This island in the middle of the Chesapeake is a veritable trip into the past. Its inhabitants, watermen whose families have lived here for centuries, continue to live off oystering and crabbing. Quiet pedestrian lanes edged with New England–style villages crisscross the marshy realm. Stop by Hilda Crockett’s Chesapeake House for a community-style meal of clam fritters, crab cakes, corn pudding, pickled beets, and other island fare.

Tangier Ferries (tel 757-891-2505) connects the island with Onnancock from May to October (adult/child six to 12 years $25/10 return) and Tangier Cruise ( connects the island with Reedville from mid-May to mid-October (adult/child four to 12 years $30/15 return).