Here on the shores of Virginia lies a laid back, yet luxurious weekend getaway. Fresh local food, refined boutique shopping, a bounty of wildlife, family-owned farmer’s markets, and historical stories are all waiting in the small town of Irvington, VA. This quintessential coastal village is serenely situated on the eastern banks of Carter’s Creek where it flows into the Rappahannock River.
It’s an easy ride from Washington DC, Richmond, and other central east coast cities. Slowly you’ll leave the city behind as the highways disappear into your rearview mirror and the bends of the local roads open up to scenic views. You’ll begin to relax even before you park your car. While this town in Virginia’s River Realm is peaceful, there are exciting adventures and flavors here that will awaken your senses and inspire your spirit. When you return home, you’ll feel renewed and working to plan your next trip back here.
Spend a weekend with us here. It will go a little something like this:
Settle into Your Cozy Suite
Make the most of your trip by settling in at the Tides Inn. The resort sits on its own peninsula overlooking Carters Creek. Its recently redesigned guestrooms and suites feature private patios and waterfront views. Outside, a collection of pathways connect you to amenities including a pool, spa, beach, docks, golf course, and several lush gardens, each one with a different view. The resort is centrally located in Irvington, which makes it the perfect home base for your weekend exploration. To receive a $100 credit toward dining, spa, and more at the Tides Inn, book the Spring Escape offering by calling 844-546-9691 and use the code, “Irvington.” See the full details of the Spring Escape here.
Kick-Off with Cocktails
The Tides Inn is more than a place to rest your head. The resort’s Executive Chef, Truman Jones, elevates guests’ dining experiences at Chesapeake Restaurant and Fish Hawk Oyster Bar. Both offer creative cocktails unique to the River Realm, including the Tides Inn’s signature cocktail, “Lancaster Lemonade.” It’s a revitalizing blend of vodka, limoncello, and freshly squeezed lemon. Sip your cocktail, begin to truly unwind, and soak up the view from wherever you please.
Head out for Dinner
After you’ve enjoyed a cocktail or two, take a walk or rent a bike from the Tides Inn to Dredge. This local restaurant serves up extraordinary and uncommon dishes like sake steamed clams or his well-loved spicy fried oyster tacos. Chef and owner Bryan Byrd is an Irvington local with many years of experience making flavor-packed dishes. He sources his seafood, meats, and produce from local farmers and watermen, so you’re getting an exceptionally local dining experience you can’t enjoy anywhere else.
We trust you slept well in your cozy Tides Inn bed. After enjoying a few moments of zen and morning views of the river, it’s time to explore a bit more of Irvington. Grab a bike and head to Chesapeake Doughnut Company to kick off the day. This eatery creates fresh gourmet doughnuts made with love and locally sourced organic ingredients. Order up classics or try local favorites like the Honey River Pistachio with local organic honey and crumbled pistachios. You can also pick up savory breakfast sandwiches, high-quality Blanchard’s coffee, a selection of cold beverages, and other house-made specialty treats.
Get on the Water
Stop into Windswept Experience & Supply to get guidance and goods to enjoy some time out on the river. We recommend renting a paddleboard for the most intimate way to experience the waterways and shorelines. On a paddleboard, you can get closer to shore to explore wildlife like osprey and you can look down to see oyster reefs and other local seafood at play. The staff there offers more than a paddleboard, this is a community hub and resource to enjoy the river. Ask questions and shop around for other eyewear, jewelry, longboards, bicycles, and vintage finds.
A Slow and Easy Snacktime
After your river adventure, head back toward the Tides Inn. Before you get there though, stop along King Carter Drive to indulge at Vine. The wine bar and boutique wine shop features a selection of small plates, wine, craft beer, and more.Outside, the dreamy patio is the perfect setting to enjoy your finds as the afternoon sun warms you up. You’ll forget about the time and tune into your travel buddies. Often, live music will kick off as the sun sets here.
A Cute Dinner
After showering and enjoying the sunset at the Tides Inn, you’ll be ready for some grub. The Office Bistro is a local favorite. You may be a little confused when you arrive. The restaurant is located in the building where Dr. Westbrook proudly served the community for 20 years as a dentist. As an homage to his legacy, toothbrushes remain as columns on the front porch. Don’t worry, there aren’t any drills waiting inside. Instead, you’ll find cozy booths, a bar, and an outdoor patio. The menu is lined with ever-changing seasonal dishes like spicy and satisfying Pow Pow shrimp, creative flatbread pizzas, baby back ribs, and delicious freshly made desserts.
It’s your last day, but there’s still more to explore here. Fuel up before some shopping with breakfast or lunch at The Local. As the name suggests, this is a friendly and yummy gathering place for locals and travelers alike. You’ll feel welcomed by the neighborhood charm as soon as you walk in. Order up fresh breakfast bagels, avocado toast, and specials that change daily for something new. Grab a cold-brewed coffee and enjoy it slowly with good conversion inside or outside on the adorable dining patio.
Shop it Off
You won’t find any malls here. Instead, Irvington is home to a collection of one-of-a-kind boutiques featuring art, fashion, decor, and river-friendly finds. Objects, Art & More is a true gem in the region. The gallery and shop features work from more than 200 artists who create poetry, jewelry, art, glassware, sculptures, and more. Fore and Aft carries home decor, linens, bar supplies, and a variety of wardrobe essentials for both men and women. Crafters from all over come to seek out the extensive sewing and needlepoint supplies at Sewlovelee and The Village Needlepoint. They’re both stocked with canvases, thread, tools, and fabrics for your next project. While you’re at Sewlovelee, ask about the sewing retreats. Finally, you can head home with a few new wardrobe upgrades from The Dandelion. The women’s boutique is set in an old two-story home. Every railing, rack, and wall is covered in a collection of refined finds. The sweet and knowledgeable staff insists on a personalized shopping experience and offers styling support and advice while you shop.
Bring The Flavor Home
Before you pack up and hit the road, stock up on a few River Realm foods to bring your experience back home with you. Kellum Farms & Produce is a market-style grocery store that carries locally sourced seafood, produce, Amish gifts, ice cream, barbecue and more. Add unique finds to your cart including Orange Cream Homestead Milk, Blue Crab Bay dishes and towels, gourmet snacks, okra, and freshly caught seafood.