Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel


This birding habitat consists of manmade islands located in the open water with views of the Chesapeake Bay and Atlantic Ocean.   The islands, which are constructed of concrete, steel, asphalt and rock, support the underwater tunnels and provide rest stops for migrating shorebirds during spring and fall.  The site also picks up numerous unusual or locally rare sightings due to its position in the Chesapeake Bay.  Northern gannet, brant, king eider, little gull, great cormorant, purple sandpiper, and rarities such as black-tailed gull make this the best winter birding site in Virginia.  The presence of occasional harbor seals and wintering whales add to the allure of this venue.

Birding site locations available to the public are located on the southernmost island*, 3 ½ miles off-shore from Virginia Beach, and the scenic overlook located at the northern end of the facility.

*NOTE:  Effective October 1, 2017, the southernmost island of the CBBT will be CLOSED to the public to allow for the construction of the Parallel Thimble Shoal Tunnel.  To access the second, third or fourth islands, individuals or groups must make application for permission and pay a fee in advance of their planned trip.  To obtain an application, visit or write the Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel, 32386 Lankford Highway, Cape Charles, VA  23310, (757) 331-2960.

Fee: $13 one-way fee; $5 return trip discount if made within 24 hours using E-ZPass.*
*Peak Season pricing may apply.


Southbound Travelers: Travel US Route 13 South and “Follow the Gulls” to the Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel.

Northbound Travelers:

From I-95 North, take exit 11A at Emporia, VA.  This is Route 58 East which will lead to I-64 West. From I-64, take exit #282, Northampton Boulevard (Route 13 North), which will lead directly to the Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel.

From I-64 East or West, take exit #282, Northampton Boulevard (Route 13 North).