With so many families attending school virtually, a field trip would be a great way to take a break, explore a new place and learn something along the way.
We've put together four one-day field trip itineraries with the themes Agriculture, Art, History and Plants & Animals. There are also options listed for a two-day trip if you'd like to spend the weekend with us. Create some family memories with a family field trip to Smithfield and Isle of Wight County.
FIELD GUIDE AVAILABLE UNDER THE "PHOTOS, VIDEOS AND DOCUMENTS" TAB OF THIS WEBPAGE LISTING.
AGRICULTURE IN SMITHFIELD AND ISLE OF WIGHT COUNTY
Isle of Wight County was first settled as Warrosquyoake Shire in 1634 as explorers from the Jamestown settlement made their way across the James River, trading with the Warrosquyoake tribe that lived here. The town of Smithfield was settled in 1752 as a leader in the peanut industry until a fire in 1921 destroyed the peanut warehouses along the Pagan River. When the peanut industry moved to Suffolk, the town turned instead to the production of hams. The Gwaltney and Luter families built a thriving industry which continues today with Smithfield home to the corporate headquarters of the world’s largest pork producer, Smithfield Foods®.
The majority of the county remains rural, with many of the local farms open to visitors, offering them a hands-on experience to learn about the origins of their food and other agricultural products.
Smithfield and Isle of Wight are located in Coastal Virginia, making them a great day-trip destination from both Virginia Beach and Williamsburg, or a relaxing weekend getaway. The itinerary listed below is just to get you started. There’s so much more to see and do!
ONE DAY ITINERARY:
Go to the "Photos, Videos and Documents" tab of this webpage to download a Family Field Trip Guide pdf with details on each site.
9:00 - 10:00 a.m.
Darden’s Farm, Country Store and Smokehouse
Darden's is a working farm, growing corn, cotton, soybeans, wheat and pumpkins.The family has been curing hams in their smokehouse since 1952. The country store sells homemade sausage, ham, cheese, peanuts and local honey.
10:20 - 11:10 a.m.
Isle of Wight County Museum
The museum offers interactive exhibits including a turn-of-the-century country store, and smokehouse, as well as displays on the Smithfield ham industry. The museum is also the home of the world’s oldest ham and the world’s oldest peanut.
11:15 - 12:15 p.m.
Find the eight life-size hog statues, all located in downtown Smithfield, each decorated by a local artist. Pick up a map to the locations at the Visitor Center.
12:15 p.m. - 1:30 p.m.
Lunch: Taste of Smithfield
Check out the restaurant’s mural of a pig farm.
1:50 - 2:40 p.m.
Central Hill Farm Alpacas Plus: Tours available plus an on-site Alpaca Store.
Zuni Tree & Alpaca Farm: Tours available of alpaca farm.
3:00 - 4:00 p.m.
Sweet Treat at the Smithfield Ice Cream Parlor
TWO DAY ITINERARY:
Consider doing half of the itinerary in the afternoon, and the other half the following morning leaving lots of free time to explore the area’s shops or any other attractions that are of interest to you.
ALTERNATIVE AGRICULTURAL SITES TO SEE:
• The Agricultural Land Lab at Windsor Elementary School, a school owned 30-acre working farm.
• Check out the “Farm Visits” page on this website for a list of other farms to visit during your stay.
• Take a self-guided Walking Tour of the homes along South Church Street where many of the ham industry founders built their showcase homes.
• Take home a souvenir from one of our shops.