Welcome to WYDaily’s new limited series, Within a Day. This weekly feature will highlight areas near the Historic Triangle that you can visit within a day.
This week, we will be exploring Smithfield, Va.
Smithfield is a delightful small town located in Isle of Wight County. With a history rich and a culture somewhat defined by its pork products, this easy jaunt from the Historic Triangle is certainly a treat.
The town is just a short ride on the Jamestown-Scotland Ferry from the Historic Triangle. The ferry is an enjoyable experience that lets you soak in the beautiful waterway and its many species of birds.
Most of the action is found on Main Street in downtown Smithfield. It is a quintessential small town with its brick streets and locally-owned businesses. It’s where history meets quaint charm for both local residents and visitors to this tiny pocket.
There are many shops along Main Street including Maggie Casey’s Celtic Treasure, When Pigs Fly… Magic Happens!, Vintage Potential, Perfectly Natural Soap, Fleur de Fou, and The Christmas Store, where it is the holiday season all year.
Shopping not quite your thing? Don’t worry… Smithfield has you covered without ever leaving Main Street! The Isle of Wight County Museum is a delightful and well-curated place situated right inside the town’s old bank building. There are so many exhibits to look at, including a glimpse at the World’s Oldest Ham. Guests are encouraged to walk through a recreation of an early General Store, see various parts of local military and social history, and attend the many lectures and events that are held there each year. For the kids, there is a large, interactive room designed specifically with childhood in mind. Teaching various facets of Isle of Wight County’s history, kids can play dress up and pretend to be colonists, see taxidermy animals, play games, read books and so much more.
Also along Main Street is the 1750 Isle of Wight Courthouse. This building might feel a bit familiar to Historic Triangle locals, with an interior look very similar to the inside of the courthouse in Colonial Williamsburg.
Smithfield is a town that appreciates the arts. From the hand-painted pigs to the sculptures strategically placed on benches along Main Street, color and inspiration surround visitors. Additionally, there are several art galleries for patrons to visit, including Color Scapes Fine Art Gallery, Arts Center @ 319, and Imagine Art Gallery.
Hungry? Smithfield has you covered. After all, this is a town known around the world for one particular staple: pork products. But the restaurants and eateries along Main Street are more than just pork. They also serve a variety of dishes and cuisines sure to please any palate.
If you are there with your kids or want an easy, no-frills lunch, check out the Smithfield Ice Cream Parlor. From its checkered floor to its countertop service, this store serves great sandwiches and ice cream treats for prices that are sure to please your wallet.
Looking for seafood? There are an abundance of options in this waterfront town. Whether it is checking out Wharf Hill’s laid back, tavern-like atmosphere or Smithfield Station just a couple of blocks away from Main Street, you’re sure to find some of the best seafood meals that side of the water.
How about treats? Smithfield has you covered! Yummaries Bakery has an abundance of baked goods including beautiful cakes and delicious cookies. Nearby is Smithfield Gourmet Bakery and Café, where you can not only purchase a delicious treat, but sit down and try something off of their scrumptious menu.
Lastly, venture to the heart of Main Street and visit Taste of Smithfield. This store and restaurant is a combination that boasts gourmet meals while letting you shop for locally-made pork products and a large variety of Virginia Peanuts.
Any given weekend, there are a wide number of events going on in Smithfield, including its special Smithfield Farmers Market where local venders have food, crafts, and more available for purchase.
From history to today, Smithfield has something for everyone. To learn more or plan your day trip, visit the website for Genuine Smithfield.