I’ve traveled. I’ve been a few places and I’ve seen a few things. Whether it be Europe, Mexico, Canada, the Bahamas or elsewhere, I’ve seen, you know, stuff.
But I’ve never seen anything like Tangier, Virginia. Maybe something similar in Europe but never here in these United States.
This amazing tiny island holds about 450 kind souls full time, and on any given day an additional 50-100 ferry arriving, curious tourists.
They speak english here as you would imagine, but not American. It’s a form of Queens English that’s more like English/ Australian/ and sort of lazy Cajun. I truly can’t describe it. But it’s highly cool.
“What’s here?” I hear you asking in your head. Not much.
If you want to relive the 1970s, this is the place to do it. No not the groovy disco and bad pantsuit ’70s. No chops, CBs or flared jeans. But up until about 2 years ago it was a cash only kind of island. And there’s nothing really new here. I’m pretty damn sure that one of the 3 gift shops had their last incoming shipment of cotton T shirts, and porcelain salt & pepper shakers shipped in about the same time tricky Dicky was dodging Watergate.
There is no real internet to speak of, and the “streets” are less than 1 lane wide. In fact, the main modes of transportation here are golf carts, bicycles, and, well, feet. There looks to be about a dozen cars on the island still running. Another dozen creating rust.
There are 2 restaurants on Tangier. And they both close for siesta around 4:00. Fortunately they reopen from about 5-7, or 8 if you are lucky.
There’s booze here. But only hidden above the stove in the weathered ramshackled homes and apparently drunk inside or at the very least on the back porch. Never the front as these are religious folks.
The one school includes all grades and this year it has produced 9 graduates. Hopefully 18 proud parents as well.
Graveyards are everywhere. And since the graves can only be dug 3 feet deep, the caskets are covered in a cement lid to keep the dead from floating away from this marshy speck of land.
I love supporting local. We took a local golf cart tour. We stayed at a local Inn for the night, ate local crab seafood, and bought from a local artist. This kid has an amazing eye for photography and the most badass name ever! Cameron.
Barb and Jim run the only operating B&B (which is really an Inn) and since they had a cancelation which was apparently some sort of celebration gone array, we were treated with a cake in our room upon arrival. Happy birthday to Jana! A quick walk to the back of the property led us to a nice Chesapeake Bay view while standing on a very wide drive. Apparently also known as the airport runway. Oops.
Forty-eight hours is plenty to visit this very odd little place that is absolutely well worth experiencing.
Why do we travel? To see cool shit like Tangier Island, Virginia. Now, get off your computer and go book a trip!
Travel and fill your soul.