Chincoteague Island to Onancock Day Trip
To reach Parksley from Chincoteague, follow VA-175 south to Atlantic Avenue, then go west 2.7 miles to VA-695. Continue west 2.1 miles to US-13. Go south about 17 miles and turn right on VA-179 into Onancock. Your drive should take just under an hour.
Onancock History and Attractions:
Centuries before John Smith set foot on Virginia soil in 1608, the Native Americans of the Western Shore had given Onancock creek its name, which means "a foggy place." Only four miles inland from Tangier Sound and Chesapeake Bay, Onancock was established in 1680 as a port for sailing ships, and later for steamships.
While small tugboats and barges have replaced the vessels of yesteryear, the harbor stays busy and its wharf is a popular stopping place for private yachts whose owners want to spend a day, or a week, enjoying Onancock's easy access to the Chesapeake Bay and the town's blend of historical deep-porch charm and cultural sophistication.
One Onancock day trip must-see is the Town Square, laid out in 1681, where you can stand on the same soil that has served as a public marketplace, Revolutionary War militia training ground, Civil War campground, and nineteenth and early twentieth century revival site. The Town Square was considered Onancock's "downtown" for well over a century.
Onancock homes have a variety of architectural styles dating back to1779, when Scott Hall was built as a fortress. The Hall's thick walls enclose numerous trap doors and hiding places, which are said to serve as entrances and exits for the Scott Hall Ghost.
Behind Scott Hall is a private cemetery in which are interred the remains of Commodore Zedekiah Whaley, who was killed near the mouth of Onancock Creek in 1782, when he took his fleet of barges into battle against British ships which continued to raid the Eastern Shoe following the end of the Revolutionary war. Whaley died when the ammunition on his barge, the Protector, exploded.
The Ker mansion on Market Street, a two-story red brick 1799 home complete with pediment and cornice over a central hall and a deep tree shaded-lawn, is now a period museum and the home of the Eastern Shore Historical Society. Mingled among Onancock's other historic residences are nineteenth century homes now transformed into welcoming bed-and-breakfasts. They include the 1882 Colonial Manor Inn, the oldest active inn on the Eastern Shore.
For a town of less 1500 permanent residents, Onancock has more than its share of cultural pursuits. Bizzotto's Gallery-Caffe on Market Street offers a menu to please the most discriminating of gourmet palates, and has been featured in numerous Eastern Shore magazines. The gallery is a showplace for the leather works of Miguel Bizzotto and other local artisans.
The North Street Playhouse offers live regional theater all year long, and the Roseland Theatre is a movie house true to its 1950's roots, offering first-run movies in a delightfully retro setting on weekends.
No matter where your Chincoteague Island to Onancock day trip takes you, your status as "come-here" (instead of a native) will be completely overlooked and you'll feel as if you're completely at home!