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We think the boat life is the good life. Out here in the River Realm, we love watching fishing boats, pontoons, ski boats, and deadrises criss cross from shore to shore. Fishing, tubing, and lounging are our favorite agenda items when the sun is out and shining. If you’re planning to take on the River Realm by boat, you’re in luck: our more than 20 marinas can help you get out on the water and give your boat some TLC when it needs it. See a full list of our marinas here.

When you step off your boat there will be so much to discover here. Here’s our guide to boating on and off shore in the River Realm:

Take it Out

Have a boat? Awesome. Don’t have a ride, but want to take a spin and explore the River Realm? Great! Depending on where you want to explore, our marinas and campgrounds have boat ramps so you can back up the trailer and guide your boat into the water for a day of adventure. Marinas have transient slips like Rappahannock River Yacht Club, Dozier’s Regatta Point Marina and Deltaville Marina that include bath facilities, laundry room, pool, WiFi, courtesy bikes and cars other amenities to make your stay comfortable and fun.

The Chesapeake Boat Basin are ready for you if you are hunting to make it official and buy a boat of your own. The marina is also an easy place to park your current boat while you head on shore to refuel, pump out, stretch your legs and see some of our favorite small towns like Kilmarnock. Take the trolley into town on Fridays and Saturdays or hop on the Chesapeake Boat Basin van. They’ll help you restock your coolers and fill your tummies before you turn for the night on your boat or at boutique hotel like the Kilmarnock Inn.

Tuck it In

Spending the days on the boat is fun. After all of the fishing, sunbathing, swimming and epic photos, it’s time to turn in for some food, exploration and rest on land. Throughout the River Realm, you can park your boat at marinas while you give your sea legs rest for the evening.

Deltaville’s motto is ‘The Boating Capital of the Chesapeake Bay.”  If you’re cruising the Bay, Deltaville is a quick natural haven for boats that are greater in number than the people who live there. Boat slips, boat storage, boat repair, boats sales, boat sails – anything boat related – we’ve got it!  Check out West Marine and cute coastal local shops like J & W Seafood and Nauti Nells or stop by the Deltaville Maritime Museum.

At the Urbanna Town Marina, a whole town of adventure awaits within walking distance. Park your boat for the evening and head into town for food, music, and cozy boutique hotels. Grab homemade barbeque at Something Different and catch live music most weekends. Shop at boutiques including Cyndy’s Bynn, Lowe-Tide Boutique,  RS Bristow’s, and the Fin & Pearl.  Restock your inventory and run errands at the banks, ABC store, drug store, grocery store, etc. Turn in for the evening at the Chesapeake Inn or Atherson Hall. Read our full guide to exploring Urbanna here.

Situated on Urbanna Creek, the marina is the setting for small and large events from Music Under the Stars to the Urbanna Oyster Festival. Discover all of our waterside events on our calendar here.

Foodie Fuel Up

Another one of our favorite ways to explore and get to know the River Realm is through our stomachs. Riverside restaurants are perfect for a lunch or dinner time dock-up and dine.

  • At The Tides Inn, Chef TV Flynn keeps a luxurious menu full of items inspired by the land, rivers and bays of the River Realm. Expect a bit of a kick because he hails from New Orleans!
  • Urbanna Seafood Market & Raw Bar offers up a more casual atmosphere. Order up a bushel of crabs, fresh oysters and a few beers and watch the sunset from the dock of this local secret foodie find.
  • You can usually hear the music rolling off the shores of Willaby’s. The restaurant is shaped like a boat and has its own private beach.
  • Drive your boat up the Rappahannock to one of our hidden gems, Windows on the Water at Yankee Point Marina. Order up tuna bites, mussels with linguine and more after a game of horseshoes or a dip in the marina’s pool.
  • Merroir, boat-up and enjoy this artisan, small plate tasting room on the majestic Rappahannock River. See the Rappahannock Oyster Company oyster farm facility on site.  Stay at the Regatta Point Marina just around the corner!

Pamper It

Haven’t taken your boat out for a while? Maybe you’ve taken it out TOO much this season. Either way, your boat is an investment and your key to adventurous days, gorgeous sunsets, and yummy fresh caught meals. You should treat it like the gem it is. Marinas like the Deltaville Yachting Center and Norview Marina have full service technicians on site to take care of anything that ails your ship. You can also purchase parts to take care of the job yourself. If it’s time for a new boat, they can help with that, too!

Wherever you’re headed in the River Realm, be sure you know where the closest marina is for you. See our full list of marinas and boat life tips here.


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.