Welcome to Lancaster County
Waterfront homes, year-round boating, and small-town charms.
Located on the northernmost peninsula in Virginia, Lancaster County is flanked by the Chesapeake Bay to the east and the Rappahannock River to the west and south. It boasts over 180 miles of shoreline, and its proximity to the water means it acquires cool breezes in the summer and warming currents in the winter. Being a coastal city, its soil is rich in nutrients. Because of its temperate climate, frost-free days, and unique terrain, Lancaster County has become a premier wine-growing region. It’s part of the greater Northern Neck George Washington Birthplace, a special designation for the grapes and wines grown and made here
Irvington, Kilmarnock, and White Stone are the three towns that make up Lancaster County. They are known for the large waterfront homes on the shores of the Rappahannock River, Chesapeake Bay, and their estuaries. Many properties have direct access to the water and nature trails that lead to dense wood forests that surround the area. Although it’s largely a rural area, you’ll still find picturesque harbors, quaint downtown shops, art museums, and award-winning restaurants.
What to Love
- Quaint, small-town communities
- Year-round access to boating, fishing, and water sports
- Spacious waterfront homes on large properties
- A unique winemaking region
- Temperate climate with cooler summers and milder winters
- Centrally located among Richmond, Hampton Roads, and Washington, D.C.
The towns of Lancaster County are full of Southern hospitality. The area is a mix of waterfront community and wide rural spaces. Each town has a tight-knit community where longtime residents know each other, and neighbors are friendly and welcoming. It’s the perfect place for those who want a slower-paced lifestyle near the water.
Dining, Entertainment & Shopping
You’ll find amazing restaurants spread out over Lancaster County. Many specialize in water-to-table cuisine. Located inside The Tides Inn, Chesapeake Restaurant and Terrace
serves fresh seafood straight from The Chesapeake Bay. The menu showcases regional favorites, such as their signature blue crab soup, baked Rappahannock oysters, and local flounder.
Right next door, Fish Hawk Oyster Bar offers waterside dining overlooking Carter’s Creek. The seafood-heavy menu has a fresh oyster bar, poke dishes, and fried shellfish baskets. They also serve handcrafted cocktails and wine.
Also in Irvington, Dredge
has an extensive menu of farm-to-table and “boat-to-table” dishes, including local fried oysters, Gulf shrimp, and Jamaican chicken pasta. Chef-owner Bryan Byrd brings 20 years of experience to his cuisine and has won a number of awards, including “Best of the Bay” and “Best Chef in Virginia.”
For American fare, Willaby’s Cafe
serves hearty comfort food and Southern favorites, including fried catfish, pulled pork barbeque, and gourmet burgers. Its waterfront location right on the Rappahannock River and outdoor seating offer breathtaking views while dining.
Things to Do
Lancaster County has an active maritime community. Founded in 1936, Rappahannock River Yacht Club
organizes weekly night racing and a women’s racing series. They also host the biennial Typhoon National Championship Regatta and Hospice Turkey Shoot Regatta. Members get access to slip privileges, an outdoor swimming pool, and club rentals.
For golf enthusiasts, Golden Eagle Golf Club
has an 18-hole course carved around a 50-acre lake, plus a driving range and a clubhouse. Designed by George W. Cobb, the course features a wooded landscape with elevation changes and bunkers that can accommodate all skill levels.
On Saturdays from May to November, the Irvington Farmers Market has local vendors and farmers selling fresh produce, baked goods, specialty products, and handmade crafts.
Not to be missed is the Urbana Oyster Festival, held just on the other side of Rappahannock River. Designated as the “official” oyster festival of Virginia, the annual event draws over 50 vendors of every kind of oyster and 50,000 visitors from all over.
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