|Town facilities open to the public are described below.
The Town’s beach extends one-half mile along Bay Avenue with a paved walkway bordering the length of the beachfront. Residents and visitors of the Town use the beach for swimming, sunbathing and similar recreational pursuits. Public access onto the beachfront is provided by two wooden walkovers located near the end of Tazewell and Randolph Avenues. The Pavilion and several park benches are located on a paved walkway. The Pavilion is one of the Town’s prominent landmarks, serving as a visual symbol for the Town and featured on the Town’s seal. Restroom facilities are also available for users of the public beach.
There are three public beaches on the Eastern Shore of Virginia, with the other two being located at Kiptopeke State Park and Assateague Island National Seashore. The Town’s beach is the only public beach on the Eastern Shore of Virginia that does not require an entrance fee.
The beach is stabilized with buried groins, a bulkhead, and a breakwater. The Town has undertaken a 1.1 million dollar beach nourishment project. Four new breakwaters have been constructed, and 35,000 cubic yards of sand have been used to nourish the beach. Fencing has also been installed to stabilize the sand.
Adjacent to the public beach is a municipal pier, known as the Fun Pier, which extends across the stone jetty at the entrance of the harbor. The pier has a railed siding and several built-in benches, and is frequently utilized by Town residents and visitors for sightseeing and fishing.
The pier has recently been upgraded. Previously, fishing opportunities were limited at the pier due to its location over the stone jetty. In 2005, a $300,000 project extended the pier beyond the jetty to a total length of 407 feet, and old sections of the pier were rebuilt. The Town has also purchased a saltwater fishing license for the facility so that the general public will not be required to have licenses to fish. 2013 Commercial Pier Saltwater Fishing License
Before the upgrades to the Town Pier, recreational fishing opportunities for people without access to a boat were limited because of the pier’s location over the jetty. Fishing opportunities for all local residents have been improved by the extension of the Town Pier.
Central Park is located in the center of the Town. The land has traditionally been used in relation to the Cape Charles School. Though no longer used as a school, the Cape Charles School building still occupies the park. The central park has two lighted, public tennis courts. An outdoor basketball court was constructed in 2006. There is also a “Cape Kids” playground for young children.
In 2010, Central Park was redesigned and houses a large pergola, gazebo, benches, a beautiful fountain and new landscaping. There is a quarter-mile walking path surrounding a large open area. Central Park can be used for a number of recreational and public events. Portions of Central Park are available for rent for private affairs. Please complete the Use of Facility Application - Cape Charles Central Park if you would like to schedule your event at the park.
Citizens for Central Park "Buy a Brick" Program
Here is your opportunity to be part of the ongoing revitalization of Central Park. Bricks can be purchased to honor a friend or family member, memorialize someone special or as a gift in your name. The bricks will be placed around the beautiful and picturesque water fountain in the west node of the park. Dedicating a brick costs $75.
Please click here for details to order your personalized brick!
The Cape Charles Harbor serves local industry and commerce operations as well as tourists and recreational users. Please visit the harbor web page for more information.
Recreational boating and fishing is common in the waters surrounding Cape Charles. Boat ramps are located at the Cape Charles Harbor. Given the popularity of recreational boating and fishing in the region, the Town serves as an important water access site for the area. Recreational finfish in this area include striped bass, spot, croaker, gray and speckled trout, channel bass, black drum, flounder, bluefish, and channel catfish.
The Northampton Memorial Library is located in Cape Charles and serves the citizens of the Eastern Shore. Please visit the library web page for more information.
Many privately owned facilities also benefit the Town's citizens and visitors. Some privately owned facilities, which are open to the public, are described below.
Arts Enter Cape Charles, Inc. is a local non-profit organization devoted to the arts. The organization was incorporated in 1997 and is governed by a Board of Directors. Arts Enter was originally based in a classroom in the former Cape Charles School. In 1998, the organization purchased the Art Deco Palace Theatre on Mason Avenue. The building has been renovated, and has been home to numerous instructional programs and performances. Arts Enter also owns the Stage Door Gallery, which exhibits work from local artists and offers instructional classes.
Another major cultural facility is the Cape Charles Museum and Welcome Center. A former power plant houses the museum. The building was constructed in 1947 and was donated by Delmarva Power to the Cape Charles Historical Society. The museum opened in 1996 and is dedicated to preserving and presenting the history of Cape Charles and the surrounding areas.
The Coastal Dune Natural Area Preserve, owned by Northampton County, encompasses a 26-acre habitat protection area located next to the Sustainable Technologies Industrial Park. The Preserve features an ecologically significant secondary dune system which is one of the last remaining in Virginia. A wooden plank boardwalk runs through the Preserve, beginning at the Sustainable Technology Industrial Park and terminating at the Chesapeake Bay, offering a scenic view of the Bay’s shoreline.
As of early 2007, ten churches of various denominations operate in Cape Charles. These churches include the Church of the Lord Jesus Christ, Saint Stephen’s Church AME, Trinity United Methodist Church, Saint Charles Catholic Church, the Anglican Church of the Ascension, Cape Charles Baptist Church, Emmanuel Episcopal Church, First Baptist Church, First Presbyterian Church, and the Church of the Apostolic Faith. Many other churches also exist nearby in the Northampton County.
In addition to these facilities, many businesses are operated in Cape Charles. Please visit the Northampton Chamber of Commerce for a comprehensive listing of local businesses.
The information above was adapted from the draft existing conditions section of the Comprehensive Plan Update