Small Town Guide: Eating, Shopping, and Adventure in Urbanna, Virginia

Down winding roads and fields of soybeans lies a hidden treasure in Virginia. High end fashion, low country food, and breathtaking views make Urbanna a weekend getaway worth taking. It is especially beautiful during the fall as the leaves change colors and reflect on the waters of the rivers and bay that shape the small town. Whether you’re headed to town for the Urbanna Wine & Oyster Stroll (October 14), the Urbanna Oyster Festival (November 3-4), or just want to get away, here’s a guide to take on the town in style:

Day 1

Check into the Chesapeake Inn. The boutique hotel is nestled between shops and restaurants, which are all in walking distance. The boutique hotel has 13 rooms and offers all the amenities you would need for business or pleasure.   Other lodging options include The Inn at Urbanna Creek and Atherson Hall Bed & Breakfast.

If you’re getting into town late, head to the newly opened Halfshell Grill. It’s adjacent to the inn. You’ll find raw oysters, crab cakes burgers, salads, and steak on the menu. We recommend the crab dip for a satisfying comfort food. Sit outside on the porch or head to the game room with the kids for shuffleboard and darts.

Day 2

Rise and shine. We hope you brought your walking shoes. After a light breakfast, head out onto Virginia Street. Turn left to find Cyndy’s Bynn and Lowe-Tide Boutique. Both carry a wide selection of jewelry, handbags, home decor, apparel and gifts. Turn right and you’ll discover RS Bristow’s Store on the corner, this long-time town staple is always packed with modern and sophisticated finds.

Hungry? Located behind Bristow’s is Marshall’s Drug Store. The old-fashioned soda fountain style diner offers breakfast and lunch. The curved counters and the swirly stools will make you feel like you were in “Back to the Future!”

 

Walk off lunch by taking a stroll down to Urbanna Town Marina. Walk through the web of docks and watch the yachts and fishing boats come in and out of the mesmerizing marina. Find a bench and sit quietly to watch the local wildlife and listen to the sounds of the water.

Head back to town for local music and a meal you won’t forget. Something Different has earned many accolades for its barbecue, which is smoked on site. Start with an order of local oysters, order the Southern Comfort (pimento cheese, brisket, country ham, and pickles grilled to a golden brown) and end with a slice of pie. Wash it down with a signature Something Different rum drink. Take some home: Something Different’s retail store carries farm raised meats, specialty rubs, seasonings, pies and homemade ice cream.

Day 3

Take things easy on your final morning in Urbanna. Grab a light breakfast at the Inn and saunter over to the Urbanna Harbor Gallery & Art to peruse local art, much of which is inspired by the region’s oyster and water culture. This is the perfect place to take home a souvenir to remember your trip to Urbanna.

As you head out of town, grab lunch at Urbanna Seafood & Raw Bar for a seafood feast by the water. It’s located next to a family owned oyster shucking house Shores & Ruark. The Ruark family has harvested, shucked and sold oysters from this spot for generations. Expect a winding dirt road, a laid-back staff and picnic tables.

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Just two hours from Richmond or Hampton Roads, 3 hours from Washington DC, Virginia’s River Realm is a tourism destination along the western shore of the Chesapeake Bay and its tributary, the Rappahannock River.  We invite visitors to explore delightful surprises, hidden gems and our friendly, small town spirit. The 465 miles of shoreline, eight great small towns, and hundreds of unique attractions will mesmerizes you to enjoy the wonder of a perfect oyster, the promise of a secret cove or back road and the pleasure of sharing a table with friends, a place where you can catch your breath, calm your mind & live your dreams.

 

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