Archive for the ‘Vacation rental homes’ Category

Spend A Vacation Week Or A Lifetime In This Delightful Beachfront Home Near Cape Charles, VA

Thursday, May 25th, 2017

 

Arlington East

Overlooking  the wide blue waters of the Chesapeake Bay, this delightful Cape Cod style home is a perfect place to spend a vacation week — or indeed, a whole lifetime.  Haven’t reserved the place for your summer vacation yet ? Looking to purchase a leisure or full-time home ? Located near the vibrant little historic town of #CapeCharles on Virginia’s Eastern Shore, this gorgeous 4 bedroom, 3 and a half bath home, priced at $775,000, is your unique opportunity to spend a week and discover if perhaps you’d love it for a lifetime. Sort of try and buy ! Imagine dramatic water views, golden sunshine, sandy beach, salty breezes and gentle tides — this home has perfected the relaxed feel and open style of a truly comfortable coastal home.

 

 

frontview Greatroom waterviews Master bedroom

 

 

 

 

 

 

Porch View

Located just a few minutes from the quaint historic town of Cape Charles which offers so much to do and see.  From fine and casual dining to art galleries and little shops, Cape Charles is ground zero for fun and relaxation.   Boaters — provide a home for your boat at one of its 2 state of the art marinas.  Golfers– take a swing at the 2 gorgeous waterfront Signature courses, a Nicklaus and a Palmer, among Virginia’s top ranked courses. Joggers — take a run down to the beach and throughout this charming little town on the new community path.  Whether is for a vacation week or a lifetime, this bayfront home offers the Eastern Shore’s sweet beach life.  Call Blue Heron Realty at 757-678-5200 to make an appointment to see if this property would be the right leisure or full-time home for you. This is the perfect place to live the #EasternShoreSweetBeachLife!

 

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Escape To One Of Our 11 Cape Charles Virginia Vacation Rentals For A Great Summer 2016

Tuesday, February 23rd, 2016

I had set out to write this post on vacation rental homes in Cape Charles, Virginia a few weeks ago. Shows how time flies when having fun–it’s now February 23rd but when I started this post on  Valentine’s Day weekend,  Mother Nature had not only brought rain here on the Eastern Shore but delivered  another miserable winter storm to the rest of the East Coast for the weekend–  snow, ice, sleet and freezing  rain !  The usual suspects. Nothing like lots of snow, slippery roads and forecasts of  ice accumulations  to keep a body firmly ensconced indoors, far far from the weather outside that’s frightful. What to do with the extra indoor time on a weekend this time of year ?   Well, might I suggest that a cold/ rainy/snowy day is  a great time to venture into “let’s-select-our-summer- vacation- rental- home” searches, letting dreams of summer fun push away the realities of winter blues.

And if you’re looking for a weekly vacation rental which offers both a relaxed and quiet atmosphere paired with lots to do, might I suggest Cape Charles, VA as a great destination. Coastal traditions, historic towns and tiny villages to explore, soft sandy beaches to relax on, off-shore Barrier Islands to visit, broad saltwater inlets to boat and kayak,  fabulous fishing and crabbing, artist’s studios and antique shops to visit,  seafood restaurants to sample, Palmer and Nicklaus golf to take a swing at– from A for Art Galleries to Z for Zesty clam dip, there is so much to do.  Or… just laz around on the deck,  book in hand, a  iced tea or cold glass of Chardonnay  waiting close by,  letting the tension just slip away like an outgoing tide.  That is the promise of a Simply Relaxing Vacation on Virginia’s Eastern Shore because Virginia’s Eastern Shore is not just a place, it’s a relaxed coastal state of mind !

Which brings us to the list of  the 11 terrific vacation homes offered this year for weekly vacation rental through Eastern Shore Vacations Inc.   ( Use this link to email them  your desired dates and the house you are most interested in at easternshorevacationtime@gmail.com   .  Or call them at 757-678-5277 )   Though the homes vary by size and price, each has a distinctive personality–  historic, waterfront, beachfront, in-town, in the country.  From a ” 1 bedroom cozy nest for two”  through ” 5 bedrooms, sleeps 14″,   there is something for everybody.  ( And a couple are even for sale,  so if you fall in love with it, it could be yours for life !! How cool is that ? )

“SEAHORSE RETREAT”-  1 bedroom, sleeps 2 ( 4 w/sleep sofa )  Base Summer Rate: $795.  /per week. Beach Access,Historic Area

seahorse_living_room_new seahorse_living_room_distant seahorse_bedroom_new seahorse cape_charles_beach_white_stand_lots_of_people

“PARADISE ON THE CHESAPEAKE BAY”-  5 bedrooms, sleeps 14. Base Summer Rate: $3850 /per week. Beachfront, Pool Access

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“DRIFTWOOD BEACH”- 6 bedrooms, sleeps 13.  Base Summer Rate $3600 /per week. Beachfront

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“BAY BREEZE”-  A WEST INDIES STYLE, ACCESS TO BEACH & POOL”- 4 bedrooms, sleeps 12. Base Summer Rate $2200  /per week. Beach Access, Pool Access

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“ALMOST PARADISE”- 4 bedroom, sleeps 12, in-ground pool, Base Summer Rate: $2995. /per week. Pool, Beach Access

Almost Paradise frontview mls DSC_0351 Almost paradise masterbedroom DSC_0312

“SEASHELL  COTTAGE”- 4 bedroom, sleeps 11, Base Summer Rate: $ 2300.  /per week. Beach Access, Historic Area

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“SARATOGA PLACE”- 4 bedroom, sleeps 10, Base Summer Rate: $2000  /per week. Beach Access, Pool Access

saratoga_retreat_frontview saratoga_masterbedroom saratoga_kitchen Golf cart with flowers 2011

“SANDY HARBOUR”- 3 bedroom, sleeps 9, Base  Summer Rate: $1550. /per week. Waterfront with dock, Beach Access

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“SUN AND SAND”- 4 bedroom, sleeps sleeps 8, Base Summer Rate: $ 2200. /per week. Beach and Pool Access

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BEACH HAVEN ” – 3 bedroom, sleeps 7, Base Summer Rate: $2100. /per week. Waterfront with Beach

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“BAY COTTAGE” – 3 bedroom, sleeps 6, Base Summer Rate: $1550. /per week. Waterviews, Beach Access

bay_cottage_front_view bay_cottage_kitchen bay_cottage_dining_room bay_cottage_beach

 

 

 

 

 

 

A New Cape Charles Vacation Rental Home, Introducing “Beach Villa”

Thursday, April 25th, 2013
Sand beach at "Beach Villa", a Cape Charles VA vacation rental home

Relax on the soft sand beach at “Beach Villa” on Eastern Shore Virginia

We get a lot of calls  here at Blue Heron Realty Co. for a vacation rental home with lots of seclusion but with lots of amenities too and that’s usually  a hard order to fill.  However, we  have just acquired  “Beach Villa”  as a Cape Charles VA area vacation rental.  This exquisite villa style home,  sleeping 10, offers  water views galore plus old world charm and the use of its  37 acres with beautiful Virginia Eastern Shore  Chesapeake Bay waterfront.  Best of all,   Beach Villa offers a gorgeous  sand beach, private to the owners and their rental guests, offering wide soft, soft  sands, glittering in the golden sun, perfect for relaxing under a beach umbrella, book in hand, some sweet Southern-style  ice cold tea in the cooler.  And as you wade from the beach into the Bay, the salty Chesapeake  waters start out quite shallow but  gradually reach swimming depth so bring your mask and snorkel to check everything out.   Surrounded on two sides by a pristine little freshwater lake,  imagine waking up  in the serene environment of this home  to the calls of  seabirds overhead  and  waterfowl out on the lake.  Love jogging ? Imagine the pleasure of making lazy circuits around 37 acres surrounded by such natural beauty.  Surely this is a  vacation opportunity extraordinaire.

Aerial view of "Beach Villa", a beachfront home near Cape Charles VA

“Beach Villa” offers old world charm on 37 acres near Cape Charles VA

With 3 bedrooms and 3 and a half baths plus a day bed in the sunroom, there is plenty of room to catch up on some sleep  in this nearly 4000 sq. ft. home. Large great room with living and dining room groupings plus a   gourmet kitchen make conversation with your group a breeze. The gas log fireplace in the living area is perfect for cool fall evenings.  Sliding glass doors lead from the great room to the spacious fieldstone patio overlooking  beautiful flower beds, the lake and the Bay, the perfect spot for a steaming cup of morning coffee.   Paneled den and enclosed sunroom provide additional space for just relaxing, letting the mind and body unwind in this gorgeous setting.  First floor master suite, so convenient, with a master bath which includes jacuzzi tub with marble surround.   Everything about this home is top of the line, you will not be disappointed by selecting this home for your vacation.

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Aqua Restaurant at Cape Charles offers fine and casual dining on the Chesapeake Bay

Be Sure To Try The Delicious Seafood At Aqua Restaurant During Your Stay

Nearby amenities include Kiptopeake State Park, Eastern Shore Wildlife Refuge and the Rails to Trails jogging/biking trail. The historic little Victorian town of Cape Charles is less than 10 minutes away and offers restaurants, shops, art galleries, marinas,boat ramps, train rides,  special events, holiday parades, etc.,  as well as Palmer and Nicklaus Signature 18 hole golf courses.   The Eastern Shore of Virginia is a terrific spot for a relaxing, low-key vacation, for what we like to call ” Simply Relaxing The Shore Way“.  From A for Artist Galleries to Z for Zesty clam dip,  there is nearly an endless list of things to do and see here on the Eastern Shore.   Savour sunset strolls on the beach,  kayak to our unique off-shore Barrier Islands, charter a deep sea fishing trip, treasure hunt in our antique shops,  attend a live performance at the Palace Theatre, ride horseback along waterfront trails, explore our little coastal towns, visit a local winery,  get wet clamming, enjoy a superb seafood meal at Aqua Restaurant,  see the artifacts of yesteryear at the Barrier Island Museum.  ( By the way, the Tall Ships Cape Charles Festival will be held this year the weekend of June 14-16,  an exciting event for adults and kids alike. Three tall sailing ships will be in port offering open deck tours and day sails, the Navy’s USS  Tornado will also offer tours, individual owners will be there with their sailboats, skipjacks and antique “buy boats”, the harbor will be bursting with great stuff.  Plus loads of other activities  are part of this Festival, it’s a really fun-filled event. )  But whatever you do, memories of your Simply Relaxing  Eastern Shore Vacation  will stay with you forever.  To reserve your week at Beach Villa, email us at easternshorevacations@blueheronva.com or call 757-678-5277.           (Posted  by Marlene Cree, licensed Virginia agent with Blue Heron Realty Co., 7134  Wilsonia Neck Dr., Machipongo, VA)

5 Tips For Investing In A Second Home On Eastern Shore VA & Considering Doing Vacation Rentals To Help Defray Carry Costs

Monday, April 15th, 2013
Aerial  view of southern tip of Eastern Shore VA showing Chesapeake Bay and Atlantic Ocean

Eastern Shore Virginia Beautiful Southern Tip

For those considering investing in a  leisure home,  the beautiful southern tip of the  Eastern Shore of Virginia offers buyers an amazing variety of lifestyle choices as well as some opportunities to offset mortgage payments with income from weekly vacation  rentals. And especially  with the great deals and the low interest rates currently available, now is a great time to consider the purchase of a leisure home with a lifestyle that can make you feel like it’s vacation time all year long !      For those seeking to discover their inner mermaid , consider a beach home offering soft sands and pristine swimming waters.  For boaters,  how about a beautiful waterfront home with a backyard boat dock ?  Virginia’s Eastern Shore offers mile upon mile of saltwater shoreline to cruise by power boat, sailboat or kayak.  For golfers, what better home course than the Arnold Palmer Signature course  and the  companion Jack Nicklaus Signature Course  at Bay Creek  ?  For those who love  small towns and  historic homes,  consider the fact that settlement of  the area which is now Northampton County VA  begin before the Mayflower ever hit Cape Cod Bay !   I’m guessing that nearly a thousand historic homes  still exist on the Shore, some of which are for sale.  Dreaming about a place in the country , on a spacious land parcel  ?  Got it in spades !  And since the main economic engine for Northampton County is still agriculture,  if  owning a farm with all the possibilities – from growing crops to raising alpacas or horses- that owning a farm offers, well, we have a few  farms for sale too.  Soooo……. how to get started ?

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Jarvis dock at sunsetGolf cart with flowers 2011

 

 

 

Tip # 1.  It’ s  really important to decide on  the lifestyle you want to pursue.   I know that this seems like it should be easy and possibly self-evident but it’s not.  In fact, in my experience working with our real estate customers, there is usually a  lot of soul searching that goes into that decision  since so many  folks have multiple interests and settling on the main one is not necessarily  simply.   Especially if the likes and dislikes  of multiple people need to be factored into the equation.  Nowhere is  that more evident than in the choice between a beach home or a boating home.  You might wonder why that is– usually it’s because one party prefers beach but the other loves boating  and wants a backyard dock, leaving the conumdrum of which person will have to  drive to get to  the  marina and/ or the beach.

Tip # 2. Decide on your  purchase price budget.   This is a bit easier than it seems because as realtors we can help you with this.   Once you decide on the monthly payment amount you don’t want to exceed,  we can work  forward to give you a general home  price range this monthly payment will handle.  Given today’s historic low  interest rates, I think you will be exceedingly pleased at the price range home that your  stipulated payment will control in the current market.

Tip #3. Start previewing homes on- line to get a feel for the homes available in your price range with the lifestyle amenity you selected in step # 1.  Blue Heron’s main website, www.blueheronva.com , is organized by lifestyle, we’ve tried to make it easy to locate the type of property you want without searching a hundred other things first. ( In fact, we have gotten a lot of complements on how user- friendly our website actually is.)  Each property  has an individual data sheet  that can be printed or bookmarked, making it easy to  keep track of  any particular property.  And don’t forget to order our free prime property catalogue, on-line from our home page or call 800-258-3437.

Tip#4. Make an appointment to come visit the Eastern Shore and see our beautiful properties for yourself.  The Shore is a relaxed, low-key area with wide open green spaces  and a comfortable rural feel, interspersed by small coastal towns and historic villages. And for icing on the cake,  Northampton County is  less than an hour’s drive from the Hampton Roads area ( Virginia Beach, Norfolk, Chesapeake), the 32nd largest metro area in the US.   We’re  not for everyone of course, plenty of day-to- day shopping but no huge malls, not much for bright lights and loud music .  But if Capt. John Smith’s  1609  comment about the Shore appeals to you: ” Heaven and Earth never agreed better to frame a place for man’s habitation”  then you might be a great candidate  for the  Shore.  Life on the Eastern Shore  is like having your cake and eating it too, a relaxed lifestyle here but access  major shopping, cultural and culinary amenities ( plus an international airport)  within 30 minutes to an hour,  depending on the neighborhood you select.  Many of the folks purchasing a leisure home on the  Shore are intending to live here full-time in the future, possibly for retirement or relocation,  so then having metro type amenities within easy driving distance becomes more inportant in the  overall equation.

Tip#5. Decide  if you want to defray some of your carry costs by doing weekly vacation rentals.  Blue Heron offers a vacation rental department  which can handle rental and most of the management  of your vacation home.  When you visit the Shore to look at properties we can introduce you to our  Vacation Rental Manager who can discuss  the program with you.  We work with owners to set up a schedule of  the weeks  during summer that they want personal use of their home and the weeks they  want to rent it.  May  to September is the main vacation season here which leaves plenty of time during the rest of the year for  lots of  additional personal use.  Since  Virginia’s Eastern Shore has  a terrific climate, with long pleasant Springs and Falls, you can get a  lots of use and pleasure out of your vacation home while still  defraying some carry costs by doing vacation rentals.

Hopefully these 5 tips were helpful.  We would love to hear from you and show you some of the great deals out there  right now.  With the deals available and the current amazingly low interest rates, we think it’s a great time to consider investing  in one of our beautiful Eastern  Shore homes  regardless of whether or not  you are thinking of becoming a part of a vacation rental program. So give us a  call at 800-258-3437  to make an appointment or to order  your copy of our free  prime property catalogue.     ( Posted by Marlene  Cree, licensed Virginia agent with Blue Heron Realty Co., 7134 Wilsonia Neck Dr., Machipongo VA )

 

 

 

 

 

Time To Start Planning Your Eastern Shore Summer Vacation

Thursday, February 28th, 2013

Charming Historic Cape Charles

We just finished adding a new house, “Seahorse Retreat”  to our vacation rental roster (see them all at www.blueheronva.com/vacation_rentals/ )  when it occurred to me that planning an Eastern Shore Virginia summer vacation in the near aftermath of a record breaking blizzard on the East Coast is reminiscent of one of my favorite childhood books. Anyone who has read  “The Little House On The Prairie”  series by Laura Ingalls Wilder will likely remember the winter delights described of pouring over seed catalogues, winds howling outside, fire crackling inside, planning the spring garden, imagining the delights of fresh cantaloupe, tomatoes, sweet corn. It was a necessary task but it was also pure, unvarnished pleasure, mentally transporting them to a future time of warm weather, outdoor breezes and chunks of crisp, cool watermelon. Meanwhile, the reality was that Pa would soon have to wade out into the driving snow, through Lord knows how many heavy drifts, to get to the barn to milk the cows, holding on to the rope stretched between the house and the barn so as to not get disoriented, lost and frozen to death within 40 feet of the front door. I loved those books about settling the West,  practically wore them out with re-reading, especially “Farmer Boy”, what a wonderful world it seemed to be.  And I longed to be able to have a big piece of apple pie for breakfast, just like Almanzo almost always did, redolent with sweet spices and covered in heavy cream. But, different time, different place, and in general, pie was not allowed on my childhood breakfast table. ( Happily, now that I am nearly 100, I can have pie for breakfast if I want to. So let it be known that from time to time, for breakfast both Hubby and I do indulge in a thick slice of Kate’s Kupboard’s delicious apple pie, fresh from her warm and cozy Belle Haven, VA bakery, topped with an ample wedge of sharp cheddar, gently heated in the toaster oven, accompanied by a fresh cup of steaming hot vanilla hazelnut coffee. And I won’t even disclose how old I was before it finally dawned on me that I didn’t have to continue to eat the crusts on my bread if I didn’t want to, such is the force of habit of childhood instruction. )

But, mea culpa, I digress. My original point being that the actual planning of one’s vacation is a necessary task, but one that brings a lot of pleasure. Deciding where to go is certainly the first step and deciding what house to pick is great fun. I want to give a shout out to the Eastern Shore of Virginia as a great vacation place and to Blue Heron Realty Co’s vacation rental homes as the cream of the crop ( Review  them at www.blueheronva.com/vacation_rentals/ )  depending, of course, on the desired atmosphere.  If one is looking for bright lights, loud music, thousands of people on the beach,salt water taffy and souvenir shops every step of the way, Virginia’s Eastern Shore is not the place.

Visit our scenic beaches

On the other hand, if what you’re longing for is a place for total relaxation in a low-key coastal area, with plenty to do if you want to but if you feel like just hanging around the front porch, book in hand, iPad at the ready, then you can count on the Eastern Shore as a terrific place. I can guarantee no bumper to bumper traffic, horns blaring, no overcrowded sidewalks, no blankets 2 feet in every direction from yours on the beach.

Our Pristine Barrier Islands

Just a beautiful, relaxing area, little historic towns to explore, sparkling low density beaches to enjoy, cool blue waters to swim, plenty of boat ramps and fishing piers to try out, miles and miles of coastline to kayak, our off-shore pristine Barrier Islands to explore, the freshest of succulent seafood to savor, Palmer and Nicklaus golf to keep you swinging, horseback riding through country trails to indulge your inner cowboy, an easy pad to launch a Williamsburg/Busch Gardens day trip from if the mood strikes, cute shops, terrific restaurants for fine or casual dining and friendly people. From A for “Antiquing”  to Z for “Zesty clam dip”, you can have a memorable vacation on Virginia’s Eastern Shore,  it’s Simply Relaxing The Shore Way.

Seahorse Retreat

And I would be remiss if I didn’t give a shout out to 2 of  the Blue Heron Realty Co.  new vacation rental homes–– “Seahorse Retreat” and “Sun and Sand“. “Seahorse Retreat” is a charming, cozy nest for two, beautifully decorated in a — you guessed it, a seahorse motif.

Sun & Sand

A second floor walk-up unit located right in the heart of the Cape Charles historic district, it offers 1 bedroom with comfy king-sized bed, a well outfitted full kitchen, separate dining room and a living room which opens onto a veranda with views of the Cape Charles harbor. And it’s only about a block to the beach and boardwalk. “Sun and Sand” is a 4 bedroom, 4 full bath West Indies style home of nearly 3000 sq.ft. , with some views of the Chesapeake Bay. Comfortable coastal style furniture, a king sized bed in the master suite, queen sized in the others. Within easy walking distance to a sparkling soft sand beach, it also offers access to a large swimming pool/tennis courts complex and is within 5 minutes one of the Shore’s finest waterfront restaurants. More information on reserving these and other prime vacation rental homes is available on the Blue Heron Realty Co. website, www.blueheronva.com, select Vacation Rentals on the Listings pull-down menu or side navigation bar.    ( Posted by Marlene Cree, licensed Virginia agent with Blue Heron Realty Co., 7134 Wilsonia Neck Dr., Machipongo, VA )

Cape Charles VA, Named A “Best Little Beach Town” By Southern Living Magazine, Is A Great Place For A Relaxing Vaction

Thursday, August 23rd, 2012

There is a reason why the June, 2012 isssue of  Southern Living Magazine names  Cape Charles, Virginia as one of  their “Best Little Beach Towns“– because it REALLY  IS !    I know, I know, that’s a non sequitur.  But Cape Charles really is the best little beach town in Virginia  and we  invite you to decide for yourself  if you agree with Southern Living and moi.  To that end,  I want to introduce you to  Cape Charles’ newest vacation rental– Seahorse  Retreat, presided over by Sindbad, the biggest, baddest, most bejeweled seahorse I’ve ever seen and his friends.

Located in the heart of the historic area, Seahorse Retreat is a second floor unit in a lovely historic brick building, circa about 1900.  Truly a cozy haven for two,  it features a beautifully decorated living room furnished with overstuffed, comfortable furniture,  dining room with seating for four and a  bedroom featuring a brand new and totally comfy king- sized bed, deliciously soft sheets, fat down type  pillows.  A  full  kitchen with dishwasher,  built-in microwave and ceramic top range completes the ensemble. ( Well, of course,  there’s  also a bathroom.  What to say about a bathroom ?   It’s there,  it works, the bathmat and shower curtain are both a seafoam color  matching the fun painting on the wall, etc. …..)  But the piece de resistance is the veranda. Step through the door onto the veranda and you enter the world of small town coastal living as on the sidewalk below,  folks are taking leisurely strolls down Mason Avenue to shops, to galleries, to restaurants,  to the beach.  Personally, I find people watching  lots of  fun !   And as the veranda overlooks  the Cape Charles harbor,  it’s perfect for relaxing at sunset,  as everything from a big yacht to a little Boston Whaler  glides  into port  at twilight from a day out on the Chesapeake Bay.  ( Boating is such hard work but someone has to do it….. )

Although Seahorse Retreat has already been booked through April, 2013, I might mention that in general, Fall really is a great time to visit the Eastern Shore so check out our other Vacation Rentals at www.blueheronva.com/vacation_rentals/ In fact,  October is one of  my favorite month here,  blue, blue skies, huge white puffy clouds, soft sea breezes, still warm but not hot, Indian Summer usually nearly until Thanksgiving.   Starting right after Labor Day things get a bit quieter but there’s still more than plenty to do.  The beach, of course,  ( that’s why it’s  the  “best little beach town”  ).  The Cape Charles town beach features sparkling, soft sand, the better to relax in a beach chair,  feet bare,  book in hand, ice cold tea in the cooler.   Tide pools for beachcombing and wading, swimming perfect further out, a long boardwalk for just strolling– just a few of the reasons why the Cape Charles beach is so great.

At the tail end of the Boardwalk you’ll find a long handsome fishing/crabbing/boat watching  pier.   Of an evening the pier is lighted and the reflections of these many small lights mirrored in the waters below, together with the  moonlight which casts a net all around, nearby channel markers blinking bright red or green,  the  lights in the homes along Bay Avenue twinkling a soft yellow in the distance, tangy air tinged with salt, all synthesized into a lovely experience.  Actually, the pier at night is really one of my favorite places in Cape Charles, quiet but with always something interesting doing on–  fish or crabs  plopping into a bucket, the very last boats of the evening steaming in to the harbor, way out on the Chesapeake Bay maybe a big cargo ship or cruise ship, lights very faint on the horizon,  passing by on its  way from  Norfolk to Baltimore, snatches of soft conversation or laughter echoing across the water.  Definitely, when you visit, do not miss a walk out on the pier in the evening.

A to Z, from antiques to zesty clam dip, there is so much to do on the Eastern Shore of Virginia it’s hard to even know where to begin.  Festivals, birding, wine trail, boating, biking, deep sea fishing, crabbing, clamming, horseback riding, kayaking, visiting museums and wildlife preserves, and the list goes on.  Within the town itself, visit the cute little shops, full of  unique gift items  or stop in at Best Nest, a favorite of mine and  the go-to place for nautical home furnishings and decorations.  Four art galleries offer a tremendous variety of  local art–  from paintings to sculptures to lovely jewelry and more, you’ll find something that cries out,  take me home, take me home with you !  Over at the Marina Village Shops you’ll find  the art studio of  Thelma Peterson, one of the Shore’s most renown painters,  famous among other things for  her paintings of the Coast Guard stations, now gone, but which long stood proud out on our off-shore  Barrier Islands.  What’s the most fun way to get to the Marina Village Shops ( and Aqua Restaurant right next door, but we’ll come to that later) ??  By golf cart, naturally.

Cape Charles is the only town I know of  in Virginia where golf carts are street-legal within the town limits. Nothing like seeing the town from the low & slow, green & lean perspective of a golf cart.  It’s easy to rent one for just a day or for your entire stay.  Of course, the reason the Cape Charles was granted this privilege was that two of the best golf courses on the East Coast are located on the Eastern Shore, the  Bay Creek  18 hole Arnold Palmer and 18 hole Jack Nicklaus Signature golf courses. So if you’re a golfer, a great treat is in store because although these fabulous  courses are private, for a limited time the public can pay greens and cart fees to play them.

And then there is our regional food and wine, led by fine dining at Aqua Restaurant whose seafood is second to none.  Located at Marina Village Shops, Aqua is right on the shores of the Chesapeake Bay.  Dinner at Aqua at sunset is a mighty fine thing and you won’t want to miss it or their luscious crab cakes and Eastern Shore style clam chowder.   Clear at the other end of the spectrum is The Shanty,  located right on the new marina in Cape Charles’ harbor.  Brand new and a replica of the old-fashioned crab shacks of old,  The Shanty is the place for steamed Chesapeake Bay hard shell blue crabs- order by the half or full dozen. Served with corn on the cob and an excellent cole slaw plus a roll of paper towels to mop up the juices,  the crabs are the star of the show.  And they offer a mighty fine grilled burger as well.  Another favorite is Kelly’s Pub, owned by Gene Kelly who offers great pub food all the time, live music most week-ends and absolutely the Shore’s best  St. Paddy’s  Day menu. Slainte’.

So if you’re looking for a terrific vacation spot, away from the “bright lights-loud music” crowd, consider  Virginia’s Eastern Shore. Call us at 757-678- 5300  about a weekly vacation rental for next year at cozy Seahorse Retreat in historic downtown Cape Charles.  Now taking  bookings  for availability starting May 1, 2013. (Posted by Marlene Cree, licensed Virginia agent with Blue Heron Realty Co., 7134  Wilsonia Neck Dr., Machipongo, VA)

The Kellogg House For Sale, My Children’s Home…Part 2

Monday, June 6th, 2011

The Kellogg House at 644 Monroe Ave., Cape Charles, VA

Arguably the finest house in the historic Chesapeake Bayfront town of  Cape Charles, Virginia , the Kellogg House at  644 Monroe Avenue, remains for my children their cherished residence,  full of childhood memories.  From elementary school-aged children to high schoolers,  this house was the center of their universe  for eleven years.  Having spent over 4,000 nights there,  I have a unique appreciation for its particular special history, qualities and features completely aside from the special amenities in Cape Charles such as the great town beach,  Palmer and Nicklaus world class golf courses and a new state-of-the-art marina.  And believe me, there hardly was a morning that I did not awaken with the feeling of how privileged I was to live in such a fine old home!

She never fails to impress a new visitor that crosses her threshold.  From the moment one stands

Grand Entrance Portico at the Kellogg House

 on the sidewalk out front gazing up at her parapets, this grand lady calls, welcoming one to climb the granite steps to the front portico supported by pairs of twin Doric columns.  A great big door with lionshead knocker guards the entrance that is lined with leaded glass-paned sidelights and fan light above.  Dropping the bar on the knocker sends a resounding clap echoing down the entrance hall and up the grand staircase.  My memory recalls the kids bounding down the stairs  to answer the door,  ready for friends and play.

Mr. Eucebius Milton Kellogg completed the construction of this magnificent house in 1928,  two years after sinking the massive foundation that supports the impressive  brick and steel structure of the home.  I understand that 6 months was spent on this foundation,  driving contiguous pilings deep into the footprint upon which the concrete footers were poured.  As the basement is at ground level,  mounds of earth were piled high up against the front walls,  giving the impression from the street the home is built on a  hill.  Mr. Kellogg was a railroad tycoon and wanted his final home to last for centuries! Walls three and four bricks thick stand upon the poured footers and threaded throughout each of the three floors of the home are 12″ steel I-beams. No big, bad wolf is going to blow this house away!

Massive masonry fireplace and French doors in living room

Great, big, formal spaces lend an air of elegance and are finished with architectural moldings, up to five pieces hand-fitted together.

In the center of the outer wall of the living room is a grand masonry fireplace with stone mantel and carved insert  in French script.  On either side of the massive fireplace,  a fireplace that warmed my cold feet on many winter nights, are big French doors offering easy access to the Spanish tiled Florida room.

This sun porch has these incredible horizontal stacking windows that open up great expanses of screened airflow. And on the other side of the great center hall is a wonderful dining room with a centerpiece

Dining room with mahogany china cupboard

 that is a beautiful, handcarved, solid mahogany china cupboard. For excellent service, right behind the dining room is the best butler pantry I have ever seen, with floor to ceiling wooden and glass cupboards and an original, five foot long  porcelain sink. The back hall has another fantastic gem that never fails to amaze,  a floor to ceiling Frigidaire ice cream cupboard,

Floor to ceiling ice cream cupboard in back hall

 magnificently refinished to attract the attention it deserves. Two sets of back stairs lead down to the basement and out into the back yard. The great kitchen also has the same type of stacking windows as the Florida room and allows for wonderful ventilation while preparing and cooking food. Between the kitchen and the dining room and just off the butler pantry is another little surprise, a charming, tiled breakfast room surrounded by six paned, double hung windows that bring the soft morning light and outdoors inside. And off the dining room is a cute, little tiled screened porch, one where I often slept on an army cot during hot summer nights.

Yes, the kids sounded like herds of elephants trampling up and down the grand, cantilevered staircase, a sound that took me years to get used to, but that I miss so much now that they are grown up and on their own. These wonderful stairs always amazed me by their seemingly weightless suspension, but how graceful they

Wonderfully engineered cantilevered grand staircase

are, appointed with a beautiful mahogany bannister with curled end at the bottom. At each of the three floors is an access door that opens to the laundry chute for conveniently making soiled, and in the case of lazy children, not so soiled clothes disappear down to the laundry room in the basement.

The suite of rooms on the second floor tell an interesting story about an elderly couple whose children had all left home before they designed and built this house. Mr. and Mrs. Kellogg had two daughters that they raised in the home at 653 Tazewell, just a hop, skip and a jump from the location of this, their new  Monroe Avenue mansion. There they lived for thirty-five years before moving into this home,  their final place of residence. Settled into their dream home in 1928, Mr. Kellogg occupied one half of the second floor in a large bedroom served by a built-in wardrobe with glass paned doors and a bathroom with shower finished with subway tile. This was heated by a radiator hidden behind a massive iron screen ornamented with two

Master bedroom with built-in wardrobe

 hundred flur-de-lis. The other half of this floor was occupied by Mrs. Kellogg, a suite of three rooms – one a corner bedroom with attached tiled bathroom with full sized tub and pedestal sink and same flur-de-lis radiator screen. The middle room was clearly her full sized dressing and sitting room and passing though that past a huge cedar closet is the sleeping porch for those hot summer nights before the age of air conditioning. And outside that is an outdoor patio as high

Sleeping porch at the Kellogg House

as the tops of the huge crepe myrtles in the back yard – a perfect place for sunbathing!

The third floor was clearly designated for two servants to live in, with two identical bedrooms and a full bath with huge tub between the two. All three of these rooms are served with identical dormers with curved-topped French windows that peak out over the street scene far below. The curved plaster-on-lathe ceilings are so gracefully formed, yet the floors here are only common heart-pine while the two more formal floors below have beautiful oak hardwood.  I could continue on and on with more details about this unique and beautiful home but  I shall save the rest for a future post.  However,  should you be interested in making an appointment to see this splendid and lovingly constructed historic Cape Charles home, please give Blue Heron a call at 757-331-4885  or email me at davidk@esva.net.

Too Early To Book Your Beach Vacation Rental Home In Cape Charles, Virginia ?

Tuesday, February 15th, 2011

Fun, sun and sand on the beach in Cape Charles, Virginia

No,  it’s never too early to book a beach vacation rental home in quaint Cape Charles or anywhere on the Eastern Shore of Virginia for that matter !   I personally believe that the anticipation of a fun event is actually half the pleasure  ( or if not half,  at least a  lot ).  Part of the fun, of course, is perusing the options.  How many people are going to be in our  group  ?   How big of a house  ?  Is overlooking the beach important or  is  being  a block or two away fine ?  Figuring all this out really gets the ole neurons firing and a lot of exciting conversation going.  Once all that is figured out,  time to start looking at the pretty pictures— pictures of the house,  the bedrooms, the kitchen, the great room and of course, critically, the  beach and, of course,  the location, the state and town.  And making summertime plans now helps chase away some of the winter blahs  !  Definitely I  am not an impartial observer, but I do think that Cape Charles offers everything that a coastal vacation should include: beach,  boating,  golf,  shopping, restaurants, entertainment,  all at a peaceful pace  in a quaint, small coastal town setting,  your launch point for great  vacation adventures and memories.   (  Certainly many a person has  liked  Cape Charles so much they decided  to buy a home of  their  own there and join  our vacation rental program.)  

 Once you’ve made your selection,  then let the fun really start as the  “Countdown to Summer”  begins.   I know a lot of people likely agree with this because many of our beach vacation weekly rental homes are currently getting lots of inquiries and it’s only mid-February.  Because of our moderate year-round climate,  on the Eastern Shore of Virginia,  the temperates all week are  going to be 50+ degrees under sunny blue skies.  In a week or two,  our  first camellias will be bursting  into bloom,  bringing glorious shades of pinks, violets, reds,  even variegated reds and whites to winter weary yards.    But in New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and points further north,  it’s still very cold outside and many  folks are probably staring out the window at a couple feet of unmelted snow and stark bare trees.  ( I had a customer tell me the other day that his Christmas yard decorations are frozen fast to the ground, no idea when he’ll be able to wrestle them out. )  So I think there is something really cheery about planning a beach vacation,  anticipating relaxing in the warm golden sun, reading  your book, listening to music,  musing  what to BBQ  for dinner after everyone gets back from the beach as all the while  outside the winds are howling and the snow drifts are practically up to the eves !

This year Blue Heron Realty Co. is  offering 3 homes which overlook  the beach in the town of  Cape Charles, Virginia Historic District.  More details for each can be found on our website, www.blueheronva.com , click on the vacation rentals  tab in the top navigation bar but here are the basics for those 3 beach  homes:

  • Bay Breeze: Overlooks the beach, sleeps 10 in 5 bedrooms, huge front porch. $2250/week in season. Contact Heather Brady, heatherblueheron@esva.net , 757-678-6099
  • Chesapeake Sunset Beauty: Overlooks beach, sleeps 10  in 4 bedrooms,  front porch and upstairs veranda. $2500/week in season.  Contact Eva Noonan, eva.noonan@yahoo.com ,  757-615-8700.
  • Bay Cottage: Overlooks beach, sleeps 6 in 3 bedrooms, front porch. $1200/week in season. Contact Jennifer Ingram, jenning5@yahoo.com ,  757-615-0231. 

So it’s time to get some neurons crackling making the early decisions about a vacation rental this year and begin the Countdown to all the fun in the sun to be had  this summer in the quaint historic town of Cape Charles, Virginia.