Nearing the mouth of the Chesapeake Bay, you encounter the Tidewater region where the coastal areas of southeast Virginia and North Carolina experience the effects of low, flat land at mercy to the changing tides. With this low land comes a great deal of marshland and beaches with all the wonderful perks of the Chesapeake Bay. Here on the tip of the Middle Peninsula in Mathews County, Virginia, we feel like we were sectioned off the biggest piece of the pie, and boy it is sweet!
Tucked away between the Northern Neck and Virginia Peninsula, Mathews’ beaches have been carved from the influence of tidal changes, hurricanes, wildlife preservation areas, and erosion. Many of our beaches are completely at expense to nature’s calling. Mathews’ beaches are charming, unique, and absolutely one of the reasons you should join the tides of visitors this summer. These are just a few of the best of our beaches. Feel free to ask us about which beach is our favorite, or the ones that only the locals know about!
The “Islands” of Mathews County
Some beaches are unaccessible by foot, or car which makes your escape to the beach that much more adventurous! You can access them by boat, kayak, stand up paddleboard, jet ski, or other water vessels using the many public access points available to everyone. There are 4 designated for motor boats, and 20 available for non-motorized water vessels!
New Point Comfort Beach
Unless it is a holiday or weekend with beautiful weather, you can find seclusion at many of Mathews’ beaches. New Point Comfort beach, once connected to New Point Comfort Lighthouse, is found on the southern-most tip of the peninsula. This beach is known as “The Island” by the locals, and can be found on numerous artisan crafts as the icon of Mathews County. New Point is especially popular on the weekends and there you can enjoy the white sands and sand dunes, great swimming areas, an ice cold beverage, and maybe even some overnight camping if you dare! If you are into the party-scene, you can anchor your boat amongst the locals and roll with the tides, especially on Sundays or Holidays!
This beach is less-known than New Point Comfort and you can enjoy a walk along the outskirts of the small island. Here you are bound to find many eclectic treasures from the bay including barnacle-covered pieces of drift wood, bottles, shells, and sun bleached pieces of crab shell. Rigby is a great day trip to relax, and enjoy fishing or sane netting, and also great for a picnic while you take a break from kayaking.
Popular Mathews Beaches
Bethel Beach is one of the favorites for locals and visitors. Bethel beach is for romance, bird watching, and sunsets. Located in Port Haywood – only minutes away from our bed and breakfast – you can take a car or complimentary bike down a stunning back road lined by sea grasses and marshy land. Within these grasses you can see narrow carved out waterways for you to explore with your kayak. Then going over a short one-way bridge (only one of the two in the town!), you come up on a gravel parking area for you to leave behind your material possessions.
Walk along the shore of Bethel Beach and curve around the bend
to witness the Wolf Trap Lighthouse and further expanse of the beach. Towards the very end, you can wade in the shallow waters. This beach is located on Bethel Beach Natural Area Preserve, so it a great place for bird watching and sections of it are marked off during mating season. Bethel beach is the perfect beach to watch the sun rise or fall, and to enjoy total tranquility of the waves hitting the shoreline. This beach is not great for swimming, or beach games, rather exploring, sun tanning, fishing, or a picnic.
Haven Beach is also popular for opposite reasons to Bethel. This is the only beach to have a public restroom, so it is great for a day-trip with family or friends. Haven beach is also a breathtaking drive as you pass large beach grasses twice the height of your car lining the sandy driveway in. The beach is protected by large pilings of rock that can be climbed and explored by little one’s (carefully!). There are great pockets of deep water for swimming, and plenty of sand for beach games or tanning. Sometimes Haven acquires seaweed along it’s shores, but it is harmless!
Small Beaches – For quick refreshers
This tiny beach is hiding away in Hallieford – the kind of spot you find on accident from making a wrong turn. It is sectioned off between two private properties, but Hallieford beach is great for taking a quick dip or walk in the shallow waters. The sand is particularly soft and enjoyable on this beach. Hallieford is great for monitoring kids in shallow water, and also for those who don’t like to be exposed to the sun or heat for too long, as the trees provide shady areas for you to relax. So pull up a chair where the water meets the sand and enjoy the calm water coming in from the Piankatank River.
Old Aaron’s Beach
Old Aaron’s is a great spot for sitting down to take in all the glory of the Eastern Shore. Once known as “Old Haven,” this particular spot is often empty of people, or near to it. Old Aaron’s is mostly a locals beach, but is too beautiful not to be appreciated by visitors. This beach would be great for an afternoon walk with your partner, or quiet getaway by yourself. To get to Aaron’s, it takes a long drive down windy, country roads. In fact, the drive is one of the appeals of this beach, as you get farther from the town and closer to untouched privacy. Much like Bethel beach, the beach gets prettier, and sandier as you keep walking, so keep on going until you’ve found your perfect quiet spot!