Story and Photography by Nick Crawford
When one thinks of tourism in Virginia, places like Williamsburg, Richmond and Virginia Beach come to mind. These are some of the most widely visited cities on the East Coast and are all great vacation destinations in their own right. However, for someone looking for a more quaint and quiet destination, Smithfield does not disappoint on any level. Located in Isle of Wight County just off Route 258, Smithfield, Virginia is perfect for those looking for a small town getaway. The charm of simpler time awaits you!
For the Nature Lover in You
Enjoy a day outdoors at Windsor Castle Park.
In 2009, the founder of Smithfield Foods, Joseph W. Luter III purchased the 208 acre Windsor Castle Farm for the town of Smithfield with the intent of developing a public park. It has since become a popular recreation destination for those in Coastal Virginia.
Witness the changing seasons as you take a leisurely stroll through the park’s stunningly landscaped trails.
Bring your bike for an off road cycling experience guaranteed to satisfy riding enthusiasts.
Soak up the beauty of Cypress Creek as you cast a line off of the park’s famous fishing pier.
Row out onto the Pagan River in a canoe or kayak and enjoy the scenic beauty of the park from a unique perspective.
For the Food Lover in You
Make a dinner reservation at the award-winning Restaurant at Smithfield Station. Take in a spectacular view of the marina and make sure to try their famous crab cakes.
Bask in the collector’s dream that is the Wharf Hill Brewing Company. Every piece of furniture and every decoration has a fascinating story. Not to mention that with delicious comfort, pasta, veggie and seafood dish selections, there is something for everyone to delight in.
Indulge in a sweet treat at the retro styled Smithfield Ice Cream. This parlor has all the charm of a small town 1950s hangout spot.
For the History Lover in You
While visiting Smithfield, one would be remiss not to visit the many historical landmarks available to tour in the area.
Just a few steps from Smithfield’s favorite ice-cream parlor sits The Old Isle of Wight County Courthouse. Completed in the mid 18th century, this building was one of the central points of Isle of Wight County for nearly five decades.
Wrapped in a beautifully landscaped cemetery, St. Luke’s Church stands as Virginia’s oldest church building. The 17th century brickwork and stunning stained glass windows are something to behold. Guided tours of the property are held during the day at the top of each hour.
Visit the Isle of Wight Museum to learn about the world’s oldest ham. You can also experience exhibits on the Civil and Cold Wars, The Blackwater River, and the Smithfield Ham industry.
For an Overnight Stay
Book one of the lovely historic suites at the Smithfield Inn, where President George Washington once spent the night. Have breakfast in the stately dining room, or enjoy the outdoor dining possibilities in the lush garden.
Relish in the luxury accommodations of available at Smithfield Station. Not only is the establishment renowned for the aforementioned restaurant, but for its 22 beautiful and spacious rooms and suites. Smithfield Station also offers the only lighthouse lodging accommodations in Virginia.
Smithfield may have garnered a reputation for its ham and peanuts, but in this small and peaceful little town lies endless possibilities for fun, education, and relaxation.