It was a cloudy, overcast day leaving Portsmouth on May 9th, but when we arrived in beautiful Onancock, VA. we were greated by beautiful sunny weather. Sitting tucked in from the Chesapeake, Onancock is a throw-back in time. The entry is a bit tricky, but if you follow the channel markers carefully, you’ll be fine. The journey is beautiful with lovely homes spotting the coastline.
It’s a quiet, charming community that offered the peace and relaxation we much needed after months of getting ready for this journey. We broke in our folding bikes and explored this lovely town that still centers around the town wharf.
The Liars Bench
Sitting front and center on the Onancock Town Wharf is the“famous” Liars Bench. It’s a legendary stop for fisherman returning to port, and telling their tall tales of their catch and adventures at sea. The wharf was completely rebuilt after Hurricane Sandy, and the marina now offers beautiful new floating docks, and pristine bath/shower facilities with FREE laundry (unheard of!).
Across the wharf parking lot is the restored village store, now Mallard’s Restaurant. The food is good and reasonable and they will do take out. Their crab cake sandwich and the firecracker shrimp made a great lunch during a day of working on the boat and checking out town. The pictures above show the interior of the restored village store at Mallard’s, Misty with the wharf in the background, and our view from the boat. Downtown is a short walk and it’s charming. There are great art galleries, shops and the infamous Corner Bakery. They are known for their sticky buns, but you need to get there early before they’re sold out. The bakery and the wharf are the places where the locals hang out…and who can argue with a bakery that has a life sized Dough Boy behind the counter?
Ker Place is a magnificent Federal period Georgian home built in 1799. The docents are knowledgeable and fun (great conversation about growing up in the 70’s), and the home and gardens are beautiful.
Here’s a glimpse of the charming town of Onancock:
Charming downtown Onanock
Next stop….Oxford, MD, Eastern Shore of the Chesapeake. We loved the Eastern Shore, and Oxford is a must visit stop.
Another small town with lots of charm, and another town with a theme. Nearly every home has a lovely picket fence, and like the Mermaids in Norfolk, cows in Chicago and dolphins in Virginia Beach, Oxford has beautifully painted, themed fence posts all over town.
We stayed at Brewer’s Oxford Marina, and we can’t say enough! The staff is amazing, and the facility is fabulous. They have built a new bath house with a lovely lounge, and the bathrooms/showers are large individual rooms with spacious sink and dressing areas and showers. They have a large, beautifully landscaped barbecue area, and the marina has views of the Tred Avon River on both sides.
In town, there is the historic Robert Morris Inn, dating from 1710, and it’s the oldest full service inn in America. We had a lovely lunch on the porch, enjoying a delicious Caesar salad with a lump crab cake on top, followed by the chef’s signature sticky toffee pudding. Delicious!
Robert Morris Inn
Across the street from the Robert Morris Inn is the Oxford-Bellevue Ferry, which began running in 1683. It is the oldest privately owned ferry service in the U.S., running across the Tred Avon River.
There is the Oxford Market for bare essentials, and a few cute shops, including a mystery book store, called Mystery Loves Company, housed in a charming old bank building. NOT to be missed is the Scottish Highland Creamery for delicious ice cream (you can have it served in cones or on top of small individual cakes) right on the wharf.