From tip to top and spanning bay to seaside, you are bound to be beckoned by the wide variety of wonderful happenings which will be taking place on the Shore over the next few months. From touring a facility where you see spat (baby oysters) so small that over 1000 could fit in the palm of your hand; to kayaking or toasting glasses on a waterway that hosts some of the country’s most succulent seafood; taking a guided birding tour; or standing around the shucking table, enjoying an old fashioned oyster roast (happening this weekend through the end of November); as the air begins to cool and the leaves begin to change, plan a trip to enjoy some of the unique and time-honored traditions that truly make the Shore shine.
Bring Your Appetite – and Choose from More than a Dozen Seasonal Community Celebrations!
From whole community festivals and culinary bashes on sandy shores under stellar sunsets; to educational tours which include visits to a local shucking house, historic sites, one Wildlife Refuge or another (or both!), and a boat tour; to a down home Shore style party in an old barn with live music; the celebrations happening in the upcoming months are sure to sustain and entertain!
special thanks to the sponsor of this article, VISIT Eastern Shore, Virginia
Tap your toes to live bands, unleash your competitive side with several silent and live auctions, or contribute to a good cause by attending a roast where the proceeds are committed to preserving the very waters that provide the center piece of the feast. These activities are made even more enjoyable by the seizingly gorgeous views and charm of their historic fishing community, vast vineyard, winding wetland, beautiful bay, and unending sea settings.
The next big oyster roast weekends are October 23rd & November 7th. Check it out:
Soule Arnold Oyster Roast and Clam Steam at the corner of Main Street and Bright Avenue, Exmore
Gathering in a town park to feast on fresh, local seafood is just about as down home as it gets on the Eastern Shore of Virginia and the Soule Arnold Oyster Roast and Clam Steam offers just that. This annual event boasts an all you can eat buffet of salty, roasted seaside oysters; fresh steamed clams provided by Eastern Shore Events; creamy clam chowder made locally by Terry Brothers Seafood; smoky pork barbecue; coleslaw and desserts. October 23, 6:00 p.m.
Combine a weekend kayak trip, top-notch birding and a seafood roast on the Virginia Eastern Shore’s Atlantic Ocean. Meet at the Eastern Shore National Wildlife Refuge in Kiptopeke and paddle to your basecamp for the weekend, a charming 1930s fishing lodge surrounded by the wildlife refuge and some of the best paddling on the East Coast. Paddle wild barrier islands like Mockhorn, Smith Island Lighthouse and Fisherman Island. This is a major stop on the Atlantic Flyway for migrating birds, and October is the perfect time to go! A highlight of the weekend will be harvesting oysters and clams right from the water and roasting them up at your hunting lodge! October 23, 24, 25
There are few places on the Eastern Shore that feel closer to the sea than Wachapreague. Attendees at the Island House Oyster Roast can enjoy breathing in the salty air, while taking in views of Wachapreague harbor and cracking open freshly roasted oysters; which have been cooked slowly over open fires. November 7
Saxis Island is one of the Eastern Shore’s best kept secrets. This historic fishing community is tucked away on the bayside of the 70 mile peninsula that makes up the Eastern Shore. Saxis is definitely worth a visit, with beautiful views of the Chesapeake Bay and a rich history to learn about. Visitors will have a perfect opportunity to explore this unique area themselves for the Saxis Island Oyster Roast. Unlike many other oyster festivals, the Saxis Island Oyster Roast will be held indoors and will feature table service, saving you from having to stand in line and providing you with more time to socialize. November 7
For Eastern Shore Oyster Roast events the rest of the season, click here.
Chow Down then Set Out!
Eating well gives a spectacular joy to life; and days spent enjoying new sights, settings, and adventures are great ways to build up your appetite.
Make a weekend of it and spend a few days on The Shore to enjoy the awe-inspiring fall migration and all the educational outings, tours, and exclusive activities of the family friendly Assateague Island Waterfowl Weekend (Nov. 26-29). Register for the activities in advance or peruse the varied exhibits and vendors at your leisure.
Follow your sense of wonder and Book an Eco Tour! Visit our paddling paradise and register for one of many tour options with trained naturalist guides of SouthEast Expeditions, Burnham Guides, Broadwater Bay Ecotours, or Bay Country Kayaking (below).
Enjoy bi-coastal biking bliss by bringing your own wheels, renting a bike and enjoying our rural roads, or participating in the 23rd annual CBES ‘Between the waters’ bike tour. See where the Sea fare comes from (try saying that ten times fast) and then Take an Aqua Tour!
Did you know the Eastern Shore region is the number one hard clam producing region in the world?! Experience all levels of this industry first hand on a Shore Aqua Tour with Cherrystone Aqua-Farm in Cheriton (below).
Here, History is in its Heyday so be sure to Check out our Museums. Explore natural history, watermen culture, rich local heritage, or even the undertakings of NASA (below) by visiting one or several of our unique and enriching museums and cultural centers. Take in an exhibition at one of the Shore’s many galleries. Shop the stress-free, mall-less ways and explore the many offerings of our charming and unique small towns.
A thriving artisan community makes the hunt for something special always successful. Feast at a retro-real diner, raw bar, upscale waterfront restaurant or anywhere in between. Check the menu for produce grown on Eastern Shore farms and fresh-from-our-waters seafood. Experience a true Seafood Shack like Martha’s Kitchen in Saxis or Crusty Crab Seafood Shack or stay in a Vacation Rental and Go Forage some of our amazing retail seafood and cook up your own memories!
Eat em’, Restore em’, Repeat!If you want to continue to encourage a sustainable harvest for the future, be sure to look for a shell recycling bin at whatever event you attend and be careful to only place clam or oyster shells (no disposables please) in these bins. These shells are valuable material in the formation of new oyster reefs, which can provide valuable habitat, act to stabilize shorelines, and filter nutrients from our waterways. After you return home, sign up with your local conservation organization and participate in some of their restoration activities, such as restoring riparian buffers, attending litter cleanups, building oyster reef balls, or even becoming an at home oyster gardener. Get hands on in the process throughout the year, so you can return to next year’s roast with a brand new sense of pride!
The Shore has come a long way from the seafaring community it was 400 years ago, but so many things still remain the same. The rich maritime and agricultural heritage, the incredibly unique sense of place, and the charming small-town communities, which always welcome you with open arms, and a place at the table. Come visit us, and experience some of the many ways we fully seize the months that end in ‘R’. You’ll Shore be glad you did.