48 Hours in Kilmarnock: A Couples Guide to Shopping, Dining & Exploring in Virginia’s River Realm
Have you been promising your partner some quality time? Relaxing sunset views, fresh seafood, and a side of adventure might be just what you both need to tune out your daily lives and tune in to each other. Before the summer ends, plan a weekend in Kilmarnock, where you can find romance and a culinary adventure.
Check In at the Kilmarnock Inn
The Kilmarnock Inn is located just off Main Street. The enchanting bed and breakfast is ideally located within walking distance of restaurants, antique shops, art galleries and other gems. The enchanting space is full of treasures like a practice putting green, a garden from which guests can harvest, a spacious deck for relaxing and eight guest cottages, each named for a Virginia-born president.
Sunset Dinner and Drinks at Urbanna Seafood
After a little exploring and getting settled into your cottage, it’s time for dinner. Head to the source at Urbanna Seafood Market and Raw Bar. Here, you can taste local oysters fresh from the Bay, catch a glimpse of the soft shell crab shedding tanks, and enjoy specialties like crab bites, spicy tugboat shrimp, a low country boil for two, burgers, salads, and more. A glass of wine or beer will pair with anything on the menu! Whatever you choose, make sure to grab a seat on the deck and soak up the River Realm sunset together. While you’re visiting, ask about the Virginia Oyster Academy, a taste-touch-learn bay-to-table experience held in September.
Breakfast and Picnic from Carried Away Cuisine
Good morning! Are you ready for a day of exploration with your favorite person? You’ll need some fuel! Start your day with coffee, pastries and quiche at Carried Away Cuisine. Here, you can also prepare for your day traveling around the area. The cafe carries gourmet packaged goods, wine, and desserts. Pack a picnic with a freshly prepared salad, wrap sandwiches, and truffles. You’ll need it as you follow the boots…
Follow the Boots
One of the easiest ways to get to know the area is by following the Watermen’s Way Boots. The community art project honors the heritage of local watermen. Rubber white boots are worn by watermen throughout the Chesapeake Bay region as they work the water, harvesting oysters, crabs, and fish from the Bay, rivers, and creeks. Fifteen local artists have designed large pairs of these boots to find around Virginia’s River Realm. Start with the boots at Kilmarnock Inn and follow them to locations including the new Kilmarnock Town Center Park, Burkes Fine Jewelers, and the Steamboat Era Museum. Make your final stop at the Tides Inn.
Taste Local Wine at Good Luck Cellars
Take a detour during your trip spotting the Watermen’s Way Boots. Stop in for a relaxing wine tasting at Good Luck Cellars. The local winery has gorgeous views and a loyal fan base for their Virginia wines. Check their Facebook page for Oyster Saturday dates when you can pair terroir with merroir. The next Oyster Saturday dates are August 19 and September 9. If this stop doesn’t make you fall in love all over again, then the next one will.
Sunset Boat Ride at the Tides Inn
Complete your Watermen’s Way tour at The Tides Inn, located on Carter’s Creek, a stunning nook in Virginia’s River Realm and an anchor for the local oyster industry. Captain William Saunders can show you and your partner around as he shares authentic history about the region you won’t hear anywhere else. Snuggle up to your honey and feel the breeze during this unique experience. Make sure to ask about Ellery Kellum Rock, an oyster sanctuary reef recently planted in Carter’s Creek. To set up a sunset tour, call the Tides Inn Activities Desk at (804) 438-4489 or call Capt. Saunders himself at (804) 761-2974. Learn more here.
Sip a Lancaster Lemonade
After you step off the boat, head to the Tides Inn patio for a dreamy snack and a drink. Start off with a Lancaster Lemonade, the flagship drink of the Tides. The cocktail is created using fresh lemon, limoncello, vodka, and fresh garnishes. After one or two (we won’t be counting!) place an order for Angry Oysters, which start with fresh Rappahannock oysters that are then lightly roasted, tossed in a butter-based hot sauce, and served with a traditional watermelon relish. Your taste buds will thank you for indulging in this exciting foodie favorite. See more local foodie favorites here.
Take a Sweet Treat Home
As you head out of town, swing by Northern Neck Popcorn Bag. The gourmet popcorn shop has more than 50 flavors of handcrafted, small batch popcorn from sweet to savory. With names like Salted Dark Chocolate Caramel, White Chocolate Pretzel, and Rivah Mix, it’s hard to decide which one to take home. Sample away with your sweetie and pick your favorites. Select a snack size bag for the ride home or order a family size bag that will feed your whole crew as you tell them about your romantic adventure in Virginia’s River Realm.