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.
HISTORY IN SMITHFIELD AND ISLE OF WIGHT COUNTY:
Isle of Wight County, originally named Warrosquyoake after the Native American tribe living here, was one of the eight original shires established in 1634. Early settlers from the Jamestown Settlement explored the area and traded with the native people.
The town of Smithfield was founded in 1752 and thrived as a bustling riverport exporting agricultural goods. When the peanut industry moved to Suffolk after a devastating fire in 1921, the town made it’s name in the ham and pork product industry. That heritage continues today as Smithfield is home to the corporate headquarters of the world’s largest pork producer, Smithfield Foods®.
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.
10:00 - 11:50 p.m.
Isle of Wight County Museum
The museum offers interactive exhibits including a turn-of-the-century country store, as well as displays on the Smithfield ham industry, the Colonial Era and the Cold War. The museum is also the home of the world’s oldest ham and the world’s oldest peanut.
11:50 a.m. - 12:15 p.m.
The 1750 Isle of Wight Courthouse
Interpretive panels and guides tell the story of this beautifully restored, historic icon which served as the official courthouse for Isle of Wight County from 1752 to 1800.
12:20 - 1:00 p.m.
The Schoolhouse Museum
An African-American History Museum of Public Education built in 1932, the museum features period desks and books, and oral histories of former students.
1:00 - 2:00 p.m.
Lunch: Smithfield Gourmet Bakery & Cafe
2:15 - 3:15 p.m.
St. Luke’s Historic Church and Museum
Built in the 17th-century, this renowned historic site offers a journey through 400 + years of vibrant, American history. Virginia’s oldest brick church, St. Luke’s now serves as a living, breathing symbol of religious freedom.
3:30 - 4:00 p.m.
Sweet Treat from Cure Coffeehouse
4:30 - 5:30 p.m.
Windsor Castle Park
Once a working farm, Windsor Castle was owned by the Smith family, the founder and namesake of Smithfield. The manor house and outbuildings will be open for touring in Spring of 2021, with interpretive signage, and period furnishings.
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 HISTORIC SITES TO SEE:
• Visit Historic Fort Huger and Fort Boykin Historic Park, located outside of town in park-like settings.
• The Nelms House, a Victorian beauty built in 1899, now an art gallery and open for tours.
• Visit Ivy Hill Cemetery, a historic, rural cemetery.
• Visit Boykin’s Tavern built in 1762.
• Take a Walking Tour of the town’s showcase historic homes, many built by ham industry founders.
• Take home a souvenir from one of our shops.