Founded in 1976, the Isle of Wight County Museum tells the story of the county through its interactive exhibits including a turn-of-the-century country store as well as displays interpreting colonial history, the Smithfield ham industry, the Blackwater River, the Civil War and the Cold War. The museum is also the home of the World's Oldest Ham and the World's Oldest Peanut.
The museum is available for special events and meetings.
The museum has a HAM CAM. Visit its website - www.historicisleofwight.com - to see live video feed of the World's Oldest Ham.
Admission: $2 for ages 18 and up
Historic Fort Huger, the "Gateway to the Confederate Capital," is located in the northern reaches of Isle of Wight County off route 10 and 8 miles from downtown Smithfield. View the ghost fleet on the James River, take the self-guided walking tour through the new trails and see the cannon mounted along the edges of the fort. Fort Huger is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Guided walking tours of Fort Huger are offered throughout the year. Go to: HistoricIsleofWight.com or the events page of this website for dates and times or contact the Visitor Center to arrange a custom guided tour.
Virginia's Oldest Church, Historic St. Luke's, is a very rare, 17th-century church building and 100-acre historic site that provides guided tours at the top of each hour, 7-days per week, between February and December. Guided Tours are up to 45-minutes long and begin at the origins of the English Protestant Church and cover the Colonial Virginia religious experience and how it influenced the American ideals of religious freedom and the pursuit of the separation of church and state. Tours conclude with the sharing of three restoration projects and what is taking place today at St. Luke's. The Site also offers tourist information and a Boutique Gift Shop with unique, Historic St. Luke's items.
Admission: Adults: $8.00, AAA Members: $7.00, Seniors (age 62+): $6.00, Military: $6.00, Students (age 7 & up with ID): $5.00, Groups of 10 or more: $5.00, Children age 6 or under and Historic St. Luke Members: Complimentary
The Genuine Smithfield Walking Tour of the historic district boasts over 50 buildings of exceptional architectural importance, exuding the charm and graciousness of bygone eras. Several of the homes are listed on the National Registry. Stop by or call the Visitor Center and we will be delighted to give you a map for a self-guided tour, or (with three weeks notice) set up a guided tour.
Free guided walking tours of Smithfield's historic district are offered throughout the year. Go to: HistoricIsleofWight.com or the events page of this website for dates and times, or contact the Visitor Center to arrange a custom guided tour.
This classic country store and smokehouse has been in operation since 1952 and is still run as a family business. Visitors and shoppers can peruse hanging hams, side meat, country cheese, barbeque and peanuts. Feel free to browse, but shopping is encouraged! Darden's is also a working farm, growing peanuts, corn, cotton, soybeans, wheat and pumpkins, Darden’s has been curing hams and making sausage and barbecue since the early 1950s. A small grocery store on the farm sells homemade sausage, ham, cheese, peanuts and local honey. The family also enjoys telling the "farm life" story to hundreds of children (and adults!) who visit each year.
The former Nike-Ajax missile base is now home to the Isle of Wight County Parks and Recreation Department. Many buildings still stand including the barracks, mess hall, administration and recreation building and officer/non-commissioned officer family housing. Visitors can also see the fueling area and concrete slabs that mark the location of the underground missile magazines. Visitors are welcome to walk or drive through Site N-75 and recall the experience of soldiers stationed in remote areas. The site is now a park which features softball and soccer fields, basketball, volleyball, and tennis courts, picnic areas, nature and mountain bike trails, skate park, free roller-style kayak launch, playgrounds, senior center and a recreation hall. In addition, there are fishing opportunities in Jones Creek.
Free guided walking tours of Nike Park are offered throughout the year. Go to: HistoricIsleofWight.com or the events page of this website for dates and times, or contact the Visitor Center to arrange a custom guided tour.
The Old Courthouse of 1750 is located in the historic Town of Smithfield. Originally modeled after the Capitol Building in Colonial Williamsburg, the building is beautifully restored. The Courthouse is available any day or time for group tours with prior notice. It is also available for rental for special occasions.
Spend a day or spend an hour, with a group or alone, the Smithfield Tourism Bureau is happy to provide expertise in planning your visit.
Groups & Step-On Tours:
Our tourism professionals are happy to design a specific tour to suit your group's time frame and interests - with or without a guide - FREE OF CHARGE. Our Step-On and Guided Walking Tours are also available for a fee (listed below). Contact our staff for a fun filled visit to our charming and historic area.
Kathy Mountjoy at (757) 408.1935 or email@example.com.
Step-On bus tours: $5 per person
Different rates may apply according to the size and type of tour provided.
Go to the “Trip Ideas” page of this website for sample itineraries.
The Genuine Smithfield Historic Guided Walking Tour
This tour features over 50 buildings of exceptional architectural importance. Several of the homes are listed on the National Registry.
With prior notice please.
Groups no larger than 10 are best.
$5.00 person (minimum charge of $20)
Children under 12 are free.
Different rates may apply according to the size and type of tour provided.
(This tour is also offered as a self-guided tour. Pick up a map/brochure at the Visitor Center)
Genuine Smithfield Walking Tour online
Group Tours for Special Events
Planning a wedding, family reunion, birthday party or other special event in Genuine Smithfield? Contact our group tour professionals to set up private tours for your guests while they visit Smithfield and Isle of Wight County. Tours can also be provided for folks with limited mobility.
Tours for Individuals
Guided Walking Tours:
The Isle of Wight County Museum offers guided walking tours of historic sites throughout the year.These tours are FREE! Isle of Wight County Museum's Events Page
Genuine Smithfield Walking Tour
Stop by the Visitor Center (319 Main Street) for a free map of the downtown walking tour featuring over 50 buildings of exceptional architectural importance. Several of the homes are listed on the National Registry. This is a self-guided tour, but given at least three weeks notice, we are happy to provide a guide for this tour.
Genuine Smithfield IPod Tour
The Isle of Wight County Musuem offers downloadable IPod tours of the historic properties on scenic South Church Street in Genuine Smithfield. The tour tells the story of our county’s history and will whisk you back to the days of dusty roads, plank sidewalks and a bustling riverfront.
This tour is FREE! https://www.historicisleofwight.com/tours.html
Group and Guided Tour Contact:
Kathy Mountjoy 757.353.1699
Fort Boykin has been a part of American history since 1623 when a fort known as the Castle was constructed to protect the Jamestown colonists from Native Americans and raiding Spaniards. Atop a bluff overlooking the James River, the site’s commanding view makes it a keen observation point. Today, Fort Boykin remains essentially intact and constitutes a well-preserved example of military architecture of the Civil War era. Fort Boykin is on the Virginia Birding and Wildlife Trail, and it is home to the commonwealth's second oldest black walnut tree. This tree, over 200 years old, has been named to the Remarkable Trees of Virginia Project. The fort is also listed on the National Register of Historic Places, Virginia Landmarks Register, Virginia Civil War Trails, Captain John Smith’s Trail and the Star-Spangled Banner Geotrail and the Cornell eBird System.
Free guided walking tours of Fort Boykin are offered throughout the year. Go to: HistoricIsleofWight.com or the events page of this website for dates and times, or contact the Visitor Center to arrange a custom guided tour.