When you look up “Romance” in the dictionary, you’ll find this definition:
“A quality or feeling of mystery, excitement, and remoteness from everyday life.”
If there were a way for us to tell you how we feel about the River Realm it would sound a little like that, too. Stunning sunsets, world class chefs, intimate tasting rooms, luxurious lodging, and enchanting art are just pieces of the captivating essence of the area. Together, they create a feeling of calm, peace, and love. As you make plans during the month of February, we invite you to come get a taste of romance, on us!
Restaurants by Candlelight
Let’s talk about ambiance. Scents of warm food, flickers of low candle lighting, sounds laughter and clinking glasses, the smile of the server–flavor aside, these components can make or break the perfect meal. We recommend setting aside a couple hours, making room, and opening your mind for dinner at one of our most romantic restaurant spots: The Table at Wilton (Deltaville), Adrift (White Stone), Dining Hall at Hope & Glory Inn (Irvington), Chao Phraya (Kilmarnock), and Dredge (Irvington). We recommend checking web pages and giving the restaurants a call to be sure they’re open and ready for you.
Sunset on the Water
It doesn’t get more romantic than watching the sunset over the river. We recommend watching it with a cocktail in hand and a decadent dinner on its way. In Urbanna, Portside Grill overlooks the local marina, full of boats and mystery. The Deltaville Tap & Raw Bar’s sprawling back deck overlooks Broad Creek. You can also take it in from the bar inside, which has big windows, a large list of craft beers on tap, and an extensive whiskey collection. In White Stone, Merroir has become well known for its fresh oyster creations right off the boat, and also its expansive view thanks to its placement on the Rappahannock River. Down the road in White Stone, Willaby’s (featured above) is always full of fun and has its own private beach for the perfect romantic photo.
Though we provided a definition of romance in the opening, we think somewhere in there should be a nod to wine. The elixir of love is easy to find here in the River Realm. We recommend starting from the source: a winery. Both of our vineyards are owned by local couples, which, we think makes them extra sweet. Good Luck Cellars carries a large collection of award-winning wines and is tucked away in the hills of Kilmarnock. On Fridays, you’re likely to find live music and a food truck for a little more fun. Set on six acres of gorgeous property in Irvington, the Dog & Oyster Vineyard (featured above) is a local favorite. Visit the adjacent oyster shack, serving up small bites full of fresh, local flavor. For more wine, Vine has the answer, shelves full of them! The local wine shop hosts regular tastings and food pairings. They’ll help you and your honey take home the perfect bottles.
Cozy Boutique Hotels
Nothing says romance like an elegant bed and breakfast. After a day of exploring and a romantic dinner, extend your River Realm stay by resting your head here. The Kilmarnock Inn (featured above) is comfort and relaxation at its best. Enjoy a glass of wine in the evening on your own private deck and wake up to coffee by the courtyard. In Irvington, Hope & Glory Inn has its own bar, spa and restaurant in addition to several cottages and rooms in the main house you can make your own for the night. Along a street of shops and restaurants in the town of Urbanna is the Chesapeake Inn. Each elegant suite has its own character and is in walking distance to all sorts of fun.
Inspiring Art Galleries
One may say that art is often inspired by romance. From paintings to sculptures to antique jewelry, there’s something to discover on a treasure hunt with your sweetie. Kick things off in Irvington at Objects, Art and More or RAL Art Center (featured above) in Kilmarnock. Your imagination will come alive as you make your way through art and jewelry from more than 200 artists. In White Stone, Allure Art Center is a hub for local artists and for those who travel far to create and showcase their work here. There’s always a new exhibit opening and inspiring paintings and sculptures to make your own. Get lost in Urbanna Harbor Gallery & Art and find something both new and old. More than 5,000 square feet make up the treasure trove of antiques and art. Find something for your river home, your honey’s office, or your own special collections.
A Few Romantic Events Await
From wine crawls to three-course meals, local restaurants and inns are hosting all sorts of events, specials and more. Read our blog post with all of the Valentine’s Day happenings in the River Realm: Click Here.
Share your Romantic River Realm Adventures!
Sunsets, candlelit dinners, wine tastings, we want to see how you find your shoreline with us here in the River Realm. Tag @virginiasriverrrealm in your photos and the local businesses you discovered on your most recent trip!