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Taking a trip to the River Realm to relax and unwind might mean something a little different for everyone. Some of our more laid-back activities include sipping cocktails slowly by the water and meandering through winding rows of vendors at our arts and food festivals. That’s guaranteed way to relieve stress and cure a case of wanderlust.

Stress relief comes in the form of adventure and adrenaline for others. We also have a list of high-energy adventures that will help you escape the city. From the clouds to our flowing rivers, the natural and enchanting environment inspire a variety of fun that will get your heart rate up and set your imagination on fire.

We’ve compiled a list of some of these one-of-a-kind experiences in Virginia’s River Realm. Check them out and plan out your next visit with us:  

Get a Bird’s Eye View

Soak up the beauty of the River Realm from above. Pilot Davy Nichols opens the doors of his plane to travelers to tour the River Realm from the sky. His classic plane has been in his family for nearly 40 years and he’s logged nearly 1,000 hours of airtime and counting. The River Realm native will show you all the rivers, creeks, and landmarks of the region so you’ll be a true coastal expert by the time you land. Davy offers a variety of other chartered plane rides and more at Coast Sky Taxi located at Hummel Airfield, our River Realm airport. Bay Aviation’s owner and pilot, Michael Kuhnert, from Berlin Germany can give you an unforgettable experience in the open-cockpit of a warbird plane or give you a whirl in an aerobatic ride from his airshow performance days!  Bring your sense of adventure and a great camera to make the most of your trip through the clouds!

After you get your feet back on solid ground, take a ride out to Merroir (above) or Willaby’s for a satisfying meal and a cocktail as you watch the sun set over the waters.

Set Sail

It’s one thing to climb aboard a sailboat for a ride, it’s another to learn to take yourself for a joy ride. Taking off from the docks at the Tides Inn, Premier Sailing offers lessons in a friendly and easily understandable format. The sailing school is founded by Phil and Arabella Denvir whose sailing history includes years of cruising and racing in Ireland and England. They lead a team of expert sailors who will teach you the basics and make sure you have fun while you’re learning. If you’re headed to the River Realm with your favorite gal pals, you can request a course designed for women taught by women instructors.

When you’re all finished, head up to the Tides Inn for a signature Lancaster Lemonade at the Chesapeake Club Restaurant.

Head to the Track

Like things a little dirty and a little loud? Head to the race track. The Virginia Motor Speedway has a full calendar of events all spring, summer and fall. Beware, it gets a little wild! From a weekly stock car racing series to world championships, there is always something to get your heart pumping.  Hang out in the stands or reserve a suite when your family cheers on the victor. Down at the PIT there are two mudslinging events: May’s Mud Bog Mayhem and Run-A-Muck Mud Bog in October. Bring out that little bit of redneck fun in you!

Rent a cottage or bring your RV to Bethpage Camp Resort and stay overnight.  Catch dinner at the waterfront Urbanna Seafood and Raw Bar and a hearty breakfast the next morning at Big Oak Cafe.

Cocktail Boats

These colorful, single person wooden boats will zoom by the docks of the Urbanna Town Marina on May 19 for the Urbanna Cup. Make sure you have something to sip on! Each boat is named after a cocktail, so you’ll want to get into spirit. This event is fast, fun and furiously intoxicating to watch.  Youth, women and men’s heats go on all day; cheer on your favorite winners from the pier! The Cocktail Class Wooden Boat Racing Association puts on a great event, complete with food trucks, microbrews, crafters and an awards ceremony. Learn more about the event here.

Book a room at the Chesapeake Inn to polish of a day of exhilarating adventures. Stroll around the charming town of Urbanna and shop at places like Cyndy’s Bynn or Lowe Tide and eat a big barbeque dinner at Something Different.

Jet Ski Through The Rivers

Take on Carter’s Creek and the Rappahannock River with speed! Hop on board a jet ski during one of the Tides Inn enlivening jet-ski excursions. You can take it slow and get up close and personal with the local ecology and wildlife. In Carter’s Creek, you’ll see the Ellery Kellum Rock oyster sanctuary, which is home to new oysters year-round thanks to the VCU Rice Rivers Center. Kick it up a notch and ride fast. You might even see porpoises! Your tour leader will make sure you don’t miss a thing.

When you’re all finished, head into the town of Irvington for a bit to eat at Trick Dog Bar & Bistro or Hope & Glory Inn. Grab a bottle of wine at Vine or sip among the vines at Dog & Oyster Vineyard.

Discover Your Perfect River Realm Adventure!

Are you the type that loves an outdoor adventure? Or are you looking to spend quality time with your loved ones splashing along our shorelines?

Discover your perfect path for exploring the wonders of Virginia’s River Realm.