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Snorkeling and Other Adventures on the Eastern Shore of Virginia

Updated on January 14, 2013

Northampton County Beaches

These sand dunes are located at the southern tip of the Eastern Shore of Virginia in beautiful Cape Charles. Cape Charles offers small town hospitality, a quiet beach, friendly taverns, fine dining and a golf course.
These sand dunes are located at the southern tip of the Eastern Shore of Virginia in beautiful Cape Charles. Cape Charles offers small town hospitality, a quiet beach, friendly taverns, fine dining and a golf course. | Source

Fun in the Sun

There are many opportunities for snorkeling on the Eastern Shore of Virginia. The best spots I have found are Sunset Beach and off the coast of Kiptopeake State Park, just north of the Chesapeake Bay Bridge and Tunnel. You can take your time searching for relics just below the water’s surface or take a snorkel-swim into the warmer waters to view a rainbow array of tropical scales and fins. Here, you can go at your own pace since snorkeling is a do-it-yourself activity on the Eastern Shore. The possibilities for snorkeling are endless and you are your own guide in your own adventure. However, you must bring your own equipment.

In mid-summer, you can usually find massive amounts of sand dollars simply by wading in the water at Sunset Beach and the surrounding area. The sandy bottom is peppered with these beautiful specimens. Each step you take finds another. Having lived in this area, Northampton County, for many years, this was a favorite activity for my children as well as some of my best of friends who came to visit throughout the year. Since the water is usually quite calm here, it is quite relaxing to just lie on your back and float around in the warm, healing salt water. A friend of mine who had leukemia, found that relaxing in the quiet, serene waters here took her pain away. The Chesapeake Bay can be very therapeutic.

The Eastern Shore is nothing but coastline. There are as many opportunities for snorkeling as there are fishing holes and seafood restaurants. Late Spring through Early Fall are the best times for snorkeling and other water activities in the area.

One of my favorite, more secluded water holes on the Eastern Shore is called Guardshore. It’s a bit off the beaten path; but the southern end offers beautiful, white sand beach. This is a perfect location for family fun. While the beach lovers in the family can enjoy building sand castles, swimming, snorkeling and sunbathing on the southern end, other members of the family have the opportunity to enjoy some good fishing on the northern end. Here, everyone can win.

Being as Guardshore, like many Eastern Shore hidden secrets, cannot be found on a map, I will do the best I can in assisting you with some driving directions. If you’re coming from the south, you will need to travel all the way through Northampton County into Accomack County. Follow U.S. Route 13 until you meet the Nelsonia Road intersection. Take a left onto Nelsonia Road. Follow Nelsonia Road to the railroad tracks and take a right onto Route 316. Take your next left. At the end of this road, you will come to a yield sign. You will take a left here and then an almost immediate right onto Guardshore Road. Follow Guardshore Road to the Chesapeake Bay and begin your adventure.

If you’re coming from the north, Guardshore is not too far, about 20 minutes, from the Maryland and Virginia line. Follow U.S. 13 into Virginia and until you meet the Nelsonia Road intersection. Take a right onto Nelsonia Road. Follow Nelsonia Road to the railroad tracks, taking a right onto Route 316. Take your next left. Follow this road to the yield sign. Make a left and then an almost immediate right onto Guardshore Road. Follow Guardshore Road to the end to find this hidden treasure of the Eastern Shore of Virginia. Beware the biting flies! It would be quite wise to pack some insect repellant or Skin-So-Soft for this trip.

Don’t be afraid to explore our narrow, winding roads, you never what you will find here. There are fishing holes at nearly every turn and friendly natives to help direct you along the way. Come discover a whole new world on the Eastern Shore of Virginia.

A Land of Unlimited Surprises

This turtle was found along the road to Guardshore Beach, located just behind the small town of Bloxom in Accomack County, Virginia.
This turtle was found along the road to Guardshore Beach, located just behind the small town of Bloxom in Accomack County, Virginia. | Source

Guardshore Beach

Guardshore Beach can be found along the Eastern Shore of Virginia's long, winding back roads just behind the tiny town of Bloxom, Accomack County, Virginia.
Guardshore Beach can be found along the Eastern Shore of Virginia's long, winding back roads just behind the tiny town of Bloxom, Accomack County, Virginia. | Source

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    • John Dove profile image

      John Dove 

      12 months ago

      All the best to you, Windy--

      I remember visiting my aunt and uncle's farm on Virginia's Eastern Shore as a kid. Swimming nearby in Chesapeake Bay, Indian-sounding names like Nassawadox, Wachapreague, Machipongo -- all this brings back fond memories.

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