I had heard about Tangier Island for years and logged it mentally in my bucket list. Last summer, I felt the magnetic pull of the Chesapeake compelling me to navigate my way to Tangier. Why did I ever wait so long was the question I asked when the 90-minute ferry ride revealed this gem sparkling in the bay. Quaint. Charming. Picturesque. Idyllic. These were the adjectives my fellow ferry riders whispered as we goggled at the crab shacks, buoys, and fishing boats lazily lapping gentle waves in the Saturday morning sun. Another world, indeed.
Virginia watermen and families proudly call this small island home and Tangier is truly a step back in time. Golf carts and bicycles are the preferred mode of transportation. Walking, for us, proved the most pleasurable and best way to take in the beauty of the marsh, bird watch, and admire flowerbeds along white picket fences. Cars are largely superfluous in this tiny town that can be golf-carted end-to end in under 20 minutes. We counted six, including the firetruck, resident electrician, and law enforcement. A speed sign posting 15 mph made me laugh. Who misses 495?
Three restaurants serve seafood lovers, ferry riders, and guests. We stayed overnight in a charming B&B nestled next to the marsh and close to the airstrip that accommodates day trippers of a different ilk. While enjoying the best crab soup of my life, two pilots came in with a cooler and their customer ordering what I considered supreme take-out. Must be nice. Perhaps in my next life I’ll jet over to Paris when I need a bit of Brie de Meaux. In the meantime, I’ll enjoy my memories of Tangier and plan my next visit.