Tidewater Journals

Getting Back to my Roots

A May 2001 trip to Tidewater by Tombrew

Surrey House Photo, Tidewater, Virginia More Photos
Quote: I am an Atlantan, but my roots are in the Tidewater region of Virginia. I recently visited this history-laden area to see my brand new niece.

Getting Back to my Roots

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Overview

Quote:
Water water everywhere! There are rivers, the Chesapeake Bay, and the Atlantic. If you are a history buff, Williamsburg is here (where my Mom lives), as well as Yorktown, Jamestown, Ft. Monroe in Hampton, Norfolk, and many other spots. See Williamsburg when school is still in session for lesser crowds. The seafood around here is awesome, too, with plenty of crabs and fish.Quick Tips: For more history, drive to Richmond, an hour to the northwest on Interstate 64. A little further is Charlottesville, with Thomas Jefferson's home. North of here (where my sister and new niece were) is the land of Jmaes Madison and James Monroe.Best Way To Get Around: Drive, there are many things to...Read More

Surrey House

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Restaurant

Surrey House Photo, Tidewater, Virginia
Quote:
I cannot explain why the Surrey House is spelled like that, as it is in Surry, VA. Nevertheless, this is a great little place to sample the local seafood specialties. It is very low key (see photo) and pretty cheap. Items on the menu were crab cakes, Brunswick Stew, and the special of the day, Rockfish, among other things.. I had the crab cakes, and they were great - full of crab, not overspiced (as they seem to be elsewhere), not bready. I was able to wash this down with an excellent local brew - their own Surrey House Ale, which was a nice hoppy pale ale. Accompaniments were hush puppies, nice and light, and slaw. This place is nothing fancy, just good. During the summer, the hours are ...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on May 20, 2001

Surrey House
John Rolfe Highway (SR 31)
Tidewater Area, Virginia

Chippokes State Park Photo, Tidewater, Virginia
Quote:
This is a nice little state park to visit to see the unspoiled beach area along the James River. It appears just as it did to the Powhatan Indians, John Smith, and Pocohontas so many years ago. The first thing to do is to park near the small building, and walk down the steep bluff to the James. It is several miles wide here, as it is not too far upriver from the mouth. There is a narrow little sandy beach, and several old fire pits can be seen. Lots of sailboats are around. It is very peaceful and fairly unspoiled, except for the litter left by some idiots. After this, you can climb back up to the car, and take a short drive to some reconstructed old farm houses, and samples of ...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on May 20, 2001

Chippokes State Park
695 Chippokes Park Road
Tidewater Area, Virginia 23883
(804) 225-3867

Isle of Wight Museum

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Attraction

Isle of Wight Museum Photo, Tidewater, Virginia
Quote:
This is a nice little free museum in "downtown" Smithfield. Besides the pork industry (you can smell ham everywhere), Smithfield has a long history both as a port and for the Native Americans that have been here for 9,000 years. The museum presents a replica of an old meat shop (of course), and has displays depicting the important river port this once was. The best stuff is in the back, where there is an extensive collection of Native American pottery, arrowheads, and carvings dating back to 8,000 BC. The museum is about a 45 minute activity. The town itself is very charming, not modernized in the least. People stroll slowly along the old Main Street, where there are nice little shops and...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on May 20, 2001

Isle of Wight Museum
103 Main Street
Tidewater Area, Virginia 23430
(757) 357-7459

Bacon's Castle

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Attraction

Bacon's Castle Photo, Tidewater, Virginia
Quote:
Bacon's Castle is one of the earliest brick structures in America, having been built in 1665. It is the only example of what is known as Jacobean Architecture in this country. It is also the site of the first formal English garden in our country. In 1676, the castle received its name when it was seized by Nathaniel Bacon. He was a wealthy local planter who led an uprising against the British Governor of Virginia, Lord Berkeley. Evidently, Mr. Bacon wished for increased protection against the "Indians" and less economic restrictions. So exactly 100 years before 1776, there was a rebellion here. I only toured the outside of the building, as my time was short. This is...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on May 20, 2001

Bacon's Castle
465 Bacon's Castle Trail
Tidewater Area, Virginia 23883
(757) 357-5976

The other ferry heading back to Jamestown Photo, Tidewater, Virginia
Quote:
To get to Surry from my Mom''s house near Williamsburg, we took the ferry. This is really neat, as I love ferries! And this one is free. It takes about 20 minutes to cover about a five mile crossing. It leaves every 30 minutes during the busier part of the day. You can see abundant wildlife, such as cormorants, terns, herons, etc. during the ride. It is nice just to get out of the car, and feel and smell the breeze as you cross.

About the Writer

Tombrew

Tombrew
Marina del Rey, California

Tidewater Tips & Stories

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