"Do something today that your future self will thank you for."
Are you a foodie? Do you love your craft beer? History? Or are you celebrating a special event? Create a guy getaway tailored to you and your bud’s interests. Groups and guided tours are also available at our local attractions.
Groups and guided tours are also available of our local attractions.
Groups and guided tours are also available of our local attractions.
The Pagan and Blackwater Rivers, and the Jones and Cypress Creeks provide a bounty of boating opportunities from canoeing and kayaking to motorboats and sailing.
The Smithfield Station's Marina is easily accessible from the James River and Chesapeake Bay. It was recently recognized as the "Best Resort Marina" by Chesapeake Bay Magazine for six consecutive years in a row, and as the "Best Marina for a Natural Environment," "Best Dockmaster: Ron Pack," and "Best Dockside Bar" in 2015! The Pagan River was dredged and as of 2010, has minimum depth of eight feet. Vessels arriving at Smithfield Station Marina will find a minimum low-tide water depth of six feet with deep-water slips available. The floating dock marina can accommodate vessels up to 130 feet in length. The Station plays host each year to the Richmond Power Boat Association's "Jammin' on the James" Poker Run as well as other special events.
Isle of Wight County also offers Jones Creek Boat Ramp & Fishing Pier and Tyler’s Beach Boat Ramp, the privately owned Brown’s Marina, and Gatling Pointe Yacht Club for boaters.
The Pagan and Blackwater Rivers, Jones and Cypress Creeks provide easy boating access from the James River and a bounty of fishing opportunities. With the Smithfield Station Marina, downtown Smithfield is as easily accessible by water as by land.
The Smithfield Station is easily accessible from the James River and Chesapeake Bay, offering a minimum low-tide water depth of six feet. With deep-water slips available and a floating dock the Station's marina can accommodate vessels up to 130 feet in length.
Windsor Castle Park, located in downtown Smithfield features a fishing pier and a state-of-the-art canoe/kayak ramp.
The Blackwater River runs along the western boundary of Isle of Wight County has recently achieved "Scenic River Designated Status" by the State of Virginia.
Robert Clontz Park, located in downtown Smithfield, is a gorgeous boardwalk along the Pagan River, and a perfect spot for fishing.
Carrollton Nike Park offers a fishing pier in a beautiful park setting.
Ragged Island Wildlife Refuge’s location next to the James River Bridge makes it an excellent spot for fishing in the James River.
For boaters, the county offers Jones Creek Boat Ramp & Fishing Pier and Tyler’s Beach Boat Ramp, the privately owned Brown’s Marina, and Gatling Pointe Yacht Club.
Butler Campgrounds has a fishing pier in addition to tent camping and a boathouse.
Be sure to finish your trip by dining at one of our lovely waterfront establishments: the Smithfield Station or at Captain Chuck-a-Muck’s Ship Store & Grill in the scenic village of Rescue.
Fresh and salt water licenses are required in Virginia and may be purchased in town. A good source for bait and tackle is Hearn's Bait Barn & General Store located on Main Street in Smithfield.
The Great Outdoors
Isle of Wight County’s beautiful rural setting, and Smithfield’s location along the Pagan River and Cypress Creek make the area a popular destination for those who love the outdoors.
Windsor Castle Park is a treasure located right in the heart of downtown Smithfield and features a woodland trail system which winds past farmland and orchards, through woods and along the river, picnic areas, a dog park, a state-of-the-art kayak and canoe launch, seasonal kayak rentals, a challenging mountain bike path, scenic overlooks and the Windsor Castle Historic Site. These 209 acres were part of the property owned by Arthur Smith IV, who founded the town in 1750.
The Blackwater River runs along the western boundary of Isle of Wight County has recently achieved "Scenic River Designated Status" by the State of Virginia. The Blackwater Nottaway Riverkeeper Program is an award-winning program offering Eco-Cruises on the rivers for a first hand educational experience. Spend the day paddling through tupelo and bald cypress with Riverkeeper, Jeff Turner.
Birding and Nature Watching: Our unique birding location - at the southern end of the northern nesting birds range and at the northern end of the southern range - make it ideal for wildlife observation opportunities. Great birding spots in Smithfield & Isle of Wight include: Fort Boykin Historic Park, Ragged Island Wildlife Management Area, and Carrollton Nike Park - all of which are listed on the "Tidewater Loop" of the Virginia Birding & Wildlife Trail.
Fort Boykin Historic Park is listed on the Star Spangled Geotrail. Fort Boykin has been a part of American history since 1623 and is home to the commonwealth's second oldest black walnut tree. All of the area’s many parks are open year-round and offer ample free parking and many amenities such as picnic areas, walking trails and clean facilities.
But what really makes the area special is that after your outdoor adventure, you can simply relax and take in the delights of dining at one of our many fine restaurants.
"Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you will live forever."
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!
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 village 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.
There is always something happening in Genuine Smithfield & Isle of Wight County. Why not plan your getaway around one of our great special events or our popular Farmers Market?
Windsor Castle Park plays 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.
Special events take place each week in Smithfield & Isle of Wight County. Our annual 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.
Weekly "Cruz-In" Car Shows and Firehouse Bluegrass Concerts (benefiting the local volunteer fire department) take place throughout the year as well. The Mustang Roundup Car Show is a popular event taking place each May.
Smithfield Farmers Market is packed with plenty of produce, 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.
Sign up for our weekly e-newsletter for a list of local special events.
"Either write something worth reading or do something worth writing." Benjamin Franklin
Wharf Hill Brewing Company
Think you have to battle the traffic and stress of a big city to get a beautifully crafted brew from a local brew pub? Think again!
Located in a restored historic building, Wharf Hill Brewing Company is a full-service restaurant, bar, and craft brewery that also offers an event space for special functions. WHBC features beers brewed by Brewmaster, Greg Bullis, a retired Marine, who designed their unique brewing system, some of which is visible through the window behind the bar. Take a load off with friends and fellows, eat manager Robert’s food, drink Greg’s beer, and discover for yourself Genuine Smithfield’s hospitality and comradery.
Click here for a complete list of all of our fabulous shops.
Click here for a complete list of all of our fabulous restaurants.
Can you imagine anything more refreshing than running or hiking through a riverside park, kayaking along the river, or tackling the mountain bike path with the guys?
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, a mountain bike path and even a dog park. Windsor Castle Park also offers seasonal kayak rentals.
Carrollton Nike Park also offers challenging mountain bike trails and the newly renovated Nike Park SK8 for skateboarding and biking.
Horse Around With Us!
With its beautiful rural setting, it’s no surprise that Smithfield & Isle of Wight County attracts equestrians.
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.
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.
"I may not be there yet, but I’m closer than I was yesterday."
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!
Whether you’re planning a bachelor party, a reunion of old high school or college buddies, or just a chance for you and your buds to get away and relax, Smithfield & Isle of Wight County is the ideal destination.
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.