Best of the Bay

Well, dear readers, it’s your favorite time of year again—not only because summer is officially here, but because we’re giving your favorite Bay places the credit they deserve. Every year we ask a random 5,000 of you to name your favorite places and institutions on the Bay—from anchorages and restaurants to sailmakers and repair services—and once again you’ve risen to the challenge. And this year many new favorites emerged in the top 10. Deltaville, Va., and other towns scattered across Virginia’s Northern Neck are growing increasingly popular with the readership—Queens Creek Outfitters in Mathews County, Va., topped the list for favorite tackle shop, Deltaville’s West Marine rivaled Fawcett’s for favorite chandlery, and the Ship’s Tailor in Deltaville was the favorite for many in the canvas department.  

If you’re curious about demographics of this survey’s respondents, they have an average of 21 years of Bay boating experience (though one gentleman has an astounding 84); 66 percent are powerboaters, while 26 percent own sailboats; 60 percent are from the Northern Bay (Potomac River and north); and nearly all believe they’re the only ones who know the rules of the road and that everyone else should take boating classes (hmmmmmmm). Clearly, everyone was frightened by Isabel, but fortunately most came through unscathed. And since almost everyone said they planned on getting out on the water more this summer, we have to conclude that she didn’t scare you into selling your boats. 

So get out there and enjoy a wonderful season on the Bay—and keep track of your favorite places. Your number may come up for next year’s survey.

–Ann Merke

On to the results

Illustration by Jim Reynolds