Cape Charles beach

Beach goers enjoy a summer day on the public beach in Cape Charles.​
Photo Credit:  

Cape Charles

The Cape Charles Town Beach is located along Bay Avenue with beach access at the end of every block. The Cape Charles Town Beach is the only public beach on the Eastern Shore of Virginia that does not require an entrance or parking fee. Residents and visitors of the Town use the beach for swimming, sunbathing, and similar recreational pursuits.

Located at the ends of Tazewell and Randolph Avenues are two wooden beach access points with view platforms and benches for people to enjoy views of the Chesapeake Bay and our spectacular sunsets. A large pavilion and park benches are located on the sidewalk that runs parallel to the beach. Public restroom facilities are provided at the southern end of the beach by the entrance to the fishing pier.


Welcome to Cape Charles Public Beach

Beach Access

The beach can be accessed by paths or the wooden access points. 

Cape Charles beach is beautiful year round! 

Cape Charles beach in winter
Photo credit: William Dyas

Savage Neck Dunes Natural Area Preserve

Savage Neck Dunes
Savage Neck Dunes beach Photo credit: William Dyas

ATTENTION: Savage Neck Dunes Natural Area Preserve will be closed for hunting on the following dates in 2020:

November 2nd – 6th

November 9th – 13th

The preserve will be open on the weekends during that period.

"The preserve is open daily to the public, but has no restroom facilities, trash receptacles, access to drinking water or on-site staff. Be aware that the Savage Neck Dunes parking lot is small, with space for only eight (8) vehicles. 

Savage Neck Dunes Parking lot signIf you arrive and the lot is full, please return later. Do not park illegally on adjacent private property, along the access road, within a public road right-of-way or in any other non-designated location.

There are three (3) marked hiking trails with interpretive signage. Please practice "leave no trace" by packing out all trash. Take only photographs and leave only footprints.

Part or all of the preserve may be periodically closed for resource protection or resource management activities. Please call before visiting, especially during deer season when managed hunts may be underway."
For more information visit the DCR website (below) or Find Your Chesapeake.


Photo credit: Jean E. Flynn
Visitors can see some of the highest and best developed
sand dunes in Virginia. 

Custis Pond signage Custis Pond
"Look for post oaks, water oaks, sassafras, blueberries and pink lady’s-slipper orchids. Listen for spring peepers, green tree frogs and cricket frogs. Notice painted turtles sunning on logs and dragonflies feeding around the ponds. Follow the 0.75-mile Beach Trail
through the forest and dunes to the Chesapeake Bay. "
-From the Natural Area Preserve Visitation Guide 


Kiptopeke State Park 

Kiptopeke State Park beach
The bluffs of Kiptopeke State Park. Photo credit: William Dyas

Technically, not free but we didn't want to leave out this lovely beach. However, on designated days or through special programs, the fee into the park is waived. 
One such program is through the Eastern Shore Public LibraryNature Backpack Get free admission to Kiptopeke and other Virginia State Parks when you check out the library's Nature Backpacks. All you need is your library card (which is free!!).   Photo courtesy of ESPL

"On Virginia's beautiful Eastern Shore, explored by Capt. John Smith in 1608, Kiptopeke offers recreational access to the Chesapeake Bay. It's also a great place to explore unique migratory bird habitat along the Atlantic flyway. The park has two and three-bedroom cabins, six-bedroom lodges, RV and tent camping, a yurt (part cabin-part tent), and a bunkhouse. Guests also enjoy the park's boat ramp, lighted fishing pier, picnic areas, 5.1 miles of hiking and biking trails, playground, beach bathhouse and swimming beach. Seasonal interpretive and educational programs focus on natural history, birding and bay ecology."

For more information about Kiptopeke State Park please visit their website. 

Photo credit: William Dyas