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Paddle with the Authors

Onancock, United States

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Experience hosted by Bill & Mary

2 hours
Includes equipment
Up to 8 people
Hosted in English

What you'll do

You'll meet us in our kayak shop at Onancock Wharf, located in the 1906 Steamboat Ticket Office, where once passengers embarked onto steamboats bound for Baltimore. In the present day, we'll outfit you in kayak gear while giving an introduction to the history of this 1680 Colonial port. After an on-land paddle school we'll launch kayaks from our floating dock onto the sheltered waters of Onancock Creek. On this leisurely, 2-hour paddle trip we'll peek into the backyards of historic homes dating to to the 1700s. Your guide will narrate the history of the region, from native peoples, through Capt. John Smith, schooner and steamboat days to the present. Along the way you'll learn about the ecology, plants, birds and shellfish of the Chesapeake Bay. Afterwards, step onto the adjacent outdoor dining deck of Mallards restaurant for lunch or a drink. Autographed copies of "Kayaking for Everyone" and our other guidebooks, as well as local postcards featuring kayaking are available for purchase in the shop. Beginners and children welcome.
Other things to note
We will be in contact with you if there are any weather issues. We do paddle in light rain, but not if there's lightning nearby.
Please wear shoes that can get wet and drip-dry type shorts or pants. Bring water, sunscreen, a hat and a rainjacket just in case.
You'll meet us in our kayak shop at Onancock Wharf, located in the 1906 Steamboat Ticket Office, where once passengers embarked onto steamboats bound for Baltimore. In the present day, we'll outfit you in kayak gear while giving an introduction to the history of this 1680 Colonial port. After an on-land paddle school we'll launch kayaks from our floating dock onto the sheltered waters of Onancock Creek. On this leisurely, 2-hour paddle trip we'll…

Bill & Mary's commitment to safety

This host committed to Airbnb’s COVID-19-related safety and cleaning guidelines—including adhering to social distancing guidelines, practicing good hygiene, and ensuring that all participants wear a mask.
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What's included

  • Equipment
    Single or tandem kayaks, life jackets, paddles, waterproof drybag for your...
From $45
/ person
No dates available

Meet your host, Bill & Mary

Host on Airbnb since 2015
  • 14 Reviews
  • Identity verified
We wrote the book! Paddle with the authors of "Kayaking for Everyone," Bill & Mary Burnham. We lead trips all over the Eastern Shore of Virginia (visit our website www.burnhamguides.com for full day and multi-day trips on the Chesapeake Bay and Barrier Islands). We've authored 8 outdoor books (signed copies available for purchase in our Onancock shop). We have extensive local knowledge of the history and nature of the region and look forward to sharing it with you! In the winter we lead trips in the Florida Keys, Everglades and Costa Rica.
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Where you'll be

We'll meet you in our charming kayak shop located inside the 1906 historic Steamboat Ticket Office. We'll paddle by many beautiful homes, including the oldest house in town, 1769 Scott Hall, Sears catalogue homes, and the impressive Mount Prospect. You'll watch fishing and crab boats collect their harvest, and visit a secret nature cove to look for wading birds, bald eagles and periwinkle snails.

Rated 5.0 out of 5 from 14 reviews.

Deborah
September 2019
Expert outfit willing to take time with novice and new kayakers. The hosts had great insight into the location and they made the trip fun, interesting, and informative. I appreciate that they allow folks to take in the place by opening up their senses (listening in the cove, spotting saltwater asters, etc.). I really enjoyed my time and will be back again!
Expert outfit willing to take time with novice and new kayakers. The hosts had great insight into the location and they made the trip fun, interesting, and informative. I appreciat…
Barbara
September 2019
We were a group of 2. Mary, an owner, was our guide. Mary made sure we were ready and prepared to kayak BEFORE getting into one. She evaluated each of us, and assigned us a kayak, and which was suitable and safe.
Linda Louise
September 2019
I went on the two hour water level kayaking tour of Onancock on a Sunday in September. It was a terrific combination of local history, nature trail, and being outdoors on the water. Bill told stories about town history and marsh ecology, I saw kingfishers, herons, and bald eagles. Bill and Mary were great at getting me set up with a kayak I felt comfortable in and are very knowledgeable about kayaking, hiking and camping. You do not need previous kayak experience to enjoy this trip.
I went on the two hour water level kayaking tour of Onancock on a Sunday in September. It was a terrific combination of local history, nature trail, and being outdoors on the water…
Cinderella
September 2019
I made the reservations as a last minute plan and they were responsive and flexible when I showed up late. My tour was one on one with Mary. Mary was fabulous. She was patient and gave expert instruction plus shared the local history. Overall this was a 5 star experience. Highly recommend for the beginner paddler.
I made the reservations as a last minute plan and they were responsive and flexible when I showed up late. My tour was one on one with Mary. Mary was fabulous. She was patient and…
Yasmine
August 2019
If you haven’t heard of Onancock, it’s time to discover it! It’s a precious gem on the Eastern Shore, and a kayak tour with Bill & Mary will be a wonderful way to view the quaint little town from a different perspective. Bill & Mary are expert kayakers and hikers and have lived in Onancock for many years, they know exactly where to paddle for the greatest insights into the history of the homes, beautiful views, and sightings of a variety of birds! We enjoyed our experience! It was worth our 4-hour drive!
If you haven’t heard of Onancock, it’s time to discover it! It’s a precious gem on the Eastern Shore, and a kayak tour with Bill & Mary will be a wonderful way to view the quaint…
Katia
July 2019
We had a great experience paddling the serene Onancock creek with Mary. I totally recommend booking a trip with them when in the area.

Activity advisory

Expert industry partners
Every adventure follows industry guidelines. We partnered with the Adventure Travel Trade Association, expert leaders in adventure travel, to define best practices and standards for safety.
Know your comfort level
Please note outdoor activities carry risks, and you may be exposed to dangerous situations as part of this experience. Make sure you can participate safely given your abilities and the conditions (such as location, weather, and equipment).

Things to know

Cancellation policy

Any experience can be canceled and fully refunded within 24 hours of purchase, or at least 7 days before the experience starts.

Guest requirements

Up to 8 guests ages 5 and up can attend.

What to bring

Shoes that can get wet, bottled water, sun protection (hat, sunscreen), jacket if it's cold.

We sell bottled water, snacks and ice cream in the shop; all $1 each