Burnham Guides
Virginia Green Attraction of the Year

Visit us at our Kayak Shop on Onancock Creek on the lovely Eastern Shore of Virginia! Located at 2 King St., on the wharf, next to Mallards restaurant, a great spot for a bite or cocktails after a day on the water. Kayak, Bike and SUP rentals, tours and lessons. RATES. (Reservations: 757-710-5137).
Our fully-outfitted "Paddle with the Authors" adventures in Virginia and Maryland are offered spring through fall, from one day to a week:
~ Paddle with the ponies: Assateague Island.
~ Chesapeake Bay: kayak camping or B&B.
~ Virginia Seaside Water Trail: B&B or island cottage.
Add a hang-gliding flight, a stay in a historic B&B, a tasting of local wine and seafood, and you have the makings for a life-changing experience. We take care of all the details for you, whether beginner or advanced. Call 305-240-0650 or E-mail to reserve. TRIP CALENDAR

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Visit our shop on the Eastern Shore of Virginia

2 King St., Onancock, VA 757-710-5137

Spring through Fall finds us at our "basecamp" in Onancock on Virginia's Eastern Shore. The paddling located in the historic SteamBoat Ticket Office at Onancock Wharf is the perfect launch for hourly kayak, SUP or bike rentals, or for the more adventurous, a kayak camping or B&B-based adventures on the Chesapeake Bay, the Seaside Water Trail, or Assateague Island, Maryland paddling with the ponies. Shop phone: 757-710-5137. 2 King St., Onancock, VA.
Rates: 1-hr 2-hr Half-day Full-day Rentals
Single: $20 $30 $40 $55
SUP: $20 $30 $40 $55
Tandem $30 $45 $60 $75
Bikes: $10 for 2 hours; $20 for full day
2-hour tour: $45 per person. Onancock Creek
Half-day tour: $85 per person. Schooner Bay
Full-day tour: $125 per person, includes lunch on a barrier island.
Scroll down for multi-day trips

Seaside Water Trail

One day up to a week along Virginia's barrier islands

Spend a a full day, a weekend or a week on the Seaside Water Trail along the Virginia Eastern Shore's protected barrier islands. Camping is not allowed on these pristine islands due to bird nesting, so we will arrange land support to take you to a lodge or B&B each evening. We can customize a trip for all abilities, from a few days to the full length of the 70-mile peninsula from Chincoteague to Kiptopeke, the longest undeveloped shoreline on the East Coast.

Holly Bluff Island Guesthouse, is a 1920s fishing lodge that we rent for 2 or 3 days as a "basecamp" for barrier island paddling. Full kitchen and bathroom facilities, private beach with access to paddling arond Mockhorn Island, Fisherman Island, and the Cape Charles Lighthouse. We are able to harvest oysters, clams and/or crabs for a seafood feast on the wrap-around deck, also a great place for yoga! The birdwatching, sunrises and sunsets are sublime.

Holly Bluff Cottage trips: $795 per person for 3-day/2-night. $995 for 4-day/3-night. Includes kayaks, instruction, all meals and lodging).

Day trips: $125 for Seaside day trips (includes lunch; other meals and lodging on own).

TRIP CALENDAR ~ Call 305-240-0650 or E-mail for itineraries and costs. >

Assateague Island National Seashore, Maryland

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3-7 days: Paddle with the Ponies and Sleep under the Pines

Experience a wild barrier island as few visitors do on a Burnham Guides kayak camping expedition into the backcountry of Assateague National Seashore. Less than three hours from D.C. on Maryland's coast, this national treasure is famous for its wild horses and white sand beaches. The 37-mile-long barrier island also offers paddling through bayside marshes, hiking in maritime forests, and remote backcountry camping.

As always, we take care of all the details for you, from gear to healthy meals, unmatched guiding services and extras like yoga on the beach, biking and stand-up paddleboarding.

>We launch from the northern end of Assateague Island, near Ocean City, MD, paddle along bayside marshes to backcountry campsites with chemical toilets and picnic tables. A short walk leads to wild Atlantic ocean beach.

Cost: 3-day/2-night: $650; 4-day/3-night: $795; 5-day/4-night: $995. Includes kayaks, camping gear, meals, & camping fees. 10% discount for bringing own sea kayak or camping gear (must be approved by Burnham Guides as suitable for trip).

TRIP CALENDAR ~ Call 305-240-0650 or E-mail to book

Chesapeake Bay Kayak Camping

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2-5 days

Burnham Guides' small group, fully-outfitted trips are the perfect introduction to the great adventure of kayak camping, or a longer expedition for more advanced paddlers with their own equipment.

We lead you through the salt marshes of Virginia's Eastern Shore, an Audubon-sanctioned Important Birding Area. We explore small beaches and tidal creeks through Parker's Marsh Natural Area Preserve, and end in the 1680 Colonial port of Onancock, offering dining and historic lodgings for pre/post trip.

This nice mix of eco-tour and local history can average paddling distances of about 6 to 10 miles per day, or up to 15 for advanced groups. The exact route is subject to weather/wind conditions. As the weekend progresses, Bill & Mary will share instruction on kayaking strokes. Camping is typically primitive (tent shelters and camp cooking) on Chesapeake Bay islands. We may also arrange camping on the grounds of an historic house on Onancock Creek. Optional features, such as an oyster roast or stand-up paddleboarding can be arranged.

Cost: 2-day overnight: $450 per person. 3-day/2-night: $650; 4-day/3-night: $795; 5-day: $995. Includes kayaks, camping gear, meals, & camping fees. 10% discount for bringing own sea kayak or camping gear (must be approved by Burnham Guides as suitable for trip).

TRIP CALENDAR ~ Call 305-240-0650 or E-mail to book

B&B-Based Adventures

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Eastern Shore of Virginia

For those not interested in camping, we have lovely lodge-based options. We turn an adventure into the perfect mix of Eastern Shore nature and small town charm. Paddle Onancock Creek at sunset for a beach supper, Chesapeake Bay marshes and seaside islands by day, and rest easy at a charming B&B and have dinner out in the 1680 Colonial port town of Onancock, VA. Add a hang gliding flight, a boat trip out to the island community of Tangier, or a post-paddle massage! Lodging is included at an historic, family-run B&B in Onancock that is walking or biking distance to shops, galleries and eateries. Check onancock.org, for more details on the town.

Cost depends on options and lodging selected. Email us to customize a great trip for you! We take care of all the details.

> TRIP CALENDAR ~ Call 305-240-0650 or E-mail for reservations.

Air/Sea/B&B Package

Paddle one day, hang glide the next

Explore pristine waterways, beaches, wonderful birdlife and soaring views of Virginia's Eastern Shore. Paddle with the Authors of "Kayaking for Everyone," Bill & Mary Burnham of Burnham Guides, take a tandem flight with Virginia Hang Gliding, and rest easy at a B&B in historic Onancock.

Day one: Burnham Guides takes you places few know exist: pristine creeks with histories dating back to John Smith's encounters with Native Americans; remote, wild barrier island beaches; wonderful birdlife, both migratory and nesting. Destinations depend on weather conditions, customer's experience, and availability. All gear is included; all trips include a beginner kayak lesson, or an advance strokes and balance course for more seasoned kayakers.

Day two: Fly like a giant bird and experience the beauty of the Eastern Shore from several thousand feet in the blue sky. Professionally flown by an experienced, licensed hang glider pilot and safely enclosed in a state-of-the-art harness and glider, you will be towed into the sky by a specially designed airplane and released to enjoy flight in its truest form. Land back on the soft grass at our dedicated facility. Photos and a video of your flight are also available. Add this to your "Life List" and come paddle the sky with Virginia Hang Gliding.

Lodging: The Spinning Wheel B&B is your comfortable "base camp" for your air/sea adventure. From this historic, friendly home, you can walk or bike to all that this charming 1680 Colonial port has to offer: dining, shopping, art galleries and more.

Cost: $425 per person (double occupancy). $560 single occupancy. Includes a full day of kayaking, a hang gliding flight, two nights lodging, two breakfasts, and one kayaker lunch. Dinners are on your own with several wonderful restaurants to choose from.

TRIP CALENDAR ~ Call 305-240-0650 or E-mail

Rooftop of Virginia Hike and Bike

Hiking Virginia

Hike with the authors up Virginia's tallest peak and coast by bike down the Virginia Creeper Trail. A cozy lodge in the woods is our basecamp for hot showers, soft beds, yoga and frankly, some a pretty awesome meals as we toast each day's adventure! Additional dates can be arranged upon request, May through mid-October.

E-mail for details or call 305-240-0650.


Prices are based on double occupancy and include sea kayaks, all camping gear (tent, sleeping bag, pad, etc.), camping and lodging fees, guides services, instruction, all meals (except where noted), and sales tax. A Single Supplement may be added. Optional restaurant dining, hotel stays, optional excursions and massages are at customer's expense.

Discounts cannot be combined.
-10% off for bringing own sea kayak at least 16 feet long with double bulkheads, paddle, PFD, and sprayskirt. Kayak must be approved by Burnham Guides as appropriate for open water expeditions and carrying communal gear, food and water. Burnham Guides is not responsible for loss or damage to personal boats or gear.
** OR **
-10% for bringing your own camping gear: small tent, packable sleeping bag and pad and associated drybags. Gear must be approved by Burnham Guides, backpacking-style and able to fit into the hatches of the kayak, leaving enough room for communal gear, food and water.
-Group Discounts available for 6 or more.
-20% for children under 15 in a tandem with parent

20% deposit required at time of booking. Balance due two weeks prior to launch.
30-day notice is required for cancellation or deposit will not be returned. Deposit refund may be subject to a processing fee to cover credit card charges and any nonrefundable deposits we have made on your behalf. Trip Insurance is highly recommended to cover the cost of your entire trip: flight plus Burnham Guides trip.

What to bring?
We supply sea kayaks, life jackets, paddles, sprayskirt, and all camping and cooking gear. Let us know if you'd like to bring any of your own gear. Click here for the personal gear and clothing list of things you should bring.

Food & Alcohol
We strive to provide healthy, fresh, and nutritious meals, and to accommodate your dietary preferences and restrictions, be they allergies, vegetarian or gluten-free diets. But we do need to know about these well in advance for provisioning. As soon as trip is booked, you'll receive a detailed questionnaire to list dieterary restrictions and medical issues. Our insurance does not allow us to serve alcohol, but you are more than welcome to bring your own to enjoy at the end of the paddling day.

Burnham Guides is the 2015 Virginia Green Attraction of the Year!
We practice Leave no Trace camping, recycling, and the use of locally-sourced foods.

About us: Bill & Mary Burnham

Bill & Mary Burnham

Burnham Guides LLC combines our work as guidebook authors and kayak guides. Bill and Mary Burnham, authors of "Hiking Virginia" and eight other books, have been paddling, hiking and writing about Virginia for nearly 20 years.

In winter, join us for multi-day trips in the Florida Keys, paddling from the pages of our award-winning Florida Keys Paddling Atlas. The rest of the year, we guide trips on the Eastern Shore of Virginia. and annual trips to Costa Rica and Portugal.

We are American Canoe Association (ACA) instructors and co-authors of Knack Kayaking for Everyone.

Paddle with the Authors of the award-winning "Florida Keys Paddling Atlas."

Virginia Green

Burnham Guides LLC is a certified Virginia Green business.

Visit BurnhamVirginia.com