Across the James River and less than an hour from Williamsburg is another historic Virginia town, Smithfield, VA. It is here you will find attractions that will complement your trip to Williamsburg, along with additional shopping and a few ‘must visit’ locations.
The first stop on any visit to Smithfield has to be the Smithfield & Isle of Wight Visitor Center. It is here you will find a walking tour map along with all the additional information you will need to plan your day (restaurants, attractions, events and more). From there it is up to you, but here are a few no-fail ideas.
Brand new to Smithfield is the Windsor Castle Park. It’s right along the river, and welcomes both people and dogs. This is perfect for walking, picnics and launching your kayak into the river for a leisurely paddle.
If it’s history that brought you to Williamsburg in the first place, than you won’t be disappointed when you choose to visit Smithfield. They have quite a few attractions themselves, including the Isle of Wight Museum, Historic Fort Huger, The Old Courthouse of 1750 and Fort Boykin Historic Park.
As you travel throughout the town, be on the lookout for a number of lifelike bronze statues of some famous people like Benjamin Franklin and Robert Frost. These statues are on benches and often are mistaken for real people. They’ve become such a hit that some of the shops have begun to sell miniatures of them.
Speaking of shopping, like any good town there are a couple of places you must visit if you’re looking for a souvenir, gift and just something for yourself. First, there’s Main and Church Streets in Smithfield’s Historic District. Here you will find a few antique shops interspersed among specialty stores and a few sweet shops. Then there are the Boardwalk Shops at the Smithfield Station. Right along the river, here are some more specialty stores and a few places you can stop for lunch.
And speaking of food, you can’t leave this town without heading over to the world famous Smithfield Hams. Order right there and have them ship a few hams back to your friends or your home, and pick up a catalog so you’re ready for when the holidays roll around.
Hungry yet? You’re in the right place. There are restaurants galore in town, and no matter what your group’s tastes are, you’ll be able to agree on a place to eat. Everything from casual to fine dining is here, including pub fare, seafood, bakeries, coffee shops, ice cream, pizza, American, Mexican and more.
And don’t worry about having nothing to do in Smithfield – there’s always some type of event be hosted. All year long you’ll find everything from great live music at multiple locations throughout the city to staged performance (both indoors and out) to markets and fairs celebrating local artisans. That’s one of the reasons to stop by the Visitor’s Center first – to be sure you make it to your favorite types of events while in town.
So as you plan your vacation to Williamsburg, be sure to put aside a few hours to head over to Smithfield.