Best Places to Visit in Northern Neck VA

Looking for things to do in Northern Neck, Virginia? If you love nature, history, wine or fishing – you will have no problems at all finding a great time in Chesapeake Bay’s Northern Neck Peninsula. Below are some recreational ideas for Virginia travelers looking for a great vacation.

George Washington Birthplace National Monument

1732 Popes Creek RdColonial Beach, VA 22443-5115
+1 804-224-1732

Take a walk back in time and visit the location of George Washington’s birth and upbringing. A very well maintained historical spot in the Northern Neck region, the site includes a replica house, barn, workshop, cookhouse, garden, farm animals, a few trails & a stunning scenery of the Potomac.

Town of Reedville

At one point in the United States’ history, Reedville was the number one fishery in the United States. Fishing has been a big part of this town’s culture for years and years. If you visit Reedville on your journey around Chesapeake’s Northern Neck, you will witness stunning, uniquely constructed homes from the early 1900s. Visit the Reedville Fisherman’s Museum to appreciate this amazing booming town of the Early 20th century.

This town also has some very unique dining experiences with places like The Crazy Crab, Chitter-Chats and Tommy’s Restaurant. Something out of the ordinary and totally unlike the boring experience you get at, say, Applebees.

Northern Neck Wineries

Traditionally wineries were located on the West coast of the United States, do to more favorable soil and growing areas. But thanks to advances in innovation for grape vine cultivation and winemaking, this Chesapeake Bay has served as a booming location for wineries.

Visit on of these Wineries of the Northern Neck and do some wine tasting while you explore the business of wine growing in this area.

Dog & Oyster Vineyard
170 White Fences Drive, Irvington, 804.438.9463

General’s Ridge Vineyard
1618 Weldons Drive, Hague, 804.223.2478

Good Luck Cellars
1025 Good Luck Road, Kilmarnock, 804.435.1416

The Hague Winery
8268 Cople Highway, Hague, 804.472.5283

Ingleside Plantation Vineyards
5872 Leedstown Road, Oak Grove, 804.224.8687

Oak Crest Vineyard & Winery
8215 Oak Crest Drive, King George, 540.663.2813

King George County

A 15 to 20 minutes drive south from the Rivah Home will land you in King George County. This is the location of President James Madison’s birth, and you can explore the history at Belle Grove Plantation – With world-class lodging and a great historic focal point to explore the area.

Here you can visit the Dahlgren Heritage Museum for rich local history, hike trails at Caledon State Park and Natural Area, a National Natural Landmark which is home to one of the largest concentrations of American bald eagles in America! Feel and soak up all the U.S. history then take a trip to the Unique Antiques Mall on Rt. 301 for local antiques and collectibles of the area.

Steamboat Era Museum

Eestablished in 2004, the Steamboat Era Museum is a real treat for historians and history enthusiasts. Th Museum walks the visitor through the story of steamboats and how they altered the lives of everyone along the Chesapeake Bay region.

The introduction into steamboats provided an economic boost to the towns of Chesapeake Bay. The cities of Norfolk and Baltimore acted as gateways to the world, the cities provided the markets, the towns provided goods, and the steamboats provided means.

The era is brought back to life at the Steamboat Era Museum with models, artifacts, photos .

Best Nature Trails in Northern Neck Chesapeake Bay

If you’re looking to immerse yourself in nature, the Chesapeake Bay region is a great place to do it. Full of rich and diverse life, especially birds.. The Chesapeake Bay is home to over 250 species of birds. Spend some time down here and you are guaranteed to spot a strange bird.

You don’t have to go far to see some nature down here. A trip down the streams in the RivahHome free kayak, you’ll spot some lush spots and cool wildlife. But if you are looking for some hiking trails you can explore, here are some of the most popular…

Northern Neck Birding Trail

Running though the cradle of the nation’s birthplace, the 21-site Coastal Northern Neck Loop of the Virginia Birding and Wildlife Trail features a wide diversity of songbirds, wading birds, waterfowl, bald eagles and butterflies in a multitude of habitats—salt and freshwater marshes, croplands and open fields.

Remember to bring your camera! And some binoculars.


Hickory Hollow’s 254 acres of mixed pine-hardwood forest, ravines and Cabin Swamp form an important habitat for migratory songbirds, wild turkey and a rare plant. Cabin swamp is an exceptional quality wetland community that supports a very high diversity – perhaps 500 plant species – including several mountain disjuncts. read more

This preserve has public parking and a system of hiking trails. The preserve is open from sunrise to sunset.

From Kilmarnock, follow VA 3 towards Lancaster. Just before you reach Lancaster, turn right onto VA 604. The preserve is on your left.

For You: More than four miles of trails meander the forest. Picnic shelter available.
Watch For: Kingfishers, wild turkeys, migratory songbirds, and wood ducks are plentiful. Summer rains bring mushrooms and orchids.
Note: Hickory Hollow Natural Area Preserve is owned by the Northern Neck Audubon Society and managed in partnership with the Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation.

As you move on to Dameron Marsh and Hughlett Point Natural Area Preserves, detour to Kilmarnock for places to eat and accommodations.

Dameron Marsh. Photo by John Gresham, Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation.

Trails At Stratford Hall Plantation

Most of the Northern Neck is flat. Stratford Hall, on the cliffs of the Potomac River in Westmoreland County, is not. While it’s not exactly Old Rag Mountain, it provides a moderately strenuous workout as some of the trails wind their way through surprisingly hilly terrain. At least one of the trails provides breath taking views of the Potomac, and the Maryland shore, as it parallels the cliffs.

Stratford Hall’s nature trails are as varied as they are scenic, providing leisurely strolls for the amateur hiker and challenging treks for veterans. Most trails are navigable by most intermediate hikers. Trail maps are available upon request in the Visitor Center. Trails are newly marked, thanks to students from Forest Bluff Montessori School in Illinois who traveled all the way to Virginia to participate in this service project. (via NorthernNeckToday .com)

View Trails at NorthernNeckToday .com


Bush Mill Stream Wildlife Refuge

The Bush Mill Stream Wildlife Refuge is on the head waters of the Great Wicomico River in Northumberland County, accessible from State Route 642. Unlike Stratford, the terrain is flat and the trails are well marked.

This preserve is one of the Northern Neck’s many hidden gems. From the parking area, a well-marked trail descends from dry ridge forests to an observation deck overlooking Bush Mill Stream. The platform offers viewing opportunities of the rich, freshwater tidal marsh below. The marsh is alive year-round with great blue herons, other wading birds, bald eagles, osprey, and waterfowl such as wood ducks. Careful observation may reveal a river otter. The preserve is rarely crowded, creating an ideal wildlife-watching experience. A diversity of dragonflies, spring and fall migrant songbirds, wild turkey, and white-tailed deer can all be enjoyed here. (via NorthernNeckToday .com)

Belle Isle State Park

Nestled on a secluded peninsula at the confluence of Deep Creek and the Rappahannock River on Virginia’s Northern Neck, the Bel Air Mansion is the natural choice for a romantic getaway, family reunions, vacations, small meetings, retreats and conferences.

Beautiful 733-acre park with 7 miles of Rappahannock River shoreline.

Hiking, canoeing, bridle path, and boat rentals. Lancaster County, VA. 804-462-5030 or 800-933-PARK.

Caledon State Park

This 2,579 acres along the Potomac River has one of the largest concentrations of bald eagles on the East Coast. Bald eagle observation tours, picnicking,hiking trails, educational programs, information center and gift shop.

Route 218, King George County, VA. (540) 663-3861/(800) 933-PARK.

Westmoreland State Park

Facilities include boat ramp, hiking trails, sandy beach, pool, cabins, retreat lodge, campsites, and camping cabins.

The Potomac River Retreat at Westmoreland State Park offers an opportunity to enjoy the beauty of this historic river. This unique abode is perfect for any occasion: reunions, meetings, retreats, conferences or just asimple vacation.

Westmoreland County, VA. (804) 493-8821/(800) 933-PARK


Best Vacation Spots For History Lovers in the Chesapeake Bay

Where to find the best Chesapeake Bay history vacation spots of the Northern Neck peninsula?

This post is for all you history buffs who enjoy vacationing and exploring around historical locations where important events and the lives of notable people took place.

The Northern Neck part of the Chesapeake Bay, which is where the RivahHome is located, has a particularly lush historical background.

This area was the birthplace of presidents like George Washington and even Thomas Lee and Robert E. Lee were born here.

Captain John Smith, probably the first vacationer of this location, visited this area around 1607. Well, less of a vacation and more as a captive of the Indian Chief Opechacanoough.  – travelling the “Neck” somewhat against his will.

He later returned in 1608 to explore the Potomac and Rappahannock rivers and the rest of the bay region. He made his first map of the Chesapeake Bay region in 1612.


The historic spot the Washington family plantation on which George Washington, the U.S. First president, was born. Administered by the National Park Service. Oak Grove, Virginia,,

Battle of the Chesapeake

The Battle of the Chesapeake, also known as the Battle of the Virginia Capes or simply the Battle of the Capes, was a crucial naval battle in the American Revolutionary War that took place near the mouth of Chesapeake Bay on 5 September 1781.

The birth of the 13 Colonies. read more

James Monroe Birthplace

Monroe was the last president among the Founding Fathers of the United States as well as the Virginian dynasty; he also represented the end of the Democratic-Republican Generation in that office

This spot Honors our fifth president who was born and raised in Westmoreland County. The James Monroe Birthplace Park is open daily. Museum and Visitor Center is open Saturday & Sunday during the Summer months. Free.

The Birthplace located at 4460 James Monroe Highway, Colonial Beach


The Menokin Foundation is embarking on a revolutionary re-imagining of this historic structure.

Home of Declaration of Independence signer Francis Lightfoot Lee circa 1769. Visitors center depicting architectural conservation. Hike trails to Cat Point Creek through 325-acre wildlife refuge. Warsaw, 804-333-1776.

Stratford Hall Plantation

Stratford Hall is a historic house museum near Lerty in Westmoreland County, Virginia. It was the plantation house of four generations of the Lee family of Virginia (later with descendants expanding to Maryland and other states).

It was the boyhood home of two signers of the Declaration of Independence, Richard Henry Lee (1732-1794), and Francis Lightfoot Lee (1734-1797), and it was the birthplace of Robert Edward Lee (1807–1870), who was a longtime military officer in the Corps of Engineers in the United States Army, and later General-in-Chief of the Confederate States Army and commanded its Army of Northern Virginia during the American Civil War (1861-1865), and then became the president of Washington College, which later became Washington and Lee University in Lexington, Virginia. The estate was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1960, under the care of the National Park Service in the U.S. Department of the Interior.[3] via Wikipedia


Northern Neck Farm Museum

The Northern Neck Farm Museum began with a collector, an individual who refused to discard what was once considered useful and later became obsolete. In his 50-plus years of farming, Luther Welch, a native of Northumberland County, grew his collection of farm equipment and wanted to share it. Other farmers and community members shared his dream and a five county regional museum was formed in 2006 to tell the story of agriculture on the Northern Neck of Virginia. read more
From washing machines, to tractors, sawmills and windmills…it’s all at the Northern Neck Farm Museum. Exhibits on Northern Neck Agriculture.

Open April through October, Saturdays 10am-2pm and Sundays 1pm-4pm. Call for appointments. 12705 Northumberland Highway, Burgess, 804.761.5952.

These are just a few historic spots of the Chesapeake Bay that you can check out.. the lands here are full of historic landmarks, many of which are unknown. If you’re looking for a guide of some sort for all of the historical gems of the Chesapeake, I recommend this book by Thomas Wolf…

Historic Sites in Virginia’s Northern Neck and Essex County: A Guide Paperback – February 4, 2011

Historic Sites in Virginia’s Northern Neck and Essex County is an indispensible guide for those who have an active or potential interest in the rich history of the Northern Neck region of Virginia and its historic sites. This six-county Tidewater region includes the birthplaces of George Washington, James Madison, James Monroe, and Robert E. Lee. The guide includes a brief history of the region beginning with the exploratory voyages of Captain John Smith up the Potomac and Rappahannock Rivers in 1608, and his encounters with various local Native American tribes.