Winter by the river has all the beauty and wonder of the summer. There’s something more, though. Here, the winters are truly serene. You can truly escape in Virginia’s Winter Realm. There are warm and cozy hotels and Airbnbs with waterfront views and the friendliest faces. Restaurants serve up creative savory and sweet comfort foods inspired by the region’s bounty. Wineries and other watering holes can warm you from the inside out.
Stretch Your Legs
Fresh, crisp air is everywhere by the water during the winter here. Get outside for long walks, runs, and more fun. Stretch your legs in a variety of parks and places. One of our hidden gems is the Hughlett Point Natural Area Preserve. A winding wooden pathway leads you through a forest and opens up to a sprawling cove of pristine beaches. A walk through our local marinas will also help you destress and calm your mind. We have 22 to visit from the Deltaville Marina to Urbanna Town Marina. In Urbanna, you can enjoy local history while stretching your legs along the “Museum in the Streets” route guided by local historian Larry Chowning. Belle Isle State Park, Kilmarnock Town Centre Park, Holly Point Nature Park, and Dameron Marsh Natural Area Preserve are also full of great views and winding paths.
Sip On Spirits
If the cold is getting to you, we recommend tackling it from the inside out. Visit one of our spirit purveyors in the River Realm. Our wineries Good Luck Cellars and Dog & Oyster Vineyard are both River Realm staples for locals and visitors alike. In the town of Irvington, Vine serves up an extensive variety of wines and other provisions to enjoy there or take with you. Ditchley Cider Works is another stunning River Realm find. During warmer months, you can sit at tables scattered about the large lawn while you taste ciders made from fruit grown right before your eyes. Until then, you can order cider, beef, pork, and chicken to bring some warmth into your River Realm home.
Succulents, sweaters, kitchenware, original artwork, vintage toys–we have it all in the River Realm. Avoid the malls and pass on mindless online shopping. Visit our many walkable towns like Kilmarnock’s Steptoe’s District, which is home to a wide variety of specialty boutiques like Grow NNK, Weekends Fashions, Waterline, The Rivah, and Kilmarnock Antique Gallery. Irvington is home to shops like The Dandelion, Objects Art & More, and Sewlovelee. Urbanna’s Virginia Street is dotted with finds like Cyndy’s Bynn, If It’s Wood & More, and Nimcock Gallery.
Make your trip to the River Realm a true Getaway. Discover a stunning waterfront airbnb or Vrbo rental. Head to one of our boutique hotels like the Kilmarnock Inn which has its own practice putting green, a spacious deck for relaxing and eight guest cottages, each named for a Virginia-born president. Spend a cozy evening by the Hope & Glory Inn fireplace before you retire in the former boarding school. Local inns are warm and friendly places to rest your head. Back Inn Time Bed & Breakfast serves complimentary afternoon tea and crumpets at 4 p.m. in front of the parlor’s warm fireplace. Enjoy a romantic two person surrey carriage ride around the town of Urbanna included in your overnight stay at The Chesapeake Inn. See a full list of lodging options in the area.
We can’t forget the fuel. So many of our local restaurants feature cozy corners, views of the water, and menu items you can’t find anywhere else. Menu items like tri-tip sirloin slices and spicy hoecakes at Something Different or a fish sandwich at Bubba’s Shrimp Shack in Urbanna will fulfill your cravings for seafood and savory bites. Signature cocktails and Sting Ray Burgers from Deltaville Tap & Raw Bar will satisfy your soul. For the ultimate winter getaway flex, pick up Souper G’s Homemade Soups to bring back to the Airbnb or your home. Find them at TriStar Supermarket ( Kilmarnock), Dug In Farms (White Stone), and The Local coffee shop (Irvington). For more take-home goodness, Dug in Farms has a curbside preorder program during the winter months so you can order ahead safely and keep eating local. For more foodie finds head to our guide here.
Show Us How You #WanderLove
We want to see how your warm and cozy getaway Share your River Realm discoveries and calming views. Tag us on Instagram at @virginiasriverrealm or @visitkilmarnock.