I am a Master Gardener, which I earned while living in Prince William County, so as you can imagine, I’m pretty fond of plants! I love spending my time gardening at both the Bay Haven gardens and the New Roots Youth Center garden, where I teach youth to grow vegetables from seed to farm stand.
Here are a few facts about the plants that we tend to here at Bay Haven Inn:
1. Our back courtyard gardens grow 27 varieties of heirloom tomatoes and peppers from seed. This delicious produce eventually ends up on your breakfast table at our B&B!
2. Our Mexican petunias bloom daily with purple petals that attract both butterflies and hummingbirds. These beautiful flowers line the path of the inn, making a lovely display to welcome you to Bay Haven.
3. Want to surprise your sweetheart with a special surprise when you walk into your room? We have a cut flower garden that supplies the fresh bouquets for our Flowers in Your Room special.
3. We put in a brand new lily bed put in last year and it’s coming in strong and beautiful! You’ll have the opportunity to see these lilies on our dining room table.
4. “Etsy” the Palm Tree waits to welcome you to “Paradise Island," where it’s five o’clock whenever you choose. Etsy rests on a shell-lined bed with branches shading two Adirondack chairs that are just waiting for you to lounge in their comfort.
Let’s say you’ve found that special someone, and you’re ready pop the question. You have the perfect ring, the perfect proposal, and the perfect set-up in mind, and all that’s left is to select the perfect location. That’s where Bay Haven Inn of Cape Charles comes in. Treat your soon-to-be fiancée to a sunset engagement on a soft sandy beach. Say yes to your future groom from the simple solitude of our front porch swing. We have a good number of amazing spots around Cape Charles that would be wonderful as proposal sites, and we can’t wait to help you on your way towards happily-ever-after.
But the engagement is only the first part! After she’s said yes, there will be a flurry of wedding plans, and one of the most important parts of that planning is the wedding venue. Guess where your fairy tale wedding can take place? Right here at Bay Haven Inn of Cape Charles. After all, what is more romantic than a ceremony held right at the site of the engagement?
Conveniently enough, Bay Haven Inn just so happens to be a B&B, which, as you may know, makes a great honeymoon locale. Between our luxurious rooms, the soft bay breeze, and the flurry of activities around Cape Charles, your honeymoon here will be one you’ll never forget.
Down the road a little ways, you might find that you’re expecting a new arrival—a bouncing baby who will change your lives forever. Why not celebrate your last days as a duo with a relaxing getaway from the real world? Cape Charles is your babymoon destination, perfect for expecting parents who need some pampering and recreation before all of the sleepless nights and diaper changes of parenthood.
Memories play a huge part in any relationship, so why not connect your memories to one special place? We’d love to offer you a romantic stay in Cape Charles, so book your room now and start planning your getaway!
There is nothing like a first-hand experience at Bay Haven Inn of Cape Charles, and we thought we should give you a bit of an idea what a day is like here for our guests. Since we’re located in the exact center of town, all of these activities are only steps away from the inn, and what better time is there to experience a Cape Charles vacation than at the beginning of summer?
- Start your day with morning coffee on the porch, overlooking the gardens and quiet streets of Cape Charles, then indulge in a hearty breakfast while you chat with some of our other fantastic guests.
- Enjoy a FREE self-guided walking tour, or rent a golf cart or bike to tour the historic district, and learn some of the history and architecture of the houses and buildings in town. Our maybe treat yourself to an old-fashioned carriage ride through town and enjoy the nostalgic sound of the horse hooves on the streets.
- Explore the waters of the Chesapeake Bay from the seat of a kayak or wave runner.
- Relax in a beach chair, and dig your toes into the soft, summer sand. (There’s no need to worry about hauling towels, a beach umbrella and chairs on your trip; we provide them all!)
- Explore the unique shopping in downtown Cape Charles, just steps away from Bay Haven Inn. (Some of my favorite options are the Boardwalk, Moonrise Jewelry, and Watson’s Hardware.) End your stroll with a free wine tasting at Gull Hummock Gourmet Market or a cone at Brown Dog Ice Cream (where you might even get to meet Foster, the famous brown dog!)
- Read and take a nap to the soothing sounds of the chimes in the gardens with the cool bay breezes rustling around you. Enjoy swinging your worries away on the porch (Beware: swinging is addictive!)
- Stroll down the streets with a fading sunset in the distance, and decide what you’re in the mood for dinner. There is plenty to choose from! You’ll find harbor side dining at The Shanty, Gourmet Bistro Night at Hook-U-Up, a pub-style meal at Kelly’s Gingernut Pub or The Coach House Tavern or perhaps a romantic dinner overlooking the bay at The Oyster Farm at Kings Creek to take in one of Cape Charles breathtaking sunsets!
- End your day by simply relaxing on our porch, visiting with other guests and enjoying the salty bay breeze against your sun-kissed skin.
Our porch awaits….
Virginia is for lovers, right? At least, that’s how the saying goes. If you’ve visited the Commonwealth, chances are you’ve seen it on bumper stickers, hats, t-shirts, and various other paraphernalia. But have you ever seen Virginia LOVE in the form of art? Come to Cape Charles, and you will!
Virginia is for Lovers set out to prove that “love is at the heart of every vacation,” and the way they did this is “by having giant ‘LOVE’ artworks pop up in many different and unexpected places across Virginia.” Well, one of those locations just so happens to be Cape Charles! What makes Capes Charles’ LOVEwork so special though, is that it is not only a reflection of all of Virginia, but it also portrays the specific aspects of Cape Charles that make our city so wonderful:
L – The “L" is filled with shells of clams and oysters, representing our aquaculture.
O – The “O” is a tractor tire, representing the rich history of the agriculture of the shore.
V – The “V” is made of two kayaks, telling the story of the great ways to explore and experience the shore via kayak.
E – The “E” is made of crab pots, representing the waterman and fresh crabs that come from the Chesapeake Bay.
We think this LOVEwork is a beautifully accurate representation of our shoreside home! If you’d like to visit it yourself, venture on out to the magnificent public fishing pier on your next trip to Cape Charles. (And don’t forget to book your room at Bay Haven Inn of Cape Charles!)
Golf carts are pretty fantastic, aren’t they? They’re easy to use, simple to hop into, and using them usually means warmer weather, a special event, or both. (In our case, the “both” means a warm-weather trip to Bay Haven Inn of Cape Charles!)
Here in Cape Charles, we’re a big golf cart town, and as the weather continues to warm, you’ll see that golf carts become the preferred method of travel. In fact, one local establishment, a cute souvenir shop called Chuckletown Productions, coined the phrase “Cart Life” to describe the golf cart craze in Cape Charles. (A bit of trivia for you: Chuckletown Productions’ name comes from Cape Charles’ popular nickname, “Cape Chuck.”) This souvenir shop even sells mementos with a golf cart theme, so if you want to take a piece of Cape Charles home with you, wear a “Cart Life” shirt with pride!
Now, with all of this cart talk, you may be jumping at the chance to book a room at Bay Haven Inn of Cape Charles and slip into a golf cart to explore our bayside town. So, where do you go to grab a golf cart? The most popular solution is Eastern Shore Custom Carts, a company that says, “We offer custom golf cart builds from the mild to wild! For those who need a simple mode of transportation to the most discerning clients who want a head turning showstopper, “IF YOU CAN DREAM IT, WE CAN BUILD IT.” Whatever type of golf cart you desire, they’ve got you covered. Our very own personalized golf cart Chessy Bay came from Eastern Shore Custom Carts, so we highly recommend them!
We look forward to seeing you soon on your golf cart adventure in Cape Charles!
Your choices of activities in Cape Charles, Virginia are endless! From water activities to local shops to seaside cuisine, you’ll always be on an adventure, but which adventures should be at the top of your list? If we absolutely had to choose, these would be our top 5 must-dos during your Bay Haven Inn of Cape Charles getaway:
1. Brown Dog Ice Cream- The great thing about Brown Dog is that it’s named after “Foster" the brown dog. Miriam, the owner, makes fresh, unique flavors every week. Last week’s flavor was Monkey Business, the trifecta of ice cream—chocolate and peanut butter swirled into banana ice cream. Miriam often uses seasonal local ingredients as they become plentiful. A summer day is not complete without a stroll, or in our case a golf cart ride on “Cheesy Bay,” for a refreshing treat at Brown Dog Ice Cream.
2. Take in a beautiful sunset with your toes in the sand. In Cape Charles, you always know what time of day it is when you see everyone stopping what they are doing and heading west toward the beach to get a glimpse of that magical fireball getting ready to take a dip in the Chesapeake Bay. Jim and I stop in the middle of whatever we are doing and hop on the golf cart to get our toes in the sand. With cool beverages in hand, we always enjoy those warm glows that begin to light the sky. Our tip: Stick around for five minutes AFTER the sunset…that is when the sky is like an artist has taken a paintbrush to the sky and created a beautifully unique masterpiece.
3. Explore the Wildlife Refuge or Kiptopeke State Park- The Eastern Shore of Virginia Wildlife Refuge offers a ½-mile interpretive wildlife trial, while Kiptopeke State Park provides 5.1 miles of hiking and biking trails for your enjoyment along with recreational access to the Chesapeake Bay. Grab your walking shoes, a good buddy, and a camera, and snap some photos of the great outdoors and the animals who make their home there.
4. Enjoy a historic walking tour- “Cape Charles, a town of diverse neighborhoods and building styles, has many excellent examples of Victorian, Colonial Revival, Craftsman, and Neoclassical styles” (RootsWeb). Step back in time with historic establishments like 515 Mason, the oldest house in Cape Charles, Cape Charles Baptist Church, dating back to 1902, and of course, the Cape Charles Museum and Welcome Center. And don’t forget to check out Bay Haven Inn of Cape Charles at 403 Tazewell! Our historic inn is a 1906 Colonial Revival built for James W. and Alyce Wilson as their wedding present from W. B Wilson. Click here for a full list of walking tour destinations.
5. Treat yourself to fish tacos at The Oyster Farm at King’s Creek- While The Oyster Farm at King’s Creek features a large variety of fresh, mouthwatering seafood, their soft tacos are of special note. They’re absolutely delicious! Sink your teeth into grilled, blackened Mahi or shrimp tacos, complete with cilantro, pico de gallo, pepper jack cheese, and homemade coleslaw. Yum!
“Historic tall ships, sloops and schooners will once again grace Cape Charles Town Harbor…This is a rare opportunity to get up close and personal as you explore the decks and meet the costumed crews of magnificent tall ships and encounter roving pirates, costumed re-enactors and all kinds of family fun throughout our historic town and harbor” (Tall Ships Cape Charles).
There’s something innately exciting about ships, right? There’s a reason that so many books and movies feature a sea vessel as the primary setting. Whether they host the supernatural villains of “Pirates of the Caribbean” or the historic adventures of “Master and Commander,” ships are full of excitement, not only for passengers but also for the landlubbers who admire them. You have the opportunity see a number of great ships for yourself at the Fourth Annual Tall Ships at Cape Charles Festival on June 13-14, 2015! Need a few reasons to attend? We’ll give you three:
Ready to start planning your Tall Ships getaway? We fill up quickly, so be sure to book your room at Bay Haven Inn of Cape Charles now!
(Note: A special treat for Tall Ships weekend is the visit of the Buy Boat, the F.D. Crockett. Buy Boats have a rich history on the Chesapeake Bay and this boat in particular is very special to us, as my uncle “Purdy” Green was the captain for 50 years! The Englands’ have done a marvelous job with this restoration, it is a must see for anyone visiting Cape Charles that weekend.
If you read one of our recent blogs, then you know we’re huge fans of gardens and gardening. But gardens aren’t the only way to enjoy the natural beauty of springtime! How about a morning, afternoon, evening (or entire day) spent at Cape Charles’ Kiptopeke State Park? “Located on Virginia's Eastern Shore, this park offers recreational access to the Chesapeake Bay and the chance to explore a unique coastal habitat featuring a major flyway for migratory birds.”
Are you a hiking enthusiast or a cycling aficionado? Then lace up your shoes and travel 5.1 miles of hiking and biking trails. Do you have kids who are bursting with energy? Let them roam the park playground. Yearning to get your feet wet? Dive into the waters of two different Chesapeake Bay beaches. Kiptopeke even offers fishing, boating, a pier with picnic tables, and special events.
And speaking of special events, there’s one coming up in only a couple of weeks. On April 19-26, Kiptopeke will be celebrating Earth Week as well as Recycling Day: “Celebrate Earth Week with Kiptopeke as we kick off the 2015 season while we focus on recycling. We will learn about different recyclable materials and will learn about the single stream recycling system in the park. To celebrate we will have different games and crafts.” (Don’t forget that April 18-26, 2015 is also National Park Week, and while Kiptopeke is a state park rather than a national one, it’s still a great excuse for some exploration of all this Virginia playground has to offer. Even if you don’t make it for National Park Week, Kiptopeke is always available for your adventures.)
Ready for your Kiptopeke State Park getaway? Don’t forget to reserve your room at Bay Haven Inn of Cape Charles! (We’re only a quick drive away from the park!)
Unrelated Reminder: The Blessing of the Worms is coming up on April 26 at the New Roots Youth Garden. Click here to check out their Facebook page!
Springtime Means Gardening!
“In the spring, at the end of the day, you should smell like dirt.” ― Margaret Atwood, Bluebeard's Egg
When you check in at the Bay Haven Inn in the spring, you will often find us with our hands in the dirt (or at the very least, smelling of dirt)! Springtime gardens signify the color and beauty that was buried beneath winter’s dirt, and Cape Charles, VA is ready to celebrate that floral splendor. Check out the following ideas of how you can enjoy the blossoming springtime gardens around Bay Haven Inn of Cape Charles:
We recommend the “Tour the Shore” path that takes you to Appleseed Nurseries, Machipongo Trading Company, and the gardens of Eyre Hall for a delightful day of gardening inspiration. End the day of course with a cool beverage of choice on our porch, and reflect over this memorable excursion. You don’t want to miss springtime on the shore…have you booked your room yet?
Last month I had the opportunity to spend quality networking and professional development time with fellow Virginia Bed and Breakfast owners in Fredericksburg, VA at the annual Conference. In my 9-hour (should be 3 ½ hrs) journey back to the Eastern Shore of Virginia I had a lot of time to reflect and digest the incredible amount of content jammed into this event.
1. Content Matters: Writing content is like exercising, we know it is good for us but do we do it? The kick off conference speaker Marcus Sheridan, the “Sales Lion” engaged and invigorated the room as he gave specific take-ways for B&B owners. It’s all about trust…we trust strangers in our homes and at our breakfast tables but how do we build trust in our business? Is our website addressing a potential guests concerns about staying in a Bed and Breakfast? What are their fears? Hesitations? The take-a-way: take a look at your website, write a blog and answer the hard questions, BE HONEST, that will earn their respect.
2. The Millennial Momentum: Okay baby boomers do you know who the largest generation is? You got it, Millennials born between 1980 and 2000 make-up over 80 million people in the US (source: 2013 Why Millennials Matter). Does your B&B understand this growing group of potential guests? Rick Wolf and Peter Scherman, BB Team challenged attendees to think about how you can adapt your content and keep it relevant to the needs of this new customer base.
A few take-a-ways on how to engage with these guests:
~ These folks grew up with technology; therefore social networks are an essential part of their lives. They may love your quaint historic property but they will want their technology to work!
~They are huge supporters of the “Local” movement, therefore choosing small businesses like B&B’s; use language in your content to let them know you are engaged in the local movement (Farm to table, using local purveyors for food and supplies)
~ It’s all about the experience expose these guests to all the unique things about your town, history of your B&B, be a good story teller and engage them, they want a story to tell to friends and family and you guessed it they will do this via social networks.
Source: State of the American Traveler, July 2014. Destination Analysts, Inc.
3. Look out for the Pigeon(s)…no need to duck and run, Lisa Kolb, from Acorn Internet Services gave the latest and greatest updates on Goggles new algorithm. Pigeon developed to give users a more useful, relevant and accurate locale search results (Source: Search Engine Land). Innkeepers need to stay up to date with the ever-changing world of Google and the impact it will have on your ranking. Think about the millennial we were talking about and technology. Here are some of the featured areas (Source: Acorn Internet Services)
~Is your website responsive? Does your site adapt to whatever techy gadget some is using? How does it look on a tablet? Mobile phone? Laptop or desktop?
~Does your website pass the Mobile-Friendly test? People are on the move and they are searching for their next vacation on their lunch break, sitting in traffic or looking up a place a friend mentioned. They don’t wait until they get home they “Google-It “ immediately.
~Does your website pass the speed test? You will be surprised at what you find…checkout get the skinny on your mobile speed, mobile user experience and desktop. These results will make a difference in your bounce rate and once you have gotten a potential guest interested in your property you do not want to loose them, right?
4. Psst…I have a question for you….”To Blog or not to Blog that is the question!” M. Shannon Hernandez, the Writing Whisperer challenged B& B owners to take few minutes to write about the day-to-day things happening on their properties, in their towns or in the industry. Many of us do not blog because we think that we do not have anything exciting to share. We were politely told we were WRONG…the lives of B&Ber’s are fascinating and people want to hear about our behind the scenes happenings on our properties…in the words of the professional blogtress Ms Hernandez…JUST DO IT!
5. “Pillow talk” and we are not talking “ Fifty Shades of Gray” here…was the big topic as Select Registry CEO, Jay Karen took the keynote stage. It’s time for Bed and Breakfasts to hit the refresh button and clear their comfy beds of the excess decorative pillows, doilies and clutter. Jay made a couple salient points that made it easy for innkeepers to remember, Vertical is for US (walls) and Horizontal is for GUESTS (table tops, bed, etc.). So fellow innkeepers, join us at the Bay Haven Inn of Cape Charles and take the plunge for a winter purge. Just think of all of the stuff you can donate to your local charity!
Here we are almost a month later, it's 75 degrees out ( yay!) and I am still thinking about the things learned at the Bed and Breakfast Association of Virginia conference…working my way through the list and making changes, still as motivated and inspired as I was on that snowy cold drive home.