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Where to Eat, Sleep, Shop and Soak up the Sun in the Northern Neck of Va.

We tell you where to eat, sleep, shop and hit the beach in the Northern Neck of Virginia.

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    NEWSLETTERS

    A view from the Tides Inn, Irvington, Va.

    Looking to get out of town this weekend but want to beat the beach traffic? Check out the Northern Neck of Virginia.

    This little-known gem is about three hours away from the District (with only about an hour spent on 95!), and is a great place to sail, fish, kayak or spend the day on the beach.
    Sound good? Check out this guide to your weekend on the Northern Neck before you pack your bags. (Note: The Northern Neck is pretty big, so we’ve narrowed this list to include the towns of Irvington, Whitestone, Kilmarnock and Reedville.)
    Where to Stay:
    Looking for Luxury — For an unforgettable waterfront experience, visit the Tides Inn in Irvington. The Inn is set on its own peninsula with the Potomac River to the north, the Rappahannock River to the south and the historic Chesapeake Bay to the east.
    The resort and spa has its own marina, an 18-hole golf course and a full-service spa. If your stay extends beyond the weekend, be sure to sign up for one of the Tides’ sailing courses (no experience required) or one of three wine-centered tours.
    The resort isn’t just for adults. The Tides also welcomes families, offering a suite large enough for everyone to stay together, and pets.
    Looking for Romance — The Hope and Glory Inn, located down the road from The Tides, consists of six rooms and 10 cottages. Book one of the quaint romantic rooms and spend your days out on the Faded Glory, the inn’s authentic Chesapeake Bay oyster boat, or treat yourself to one of their 14 spa treatments.
    The inn boasts its own vineyard, The Dog and Oyster, where guests and locals can try several varieties of wine and local oysters.
    Still don’t want to leave the kids? Book a "tent," a three-bedroom cottage, on the vineyard’s grounds and enjoy the pool, dock and access to kayaking and paddling.
    Looking to Be in Town — If you want to be closer town, try the Kilmarnock Inn in Kilmarnock. The inn is located right off Main Street, where you’ll find plenty of food, shopping and fun. Catch the local trolley off Main for easy access to Irvington and grab lunch at the Tides, or hop in the car and drive to White Stone’s Wind Mill Point, one of the best beaches in the area.
    The inn offers several rooms, all named after U.S. presidents; afternoon tea; a full bar; free WiFi and complimentary breakfast. The inn is pet- and kid-friendly.
    Looking to be Near Historical Sites — The Whispering Pines Motel in White Stone is conveniently located near Historic Christ Church, the Mary Ball Washington Memorial Museum and St. Mary’s White Chapel.
    Explore Colonial documents dating back to 1652 at the nearby Lancaster Court House, or take a quick drive to the Tides for lunch.
    Looking for Something Low-Key — Want to book something quick and efficient? Kilmarnock offers a Holiday Inn Express for around $150 a night. The hotel is driving-distance to the town of Kilmarnock and local beaches.

    Where to Shop:

    River and Creek: River and Creek is located in Irvington, walking distance from the Tides Inn, and prides itself in "outfitting you AND your home." The charming store sells women's clothing and accessories, and devotes half its space to home-decor. Check out their website for directions and more.

    The Dandelion: Walk from  River and Creek to the Dandelion, located just down the block, for even more clothing and housewares. The boutique features women's clothing, shoes and more.

    The Box Boutique: The Box Boutique sells unique clothing and housewares, as well as beachy finds like cover-ups and sandals. Visit their store on your way to Windmill Point to pick up some essentials. The White Stone shop is a quick drive from Irvington or Kilmarnock.

    Burgess House: This unique antique store features old and new and everything in between. It's located at 80 Jessie Ball DuPont Memorial Highway outside Kilmarnock (look for the giant chair out front!).

    Rappahannock Art League Studio Gallery: This gallery is the oldest and largest visual arts organization in the area. The studio has 400 members and is located on Main Street in Kilmarnock. Find it within walking distance of the Kilmarnock Inn.

    Feeling inspired by the beauty of the Northern Neck and want to put it down on paper? The studio has workshops for kids and parents -- check out their website for a schedule.

    Where to Dine:

    The Tides Inn: You don't have to be a guest at the Tides Inn to enjoy its delicious lunches and dinner. Be sure to request a seat outside on the patio to enjoy spectacular views of the water and local sailors.

    The Local: Hungry from walking around Irvington? Try one of the Local's specialty sandwiches (the brie and apple panini is a fan-favorite) and coffees.

    Lee's Restaurant: You'll probably see more locals than vacationers in Lee's, located in Kilmarnock. The restaurant features traditional diner fare and a homey atmosphere. Save room for dessert -- their pies are unbelievable.

    Thai Pot: Thai food might seem unusual on the Northern Neck, but Thai Pot on Main Street in Kilmarnock sticks to traditional roots. The restaurant features a wide variety of vegetarian dishes, and guests can ask chef and owner Tan to spice up any dish with traditional curries. Be sure to try her famous fresh rolls and dim sum.

    Good Luck Cellars: Good Luck Cellars, located outside Kilmarnock, doesn't serve food, but invites guests to pack a picnic to bring to wine tastings. Not in the mood for wine? That's OK; pack a picnic and go anyway -- the owners say they love company.

    The Crazy Crab: Some of the best seafood on the Northern Neck can be found at Reedville's Crazy Crab. The waterfront joint has beautiful views of sunset every night and serves all things seafood. Try their fried oysters, steamed clams and mini-clam pasta for a fresh, local treat.

    Smokin' Joe's BBQ: Smokin' Joes, found off Main Street in Kilmarnock, serves traditional barbecue and sides. Head out during the evening to hear local musicians perform on the adjoining stage, or stop by for lunch and take your food to go.

    Where to Hit the Beach:

    Windmill Point: This beach, just down the road from White Stone, is big enough to accommodate families but never feels crowded. The water is great for children, pets and parents alike and has several shallow areas for weaker swimmers. Pack a picnic and plan to spend the day there -- you won't want to leave!

    Hughlett Point: This lesser-known treasure is tucked off Jesse Ball DuPont Memorial Highway. Walk through the surrounding forest on boardwalk paths before landing on its sandy beach. The beach is also a great place to launch kayaks and paddleboards.

    Belle Isle State Park: Belle Isle features a large park with room to play and hang out. The beach nearby doesn't have much room to spread out on, so leave your towels on the grass!

    Colonial Beach: Don't mind driving? Take a trip to the northern tip of the Northern Neck to visit Colonial Beach. The river town is a great place for water sports enthusiasts, and draws crowds of visitors every day.