Our last dreamy town: Onancock, VA — Road Trip 2020

Sundown on Onancock Creek, VA

This is the most small-town climate that you could probably find.   

Ray Cagle

So, why do people return to little towns when big cities offer so much more? It’s just that — we don’t want MORE. We love the little-town feel, the sleepiness of a place offering tranquility, scenery, and interesting people. And those are the things that brought us back to Onancock, Virginia, a town known as Port Scarbrough in 1680, and still today a place for steamboats, goods, and people seeking the best of the Eastern Shore.

Mallard's on the Wharf sign, Onancock, VA
Mallards at the Wharf is housed in what once was Hopkins & Bros. (Be sure to see the museum inside!)

When we visited before, we were on business but happened to stumble upon a seaside celebration complete with outdoor music, games for children, and seafood platters to eat by Onancock Creek. We returned to see what’s changed and found that, thankfully, . . . not much has.

Victorian home for sale, Onancock, VA
Home for sale: a fixer-upper Victorian in Onancock, VA

Quaint homes line the streets — comfortable, coastal styles similar to those in St. Michaels and Oxford, Maryland.

Artists, like Jack Richardson open their doors to galleries filled with seaside art and impressionistic floral compositions. And then they talk up their passion while making a sale — so those of us who love the places we see can take home art as artists see it.

Boat owners ply the waters of Onancock Creek in spiffy craft like this one I fell in love with. Ariel, it’s called. And I had serious lust for this navy-hulled boat, imagining myself taking a day off in a handsome watercraft, seeing Eastern Shore properties from the waterside.

Owner of Ariel, a boat in Onancock Creek, VA

We knew where we wanted to stay — at the Charlotte Hotel. The same owners, Charlotte and Gary Cochran, who bought the place in the 60’s still offer creative rooms artistically painted by Charlotte and a restaurant recommended unabashedly by Gary (as well as a host of top-notch magazine reviewers).

The Charlotte Hotel and Restaurant, Onancock, VA

Art and function meet perfectly in the hotel’s cozy dining room, where imaginatively prepared local game, fish, and produce are served on tabletops adorned with folk art.

The Washingtonian

We dined on Seafood Risotto in this sweet-spot intimate dining room prepared brilliantly by Chef Sam Yokum whose contact with local watermen and farmers provides the best of Eastern Shore cuisine at the Charlotte.

Lobby of Charlotte Hotel, Onancock, VA

But there’s nothing wrong with a stop at the local harbor

Onancock Wharf, Onancock, VA

where you can rent bikes for pedaling through town . . .

Bikes at Onancock Harbor, Onancock, VA

or stop for an evening repast at Mallards at the Wharf.

Mallard's on the Wharf, Onancock, VA

After all, a toast to sundown in Onancock, Virginia, is the perfect way to end a day on the Eastern Shore.

Sundown at Onancock Harbor, Onancock VA

We hope you’ve enjoyed Road Trip 2020 as much as we have loved sharing it with you. We’ll add one more post to the series next week and then bid farewell to our trip from Knoxville, Tennessee, to Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, and the Eastern Shore. Even though we couldn’t go abroad in 2020, we’ve found joy in touring the States. Hope you have as well.

Travel local,

Rusha & Bert

You can find other posts in the series Road Trip 2020 here. Thanks for following!

17 thoughts on “Our last dreamy town: Onancock, VA — Road Trip 2020

  1. gallivance.net

    Wonderful photos, Rusha! You really captured the heart and spirit of Onancock. Although it’s been years since we visited, I must admit that it still looks pretty much the same. And as you point out – that’s the total charm of the place. Thanks so much for taking us along on this journey. We got to enjoy it vicariously through you. 🙂 ~Terri

  2. Anonymous

    Your sharing of the photos and a snippet of the experience provided a great 10 minute vacation! Neat destination!

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