwear you’ll need. And that’s fine if you’re planning to spend your entire visit on the beach. However, you should know that Cape Charles and its surrounds offer some excellent hiking trails. It’s also fun to simply take a long stroll around town.
- Binoculars. Cape Charles and Virginia’s Eastern Shore are major destinations for serious birdwatchers [link to birdwatching blog post]. But you don’t have to be an expert to engage in some ornithology. Check out Birding Eastern Shore’s website to learn a bit about local species, then see what you can find at the beach or on local hiking trails.
- Oyster knives, crab crackers, etc. If you’re planning to prepare some local seafood in your rental home (and you absolutely should!), make sure you have the proper supplies. While some properties may stock oyster knives, crab pots, and other necessities, you can’t always be sure they’ll be available to you. Whether you’re looking to shuck some local oysters or hold a crab boil in the backyard, it’s a good idea to pack what you’ll need just in case.
- Telescope. If you have a telescope gathering dust in your attic, now’s the perfect time to brush it off and bring it with you. Cape Charles’ remote location makes it ideal for stargazing. Even if you don’t have a telescope, be sure to go outside and stare up at the stars at least once during your stay.