Curate your own special stay here in Tappahannock and Essex County using our sample itineraries!
TAPP Into Artistry
“TAPP” into the artistic beauty found in Tappahannock and Essex County on this two-day excursion. Artistic expressions found in exhibits, culinary creations, gifts and nature abound in this downtown region. Spend your time immersed in the beauty and charm.
Start your morning with iconic Java Jacks Café for breakfast and experience the full-service coffee bar with delightful displays of coffee, latte and cider. Outside dining is a treat when the weather permits.
The Essex County Museum, founded in 1996, and the Essex County Historical Society joined forces in 2006 to celebrate the heritage of the town, county, river and its people and is now the Essex County Museum and Historical Society (ECMHS). Spend time with the many themed exhibits that span from the Prehistoric Era to the present day. Learn about the “People of The Tidal Water” exhibit that showcases The Rappahannock Tribe, which has lived in this region for thousands of years.
A short walk from the museum is the Max Silver Memorial Courtyard. This recently completed space in the center of town is next to the Essex County Museum & Historical Society. Stroll the courtyard, relax on one of the benches and enjoy the lovely landscaping. Three outdoor exhibits highlight the history of Tappahannock, African American riverboat pilot Bill Manning, and Max Silver, for whom the park is named. The courtyard hosts living history and outdoor programs and children’s events.
Enjoy and buy art at Tappahannock Art Gallery. This downtown cooperative gallery of the Tappahannock Artists Guild showcases the work of local artists and offers cultural programming. The guild is part of the River to Bay Artisans Trail that links the gallery with other art venues on the Middle Peninsula.
Fresh-crafted yummy burgers, hand-cut twister chips, and a dessert called a freakshake call your name at NN Burger Tappahannock.
Acme Antiques, just a short walk from lunch, is a vision of vintage. From weathervanes to weathered lanterns, you will find this antique mall anything from your typical shopping experience. It’s almost impossible to describe the volume of collectibles found throughout more than 100 booths that can occupy you for hours.
Be sure to stop next door at Acme Ice Cream Parlor for an afternoon treat of waffle cones, sundaes, soft serve, smoothies and 36 handspun flavors along with hotdogs and nachos. It feels like 1950 in this old-fashioned stop featuring carnival and circus décor.
Continue walking to your lodging accommodations at The Essex Inn, a Victorian B&B that dates back to 1851. Each of the 12 rooms is masterfully restored to its early grandeur. Make time for a kayak rental to capture some of the artistic natural beauty that is found on the water. A three-course breakfast features a creative repertoire of farm-sourced beef and eggs, herbs from the garden and locally made bakery goods, jams and jellies. Full and half-day kayak rentals for Inn guests.
Check out the art of farming and wine tasting with a visit to Wind Vineyards. The same Blue Ridge minerality that infuses the Rappahannock’s signature seafood flavors the soils in the vineyard, producing some of the most desirable wines in the region. Seasonal events make this scenic 700-acre farm come to life. Check the calendar in advance to see the line-up of events that include wine tastings, live music, vendor fairs, food trucks, and even monster truck events.
End the day with fresh seafood from To Do Café, a delightful place to linger over fresh seafood with a large selection of cakes and pies for dessert.
Start your Saturday morning at the Tappahannock Farmers Market. Stroll the historic streets of Tappahannock during the Farmers’ Market on the 3rd Saturday of the month from April through November at the intersection of Cross and Prince streets. Shop for fresh, local produce; homemade baked goods; fresh meats and seafoods; unique crafts and gifts; and plants. The market also offers live music entertainment, on-site dining options and fun activities for the whole family.
TAPP into artfully curated nautical gifts, unique clothing and home décor found throughout a downtown of close-knit shopkeepers who love to share what they treasure most about Tappahannock and Essex County. A few along the way include
- Crying Shame – Featuring jewelry by Waxing Poetic, calendars, bottle holders key rings and more by Lilly Pulitzer along with Lafco candles, serving-ware, napkins, house flags, sleepwear, makeup bags, travel cases, greeting cards, and Christopher Mize paintings. This nautically themed gift shop and custom framing shop was named for the boat belonging to the former owner.
- Norwoods – Your stop for Tappahannock Strong shirts, women and children’s fashion, sustainable candles and a hand-curated mixture of finds, many monogramable. Chat with owner Hannah Parker, whose middle name is Norwood.
- Thyme in a Basket – Melissa Foster’s passion for teaching and making baskets along with her affinity for herbs inspired the name of this charming shop full of handmade gifts. The specially curated inventory includes women’s clothing and accessories, home décor, jewelry, soaps and toys. If you see a basket, Melissa probably made it!
- Pammy’s Produce – Enjoy local veggies and seafood with seasonable fruit and flowers all grown on the farm of owners Pammy and Pete Jones. Mobjack Bay coffee, beef, pork, and seafood along with juices, sauces, dips, and jams all made under the Pammy’s Produce label. The Amish whisk broom is a top seller.
Book a tour with Rappahannock Roundstern. Feel and taste the water on a classic wooden commercial fishing boat. Lifelong pals Richard Moncure and Nate Parker offer fishing, oystering, bald eagle watching, and history-oriented trips on the lower Rappahannock in their Deadrise. Bring your camera to capture your own art in nature.
End the day at The Farm at 17 South by sampling an evolving menu based on what’s in season with main dishes and sides like your grandmother used to make. The Crab Bisque is “loaded with crab.” A Country Fried Filet Mignon bills itself as the “fanciest country fried steak this side of the Mississippi.” Leave room for a handspun milkshake for dessert.
TAPP Into Adventure
TAPP” into adventure as only one can find along the Rappahannock River community. From birdwatching, hiking, golfing, and water activities to enjoying time in the downtown area and at vineyards where you will be enchanted and enriched with the natural beauty of this area.
Start the day with breakfast at Prince Street Café. Owner Maria Esquer recently relocated this local eatery to Hobbs Hole Golf Course. Enjoy a hometown favorite Salt Fish breakfast featuring savory fish with two eggs, fried potatoes and cinnamon apples.
Hobbs Hole Golf Course was designed by Jeffrey Timmons and Associates of Richmond. Hobbs Hole consists of 160 acres of pure greens and great fairways that could not be possible without the devotion and hard work of Gary LaFleur, the course’s Certified Golf Course Superintendent. The course includes 18 holes, 6,700 yards of play and five tee options that allow both beginners and more experienced golfers a memorable day on the course.
Lunch awaits at Bella’s Italian Restaurant and Pizzeria. Enjoy fresh Italian salads, subs, sandwiches, wraps and pizza, including Sicilian Square. Find special plates and multiple veal entrees, too, along with nearly a dozen types of spaghetti, steak and seafood.
River Access – Access the river at several spots. At the end of Duke Street, find a sandy beach where swimming may be accommodated. The Rappahannock River Park next to the 360/Downing Bridge provides access to the water. A small section of public beach is at the end of Marsh Street as well.
Some call it camping and to others it’s glamping, but you will find the best tent accommodations at Sleigh Hill Farm. Camp on this secluded 100-acre farm on a lake and next to a winery that offers free tastings to all campers and 10% off all purchases. Hiking trails and a fishing pond areon the property. Rent the 4-seater ATV for touring the trails
Caret Cellars is walking distance of the campsite. Relax at this veteran family-owned and operated vineyard and winery, and visit the tasting room to try a variety of wines and learn about the winemaking process. Open Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays with tastings.
End the day with fresh seafood from To Do Café, a casual atmosphere to enjoy fresh seafood and a large selection of cakes and pies for dessert.
Explore the outdoors at Rappahannock River Valley National Wildlife Refuge. Well beyond the rumble of motoring cars, hear nothing but the sounds of wildlife in its natural habitat. Follow the one-lane gravel path to hike, paddle, hunt and fish. Snap pics from any of three observation platforms. Trails built around ponds and creeks are family-friendly. Set sail from kayak/canoe launch spots. Look skyward for the canopy of mature trees and always be ready for a bald eagle sighting. White-tailed deer and Blue Herons are plentiful, too.
Learn about bees and explore the store at HiveFive Apiary & Bee Supply. Book in advance to have Kathy and Jeff Allen show you how to start your own apiary or enjoy the honey products ready for purchase in the general store.
Get a view from above traveling across the Thomas Downing Bridge, the gateway to the Town of Tappahannock. Built in 1963, this bridge along Route 360 divides Richmond and Essex County and carries more than 14,000 vehicles per day over the Rappahannock River. Prior to the original bridge being built in 1927, only ferries served the area. The bridge is named for State Sen. Thomas Downing.
Learn about the Rappahannock River by seeing it aboard the Rappahannock Roundstern, located at the June Parker Maina. This classic wooden commercial fishing boat provides an opportunity for fishing, oystering, bald eagle watching and history-oriented trips on the lower Rappahannock on this Deadrise.
June Parker Marina has been a family-owned marina since 1986 with river access via its three-trailer wide boat ramp. It offers public showers, commercial slips and is one of the finest facilities of its kind in the Commonwealth. Be sure to check out the store while there.
For folks wanting to get into the swing of things, visit Pro-Atlantic Baseball with batting cages for individual rental or team rentals. 2,400 square feet of turf area for infield work.
Dragon Motorsports Park specializes in truck and tractor pulling Events with one of the finest single-track pulling facilities around.
Squirrel’s Nest is the perfect place to end the day over burgers and wings with karaoke, college football and live music on Saturdays and the NFL on Sundays. Make sure to say hello to Squirrel, too!
TAPP Into Nature
TAPP” into nature and the great outdoors!
People first arrived in the Chesapeake Bay during the last ice age. As glaciers melted, diverse societies learned to thrive in a world of water. When Englishman Capt. John Smith explored the Bay in 1608, he documented hundreds of American Indian communities. Today, sites on his map are archeological treasures and sacred sites for tribal citizens. Join us on the shores of the Chesapeake Bay! Check out Tappahannock on the John Smith Water Trail – 3,000 Miles and 15,000 Years of Culture
If You Want to Hunt…
This 274-acre parcel of land straddles Essex and King & Queen counties, and is located within the Dragon Run Watershed. The Middle Peninsula Public Access Authority (MP-PAA) manages 137 acres of the tract as public open space, while the Virginia Department of Forestry manages the remaining 137 acres as a state forest. The MP-PAA manages the property for long-term, passive and low-impact public access, natural resource protection and sustainability, and traditional uses, such as forestry and hunting. Nine public hunting zones are available for big game, small game and waterfowl hunting. Four hunters are allowed per zone; each hunter must be registered.
You’ll find yourself in a place of rare beauty among 4,000 acres that includes 600 acres of pristine marsh and 700 acres of open farmland. Blandfield Plantation Mansion, completed in 1773, offers an ideal setting for an intimate gathering, gala wedding, or accommodations in the lodge. Tours are available upon request. Blandfield Plantation hosts quail and waterfowl hunting and pheasant shoots with a rustic lodge and boathouse pavilion available for receptions.
- Pheasant Shoot – This was designed to be challenging, inclusive and a fun social event. An ideal venue for discriminating corporate, syndicate and fundraising clients
- Quail Hunting – Quality hunts in the tradition of southern Georgia
- Migratory Waterfowl Hunting – The over 4,000 acres offer prime habitat for many different species waterfowl during the fall and winter months
Rappahannock River Valley National Wildlife Refuge
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service purchased the first tract of land for the refuge in 1996. The refuge currently consists of 8,707 acres. The goal of the refuge is to protect 20,000 acres of wetlands and its associated uplands along the Rappahannock River and its major tributaries. Follow the one-lane gravel path to hike, paddle, hunt, and fish. Snap pics from any of the three observation platforms. Trails built around ponds and creeks are family-friendly. Set sail from kayak/canoe launch spots. Look skyward for the canopy of mature trees and always be ready for a bald eagle sighting. White-tailed deer and Blue Herons are plentiful.
- Hutchinson Unit Nature Trail, fishing, and canoe/kayak launch – The Hutchinson Unit of Rappahannock River Valley National Wildlife Refuge contains two miles of trails through gorgeous meadows, hardwood forests, and softwood forests. A lookout platform oversees the grasslands. All trails and platforms are handicap accessible. To experience the full diversity of habitat that this Refuge Tract has to offer, take the Greenfield Farm Road trail into the Daingerfield Loop trail through to Paula’s Point Loop, which ends with a scenic view of Mount Landing Creek.
The Hutchinson Unit’s tall structure grasslands provide plenty of opportunities to see migratory and grassland breeding birds including dickcissels, bobolinks, northern bobwhite, and Eastern meadowlark, as well as various butterflies. Additionally, white-tailed deer and rabbits can be watched from the lookout platform. Warblers, woodpeckers and a variety of woodland songbirds, including scarlet and summer tanagers, may be observed in the forested areas. Look for belted kingfisher, bald eagles, and the occasional muskrat at the fishing pier and boat launch area.
Launch canoes and kayaks next to the pier for further exploration of the marshes of Mount Landing Creek. A trail map is available via the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Note: There are visitation restrictions during the fall deer hunting season. Check the refuge’s website for more information
- Laurel Grove Unit – Nature Trail – Surrounds a stunning 10-acre freshwater pond within a mixed woodland. A well-shaded 1.5-mile loop trail borders the pond providing an opportunity to spot aquatic wildlife in the pond or denizens of the woodland. Otters, beavers and turtles frequent this pond as well as various waterfowl, especially in the winter, and dragonflies are abundant. In the spring, listen to the melodic choruses of bullfrogs, spotted leopard frogs and green frogs. Woodland birds that may be observed include woodpeckers, eastern wood-peewee, scarlet and summer tanager, and migrating warblers. Along this trail, a half-mile walk west from the main entrance, is a sheltered photo blind with a view of Farnham Creek, allowing the observer to view and photograph winter waterfowl. Bald eagles may also be spotted from this vantage point. Just off the northern portion of the main pond loop trail is a secondary, more rustic trail leading down through the woodland to provide closer views of the pond. This secondary trail is marked with a mix of white blazes on trees and brown wayfinding signposts.
Additional trail access is located 0.3 miles east of the main entrance on Laurel Grove Rd/ Rt 610. This 0.84-mile out-and-back walking trail leads into a scrub-shrub habitat, a former agricultural area that the refuge has allowed to revert to a natural state. This area provides excellent bird habitats for grassland and shrubland birds, such as sparrows, eastern bluebirds, yellow-breasted chat, eastern kingbirds and migrating bobolink. This trail also connects with the main pond loop trail for an extended walk.
For the exploration of the water, a kayak/ canoe landing is available at the main entrance to launch hand-launchable boats.
Note: On specific days in the winter, the Laurel Grove Unit is open for hunting, during which time it is closed to non-hunting activities. Closure dates are posted on the main kiosk at the trailhead and on the Refuge’s website and social media. If visiting in the winter, it is advised to check with the refuge first in advance of your visit to ensure Laurel Grove is open.
If You Want to Fish
Learn about the Rappahannock River by seeing it aboard the Rappahannock Roundstern, located at the June Parker Maina. This classic wooden commercial fishing boat provides an opportunity for fishing, oystering, bald eagle watching and history-oriented trips on the lower Rappahannock on this Deadrise.
Hoskins Creek Boat Ramp – The Dock Street ~ Hoskins ramp is along Hoskins Creek a short distance from the Rappahannock River and offers; single launching lane, courtesy dock and parking for about eight boat trailers. No other amenities at this location.
Service your boat, pick up fishing items and get up-to-date info on ideal spots to fish at this family-owned marina located on the historic Rappahannock River. Annual Rappahannock River Rockfish Open awards prizes for the top three finishers.
Family-owned marina since 1986 with river access via its three-trailer wide boat ramp. Public showers, commercial slips and one of the finest facilities of its kind in the Commonwealth. Rappahannock Roundstern launches its fishing, birding and historical tours here.
Tentrr Signature Site – Sleigh Hill Farm Glamping – Fish in the farm pond or Mount Landing Creek (provide your own poles and lures). Rental for a floating pier on the pond is available.
TAPP Into History
“TAPP” into History in Historic Tappahannock along the Rappahannock River community on the rise in Essex County on a gastronomical getaway.
People first arrived in the Chesapeake Bay during the last ice age. Diverse cultures and societies learned to thrive in a world of water as the glaciers melted. When Englishman Capt. John Smith explored the Bay in 1608, he came to the capital town of “Topahanocke” on the banks of the river named after The Rappahannock Tribe of Powhatan Indians. The Rappahannock Tribe still lives in this region and continues to preserve its culture and share its contributions with the public.
The Rappahannock River includes commerce ports, such as Ware’s Wharf, Bowlers Wharf and Saunders Wharf. The river was the super highway before motor crafts, trains, and vehicles. Rich historical stories, events, and transformations helped shape this waterfront area into a settlement that has been touched by history and waiting for guests to make their own historical moments here.
Tappahannock is the oldest town in Essex County, Virginia. It is situated on the shore of the Rappahannock River at the crossroads of Central and Tidewater Virginia. Today it hosts world-class medical services and modern infrastructures. It embraces a diverse, unified and engaging community of families and businesses that welcome tourists to learn about the history and unspoiled beauty within.
You’ll find yourself in a place of rare beauty among 4,000 acres that includes 600 acres of pristine marsh and 700 acres of open farmland. Blandfield Plantation Mansion, completed in 1773, offers an ideal setting for an intimate gathering or gala wedding. Tours are available upon request. Blandfield Plantation hosts quail and waterfowl hunting and pheasant shoots with a rustic lodge and boathouse pavilion available for receptions.
This Greek-Revival style home was built in 1851 by Dr. Lawrence Roane. The exterior has white stucco over brick atop a high English basement. There are 12 original rooms, each with its own fireplace, surrounding large central hallways on each floor. Enjoy lodging in one of the eight unique guest rooms and an artisan-crafted breakfast on your next visit.
Explore On Your Own
The Essex County Museum, founded in 1996, and the Essex County Historical Society joined forces in 2006 to celebrate the heritage of the town, county, river and its people and is now the Essex County Museum and Historical Society (ECMHS).
Max Silver Memorial Courtyard
This recently completed space in the center of town is next to the Essex County Museum & Historical Society. Stroll the courtyard, relax on one of the benches and enjoy the lovely landscaping. Three outdoor exhibits highlight the history of Tappahannock, African American riverboat pilot Bill Manning and Max Silver, for whom the park is named. The courtyard hosts living history, outdoor programs and children’s events.
Transport yourself back in time between the years of 1680 to 1850 while exploring the town’s historical buildings on a self-guided tour. The tour includes 13 buildings in and around the water. Highlights include the Old Debtors Prison and Derieux-Scots Arms Tavern, a private home, built circa 1680, making it the oldest house in town
The 1728 Court House (Essex County Government Offices) was largely Greek Revival. The 1728 courthouse contains the original walls of the old courthouse. In 1875 the Tappahannock Baptists organized Centennial Baptist Church. The building had been the scene in 1774 of the trial and sentencing to jail of four Baptist ministers for “preaching and expounding the Scriptures contrary to law.”
Customs House: early 1800s is at the foot of Prince Street. Archibald Ritchie owned the lot. At the site, John Whitlock operated Whitlock’s Ordinary in the 1760s and 1770s. It is now a private home.
Scots Arms Tavern, c. 1680, the oldest building on the tour, has been owned continuously by the Derieux family for more than a century. It is now a private residence.
Ritchie House, c. 1706, at the northeast comer of Prince and Cross streets, reflects Archibald Ritchie’s leading role in Tappahannock in the decades before and after the Revolution. The ornate paneling in the house was removed in the 1930s and is on permanent display in the Tappahannock and Essex Rooms at the Winterthur Museum in Wilmington, Delaware. The house is now the law offices (rear view of the building) of Dillard and Katona Attorneys and open by appointment.
The Old Debtor’s Prison on the courthouse green next to the Essex County Courthouse was built prior to 1769. It now serves as the Essex Treasurer’s Office.
Essex County Courthouse was built in 1848 to replace the old courthouse, now Beale Memorial Baptist Church. A 1926 renovation added a bell and clock tower. The Essex Courthouse contains the oldest records in Virginia. James B. Slaughter’s recent history of the area, “Settlers, Southerners, Americans: The History of Essex County, Virginia 1608-1984,” recounts in detail the county’s 350-year-old story. The courthouse has long contained the largest portrait collection in the county.
The Old Clerk’s Office built in 1808 next door to the courthouse is now the home of the Essex Women’s Club.
Henley House (Emerson’s Ordinary), c. 1718. The original section had a center chimney and was probably built in the 1710s. The Emerson family began operating the tavern after purchasing the property in 1757. Grand fireplaces dominate both ends of the house. It is now a private residence and has been extensively restored by the architect George Jennings.
Roane – Wright – Trible House, a brick Georgian mansion built about 1850 by Dr. Lawrence Roane, is now The Essex Inn – a country inn in the heart of Tappahannock.
Anderton House, an early plantation house on St. Margaret’s campus, is one of the oldest occupied tracts in Tappahannock. Thought to have been built about the same time as the Brockenbrough house, circa 1760, the Anderton House takes its name from the family who owned it in 1947, when it was purchased by St. Margaret’s. The Virginia Historic Landmarks survey states that the Anderton family added the southern wing in the 1890s, and St. Margaret’s added the balancing wing in 1971. In 1988, the school added another wing to house faculty apartments and student accommodations. This building is not open to the public.
McCall – Brockenbrough House: Archibald McCall bought the lot from Robert Beverley in 1763 and built or heavily renovated an existing house. McCall, a successful merchant and county justice, remained loyal to Britain. He favored the British Stamp Act that inflamed Essex in 1766. Some of the county’s foremost gentlemen led a mob into McCall’s house. The McCall family fled to Britain for the duration of the war, returned afterward and restored his business and social standing. The Brockenbrough family purchased the property in 1813. It is now a private office on the campus of St. Margaret’s School.
St. Margaret’s Hall: Prior to 1850, Dr. Thomas Gordon is known to have built the center portion of what is now St. Margaret’s Hall. The property was purchased by Judge T.R.B. Wright in 1876 and acquired by the school in 1921 from his widow. The wings were added immediately to accommodate the various aspects of boarding school life. In 1944, the reading room wing was enlarged, and in 1975 the chapel and library were extended. However, the Gordon-Wright residence with its high ceilings, many-paned large windows and wide-board floors, although now enclosed by additions, remains essentially as originally built. The building now houses the main St. Margaret’s School administrative center, including the head office, reception rooms, classrooms, chapel, music and art studios.
St. John’s Episcopal Church, built in 1849 under the rectorship of the Rev. John Peyton McGuire, is the only purely Gothic Revival structure in the county. St. John’s is also one of the earliest churches of this style in Virginia. Shown by appointment.
Step back into a 1950s movie backdrop by exploring Acme Antiques, located in an old car dealership. It seems more like a museum than a store. Walk around and reminisce as you visit more than 100 booths full of collectibles, antiques and vintage finds. Enjoy ice cream at the adjoining gas station, which occupies Acme Ice Cream Parlor. Whatever the season, waffle cones, sundaes, soft-serve ice cream and smoothies are always served up.
TAPP Into Flavor
“TAPP” into flavor with your taste buds leading the way in Tappahannock and Essex County on a gastronomical getaway. Wine tasting, local seafood, fresh produce and home-cooked meals await. Follow these stops to curate your own two-day getaway that will be truly scrumptious.
Tappahannock Farmers’ Market – Stroll the historic streets of Tappahannock during the Farmers’ Market on the 3rd Saturday of the month from April through November at the intersection of Cross and Prince streets.
Shop for fresh local produce, homemade baked goods, fresh meats and seafood, unique crafts and gifts and plants. The market also offers live music entertainment, on-site dining options and fun activities for the whole family.
Java Jack’s Café – Get your day started with a variety of lattes, teas and juice at a full-service coffee bar. Iced coffee flights are available with rotating flavors and yes, they really did name their frozen drinks TAPPacinos!
Prince Street Café at Hobbs Hole is an American restaurant with a sprinkle of Mexican cuisine for a little extra flavor. Try the Guacamole Clucker.
Lunch and Dinner
Bella’s Italian Restaurant and Pizzeria Enjoy fresh Italian salads, subs, sandwiches, wraps and pizza, including Sicilian Square. Special plates and multiple veal entrees, too along with nearly a dozen types of spaghetti, steak and seafood.
NN Burger Tappahannock Fresh-crafted yummy burgers, hand-cut twister chips and a dessert called a freakshake — handspun ice cream served with toppings that range from an entire piece of chocolate cake to cotton candy or a baked donut presented in a take-home “NN” logo mason jar mug. Tender lobster meat on a butter-crisped New England roll, too.
Roma Ristorante Italiano Elena and Filippo Giambanco started the first Italian restaurant in Tappahannock in 1976 with a small venue that has since expanded to include more than 250 specialty items. Mama Giambanco’s secret spaghetti sauce recipe is used today; the pizza dough is made from scratch every day and everyone raves about the salad bar. Several dishes bear the name of family members. Of course, the oysters are fresh!
Squirrel’s Nest Choose from burgers, wings, karaoke with college football and live music on Saturdays and the NFL on Sundays. Make sure to say hello to Squirrel, too!
Taste of Latin America Your go-to location for made-from-scratch bowls, fajitas tacos and more. Yuca fries with a homemade sauce and fried plantains served with sour cream.
The Farm at 17 South Evolving menu is based on what’s in season with main dishes and sides like your grandmother used to make. The Crab Bisque is “loaded with crab.” A Country Fried Filet Mignon bills itself as the “fanciest country fried steak this side of the Mississippi.” Leave room for a handspun milkshake for dessert.
To Do Café Owners Bob and Diane Lentz met in this building on 1008 Church St., back in 1975. She was a waitress at what was then the J&L Drive-In, and he had hitchhiked to Tappahannock to visit his mother. The husband-wife team married for nearly 50 years opened To Do Café in 2009 and named it after Diane’s dear friend, Linda McCroskey, who had a list of quirky sayings but prefaced everything positive with the words “to do.” Menu includes hand-breaded oysters, onion petals, crabcakes minus filler; a mix of sandwiches from po’ boys to BBQ, specialty burgers, lunch baskets and a range of dinner entrees.
It feels like 1950 in this old-fashioned shop with a fountain next door to Acme Antiques. Waffle cones, sundaes, soft serve, smoothies and 36 handspun flavors along with hotdogs and nachos. Carnival and circus décor makes it worthwhile to linger.
Caret Cellars Relax at this veteran family-owned and operated vineyard and winery. The Tasting Bar and Tasting Room, located by the production area, allow guests to sample a variety of wines and learn about the winemaking process. Open Friday, Saturday, and Sunday with tastings.
Wind Vineyards This scenic 700-acre farm with its own sunflower field just outside of Tappahannock provides food trucks and wine tastings onsite. The same Blue Ridge minerality that infuses the Rappahannock’s signature seafood flavors the soils in the vineyard, producing some of the most desirable wines in the region.