Overview

Located at the southern tip of the Delmarva Peninsula, with the Chesapeake Bay and Atlantic Ocean contributing to a unique and relaxed lifestyle, the Eastern Shore is renowned for its expansive beaches, surrounding barrier islands, and great concentrations of shorebirds, seabirds, and migrating waterfowl. Comprising Northampton and Accomack Counties, the Shore is one of Virginia’s fastest-growing regions for tourism, bringing millions in local tax revenue to the area. The region is also home to Wallops Flight Facility, NASA's principal site for management and implementation of suborbital research programs. With a civilian labor force of over 22,000, the region offers prospective new and expanding employers a dependable workforce able to produce the products and services necessary for growth and prosperity.

Download regional profile

Location

The Eastern Shore region is bounded on the north by the Maryland state line, on the east by the Atlantic Ocean, and on the south and west by the Chesapeake Bay.

Eastern Shore

 

  • A four-lane primary highway traversing the peninsula provides access to major interstates, including I-64, I-264, I-464, I-564, and I-664 within 25 miles or less.
  • The Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel places the community within easy reach of The Port of Virginia in Hampton Roads.
  • North-south freight rail service is provided by Eastern Shore Railroad.
  • Accomack County Airport, Kellam Field, and Tangier Island Airport provide general aviation service.
  • Norfolk International Airport, a major airport serving convenient daily access to hundreds of cities worldwide, is just over 40 miles from the Eastern Shore.

Livability

The Eastern Shore is known for its natural beauty. It also offers full health care services and other important amenities for both residents and businesses. Eastern Shore Community College (ESCC) is a member of the Virginia Community College System and serves the region as a two-year institution of higher learning. ESCC participates in the Virginia Career Readiness Certificate initiative, which provides a workplace skills certification that businesses can directly connect to productivity, quality, and profitability. In addition, several workforce development facilities ensure a pipeline of talent to meet prospective or expanding businesses’ needs.

A number of shopping centers are in the region, as well as small stores that specialize in products indigenous to the Shore, including crafts, decoys, original art, and locally produced wine and seafood.

Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge

Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge

Miles of unspoiled ocean beaches on the barrier islands that line the coast and the region’s numerous outdoor activities continue to attract visitors and residents alike. Recreational opportunities abound, like hiking, biking, camping, boating, swimming, crabbing, fishing, or simply observing wildlife in its natural setting while enjoying the 9,000-acre Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge.

The region remains an important site for research, hosting laboratory facilities that study the effects of long-term environmental changes and short-term disturbances on coastal barrier landscapes.

Seasonal festivals and special events, such as the Annual Chincoteague Seafood Festival, Harvest Fest, and the Eastern Shore Birding Festival, attract thousands from surrounding areas to celebrate the Eastern Shore’s amenities and lifestyle, enhancing the region’s abundant recreation opportunities.

We appreciate the significant contributions that the Commonwealth of Virginia, MARS and other interested parties are making to improve the Wallops space launch infrastructure. These improvements will allow Taurus II launches and resupply flights to the International Space Station to be conducted from the Eastern Shore. Our team looks forward to becoming a catalyst for growth in the local economy as our operations take shape over the next several years.

Dr. Antonio Elias Executive VP and GM, Advanced Programs Group, Orbital ATK