Originally a Viking settlement, Crosshaven eeked out an existence as a fishing village until the 18th century when it became a British garrison town. Crosshaven House, formerly the residence of the local Squires, The Hayes Family was built in the same period.
In the late 19th century a convent and school were built, along with the Catholic and Anglican churches, and the Grand Hotel.
In the early 20th century, tourism became important to the town's economy with the arrival of the train and the new fashion for visiting beaches. Around this time the Majorca Ballroom was built.
In 1938 the British left Crosshaven and control of the forts passed to the Free State Army. After the war the train service was discontinued and though the spread of private cars brought other destinations to within reach of Cork residents, the town remained popular with tourists.
In 1966, The Royal Cork Yacht Club, which claims to be the oldest in the World, having been established in Cobh in 1720, moved across the harbour to Crosshaven. Around the same time, the "Slobland", an area of silt in front of Crosshaven house was filled in to become a car park.
In the 1970s and 2000s Crosshaven experienced two construction booms which caused a massive increase in population. The even more explosive growth in the population of Carrigaline, 8km closer to Cork City, inhibited its growth as a commercial centre.
Crosshaven has a reputation for being bourgeois, partly as a result of the presence of the Yacht Club, but in reality has a fairly broad population demographic.
Coming from Cork City, the Yacht Club is passed on the left and the Grand Hotel on the right. Most of the shops, pubs and restaurants are on Lower Road and The Square, from which two roads lead to the beaches at Graball and Church Bay. Another road leads from behind The Grand Hotel to the beaches at Myrtleville, Fennel's Bay and Fountainstown.
By car or bicycle
The R612 leads from Cork City to Crosshaven through Carrigaline, which can be bypassed. The distance is 19km and takes 35 minutes by car, longer at peak times. If travelling by bicycle, the last 5km can be cycled along a pleasant pathway by The Owenbwee River and Drake's Pool.
By public transport
Regular busses run from the Main Bus Station in Cork City.  [dead link]
The Boatyard  [dead link] offers a place for sailors to dock their boats.
Unless You are travelling to the beaches, the best way to get around is on foot. Walking trails also lead to some of the beaches.
- [dead link] Fort Camden. Built in 1780, this fort was built to protect the strategically important commercial centres of Cork City and Cobh. Spectacularly located overlooking the Harbour with views of Cobh, Spike Island, Little Island and Fort Carlisle, it's finally undergoing restoration and is open to tourists in the summer months.
- Templebreedy. The church that gives the parish its name dates from the 14th century. Only the ruins remain but it was used as a graveyard until the late 20th century.
- Crosshaven House. Built in the 18th century to house the Hayes Family, it passed into the hands of Community Association in 1973 though has subsequently become a private residence again. However, the two outhouses remain in Community hands and the grounds are used as a pitch and Putt Club.
- Anglican Church. Designed by William Burges, the architect of St Finbarr's in Cork, but on a much more modest scale.
- Royal Cork Yacht Club. Every two years it hosts Cork Week , described as the "biggest fun Regata in the World".
- The Boat Yard and Marina (on the other side of town). Offer non-members of the yacht club a place to dock their boats. In the 1970's a boat was built using only technology available in medieval times in an attempt to prove that St Brendan, a 6th century Irish saint was able to sail to what is now Newfoundland.
- Graball (approximately 1km from the village). The site of a swimming club in the past, it offers quiet, safe bathing in an atmosphere of faded grandeur.
- Church Bay (approximately 1km from the village). Divided in Victorian and Edwardian times into "The Men's Pool" and "Ladies Bay", it's a safe and comfortable place to swim and to dive.
- Fennel's Bay (around 2km from the village, near TempleBreedy). Its relative remoteness make it a quite spot.
- Myrtlevile (3km from the village). Also the site of Pine Lodge and Bunnyconellen. Its clear sands make it a very popular spot in Summer.
- Fountainstown (around 4km away). Also a sandy beach that can become crowded in summer.
Crosshaven has walks for every level of fitness.
A gentle walk leads from the village to Drake's Pool, where according to a local apocryphal tale, Francis Drake hid while fleeing from the Spanish Armada.
Another walk leads from the village to Castlepoint and up a gentle slope known locally as "The Grassy" to Fort Camden, from where a spectacular view of the Harbour can be enjoyed. It's possible to continue from here to Graball, where there's a modest beach, and from there to Church Bay. It's possible to walk from here to Fennel's Bay along the Rcoks, though only when the tide is more than half-way out  (check for tide times) and by people with reasonable rock climbing skills. Those that brave this route are rewarded with excellent views of the harbour and a chance to visit the remains of World War I gun turrets and look-out posts.
An alternative is to walk from Church Bay up a steep hill to TempleBreedy, the church that gives Church Bay its name, and from there to Fennel's Bay. The walk from Fennel's Bay to Myrtleville is unchallenging. The entire walk from the village to Myrtleville takes around 2 or 3 hours.
- Piper's Funfair. Known locally as "The Merries" has provided generations of children with amusement. Nearby, the former cinema called La Scala offers arcade games.
The Pitch and Putt course behind Crosshaven House offers a gentle course in arboreal surroundings. The course near Templebreed Fort is more challenging and windswept.
- Farmer's Market. Takes place in The Square on Saturday mornings.
- Thecla's Arts and crafts store (next to Cronin's).
Most of the bars are found along the Lower Road, apart from The Anchor which is on Middle Road. The Yacht Club on the way into town is for members only.
- Cronin's (in The Square). Also offers food.
- [dead link] Pine Lodge (in Myrtleville). Hosts many concerts.