It’s National Oyster Day! In Virginia’s River Realm, you’ll find cutting edge environmental research, exciting entertainment, luxurious resorts, and creative restaurants all inspired by the oyster. When you visit, you’ll discover just how important the oyster is to the local culture and economy as you journey through beautiful rivers and take in enchanting views. Amid exciting boat rides, unique shopping, and and relaxing waterfront dining, you’ll gain a new appreciation for the heritage and freshness of this culinary delicacy.
There are many ways you get closer to the oyster, including three distinct and exciting experiences described below. We hope you’ll be inspired to join us today or plan a trip this fall.
Save the Date for the 60th Urbanna Oyster Festival, November 3-4
Mark your calendars for one of the largest oyster events of them all. The Urbanna Oyster Festival is the official oyster festival of Virginia. Join more than 50,000 attendees to walk the streets of Urbanna for everything oyster: oyster shucking contests, food trucks, art vendors and more. They’ll all be celebrating oysters from the River Realm November 3-4 for the event’s 60th anniversary.
Go Back In Time at the Steamboat Era Museum
Oysters have been a part of America’s history for centuries. Visit the Steamboat Era Museum to travel back to an age when revival camps, canneries and country stores dotted the river’s shores. Learn about the earliest discoveries of oysters in America and the evolution of the watermen who harvest the resource. Bring along the family to enjoy the educational programming and interactive exhibits. You’ll all leave with a new perspective on this precious museum.
Get Schooled at the Oyster Academy
Irvington and Urbanna, VA
All aboard! Embark on an adventure led by a local watermen during an Oyster Academy experience. The one-of-a-kind culinary experience connects the dots between history, environment, and cuisine. The adventure starts at one of two locations: the dock of Urbanna Seafood and Raw Bar or by boat via the Tides Inn. After you learn history about Virginia’s oyster industry, oyster ecology, and tools of the harvest, you’ll move on to catching oysters fresh out of the water of one of our rivers! You might even dare to try one fresh from the dock or boat. Finish your experience by enjoying local oysters prepared by local chefs in a variety of ways. This boat-to-table experience will transform your understanding of the oyster forever.
~Virginia’s River Realm is an enchanting travel destination along the western shores of the Chesapeake Bay. We invite visitors to explore delicious delicacies, seductive views, and luxurious experiences served with a side of friendly, small town spirit. Drive, boat, or bike along 465 miles of shoreline as you discover eight colorful small towns and hundreds of one-of-a-kind attractions. Get to know the wonder and history behind our most cherished resource: the oyster. Bring your friends and family along on the adventure as you catch your breath, calm your mind and live your dreams.~