Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel

Important Notices

COVID-19 & the VBWTBefore heading out to visit a site on the Virginia Bird & Wildlife Trail, be sure to check if that site has any COVID-19 policies or closures in place. This information is typically posted on a site's own website.


*NOTE:  Effective October 1, 2017, the southernmost island of the CBBT will be CLOSED to all public to allow for the construction of the Parallel Thimble Shoal Tunnel.  Public access is still available at the scenic overlook at the northern end of the CBBT. To access the northernmost island (referred to as the “fourth island”), 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.

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.

Fees: $14 one-way (off-peak season) or $18.00 (peak season); $5 return trip discount if made within 24 hours using E-ZPass.* Toll Schedule 
*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).

Location & Directions

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Site Information

Birds Recently Seen at Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel (as reported to eBird)

  • Double-crested Cormorant
  • Bufflehead
  • Ring-billed Gull
  • Herring Gull
  • Northern Gannet
  • American Crow
  • Red-breasted Merganser
  • Sanderling
  • Great Black-backed Gull
  • Common Grackle

Seasonal Bird Observations


  • Fee
  • Accessible
  • Information
  • Parking
  • Restrooms