Smith Island, Maryland, and Tangier Island, Virginia, can be reached only by boat. They’re about 10 miles from the mainland. Those islands have sustained generations of families starting in Colonial days, and they’ve developed a unique way of living.
Islanders on both make their living by crabbing and oystering from the Chesapeake Bay, but they supplement their livelihood with limited tourism.
The islands are being consumed by the rising Chesapeake Bay which is washing away that lifestyle, albeit slowly. Visit sooner rather than later.
Passenger ferries (no cars allowed) for both islands leave Crisfield, Maryland, at the same time, 12:30pm.
So, how to you chose?
About one hour ferry-ride
9.6 miles from Crisfield
About one-and-a-half hour ferry-ride
13.3 miles from Crisfield
Approx. 2.5 hours to explore
Approx. 2 hours to explore
You can arrange longer day-trips through shuttle/cargo boats that load on Crisfield City dock. They also leave at 12:30pm.
Three villages, only two are on the same island, Ewell & Rhodes Point. Tylerton requires a different boat from Crisfield or a second ferry crossing.
One village, Tangier
Restaurants & some shops located in Ewell, unless you’re able to get to Tylerton
Restaurants & some shops located in Tangier
unless you stay longer and kayak to a not-walkable location
Beautiful, white-sand beach…
but not much time for laying on the beach if seeing other island sites on a day trip
Smith Island cakes made on the island
Seven-layer cakes made on the island, which are similar to Smith Island cakes
Main village, Ewell, is smaller and easier to walk about
Tangier is bigger and there’s more area to explore around the village
Smith Island Cultural Center
Tangier History Museum
Ferries from Crisfield, MD, & Point Lookout, MD
Wednesday through Sunday, June-October
Approx. $30 for adults, with a couple bucks more for bicycles