Nearly 20% of adults cited technology use as a significant source of stress in their lives according to American Psychological Associations’ annual Stress in America survey. Reading this from your desk or phone?
We don’t want this article to stress you out. In fact, we want it to do something completely different. We want to encourage you to take a digital detox with us! Make a commitment to do things a little differently in 2020.
Plan out time away from your screens and in tune with the enchanting world in which we live. Pack up the car, hook up the boat and come visit. You can take off the shore from more than 20 marinas here. You can also unplug in many other ways.
Here are a few ideas to take a digital detox with friends and family or during a solo trip.
Catch Your Dinner
Consider yourself a seafood lover? We have experts here who can take you away from cell phone signal and out into our rivers and bays during a fishing or sightseeing charter. For starters, the ultimate water-to-table experience is on a deadrise boat with a local watermen through the Virginia Oyster Academy or a Watermen Heritage Tours. While on board, you’ll learn about the ecology of the rivers, how seafood is harvested, and a little bit of history from the captains who know it best. In addition, River’s Run Boat Tours will provide the tackle and take you to the perfect fishing and crabbing spots aboard the Pamlico. For a little history, Captain Gene Edmonds of On the Water Custom Power charters will guide curious travelers on custom tours and share his extensive knowledge about homes, lighthouses, oysters, and the Bay’s water creatures.
Ride in a Plane
Your imagination will soar as you rise above our criss crossing rivers and roads with pilot Davy Nichols of Coast Sky Tax. He opens the doors of his classic plane, which has been in his family for nearly 40 years. The River Realm native will navigate all the rivers, creeks, and landmarks of the region. You’ll be an expert by the time you land back at Hummel Airfield. For another perspective, reach out to Bay Aviation’s owner and pilot, Michael Kuhnert. He’s from Berlin Germany and can give you a totally different experience riding in the open-cockpit of a warbird plane. He can also spin you in an aerobatic ride from his airshow performance days. Bring a camera, so you can leave your phone behind.
You won’t even notice your phone and computer aren’t nearby when you set sail. Kick off this shoreline adventure at the docks of the Tides Inn. Here, Premier Sailing offers lessons in a friendly and easily understandable program. Phil and Arabella Denvir founded the sailing school. Their sailing history includes years of cruising and racing in Ireland and England. They lead a team of expert sailors who are well equipped to teach you the basics. Don’t worry, it’s not all serious. Afterall, we’re on the river! You’ll have so much fun.
Let the rhythm of nature control your day instead of the bings and flashes of your phone and computers. Set up base camp at one of many campgrounds here. Belle Isle State Park in Lancaster has seven miles of shoreline. Grey’s Point Camp in Topping is the perfect spot for the finest fishing on the Rappahannock River by boat or by beach. Bethpage Camp-Resort is known as the “Best RV Resort in America” and offers more of a luxurious camping experience. These are just a few! Many offer kayak rentals, hiking, water parks, tours, and more. See a round up of campgrounds here.
Get Your Festival On
We like a good festival here in the River Realm. They’re our favorite ways to show off our local artisans, culinary creators, talented musical acts, and more. Our biggest of the year is the Urbanna Oyster Festival every November, but there is so much more. Festivals kick off in the spring with the Rappahannock River Waterfowl Show, Deltaville Seafood Festival and the Urbanna Cup Cocktail Boat Races. During the summer you’ll discover events like the Arts in the Middle and Irvington Crab Festival. Save the date for them all! Click here for our full event list.
Share your photos after your detox
While we hope you put your phone on airplane mode during your visit. We do hope you did capture images to remember the sights, sounds, smells, and flavors of the River Realm. When you head home and comb through them all, we want to see! Help us show your friends they should step away from the city for a weekend soon. Tag us using @virginiasriverrealm and we’ll share your photos of your digital detox in the River Realm.