Travel Guide for Chesapeake Bay in Virginia. Published by Virginia Tourism.
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CHESAPEAKE BAY The Tides Inn—Irvington SIP CHESAPEAKE BAY Wine lovers visiting the region can’t miss the Chesapeake Bay Wine Trail. With seven premiere wineries, you’ll sample award-winning varietals, learn pairing tips and tour winemaking facilities. Bring a picnic to make it a picture-perfect day! Or perhaps you’re more of a beer drinker, in which case, stop in for a cold one at Old Rappahannock Brewing Company in Warsaw, opened in late 2019. Locally sourced ingredients, a large tap room and outdoor beer garden are just the beginning of your brewery adventures. CRUISE Virginia's River Realm is full of opportunities on the water. If you’re bringing your own boat to shore, dock at the local marinas, such as Deltaville Yachting Center, and explore the quaint downtowns. For those seeking a learning experience, take a class at one of the many local sailing schools, such as Norton Yachts, Stingray Point, Fishing Bay, Christchurch or Premier. Grab your paddleboard or canoe to explore eight beautiful Virginia Water Trails and Blueways or enjoy a sunset from your kayak on the Potomac River from Stratford Hall. 78 SARAH HAUSER Not far from the hustle and bustle of major Virginia cities, the CHESAPEAKE BAY region invites you to relax and unwind in its quiet, coastal charm. More than 1,800 miles of riverside shoreline beckon boaters, paddlers and all water lovers to explore the region’s natural beauty, iconic history and quaint small towns – where living the “rivah life” wouldn’t be complete without a feast of fresh local seafood paired with award-wining regional wine. FAT ' N H A P P Y O Y S T E R C O M PA N Y ( H E AT H S V I L L E ) : S A R A H H A U S E R / L O V E W O R K ( C O L O N I A L B E A C H ) : C H R I S M I L I T Z E R SLURP Oyster lovers have a multitude of unique experiences to enjoy, such as events like the Urbanna Oyster Festival, where guests can see the industry in practice, as well as try all of the different ways to eat their beloved bivalves. Join the Virginia Oyster Academy, where you’ll learn about Virginia’s oyster history, ecology and tools of the harvest before heading out on the water with a traditional waterman for a one-hour harvest excursion. Waterman Tours offer a unique look at the history and traditions of their hard work, and give families an authentic look of the working watermen’s culture. Fat 'N Happy Oyster Company—Heathsville LOVEWork—Colonial Beach SPLASH Take a dip at Colonial Beach, the second largest sandy beachfront in the state. Whether you love to swim, water ski, jet ski, kayak or canoe, there’s room for everyone. (When you’re worn out from the water, stroll the Boardwalk for even more fun!) Westmoreland State Park, one of six original parks in the state, has one-and-a-half miles of water frontage along the Potomac River, and Horsehead Cliffs offers a scenic walk while scouring the sands for fossilized shark’s teeth. Don’t forget to stop in at Kilmarnock’s Town Centre Park, open daily from dawn to dusk with seasonal events in their open air amphitheater, “Water Works” splash pad, playground, farmers market and Scottie Yard dog park. UNWIND Rest your head at a wide range of accommodations, from the historic Tides Inn in Irvington or an adorable B&B such as Belle Grove Plantation, Kilmarnock Inn or the stylish Hope & Glory Inn. If you’re traveling with your RV or appreciate a more rustic stay, try Bethpage Camp-Resort, known as the Best RV Resort in the Nation and voted National Park of the Year for the third time by the National Association of RV Parks and Campgrounds; kids of all ages will love the water park, mini golf course and aqua jump! Finally, in Topping, head to the family-owned Merroir to enjoy oysters with world-famous wines and crisp ciders sure to delight your tastebuds. VIRGINIA .ORG 79 q u O F F E R S A C C E S S F O R P E O P L E W H O A R E B L I N D O R H AV E L O W V I S I O N b BUSES/GROUP S WELCOME c $ P E T - F R I E N D LY FA C I L I T Y D P R O V I D E S P R I N T E D M AT E R I A L I N B R A I L L E PROVIDES DES CRIPTIONS BY A TRAINED AUDIO DES CRIBER P R O V I D E S A D E V I C E U S E D F O R C O M M U N I C AT I O N W I T H A N D B E T W E E N H E A R I N G I M PA I R E D ADMISSION REQUIRED I s W CHESAPEAKE BAY CHESAPEAKE BAY g VG M E E T S E N V I R O N M E N TA L S TA N D A R D S O F T H E V I R G I N I A G R E E N P R O G R A M PROVIDES SIGN LANGUAGE PROVIDES ASSISTIVE LISTENING SYSTEMS ADA-COMPLIANT HEATHSVILLE 301 Bush Mill Stream Natural Area VA 642, 804-225-2303; dcr.virginia.gov. Freshwater meets saltwater of the Great Wicomico River, blue herons. Colonial Beach King George 3 Stratford Montross Warsaw Heathsville 360 Tappahannock 17 Reedville Lancaster 360 3 Irvington Urbanna West Point Kilmarnock Topping Deltaville 33 Mathews Gloucester 14 COLONIAL BEACH Colonial Beach Boardwalk Beach Terrace, 804-224-7181; visitcbva.com. On the shores of the Potomac River. Stunning views, water sports, food, entertainment. bI Colonial Beach Municipal Fishing Pier Beach Terrace, 804-224-7181; colonialbeachva.net. Fishing pier extending over the Potomac River. Open daily. I James Monroe Birthplace Site 4460 James Monroe Hwy., 804-214-9145; monroefoundation.org. Birthplace of the 5th U.S. president. Open weekends Memorial Day to Labor Day. bj Museum at Colonial Beach 128 Hawthorne St., 804-224-3379; museumatcolonialbeach.com. History of 19th-century bathing and fishing resort on Potomac River. b 80 DAHLGREN Dahlgren Heritage Museum & Tourism Information Center 3540 James Madison Pkwy., 540-663-3680; dahlgrenmuseum.org. Interpreting stories that make Dahlgren a jewel of national defense. j DELTAVILLE Deltaville Maritime Museum and Holly Point Nature Park 287 Jackson Creek Rd., 804-776-7200; deltavillemuseum.com. Museum, 34-acre park, picnic areas, trails, waterfront, pier, kayak launch, pavilion/banquet room rentals and year-round events center. Open daily. $bjI GLOUCESTER VIRGINIA MAIN STREET COMMUNITY Gloucester Visitor Center 6504 Main St., 804-693-0014; visitgloucesterva.org. Visit the clerk’s office, now the visitor center, for maps, area brochures and information. Revolutionary War and Native American exhibits. bj Beaverdam Park 8687 Roaring Springs Rd., 804-693-2107; visitgloucesterva.info/pr. Fishing, interpreted hiking trails, biking, horseback riding, boat rentals. Gloucester Blueways Watertrails 6504 Main St., 804-693-0014; visitgloucesterva.info. Self-guided maps, water trails suited for kayaks in Gloucester. Gloucester Museum of History 6539 Main St., 804-693-1234; gloucesterva.info. Static and changing exhibits of early Gloucester and its people. b Gloucester Nature and Birding Trail 6504 Main St., 804-824-2476; visitgloucesterva.info/pr. Self-guided maps, eight sites, part of Virginia birding trails system. bj Historic Courthouse Circle 6504 Main St., 804-693-0014; visitgloucesterva.org. Virginia’s oldest courthouse circle, 1832 debtor’s prison, 1870 jail, 1896 clerk’s office and more. bj Rosewell Ruins 5113 Old Rosewell Ln., 804-693-2585; rosewell.org. Preserved ruins of one of Colonial America’s grandest mansions. $b Ware Episcopal Church 7825 John Clayton Memorial Hwy., 804-693-3821; warechurch.org. Historic early 18th-century church and cemetery. Northumberland County Historical Society Ball Memorial Museum & Library 86 Back St., 804-580-8581; northumberlandvahistory.org. Extensive genealogical library and programs in Heathsville’s Historic District. b More Beaches, More Parks, More Wine, More History. Rice’s Hotel/Hughlett’s Tavern 73 Monument Pl., 804-580-3377; rhhtfoundationinc.org. 18th-century tavern, heritage arts center & guilds. Farmers market. b Come visit historic Westmoreland County, explore scenic byways, stop at the wineries and enjoy the county’s small-town charms. Discover the birthplaces of George Washington, James Monroe and the Lee family. Enjoy the sunrise at Westmoreland State Park or the beaches, see artisans at work and pick fruit at the Berry Farm. There’s more to see and do in Westmoreland County. INDIAN NECK Rappahannock Tribe Cultural Center 5036 Indian Neck Rd., 804-769-0260; rappahannocktribe.org. Come experience Native American historical exhibits of culture and tradition. bj visitwestmorelandva.org 804.493.8440 IRVINGTON 17 VisitCBVA Colonial Beach Tourist Center Beach Terrace., 804-224-7181; visitcbva.com. CBVA’s sandy beach, located on the shores of the Potomac River, is the second largest in Virginia. Westmoreland County Northern Neck Farm Museum 12705 Northumberland Hwy., 804-761-5952; thefarmmuseum.org. Tells the story of Northern Neck agriculture with exhibits and equipment. $b GLOUCESTER POINT Whitley’s Peanut Factory 1977 George Washington Memorial Hwy., 804-642-1975; whitleyspeanut.com. Certified Visitor’s Center, retail store selling peanut products and souvenirs. bI Gloucester Point Beach Park 1255 Greate Rd., 804-693-2355; visitgloucesterva.info/pr. Sandy beach, picnic tables, grills, fishing pier, snack bar. Point Walk 1255 Greate Rd., 804-693-2355; visitgloucesterva.info/pr. Interpreted walk along York River explains area’s history, ecology, significance. bj HARTFIELD Lower United Methodist Church 120 Lower Church Rd., 804-776-6250; lowerumc.com. Circa 1717 Colonial Hipped brick church. Sunday services. Tours June-September. HAYES Woodville Park 3904 Woodville Park Rd., 804-693-2355; visitgloucesterva.info/pr. Nature park with wetlands, woodlands, trails, picnic tables, memorial gardens. bj Steamboat Era Museum 156 King Carter Dr., 804-438-6888; steamboateramuseum.org. Original “Potomac” pilothouse installation, dioramas, artifacts, models, paintings and photos. b JAMAICA Virginia Motor Speedway 4426 Tidewater Trl., 804-758-1867; vamotorspeedway.com. 1/2-mile semi-banked dirt oval raceway and pit mud bog. bIQ KILMARNOCK Dameron Marsh Natural Area Preserve Ball’s Neck Rd., to Cloverdale Rd., to Guarding Point Ln., 804-225-2303; dcr.virginia. gov. Trail, boardwalk, wildlife viewing platform, parking, kayak/canoe launch site. Kilmarnock Museum 76 North Main St., 804-436-9100; northernneck.org. Recalls early days of the bustling town, first known as Steptoe’s Ordinary, settled in 1719. b KING GEORGE King George County Citizens Center 8076 Kings Hwy., 540-7754386; kinggeorgecountyva. gov Gateway to the historic Northern Neck of Virginia. Float through Discover the creeks, rivers, and bays that have shaped life and culture in the Northern Neck over hundreds of years. Rent a kayak at historic Menokin, sail aboard an authentic skipjack at the Reedville Fishermen’s Museum, take a waterman’s tour around steamboat landings and waterfront villages, or create your own adventures along our miles of waterways and heritage trails. Start exploring at www.northernneck.org. From the Potomac to the Rappahannock Explore 300 Years of History www.visitkinggeorge.com VIRGINIA .ORG 81 u O F F E R S A C C E S S F O R P E O P L E W H O A R E B L I N D O R H AV E L O W V I S I O N b BUSES/GROUP S WELCOME c P E T - F R I E N D LY FA C I L I T Y $ P R O V I D E S P R I N T E D M AT E R I A L I N B R A I L L E D PROVIDES DES CRIPTIONS BY A TRAINED AUDIO DES CRIBER P R O V I D E S A D E V I C E U S E D F O R C O M M U N I C AT I O N W I T H A N D B E T W E E N H E A R I N G I M PA I R E D ADMISSION REQUIRED I s W CHESAPEAKE BAY q PROVIDES SIGN LANGUAGE PROVIDES ASSISTIVE LISTENING SYSTEMS ADA-COMPLIANT Rappahannock Oyster Company—Topping Urbanna LOVEwork Barnesfield Park 3360 Barnesfield Rd., 540-775-4386; kinggeorgecountyva.gov Ball-fields, trails, picnic shelters, and playground. Pamunkey Indian Reservation and Museum 175 Lay Landing Rd., 804-843-4792; pamunkey.net. Open daily except Mondays. Confirm by calling. b Caledon State Park 11617 Caledon Rd., 800-933-7275; virginiastateparks.gov.$bjI St. John’s Church 103 St. John’s Church Ln., 804-769-4560; stjohnswp.org/oldstjohns. Guided tours available by appointment. Call for tours. Musical programs. bj Cedell Brooks Jr. Park 11259 Henry Griffin Rd., 540-775-4386; kinggeorgecountyva.gov Home to the Central Rappahannock Native Plant Gardens. Trails, ball-fields and a playground. King George County Museum Located in the Old King George Jail, 540-775-9477; kghistory. org. Open Thursday and Saturday, 10am-2pm or by appointment. b Sealston Sports Complex 11050 Fletchers Chapel Rd., 540-775-4386; kinggeorgecountyva.gov Ball-fields, picnic shelte. King William Historical Museum 227 Courthouse Ln., 804-769-9619; kingwilliamcounty.us. History of King William. Open weekends and by appointment. b 82 Kinsale Foundation and Museum 449 Kinsale Rd., 804-472-3001; kinsalefoundation.org. Oldest customs port. Steamboat-era museum. bj LANCASTER Belle Isle State Park 1632 Belle Isle Rd., 800-933-7275; virginiastateparks.gov. $b Hickory Hollow Nature Preserve VA 604 in Lancaster, Regina Rd., 804-720-4295; dcr.virginia.gov. 254 acres of mixed pine-hardwood forest, ravines and Cabin Swamp form an important habitat for migratory songbirds, wild turkey and a rare plant. MATHEWS Mathews County Visitor & Information Center 239 Main St., 804-725-4229; visitmathews.com. Outdoor adventure guides, maps, brochures, aquarium, artisan gallery & displays. bj Bethel Beach Natural Area Preserve Bethel Beach Rd., 804-725-4229; visitmathews.com. Sandy beach, low dunes and salt marshes on Chesapeake Bay. bj Gwynn’s Island Museum Old Ferry Rd., Gwynn’s Island, 804-725-5022; gwynnsislandmuseum. org. Historic building, Colonial artifacts, antiques, memorabilia, displays and exhibits. b Haven Beach Nature Preserve Haven Beach Rd., 804-725-4229; visitmathews.com. Nature preserve, kayak launch, sandy beach, wildlife on the Chesapeake Bay. bj Historic Williams Wharf Williams Wharf Rd., 804-725-9685; mathewslandconservancy.org. Historic steamboat wharf. Steamboat museum located in the B. Williams store. bj Mathews Birding and Nature Trails 239 Main St., 804-725-4229; visitmathews.com. Self-guided maps, nine locations, part of Virginia Birding Trails system. bj Mathews Blueways Watertrails 239 Main St., 804-725-4229; visitmathews.com. Self-guided maps, 100 miles of water trails in and around Mathews. bj Mathews Maritime Foundation Museum 482 Main St., 805-725-4444; mathewsmaritime.com. Artifacts and boats celebrating the waterman’s history. bj New Point Comfort Lighthouse New Point, 804-725-4229; visitmathews.com. Constructed in 1805, third oldest lighthouse on the Chesapeake Bay. bj Tompkins Cottage/Mathews Historical Society Brickbat Rd., 804-725-4229; mathewscountyhistoricalsociety. org. Built in 1815, the oldest wooden structure in historic district. MONTROSS OAK GROVE George Washington Birthplace National Monument 1732 Popes Creek Rd., 804-224-1732; nps.gov/gewa. Birth site, Memorial House, Colonial kitchen, farm, tours & programs. b Westmoreland County Museum and Visitor Center 43 Court Sq., 804-493-8440; visitwestmorelandva.com. View the Charles Willson Peale 1768 portrait of Sir William Pitt, artifacts, displays and programs related to county history and a research library. bj Voorhees Nature Preserve Rt. 634, park at Westmoreland Berry Farm, 804-224-9171; westmorelandberryfarm.com. Home to the bald eagle, four miles of trails, scenic views. A.T. Johnson High School Museum 18849 King’s Hwy., 804-493-7070; northernneck.org. One of the first African-American high schools in area. Historical artifacts and memorabilia. b Westmoreland Berry Farm 1235 Berry Farm Ln., 804-224-9171; westmorelandberryfarm.com. Berries, peaches, asparagus & pumpkins, cafe, country store & hiking. b Northern Neck of Virginia Historical Society Research Library 15825 Kings Hwy., 804-493-1862; nnvhs. org. Covering genealogy of Westmoreland, Northumberland, Richmond, Lancaster, King George and Stafford counties. Westmoreland State Park VG 145 Cliff Rd., 800-933-7275; virginiastateparks.gov. $bjI MORATTICO Morattico Waterfront Museum 6584 Morattico Rd., 804-462-7690; morattico.org. Cultural history of a working watermen’s village in the 1901 Morattico general store. b REEDVILLE Reedville Fishermen’s Museum 504 Main St., 804-453-6529; rfmuseum.org. Includes fishing industry exhibits, heritage vessels, 1875 house, model trains. $b C O U RT E S Y O F L AT I S H A B O O N E KING WILLIAM KINSALE Lancaster VA Historical Society- Mary Ball Washington Museum & Library 8346 Mary Ball Rd., 804-462-7280; mbwm.org. Lancaster County exhibits, historic district buildings and genealogy research center. $b SALUDA TODD WRIGHT CHESAPEAKE BAY g VG M E E T S E N V I R O N M E N TA L S TA N D A R D S O F T H E V I R G I N I A G R E E N P R O G R A M Middlesex County Visitor Center 795 General Puller Hwy., 804-758-3663. Local brochures, maps and pamphlets. Interesting displays. Helpful staff. bjI Middlesex Economic Development & Tourism 877 General Puller Hwy., 804-654-1363; virginiasriverrealm.com. Life on the river with friendly small towns, boating, fishing, local seafood, camping, history and year-round events. bj Chesty Puller Park 777 General Puller Hwy., 804-758-3663; middlesexmuseum.com. Beautifully landscaped memorial for Lt. General Chesty Puller. Picnic area. bjI Historic Clerk’s Office 877 General Puller Hwy., 804-758-3663; middlesexmuseum.com. Insightful hands-on exhibit exploring 300+ years of official county records. bjI Middlesex County Museum & Historical Society, Inc 777 General Puller Hwy., 804-758-3663; middlesexmuseum.com. Prehistoric, Native American, military Civil War and 400+ years of local history collections. Featuring Lt. General Chesty Puller and Irene Morgan. Maps and Genealogy. bjI STRATFORD Northern Neck Heritage Trail Bicycling Route 457 Main St., 804-333-1919; nps.gov/pohe/planyourvisit/ maps.htm. Potomac Heritage National Scenic Trail’s Northern Neck segment. Maps available. TAPPAHANNOCK Northern Neck Watertrails 457 Main St., 804-333-1919; northernneck.org. Water trails along the creeks and tributaries of the Rappahannock and Potomac Rivers and Chesapeake Bay. Stratford Hall 483 Great House Rd., 804-493-8038; stratfordhall.org. Docent-led and audio tours, nature trails, fossil hunting, kayaking, lodging. $bj Essex County Museum and Historical Society 218 Water Ln., 804-443-4690; ecmhs.org. Rappahannock Indians, Colonial and Confederate eras, AfricanAmericans and Rappahannock River steamboats. b URBANNA Urbanna Museum & Visitors Center 140 Virginia St., 804-758-2613; urbannava.gov. Historic 18thcentury building. Houses original John Mitchell map. jI WARSAW Northern Neck Tourism Commission 457 Main St., 804-333-1919; northernneck.org. Historic sites, waterfront recreation, oysters, craft beverages and relaxation! Menokin 4037 Menokin Rd., 804-333-1776; menokin. org. Waterfront property of Declaration of Independence signer Francis Lightfoot Lee. bj Rappahannock River National Wildlife Refuge 336 Wilna Rd., 804-3331470; fws.gov/refuge/ rappahannock_river_valley. Wildlife viewing and photography, fishing, boating, walking, environmental education, nature. b Richmond County Museum 5874 Richmond Rd., 804-333-3607; co.richmond. va.us/visitors/richmond-countymuseum. 1872 jail gallery, Colonial courthouse, country store, Rappahannock tribe, gift shop. b WEST POINT West Point Chamber of Commerce 621 Main St., 804-843-4620; westpointvachamber.com. Information on waterfront town with collection of Victorian homes. WHITE MARSH Abingdon Episcopal Church 4645 George Washington Hwy., 804-693-3035; abingdonchurch.org. Virginia’s largest Colonial church built mid-18th century; historic cemetery. WICOMICO CHURCH Hughlett Point Natural Area Preserve VA 200 toward Burgess, right onto VA 606, right onto VA 605, 804-225-2303; dcr.virginia.gov. Parking, trails, a woodland boardwalk, wildlife viewing platforms, interpretive signs. WEEMS Historic Christ Church & Museum 420 Christ Church Rd., 804-438-6855; christchurch1735.org. National Historic Landmark and one of America’s finest Colonial churches. $bjI VIRGINIA .ORG 83