Trail News

Sleep and Paddle the Middle Peninsula: Bed and Breakfasts You Don’t Want to Miss

Inn at Warner Hall
June 25, 2019

Picture this.

You and your family spending the day on the water, paddling down one of the many beautiful waterways that the Middle Peninsula has to offer.

You’re soaking up the sun, making memories, and seeing up close and personal one of the top rated and unique ecosystems on the water (that’s the Dragon Run).

You don’t want to leave. You realize that there is so much more to see than you can fit into one day.

Good news.

It’s easy to turn a paddle day into a series of paddle DAYS thanks to the plethora of unique, family-owned, historic and welcoming bed and breakfasts located throughout the Middle Peninsula region.

Here’s a few you may want to explore.

Inn at Warner Hall

4750 Warner Hall Road, Gloucester, Virginia 23061

Inn at Warner Hall Gloucester VirginiaThe Inn at Warner Hall is located in Gloucester, the largest county on the Middle Peninsula that’s home to 506 miles of shoreline, including the Gloucester Blueways, a system of water trails spanning five tidal rivers, dozens of navigable creeks and a lake formed by a man-made impoundment.

Warner Hall is located just five miles from Captain Sinclair’s, a 97-acre waterfront property open to the public as part of the Chesapeake Bay Middle Peninsula Public Access Authority.

Located on the waterfront plantation created by George Washington’s great-great grandfather in 1642, Warner Hall is a great place to paddle itself thanks to its boathouse and dock located on the property.

It’s really quite the fitting place to paddle given the history of the Inn and the history of the region – Gloucester’s waterways were explored extensively by Captain John Smith’s shallop in the early 1600s.

Don’t have your own rig? Traveling from far away lands and can’t bring your kayak or board with you? When you go to book your stay online, check out the “Guided Kayak Tours” under the activities tab. Led by Bay Country Kayaking, these kayak tours allow you to pick your paddle location in the region.

Innkeepers Troy and Theresa Stavens renovated the historic home and have 11 guest rooms open to rent. Breakfast (fit for a king and queen and will fuel you for a day of paddling) is included.

Also, as an added bonus, if you read about our suggested Paddle and Pub Crawl, you’ll be happy to know the Inn at Warner Hall is located within minutes of Gloucester Main Street’s Gloucester Brewing Company.

Learn more at

Essex Inn

203 Duke Street, PO Box 2038, Tappahannock, Virginia 22560

Essex Inn Tappahannock VirginiaIf you’re looking for sun and waves by day and a Victorian era country bed and breakfast by night, travel to the Essex Inn in Tappahannock. Built in 1851, this Greek inspired structure is a community favorite in town.

Between the beautiful garden outside, fireplaces in every room, and the new makeover of the front entrance way, the inn is as beautiful as the scenery you’ll see on the water.

But here is the BEST part. Guests of the Essex Inn can rent kayaks on site to explore the Rappahannock River or one of the many smaller creeks and tributaries in the area. Their 10-foot kayaks provide the perfect combination of comfort, stability and performance.

Paddles and all safety equipment are included in the rental fee of $40 for half-days and $75 for full days.

You can add this option when booking online, or simply give the Inn a call at 866-ESSEX-VA to add kayaks to your reservation.

Learn more at

Inn at Tabbs Creek

384 Turpin Lane, Port Haywood, Virginia 23138

Inn at Tabbs Creek AerialLocated at the heart of the Chesapeake Bay Region, the Inn at Tabbs Creek is a charming river bed and breakfast in Mathews County, home to more than 100 miles of water trails.

A weekend getaway surrounded by water, guests are encouraged to bring their own kayak or use one of the kayaks or stand up paddle boards on site that are offered to guests to use for free. Guests can also book excursions with local outfitters for guided tours or lessons – ask the Innkeepers for recommendations.

Mathews Blueways Water Trail Guide includes launch sites and detailed area maps for each launch site. Of particular interest for many paddlers in Mathews is the third oldest lighthouse on the Chesapeake Bay, New Point Comfort Lighthouse, commissioned in 1804 by Thomas Jefferson. The 55-foot octagonal sandstone lighthouse sits on an island, separated from the mainland by the Hurricane of 1933. View and exploration perfect by boat or kayak.

Inn at Tabbs Creek Lit UpBut it’s not just the location of the Inn at Tabbs Creek that makes it special, or the fact that it’s been regularly named among the best bed and breakfasts in the country. The Inn at Tabbs Creek calls ecological sensitivity one of their highest values and have done what they can to implement eco-friendly practices, including recycling as many materials as possible during the renovation of the property, installing energy efficient systems, partnering with to pay for carbon offsets for guest travel, serving locally grown produce whenever possible, maintaining a chlorine-free pool, and more.

Learn more at