Trail News

Urbanna: An Historic Town with Old Fashioned Flavor

Sailboats in Marina Urbanna Virginia

Beautiful surprises around every corner.

An historic town with an old-fashioned flavor (and an old-fashioned soda fountain…more on that later).

Dining and shopping all accessible from a town marina.

And a place where the boats (and kayaks) outnumber the residents.

Where is this glorious place?

Urbanna on the Middle Peninsula, a rural coastal Virginia port town.

Urbanna Creek Virginia

HISTORY

Founded in 1680 and created by an act of the Colonial House of Burgesses to encourage trading, Urbanna is a port town on Urbanna Creek, just off of the Chesapeake Bay’s Rappahannock River.

Urbanna Virginia Museum

Specifically, Urbanna, and another 20 port towns founded at the same time, were set up to help export tobacco to England for European goods.

Seven buildings in town have remained in continuous use since the colonial period, and four are on the National Register of Historic Places.

Virginia Street in Urbanna

The entire historic district houses 65 historic buildings, including one of only 11 surviving colonial courthouses that dates back to 1748.

WHERE TO STAY

Bethpage Campground

679 Browns Ln, Urbanna, VA 23175

Bethpage Campground, voted one of the nation’s best camping resorts, offers RV lots and cottage rentals.

The Chesapeake Inn

250 Virginia St, Urbanna, VA 23175

Urbanna’s boutique hotel, the Chesapeake Inn, offers luxury suites of numerous sizes with all the traditional amenities one would expect. Each suite is a little different from the other, and all are elegantly designed to match the quaint vibe of the town.

Atherston Hall Bed and Breakfast

250 Prince George St, Urbanna, VA 23175

Atherston Hall dates back to 1880 and still retains an old-world charm. With three gorgeous guestrooms, a sitting area, and two gardens, Atherston satisfies those looking for peace, quiet and a walking distance from the center of town.

WHERE TO EAT

You could say that in Urbanna seafood is a big deal. It is home to Virginia’s official oyster festival, after all. Seafood is everywhere in town, but so are lots of other good eats. Here are a few to check out when you visit.

Deborah Pratt Oyster Shucking Champion Urbanna Virginia

Shores and Ruark Seafood Company

453 Johnsons Dr, Urbanna, VA 23175

From fresh fish to oysters and clams, taste some of the Middle Peninsula’s most authentic water-based cuisine at Shores and Ruark Seafood Company.

Mi Jalisco

5437 Old Virginia St, Urbanna, VA 23175

Mi Jalisco serves up Urbanna’s best Mexican cuisine. Tacos, burritos, quesadillas or fresh made-to-order guacamole. Don’t leave without trying a fresh margarita!

Drug Store Counter Urbanna Virginia

Marshall’s Drug Store

50 Cross St, Urbanna, VA 23175

An old-fashioned family drugstore complete with soda fountain, Marshall’s Drug Store serves up loads of character.

Something Different Bar Urbanna Virginia

Something Different

213 Virginia St, Urbanna, VA 23175

Fresh, quality foods, all made from scratch. That’s all you need to know.

WHERE TO ACCESS THE WATER

With Urbanna Creek sitting at the heart of this port town, it’s not hard to find fun on the water. In fact, everything you need is within walking distance of the creek and its three marinas.

Float your boat, or your kayak, from the Urbanna Town Marina. Public boat ramp free to town residents, $5 for others.

Colonial Man Talking on Cell Phone Urbanna Virginia

WHAT TO DO

During your visit, before or after your paddling excursion on these local waters, Urbanna hosts a farmer’s market on the second Saturday of the month during the summer.

The first weekend of November is the annual Oyster Festival, Virginia’s official oyster festival that welcomes 75,000 visitors.

Other family-friendly events are held throughout the year. Stay tuned to events here.

WHERE TO LEARN MORE

Urbanna Museum and Scottish Factor Store

Museums of Middlesex

Urbanna Business Association

Photos by Sara Harris Photography