“It’s the friends you can call at 4 a.m. that matter.” Marlene Dietrich
Are you an artist at heart? A fan of our great ham? A foodie? Do you love horses? History? Or are you celebrating a special event? Create a girlfriend getaway tailored to your besties' interests. Groups and guided tours are also available of our local attractions.
The "HeART" of Smithfield
Smithfield is a cultural arts center offering diverse options for every taste and interest, including:
The Arts Center @ 319 shares space with the Visitor Center and features resident artists to visit and chat with, and a lovely gallery/gift shop featuring local artwork and unique jewelry.
Imagine Art Studios offers 5,000+ square feet of gallery space featuring historic art and one-of-a-kind quality sculptures, wooden bowls and turned pieces, original paintings and prints.
Colorscapes Fine Arts Gallery highlights the colorful and whimsical sculpture, paintings and clay objects of artist, Ann Hubbard.
As well as offering beautiful porcelain, china and crystal, as well as costume and estate jewelry, Mansion House Art & Antiques houses over 300 antique paintings, most from the Victorian period.
Smithfield's Porcine Parade displays eight life-size statues of market hogs decorated by local artists depicting the history and culture of the area.
Genuine Smithfield boasts the largest collection of George Lundeen life-size bronze statues of such luminaries as Ben Franklin, Robert Frost and Thomas Jefferson, scattered throughout the lovely downtown district. Maps for both the Porcine Parade and Lundeen statues are available at the Visitor Center.
Why not schedule your trip during one of the many concerts and special events that take place in the area, including the award-winning Smithfield Farmers Market or one of its seasonal Evening Markets, Smithfield Wine & Brew Fest, BOB Fest (Bloody Mary’s, Oysters & BBQ), Bacon, Bourbon & Beach Music Fest, the Friday Night Outdoor Summer Concert Series, Smithfield Music programs, Sunday's at Four chamber concerts, or a production at the Smithfield Little Theatre.
The “Ham Capital of the World”
Are you a fan of Smithfield ham? We are! So why not make your trip all about this savory Southern specialty?
Begin at the Isle of Wight County Museum, home to the world’s oldest and largest hams, where you can learn about the ham industry’s origins from colonial times to the present. There’s even a full-size Smokehouse in the museum offering a unique “olfactory” (sniffing) display.
Next head out to the family-owned Darden’s Country Store & Smokehouse where Dee Dee Darden will give you a tour of the family’s smokehouse and let you sample their very own country ham.
If you visit on a Saturday you can enjoy Smithfield’s award-winning Farmers Market (where Dee Dee has a booth). The Farmers Market is open every Saturday morning from Memorial Day to Labor Day, with a few specialty and evening markets on the off-season.
Be sure to take a break at one of our many fine dining establishments which serve up Smithfield Ham, such as the Smithfield Gourmet Bakery & Cafe, the Smithfield Station, Captain Chuck-a-Muck’s Ship Store & Grill, the historic Smithfield Inn, or Taste of Smithfield.
For dessert, you can't miss Ringo's Donuts "Squealers," a donut with maple glaze icing, sprinkled with bacon bits!
And of course, finish your visit with a stop at Smithfield Foods' new flagship shop and cafe, Taste of Smithfield to pick up some delicious culinary souvenirs of your trip!
"Friendship isn’t about who you’ve known the longest.
It’s about who came and never left your side."
A Foodie's Paradise!
Even beyond its fame as the “Ham Capital,” Smithfield offers fine dining experiences. In fact, you could plan your entire trip around one fine meal after another!
Captain Chuck-a-Muck’s Ship’s Store & Grill is located in the charming rivertown of Rescue (just minutes away from downtown Smithfield) was featured on Food Network’s “Diners, Drive-in’s and Dives” and offers fresh seafood in an informal water-view setting.
Taste of Smithfield is the flagship store for Smithfield Foods© offering fresh southern fare featuring Smithfield's signature products, Virginia wines and micro-brews, and a full service restaurant and gourmet food shop.
The Smithfield Gourmet Bakery & Café is committed to using only fresh ingredients and hand selected seasonal produce. Their breads are homemade from their own recipes, and baked fresh daily. And this commitment shows in their luscious meals and desserts.
The historic Smithfield Inn (c1752) is located in the historic district and feature fine dining and desserts, such as Smithfield Ham sliced thin and tucked into mouth-watering yeast rolls baked faithfully every morning by our own Mozell Brown for 47+ years.
Accessible by water as well as by land, Smithfield Station is a unique establishment offering waterfront dining on the Pagan River, the
IBX Lounge ("Inner Banks") and finely appointed lodging facilities including the only lighthouse you can spend the night in on the Chesapeake Bay!
For less formal meals or a treat, step back in time to the Smithfield Ice Cream Parlor serving up 32 flavors of ice cream, sandwiches, soups and subs baked in a 50-year-old pizza oven.
Wharf Hill Brewing Company, Smithfield’s new brewpub, located in a historic building, is a full-service restaurant, bar, and craft brewery that also offers an event space for special functions.
And be sure to check out Bon Vivant Market or Pagan River Wine Merchants (located at the Smithfield Station Boardwalk Shops) for your favorite wine or beer, and Ringo’s Donuts for dessert.
Restaurants in Smithfield & Isle of Wight are happy to offer vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free options. Click here for a list of those who do.
Smithfield Farmers Market & other Special Events
There is always something happening in Genuine Smithfield & Isle of Wight County. Why not plan your girlfriend getaway around one of our great special events or our popular Farmers Market?
When you visit the Smithfield Farmers Market, you won’t find a “small market!” Our market is packed with plenty of produce, handmade goods, live music and old-fashioned charm. The Market is held every Saturday morning from 9:00 a.m. until noon from March through September with additional specialty & our popular evening markets are held throughout the year. And with its location on Main Street, it’s easy to visit our restaurants, museum, attractions, galleries and specialty stores.
Other special events include Smithfield Olden Days Festival, Aiken & Friends Music Fest, Isle of the Wight County Fair, Town & Country Days, Friday Night Outdoor Summer Concert Series, Smithfield Music programs, Sunday's at Four chamber concerts, Smithfield Little Theatre productions, and the annual downtown Smithfield Christmas Parade. Restaurant Week is held in the month of February and a Vintage Market in the spring. Windsor Castle Park is host to three of Coastal Virginia’s premium special events presented by Smithfield VA Events. They are BOB Fest (Bloody Mary’s, Oysters & BBQ), Smithfield Wine & Brew Fest, and Bacon, Bourbon & Beach Music Fest.
Sign up for our weekly e-newsletter for a list of local special events.
“A friend is someone who knows you and loves you just the same.” Elbert Hubbard
Shop 'til You Drop
Visit the unique specialty shops and galleries of charming Genuine Smithfield.
The town’s three blocks are easily walkable, and parking is easy to find and free. Lovely historic homes and attractions are scattered throughout, as well as great places to stop for a bite to eat. You could spend the day just along Main Street and still have more to see and do.
Be sure you begin at the Visitor Center where you can pick up a map to the downtown area, brochures and other information.
Click here for a complete list of our fabulous shops.
Click here for more information on our galleries and other arts & culture attractions and events.
Windsor Castle Park
Can you imagine anything more relaxing than strolling this riverside park, kayaking along the river or enjoying a picnic lunch with your gals?
Windsor Castle Park is the crown in the jewel of downtown Smithfield. With three easily accessible entries from the historic district, the park is a must-see for any visitor to Smithfield. It’s located along the banks of the lovely Pagan River and Cypress Creek, and features miles and miles of beautiful walking trails, a kayak/canoe launch, picnic areas, scenic overlooks and even a dog park. Windsor Castle Park also offers seasonal kayak rentals.
Click here for more great ideas on how to spend your time with your best girls in the great outdoors.
Horse Around With Us!
With its beautiful rural setting, it’s no surprise that Smithfield & Isle of Wight County attracts equestrians.
The area is home to two of the region’s best equestrian shops:
Horse & Hound, Inc. has an extensive selection of tack, supplies and gifts for horses and their riders and is conveniently located in Carrollton.
Sesroh Tack Shoppe (pronounced sez’-roe – “horses” spelled backwards) is located just outside the historic district and offers everything horses and riders need to look their best – from head to toe.
For something totally unique, arrange a visit to the Mill Swamp Indian Horse Farm where the nearly extinct Corolla Spanish mustangs from North Carolina’s Outer Banks are bred. Watch as the wild horses and colts are “gentled” by the trainers and riders there. Schedule a tour with owners Steve and and Beth Edwards or check online for one of their special programs coming up in the spring.
"Friends are family you get to choose."
For the History Buff
If history is your thing, you’ve come to the right place.
Begin at the Visitor Center where you can pick up a map for the Genuine Smithfield Walking Tour, a self-guided tour of over 50 buildings of historic significance in downtown Smithfield, including the Old Courthouse of 1750, the Isle of Wight County Museum and the Schoolhouse Museum.
Follow that with a trip out of town to one of our two historic forts, Historic Fort Huger or Fort Boykin Historic Park, both located in beautiful park-like settings. Smithfield is also home to one of the area’s most important historic properties, Historic St. Luke’s Church (c1632). All of these attractions are free with the exception of St. Luke’s which charges a nominal fee and the Museum which requests a nominal donation.
Why not let one of our personable docents lead your group for a guided tour of our historic sites? Click here for more information on our groups and guided tours.
When you have a reason to celebrate!
Are you and your friends getting together to celebrate a special occasion? A birthday, a bridal shower, a baby?! Smithfield & Isle of Wight offer unique venues for any size special event.
The Smithfield Center is one of the region’s premier meeting and event venues. This multipurpose space, features a flexible floor plan and the latest in audio/visual equipment. Newly renovated, the center’s floor to ceiling windows take advantage of its gorgeous waterfront views of the Pagan River, offering a naturally beautiful setting that will bring an added dimension to any gathering. Rental of the Center also includes use of the 2,300 square foot outdoor deck.
The Smithfield Center also represented several great outdoor sites including the popular Windsor Castle Park with its natural amphitheater gently sloping down to Cypress Creek, scenic Robert Clontz Memorial Park along the Pagan River, and the intimate Hayden’s Lane located in the heart of the historic district.
The Smithfield Inn’s garden gazebo is a popular site, and with its heated tent can be enjoyed year-round. And of course the Inn's fine dining and desserts can also be enjoyed inside in the parlor, the dining room or the William Rand Tavern.
The Mansion on Main Bed & Breakfast offers furnishings and décor hand from the Victorian era. The mansion’s accurate historic atmosphere makes for a unique setting for any special occasion.
Hampton Inn & Suites - Smithfield is located just outside the historic district and offers everything you’ve come to expect from the Hampton Inn name - a clean and fresh Hampton bed®, free WiFi, free hot breakfast®, or Hampton On the Run® Breakfast Bag, a fitness center and indoor pool. The hotel also provides a versatile meeting room for receptions and social gathering for up to 65 people.
Engaged? Did you know that Smithfield & Isle of Wight County is the Encore Wedding Capital of Virginia?
Click here for information on all our wedding venues.