And after the festival was over I got the chance to drive around a bit and check out the scenery.
The Eastern Shore is connected to Hampton Roads by the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel which is 20 miles long and is known as one of the seven engineering wonders of the modern world. By the bridge's own website anyhow. The others include the Channel Tunnel, the CN Tower in Toronto, the Hoover Dam and Dolly Parton's bra.
The Eastern Shore seems to have eschewed the cutesiness of much of the coastline around these parts. It's known for hardy fisher folk, half abandoned villages and artists who toil away in fly filled cottages battling mental illness. As such it has a rustic charm that has been lost in much of the Outer Banks. There are deserted white beaches and historic taverns off the beaten track that can feel like a find when you stumble on them.
Only Chincoteague with its famous wild ponies embraces some of the trappings of tourism. Here are some of the places I checked out.
We love the giant love chairs at Kiptopeke State Park
House set back off the highway, Cape Charles
With a tug in tow
Fishing pier in the middle of the Chesapeake Bay
A strange place for a souvenir shop - store on the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel