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Fall On The Rappahannock River & Chesapeake Bay

Fall By The Rappahannock River & Chesapeake Bay

Some think that summer is the only season in the River Realm. We locals know better.  Fall is actually our favorite time of year. As the leaves change and transform, they create magical sunrises and sunsets on the rivers and creeks here. The crisp fall air beckons us outdoors to breathe deeply and leave our work week behind. The cozy fall recipes our local chefs create are an experience all their own. Come see what all the fall fuss is about here…

November is Virginia Oyster Month

Old legends claim that only months that have an “r” between September and April are best for eating oysters. Those “rules” no longer apply because of the aquaculture industry. However, many of the seasonal oyster celebrations remain. Lean into “oyster season” by learning more about oysters and their history aboard a waterman’s boat during a Waterman’s Heritage Tour. Pick up oysters to roast over a fall fire at one of our markets like J&W Seafood or order them up online from White Stone Oysters and Rappahannock Oyster Company. If you’d like someone else to do the work, head to our local restaurants like Dredge in Irvington, Willaby’s in White Stone, and Deltaville Tap and Raw Bar in Deltaville to taste some of their takes on local oysters. 

Learn more about Virginia Oysters. 

November is Virginia Oyster Month

Enjoy Our Favorite Fall Festivals

The first weekend in November, you can always count on the Commonwealth’s oldest and largest oyster festival– the Urbanna Oyster Festival. The charming Town of Urbanna closes its streets for two full days with more than 50 food vendors serving more than just oysters–wine, beer, funnel cakes, burgers, and beyond are all on the menu! The stunning Tides Inn also hosts Taste by the Bay Wine Arts & Ale Festival in mid to late November. Enjoy shopping local artisans, sip on Virginia wines and beers, enjoy small bites from local restaurants, and more as you enjoy the scenic fall views of Carter’s Creek.

See all of our River Realm Events

Watch The Leaves Change From The River

There’s one thing you can see here you can’t from any hill or mountain: see the colorful fall leaves from the water. There are many ways to get out on a boat to soak in the fall reflections. If you brought your own boat, you can load and dock at more than 22 marinas during your fall visit to the River Realm. If you’d prefer to relax and let someone else do the work, bring in the pros. Deltaville Sailing Charters, Urbanna Cruises, and Norton’s Yachts are a few of our River Realm businesses that can lead you and the crew on a chartered pontoon, sailing, or yacht adventures. Maybe you’d like to go motor-free. The best way to get close to the River Realm’s stunning wildlife and rich foliage is by paddleboard, kayak, or canoe. Windswept Experience & Supply in Irvington or Jackson Creek Outfitters in Deltaville can hook you up with a rental for your adventures.

Use our business directory to explore more options.

Fall Foliage From The Rappahannock River & Chesapeake Bay

Take A Walk In The Wild

If your sea legs have had enough, enjoy more traditional hiking and biking options throughout the River Realm during the fall. Belle Isle State Park has seven miles of shoreline where you can walk or bike along 10 miles of trails. In Deltaville, Holly Point Nature Park at the Deltaville Maritime Museum is home to a relaxing collection of dog-friendly walking paths, a waterfront pier, picnic areas, a children’s garden, and more. 

See more in our Outdoors Guide.

Nature Walks along the Chesapeake Bay

Cozy Up With A Cup Of Joe

Nothing says fall quite like a cozy latte sipped lazily in the fall sun. In Deltaville, Cafe by the Bay serves up coffee drinks, breakfast sandwiches, and lunch options you can enjoy in many cute nooks inside or on the cozy front porch. Speaking of front porches, Front Porch Coffeehouse in Kilmarnock serves paninis, pastries, and yummy coffee creations. In Irvington, The Local has cute cozy booths or a chic patio outside to enjoy your lattes and creative sandwiches. If you’re craving a doughnut, head to Chesapeake Doughnut Company in White Stone for coffee drinks, savory doughnut sandwiches, and sweet doughnuts. For more sweet tooth cravings, head to Out of the Oven Bakery. The husband and wife team here creates a friendly environment and dozens of pastries– sourdough bread, cannolis, eclairs, strudels, sweet potato pies, cheesecakes, and more. 

Where To Grab Coffee in Virginia's River Realm

Indulge In A Warm Meal

Fall brings all sorts of culinary inspiration to our River Realm chefs. Make time to put the phone away, focus on your loved ones, and really enjoy some of our favorite River Realm spots. In White Stone, Adrift’s romantic candlelit atmosphere is more than a date night spot, it’s a culinary destination. Order up items like acorn squash soup and braised duck.  The Table At Wilton in Deltaville is another foodie favorite in the River Realm. Order elevated homespun favorites like blueberry barbecue bone-in porkchop, sauteed spinach, and lasagna. On the water in Topping, Merroir serves up fresh seafood dishes from the waters right in front of you. One of the tasting room’s signature dishes is the “Stuffin Muffin”, a savory stuffing-based muffin topped with a creamy sauce filled with freshly shucked oysters. 


Get our Foodie Guide to the River Realm.

Capture & Share Your Favorite Moments!

With every river bend and wind in the road, we’re sure you and your travel buddies captured memories of the sights, sounds, smells, and flavors of the River Realm. After your adventures are done, check out your photos and share the best with us! We hope more people like you can enjoy the calming and enchanting spirit of the River Realm. Tag us using @virginiasriverrealm and we’ll share your photos.

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.