Tangier Island Beach

With its white sand and clear, blue-green water, Tangier Island’s beach is easily the Chesapeake Bay’s most beautiful beach. It’s isolated and remains in its natural state with just enough boardwalk to cross the tidal marsh to get there.

And the reason that Tangier Island beach stays that way is because the only way to get to the island is by boat.

The whole of Tangier Island is a series of sandbars with the houses built on the island’s ridges and tidal marshes between the ridges. It’s actually a collection of several small islands and one big one. The public beach is at the south end of the main island at the end of Hog Ridge Road.

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This beach is near what used to be Fort Albion built by the British in 1814 as a base for British attacks along the Chesapeake, and as a depot for receiving runaway American slaves into citizenship and service to His Majesty, King George III of England. An estimated 1,000 freed slaves walked this beach.

The daily ferry drops you off at the northern end of the island. The beach is about a 15-20 minute walk. Nothing is far away on Tangier. You can rent a bike or get a ride on a golf-cart taxi.

You can catch a ferry from several towns on the mainland, but each route has one ferry to and from each day. That means you only get a few hours to roam the island before you have to go back. The island has a number of B&B’s if you want to stay longer. You can also charter a boat.

Tangier Island
Village center on Tangier Island’s Main Ridge.

There are no restrooms, changing room, lifeguards or any other amenity at the beach. If you need water or snacks,  stock up at the store in town. No alcohol is sold on the island.



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