Eastern Virginia is an often-visited area of Virginia, bordered on the west by the Fall Line, and on the east by the Chesapeake Bay and Atlantic Ocean. It is best known for its beaches and colonial history.
Eastern Virginia is mainly comprised of peninsulas - three divided by rivers on the mainland, and the Eastern Shore, which is separated from the rest of the state by the Chesapeake Bay.
|Northern Neck |
Historically, a wealthy region with owners of tobacco farms and enslaved people. Today, a rural area that attracts people with its parks and historical sites.
|Middle Peninsula |
A rural region known for farms and fishing.
|Virginia Peninsula |
One of the first areas in North America to be settled by Europeans. Well-known for its many historic sites, such as Colonial Williamsburg, Jamestown, and Yorktown.
|South Hampton Roads |
Includes Virginia Beach, a well-known vacation destination, and Norfolk, home of the largest naval base in the world.
|Eastern Shore |
A long peninsula on the Atlantic coast, extending southward from Maryland. Includes Chincoteague, known for its wild horses that roam the beach.
Note: "City" is used here in a broad sense. Virginia law draws a very sharp distinction between incorporated cities and other communities. Since 1871, all communities incorporated as cities are legally separate from counties.
|Climate chart (explanation)|
Eastern Virginia was the first part of the state to be settled, beginning with Jamestown in 1607. The region is home to Virginia's historic triangle, which includes Jamestown, Colonial Williamsburg, and Yorktown, site of the decisive battle of the American Revolution.
Eastern Virginia contains several of Virginia's largest cities and most-visited tourist attractions. Besides the historic parks listed above, Virginia Beach, Busch Gardens, and the museums in Hampton and Newport News draw large crowds.
Most residents of Eastern Virginia speak only English. On Tangier Island, located in the Chesapeake Bay, the local dialect is one of the few still influenced by Elizabethan English. Agriculture on the Eastern Shore also brings in a migrant population, for whom Spanish is generally the first language.
- Interstate 95 borders the region, running north and south.
- Interstate 64 runs through the area east and west.
- The Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel connects the Eastern Shore to the rest of the state.
- Jamestown Settlement, a living history museum recreating the first permanent English settlement in the New World.
- Yorktown Battlefield, site of the surrender of General Cornwallis, marking the end of the American Revolution.
- Tobacco Plantations, along the James River on John Tyler Highway (VA 5).
- Virginia Air and Space Center, Hampton
- Mariner's Museum, Newport News
- Virginia Marine Science Museum, Virginia Beach
- Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge.
- Virginia Beach
- Busch Gardens, Williamsburg. The beer company's original theme park.
- Chincoteague Oyster Festival Held in October, a ticket gets you all-you-can eat oysters and other seafood done in a variety of ways.
- Chesapeake Bay Crabs While not as iconic as their Maryland cousins, they're from the same body of water. Buy a bushel and make a meal of it with some fresh local corn and tomatoes.
- Peanuts and Pork, Surrey and Smithfield. Just a ferry ride away from Williamsburg, you can find a town that celebrates its local favorites with dishes like Peanut Soup. Peanuts also feed the local pigs, qualifying them for 'Smithfield Ham' status.
Over the years, the driving in the area has been deemed as horrible.