Tangier Island Transportation Tips by grandmaR
Tangier Island Transportation: 12 reviews and 12 photos
Plane taking off
We ate dinner with a guy who flew in on his own private plane to Tangier. He had come before by boat, but his boat was damaged by Isabel, and because he leases his plane to a flight school, he says it is cheaper to run a plane than it is to have a boat, and he can keep the plane closer to his house (which is in western VA). He was unable to stay at Shirley's Guesthouse by the airport because it was full, so he was staying at Crocketts.
Tangier Island Airport (37.825139, -75.997778) serves Tangier and Accomack County and is owned by Town Of Tangier. The paved runway extends for 2950 feet. The facility is at an elevation of 7 feet at a distance of about 4 miles from Tangier. The airport is only used by small private planes.
This airport has been surveyed by the National Geodetic Survey. The airport is closed sunset to sunrise daily.
Uneven pavement; bumps & cracks.
One mile West of airport is a restricted area (bombing range; Hi-Speed aircraft drop bombs and fire live amunition.
Other Contact: 757-891-2211
The fire department has fire trucks. They are one of the few regular vehicles on the island, and they probably can't get down some of the narrow lanes.
If there is a medical emergency , a heliocopter comes from Salisbury to airlift someone off the island. (There is one policeman on the island, but if more is needed, they come from Virginia probably by boat, because Tangier is wholly in Virginia)
One of the few regular vehicles is pictured in photo 2 beside the church half hidden by the historic sign. I don't know if it belongs to the church or the pastor.
Although the Transportation category type says Motorcycle, most of them are motor scooters rather than motorcycles.
There aren't very many cars on the island and those islanders that don't have golf carts (and probably some that do) ride motor scooters. This one parked behind the marina building was probably the lady who came to clean the bathrooms.
AFAIK neither scooters nor golf carts can be rented.
Dock and ramp/bridge
Although we took the golf cart tour, we ended up doing most of Tangier on foot. Not that I tried this little bridge thing. There's a perfectly good access to the rest of the island from the end of the dock that is behind me in this picture.
Local boater passes us in the channel
While you can take the ferry to Tangier, most of the people that live here have their own boats - both for transport and for livelihood purposes. By your own boat or plane is really the way to visit if you can do it.
Front yard with bike and chickens
All the kids and many of the adults ride bikes. The island is very small and you can get places as fast by bike as by car and it is way easier to park.
Golf cart parked
This picture was taken near the Post Office (it is behind me). There is of course no mail delivery to individual houses on the island. Mail comes in by boat 6 days a week. Everyone comes to the post office to get their mail - some on foot, some on bikes, and some in cars or trucks -- but most of them by golf cart. This picture was taken after dinner Saturday when of course the PO was closed.
Tangier Cruise boat in Crisfield
If you don't have your own plane, you will most likely come to Crisfield by boat. And if you don't have your own boat, it will most likely be by one of the big island cruise boats. There is a boat each day in the summer from Crisfield that leaves Crisfield at 12:30, and there is a boat from Reedville that leaves at 10:30 (Reedville is farther away). I understand that there is sometimes also a boat from Onacock or from Point Lookout MD.
The boats generally give some kind of narrated tour, and then let people off at the dock from whence they can get a golf cart tour and then eat lunch before they go back to the boat to go back to the mainland. As a general rule, they do not run in the winter. So if you want to come over in the wintertime (say for hunting), then you have to come on the mailboat from Crisfield.
Golf carts and motor scooters
Most of the residents get around by golf cart , motorscooters or bicycles. There are very few cars.
Bikes can be rented, and some B&Bs have golf carts that guests can use, but in general motorized vehicles can't be rented. So visitors ride a bike, or walk.
There are 8 or 10 seat golf carts which give tours for $4.00 a person - basically they drive a loop around the island and point out the souvenier shops, restaurants, B&Bs and buildings like the clinic, fire station and school.
Bike rental sign
This sign advertises bike rentals by the day, overnight or by the week - Best Deals in town.
The guy that we met that was staying at the Chesapeake House had two boys who were having a really good time riding their bikes. I also saw some tourists riding bikes, and of course there were islanders who rode bikes. There was a bike rack in the graveyard next to the church.
Other Contact: Waterfront Restaurant
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