Eastern Shore of Virginia
The Eastern Shore of Virginia consists of two counties (Accomack and Northampton) on the Atlantic coast of the Commonwealth of Virginia in the United States. The 70-mile long region is part of the Delmarva Peninsula and is separated from the rest of Virginia by the Chesapeake Bay. Its population was 45,553 as of 2010.
The terrain is very flat throughout, ranging from sea level to 50 feet (15 m) above sea level. The rural area has been devoted to cotton, soybean, vegetable and truck farming, and large-scale chicken farms. Since the late twentieth century, vineyards have been developed in both counties, and the Eastern Shore has received recognition as an American Viticultural Area (AVA). It is characterized by sandy and deep soil. The weather in the area has temperate summers and winters, significantly affected by the Chesapeake Bay and the Atlantic Ocean.
The area includes barrier islands. At the northern end of the Atlantic side are the beach community of Chincoteague, famous for its annual wild pony roundup, gathered from Assateague Island. Wallops Flight Facility, a NASA space launch base, is located at Chicoteague. Tangier Island, off the western shore in the Chesapeake Bay, is another day-tourist destination.
The Eastern Shore, geographically removed from the rest of Virginia, has had a unique history of settlement and development influenced by agriculture, fishing, tourism and the Pennsylvania Railroad. William G. Thomas describes the Eastern Shore during the late nineteenth and early twentieth century as "a highly complex and interdependent landscape". He continues:
"It was a liminal place, a zone of interpenetration, where the settlement patterns, speech, demography, and political outcomes defined its place in the South but its engagement with technology and rapid transformation of the landscape betrayed other allegiances, motives, forces, and effects."
The 23-mile (37 km) long Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel, which is part of U.S. Route 13, spans the mouth of the Bay and connects the Eastern Shore to South Hampton Roads and the rest of the state. Before the Bridge-Tunnel was built, a ferry provided the continuation of U.S. 13 across this stretch of water.
See also 
- U.S. Census Bureau, 2010 Census of Population and Housing, Population and Housing Unit Counts, CPH-2-48, Virginia, U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington, DC, 2012, pp. 6 & 7.
- William G. Thomas, "The Countryside Transformed: The Eastern Shore of Virginia, the Pennsylvania Railroad,and the Creation of a Modern Landscape", Southern Spaces, 31 July2007
- "Virginia's Eastern Shore (AVA): Appellation Description", Appellation America, 2007, Retrieved Jan. 31, 2008
- William G. Thomas "The Countryside Transformed:The Eastern Shore of Virginia, the Pennsylvania Railroad, and the Creation of a Modern Landscape" Southern Spaces, 31 July 2007.
- Travel the Eastern Shore of Virginia - Towns, Accommodations, Restaurants, Real Estate, & more, Eastern Shore of Virginia website
- Eastern Shore of Virginia, Towns and Communities in photos
- Eastern Shore of Virginia
- Accomack-Northampton Planning District Commission
- Eastern Shore of Virginia - Official State Tourism Website & Map
- Eastern Shore of Virginia Tourism Commission
- Northampton County Chamber of Commerce
- Eastern Shore Birding & Wildlife Festival
- The Shore's Home Page
- Your Ticket to Arts, Culture, & More on the Shore!