The BIC is located on the Eastern Shore of Virginia, just 20 miles north of the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel and 10 miles south of the town of Exmore, between mile markers 90 and 91 on the western side of Route 13.  

The entrance to the driveway is on Young Street, directly across the highway from the Machipongo Trading Company, where you can stop for coffee, smoothies or lunch if your historic visit has left you feeling a little hungry.

Look for the brown historical information signs as well as the red buoy and Barrier Islands Center sign.

The street address for GPS is: 7295 Young Street, Machipongo, VA.  


See what visitors are saying on Trip Advisor:


Tuesday – Saturday: 10AM – 4PM
Sunday and Monday: Closed

Phone: 757.678.5550

Please call before you visit around holidays! The museum closes for several days around July 4th, Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year.

A Must See !”
5 of 5 starsReviewed May 31, 2015
I recently visited the Center during the Art and Music on the Farm, festival they hosted. What a nice event it was! The music was part of the Crooked Road groups of Virginia, and the Art and local eats were stunning and delicious, My favorite was the local strawberries and yogurt served with a flower topping. I only wish I was able to bring home some plants they were selling.
The heart of the Center is the exhibits and rich history of the great Barrier Islands of the Eastern Shore of Virginia, along with the stories of the waterman and the wonderful folks of the Shore!
If you are by there while you are on Rt 13. I recommend you make a stop. Worth the trip!

Visited May 2015
“Barrier Islands Center is fascinating”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 13, 2015
This is a very interesting and well-run little museum. There are great old photos and the excellent displays tell much about the history of the Eastern Shore and its outer islands. The people at the museum are very well informed and accommodating. There is a nice little gift shop, too. Watch for their sign on the right of Rt. 13 in Machipongo. When traveling North, the museum is on the left. Definitely worth a stop!!
— AnnieB33 - USA
“Don’t miss the Barrier Islands Center”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 25, 2014
Our group, three adults, two teenagers and our hound dog, Abby, had a wonderful visit at the BIC. I called ahead to say our dog was visiting the Eastern Shore with us and would it be alright to bring her on the grounds. No, they insisted she come right into the museum with us and then whisked her away to play and explore while we watched a wonderful oral history documentary about Hogg Island. The director and docents are engaging, informed, warm and helpful without hovering in this small, educational and well curated museum. The gift shop features lovely crafts, including handmade quilts and wonderful carved decoys by local carvers. the director talked with me about their philosophy that includes making this museum as accessible and inviting as possible for everyone, including people with disabilities, whom they welcome and learn from. I am so glad we stopped and stayed. At the end of our visit, we were given a complimentary membership, a gift membership, which is given to everyone who expresses interest. I’ll never visit the Eastern Shore without stopping at this terrific Center.
— Mary P. - Silver Spring
“Absolutely One of a Kind”
5 of 5 starsReviewed July 19, 2014
My husband and I visited the Barrier Islands/Almshouse on a whim on our way to the Outer Banks. We were absolutely blown away by the museum and kindness of the employees! I would highly recommend the Almshouse for any one looking to learn about local history and capture some great photos . Of course dinner in Cape Charles - afterwards - is a must. :) Thanks ladies !!
— Susie F