What’s on your bucket list for this year? Spend more quality time with family? Enjoy the outdoors more? Eat more fresh, local food? Get your heart rate up more often? If any of these are on your personal bucket list for the year, we’ve got you covered here in Virginia’s River Realm.
From fresh oysters to wide-open horizons to exciting adrenaline sports, here’s a bucket list to make the most of visiting our enchanting part of the world.
Enjoy Live Music By the River
Quality time with family friends never felt so free. The Deltaville Maritime Museum hosts a wide variety of community events and festivals, including the “Groovin’ in the Park” outdoor concert series. Holly Point Nature Park transforms into a riverside jam sesh and community gathering spot during these laid back evening events. Bring your lawn chair, cooler, and picnic, or enjoy local food. See a full schedule of showtimes and a list of artists on the Deltaville Maritime Museum website.
Enjoy Fresh Oysters
As you know, we’re well known for our oysters here in Virginia’s River Realm. There are many places you can order up fresh oysters to enjoy outside or pick them up to go. We recommend everyone enjoy the outdoor dining experience at Merroir. This signature spot is the very first tasting room of the Rappahannock Oyster Company and is ground zero for the business’s oyster farming business. While you watch the sunset, you can see our local aquaculture industry in action. Deltaville Tap & Raw Bar is another stunning and creative culinary spot to enjoy prepared oysters and cocktails. Bring some home for later by picking them up at local seafood markets like J&W Seafood. See more oyster experiences here.
Take Me Out to the Ball Game
More wholesome quality family time is waiting at the ball field. Plan to enjoy a Deltaville Deltas baseball game this year. The season begins in May. The semi-pro Deltas team plays in a small old-fashioned stadium with seats enclosed by crab pot netting for a genuinely coastal vibe. You’ll find local food favorites from the concession stands. Find out more here.
Get Some Holy History
For 300 years, Historic Christ Church has been a stunning and peaceful reminder of our colonial heritage. Visit the Church’s museum and grounds. This stroll back into another century is memorable for many reasons. For starters, it is one of the best-preserved colonial Virginia Anglican parish churches. It’s the only church from colonial Virginia to retain its original high-backed box pews and one of only two with its original triple-decker pulpit.
Get Some Fresh Air
Get away from the noise and haste of the city. Focus on the water’s sounds, feel the breeze blowing between the trees, see the wildlife of Virginia’s River Realm. Start with Belle Isle State Park. Here, you can spend days kayaking and hiking trails. Spend nights roasting hot dogs and s’mores by the fire before you fall asleep to the sounds of the river. Other social-distance-friendly spots include Kilmarnock Town Centre Park, Hughlett Point Natural Area Preserve, or Dameron Marsh Natural Area Preserve.
Camp The River Realm Way
Let the rhythm of nature control your day, and enjoy the fun and festive communities of our local campgrounds. Pull your RV into Bethpage Camp-Resort (Urbanna) or Grey’s Point Camp (Topping). Opening in April, both campgrounds have a little bit of everything to make the most of a riverside getaway: swimming, biking, kayaking, fishing, grilling, cornhole, full-service camp stores, water parks, and more. Make lifelong friends with your campground neighbors, many of whom will zip around on their golf carts; you can bring yours along to make getting around easy!
Take to the Skies
Ready to get up high and see the River Realm from new heights? Michael Kuhnert of Bay Aviation can help. He is originally from Berlin, Germany, and has an airshow performance background. Ride in the open-cockpit of a warbird plane to see how all of our small towns, rivers, creeks, and landmarks come together. If your stomach can handle it, he can also spin you in an aerobatic ride.
Indulge and Watch The Sunset
Enjoy one of our epic River Realm sunsets over a scrumptious meal prepared by our talented local chefs. Willaby’s has its own sprawling deck and a private beach where you can enjoy fresh seafood right from the waters in front of you.
Get a full list of waterfront restaurants.
Walk the Towns
Did you know Virginia’s River Realm is comprised of eight small towns? Set along the shores of rivers and bays, they might be small, but each one has a well-rounded list of restaurants, boutiques, art galleries, museums, monuments, and antique malls to discover. Many of them are easy to walk on foot, such as Kilmarnock, Irvington, and Urbanna. Take yourself on an outdoor shopping spree. Get inspired on our blog, which is full of guides to our charming towns. Click here.
Get Some Speed
Wild nights of dirt track racing will get your heart rate up. If you haven’t been to the Virginia Motor Speedway, you must add this to your bucket list. The Speedway keeps a full schedule with weekly stock car racing and world championships. You and the family will stay excited as cars whiz by on the track and mud splashes onto the stands. Racing begins in April. Visit the website to plan out your trip.
Take A Trip Back In Time
Visit the charming town of Urbanna, known for the annual Urbanna Oyster Festival. The John Mitchell Map at Urbanna Museum can help you learn about the earliest years of settling in America. The 1755 map by John Mitchell is on display at the Urbanna Visitor’s Center and Museum. Trace its pathways and listen to the fantastic story of how diplomats and leaders used the map to settle the Treaty of Paris in 1783, which ended the Revolutionary War. Spain, France, and Great Britain also referenced it for subsequent treaties. More recently in 1980, the map settled fishing boundaries of Maine between the United States and Canada. When you’re all full on history, stop into for a hearty meal or Portside Grill for a waterfront dinner.
Get Your Fresh Catch
Fancy fresh seafood? Why not catch it yourself? For one part adrenaline adventure and one part foodie excursion, have the experts show you how to catch your dinner on our rivers and bays. Hop on a deadrise boat with local authentic working watermen through a Watermen Heritage Tours. Link up with a local fishing charter to head out for some serious fishing. Captains like Wesley or “Wes” Crump of WC Sport Fishing know and love the region. He’ll set up several fishing lines and make the trek out to open waters. You’ll learn about the Bay’s ecology, how seafood is harvested, and our foodie history. See more in our fishing guide here.
Share Your Bucket List Memories
Discover a new favorite sunset spot? Catch a bundle of fresh oysters? Danced the night away by the water? We want to see it! Tag us using @virginiasriverrealm, and we’ll share your photos of your favorite socially distant getaways.