What does love feel like to you?
A hug from your sweetie. A smile from your child. A bite from a loaded burger. A breeze from the water.
Here in the River Realm, we have lots of love to go around. From the rivers, to restaurants, to live music, to cozy inns, to the stars at night–we’re in love with our region. As a part of Virginia’s 50 Years of Love Campaign, we’re sharing some of our favorite experiences to love in the River Realm, including a few special additions just for this year.
J & W Seafood
16552 General Puller Highway, Deltaville, VA
When you pull up to J & W Seafood in Deltaville, you may notice the inviting porch out front. If you are a true oyster lover, you’ll look beyond that and see several mounds of oyster shells behind the building. Here’s evidence of J & W Seafood’s impact on the flavor and history in Virginia’s River Realm. The family business has been around for more than 30 years, guiding hearts and palates to the treasures of the area. After you grab photos of the oyster shell mounds, seafood lovers can head into the storefront to retrieve everything you need to create a meal or a picnic on the water including homemade hummus, twice baked potatoes, calamari salad, avocado salsa, crab cakes, Rivah Dip, wine, beer, crackers, and cooked or raw seafood. The full-service tackle shop can also help you bring home your own catch.
213 Virginia St, Urbanna, VA
Music and food lovers alike collide for a good time at Something Different Restaurant. The BBQ joint has been voted one of the best by Pleasant Living Magazine, Urbanspoon, locals and more. Breakfast, lunch, or dinner menus coax you to enjoy a hearty meal of Eastern NC style and Texas-style pit-smoked meats from beef brisket to baby back ribs. It wouldn’t be a River Realm spot if seafood didn’t have a place on the menu. Order the “Crab Hot Brown” especially created just for the 50th celebration, an 1/4 lb crab cake (no fillers) and country ham smothered with mornay sauce & cooked golden brown with sliced tomatoes! Also try classics like she-crab soup, local crab cakes, soft-shell crabs and wild caught oysters. Finish off your meal with an after-dinner Grasshopper cocktail, a creamy, green, mint martini, that’s a throwback from the 1960’s and yummy enough to be dessert.
Dog and Oyster Vineyard
170 White Fences Drive, Irvington, VA
Just look for the giant corkscrews on the side of the road to lead you to The Dog and Oyster Vineyard. As you turn in, follow the signs that say “Sip Wine!” and “Slurp Oysters!” along a distressed white picket fence. The gray and white building in the middle of the vineyard is split into two experiences for food and wine lovers. “Sip” is a tasting room, serving six locally grown wines, including a new Sweet Rosie Rose. These wines are meant to be paired with menu items from “Slurp” next door, which is a full service food stand serving up roasted, fried, and raw oysters in a variety of flavor pairings. All of the menu items are sourced from J & W Seafood in Deltaville. To celebrate 50 years of Love, be sure to snap a photo at the vineyard’s nostalgic kissing booth! There’s even one for dog’s!
Urbanna Oyster Festival
November 1-2, 2019
Town of Urbanna, VA
We love the rivers and bay for many reasons around here. One of the main reasons: they give us the oyster. Every November for more than 60 years, we have come together with more than 60,000 oyster lovers from around the world during the Urbanna Oyster Festival. We celebrate the oyster through parades, art, shucking contests, music, wine, craft beer and more. As you stroll through the town of Urbanna enjoying oysters prepared many ways, stop into stores like the Fin and Pearl, Cyndy’s Bynn and Lowe Tide Boutique to bring some of the love home with you. Celebrate 50 Years of Love with this year’s 1969 vintage car award at the antique car show and purchase a VIP Oyster Lovers Experience ticket for all the festivals “exclusive” amenities.
Taste By the Bay
November 23, 2019
Tides Inn, 480 King Carter Dr, Irvington, VA
The fall is one of our favorite times of the year to love the River Realm. Taste By the Bay brings the season to life at the stunning, relaxing and comforting Tides Inn. Enjoy the view of Carter’s Creek from the resort’s back lawn and patio as you sample Virginia wines, craft brews, and bites from local restaurants. Live music will keep the vibe alive. Enjoy arts, crafts, and other maritime vendors and get ready to show some River Realm love to everyone on your holiday shopping list.
Museums of Middlesex
Middlesex County Museum: 777 General Puller Highway, Saluda, VA
Urbanna Museum: 130 Virginia Street, Urbanna, VA
Deltaville Maritime Museum: 287 Jackson Creek Rd, Deltaville, VA
The Rappahannock River, Chesapeake Bay, Piankatank River and Dragon Run Swamp are just a few of the waterways that shape our region. Along the banks, you’ll discover several museums that tell the rich story of our region and why we love to call it home. Wherever you’re traveling in the area, you can take a step back in time to learn about Virginia’s River Realm’s beginnings, starting with the impact of the Delmarva meteorite 35 million years ago. Learn about the first settlers, boat building, oysters, and more. The museums welcome not only history lovers, but music lovers, too. For example, the Deltaville Maritime Museum invites families, couples, and friends to its live music concert series “Groovin in the Park” every 4th Saturday, May through September. On August 24th, we invite you to come dressed in your most creative LOVE costume for the Groovin’ concert featuring Clayton Neal and reggae band, Stuck on a Name, all in commemoration of the 50th Virginia is for Lovers Anniversary!
Hope and Glory Inn
65 Tavern Rd, Irvington, VA
You’ll need a home base during your visit to our lovely region. Our boutique hotels offer laid back luxury. One of our signature Inn’s the Hope & Glory, which was once an elite boarding school in 1890. Today, owners Dudley and Peggy Patteson have curated a refined and chic spot to truly relax. Choose from a room in the main house or one of the shabby chic cottages outback. Enjoy the courtyard, which is lined with inspirational quotes and has a famous outdoor bath. You can also enjoy a gourmet farm-to-table meal at the Dining Hall or pair the new coffee bar with delectable desserts.
480 King Carter Dr, Irvington, VA
For a resort experience, The Tides Inn welcomes lovers for a bit of riverside elegance. Overlooking Carter’s Creek, the enchanting, yet laid back resort has everything you need for a week long getaway with the family or a quick weekend trip with the honey: golf, spa, pool, boating, kayaking, fishing, crabbing, croquet, cornhole, and more. Enjoy food from the casual Golden Eagle Grill on the golf course, fine dining at the Chesapeake Restaurant, poolside bites at the new Fish Hawk restaurant, or a picnic onboard the new Duffy boats for a tour of the rivers .This is the place where lifelong memories are made among families and friends who return year after year for a true getaway from the daily hustle and bustle.
For the Road
260 Virginia St, Urbanna, VA
Located in the charming small town of Urbanna, Lowe Tide carries the latest designer resort styles for men and women. Pick up a new pair of sandals or a sweater for your visit and take them home to remember your time in the River Realm. You’ll also discover home decor inspired by the rivers and oysters of the region. Not only are oysters delicious, but they are beautiful! In honor of 50 Years of Love, guests can take advantage of a $50 discount on a purchase of $300 or more on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, June 21 to August 10.
Dug In Farms
155 Fleet’s Bay Road, White Stone, VA
Stop by the honor box of the Dug in Farms during your visit this year. Here, you can take home a bit of the River Realm, grown with love. Dug In Farms sells items from local farmers at its farm stand just off Route 3. The staff and team of volunteers maintain an active interest in community and there is always something fresh and creative available. The stand is open Thursday to Sunday, 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. In honor of 50 Years of Love, pick up Doug’s Pickled Summer of Love package with three signature items to bring home: Kickles, Baby Beets and Dilly Beans.
Northern Neck Popcorn Bag
50 Irvington Road, Kilmarnock, VA
The flavors of Virginia’s River Realm are sweet, salty, briny, spicy and full of fun. One place captures them all: Northern Neck Popcorn Bag. Set in the quaint, yet bountiful town of Kilmarnock, this shop carries more than 50 flavors of creatively hand crafted, small batch popcorn. During your visit (or from afar online), you can create your own custom blends complete with unique labeling. In honor of 50 Years of Love, bring home the two-gallon 50 Years of Love Tin filled with Old Bay Caramel, Crabby Corn and Gingerale–all the flavors of Virginia’s River Realm!
“Virginia is for Lovers” was created 50 years ago, and it’s become one of the most beloved and iconic slogans in the World. While it’s meant a lot of different things to a lot of different people over the years, one thing remains the same: LOVE. Join us in Virginia’s River Realm as we celebrate 50 Days of Love this Summer. #ShareWhatYouLove #LoveVa #50YearsOfLoveAtTheRiver