Welcome to Middlesex County, established in 1673, located off the Chesapeake Bay with the beautiful Rappahannock River, pristine Piankatank River (the cleanest river in the state), plus absolutely stunning, wide, deep creeks. Middlesex is a little over 200 square miles with 80 square miles of waterfront and quaint waterfront towns including Urbanna, Deltaville, and Saluda. Only an 1+ hours to Richmond/Newport News/Williamsburg and 2+ hours to Northern Virginia/Charlottesville.
Urbanna is the largest town in Middlesex and home to the Oyster Festival. For over 50 years, the town has hosted the Oyster Festival on the first weekend in November. Local and visitors alike come to the small town to sample the seafood, enjoy music, and see the crafts offered by local vendors. Urbanna is a “golf cart friendly” community with shops, restaurants, community pool and much more.
Deltaville, while not the largest town, is very well known for its deep anchorage, multiple marinas and amazing waterways and views. It was originally known as “Sandy Bottom” but renamed in 1909. In 2012 Deltaville was named ‘the Boating Capital of the Chesapeake Bay.’ Approximately 500-800 people live here full time and thousands in the summer. Full of shops, restaurants, and waterfront fun, Deltaville is truly a charming town.
With many deep ports off the rivers and bays, Middlesex is well known for its local crabs, oysters, fish, and more. Many locals are watermen who know the waterways better than anyone, and they have some great stories to tell. With so much beauty and serenity, Middlesex County is sure to warm your heart.
Looking for great things to do while here? Visit Virginia’s River Realm and learn more on shops, dining and upcoming events.
Bodies of Water: Chesapeake Bay, Fishing Bay, Rappahannock River, Piankatank River, Urbanna Creek, Robinson Creek, Broad Creek, Jackson Creek, Wilton Creek, Moore Creek, Healy Creek, Hunton Creek, Bush Park Creek, Meachim Creek, LaGrange Creek
Lancaster County, founded in 1651, has 231 square miles, with 98 square miles of waterfront. The population is approximately 11,000 people. Lancaster County has fabulous small waterfront towns. Irvington’s population is about 670 people and is home to Carters Creek and the Tides Inn. Kilmarnock has a population of around 1,200 people and has great waterways, shops and is known as the Steptoe District with a Scottish flare. White Stone offer a variety of shopping and dining and has the Robert O. Norris bridge as the gateway to the lower Northern Neck.
There are many beautiful waterways in Lancaster County off the Chesapeake Bay, including Fleets Bay, the Rappahannock River and the Eastern and Western branches of the Corrotoman River. You will find deep anchorage with protected water and wide views on Indian Creek, Dymer Creek, Tabbs Creek, Antipoison Creek, Carters Creek, and many more.
The area is known for its shops, local seafood, restaurants, and plenty of activities for daytime and evening. Lancaster has a rich history, and its well-known residents included Mary Ball Washington, mother of George Washington. Great location, 1+hours to Richmond/Williamsburg/Newport News and 2+ hours to VA Beach/Northern Virginia/Charlottesville.
A great source of information can be found on Virginia’s River Realm. Make sure to join their newsletter to find out more events as they come around.
Bodies of Water: Chesapeake Bay, Fleets Bay, Rappahannock River, Eastern & Western Branch of the Corrotoman River, Indian Creek, Dymer Creek, Carters Creek, Tabbs Creek, Antipoison Creek
Mathews is the second smallest county in Virginia, with 252 square miles, and has a population of approximately 9000. In 1791, Mathews County was formed from a part of Gloucester and named for Revolutionary War General Thomas Mathews. Well-known for its waterways, Mathews boasts 214 miles of waterfront, with much of that frontage on the Chesapeake Bay, Piankatank River, North and East Rivers, and Mobjack Bay. All this water makes Mathews a haven for boaters, kayakers, fishermen, and nature lovers.
Northumberland County lies on the Chesapeake Bay and is just across the Potomac River from Maryland. The abundance of waterways, laid-back lifestyle, and temperate climate have made it one of Virginia’s leading retirement and vacation communities. Northumberland comprises 286 square miles, with 94 square miles of water, and a population of approximately 12,400. Northumberland is home to some charming towns. The town of Reedville is rich in maritime history and home to the Chesapeake Bay Menhaden Fleet. There is abundant shopping and dining in the town of Kilmarnock, which stretches from the edge of Northumberland into Lancaster County. Located just outside of Kilmarnock in Northumberland County is Indian Creek Yacht & Country Club with an 18-hole golf course, social activities, yacht club, indoor/outdoor tennis and more (membership required). Northumberland’s greatest asset is its waterfront, with miles of bay and river frontage, fishing charters and tournaments, cruises to Tangier, and ideal areas for water sports, kayaking, and taking in the sights and sounds of nature. Northumberland/Lancaster is also home to active local chapters of the Audobon Society, Master Naturalists, Master Gardeners, and Native Plant Society.
At the time of English settlement around 1635, the area was inhabited by the Native American Wicomico and Chickacoan tribes. In 1648, this “Mother County of the Northern Neck” was organized and named after County Northumberland, England. The county seat is Heathsville, with its historic district, Colonial-era Hughlett’s Tavern. For some delightful places to visit, check out Good Luck Cellars and Ditchley Cider Works.
Come to Northumberland… a great place to visit, a great place to call home.
Areas in Northumberland: Kilmarnock, Burgess, Callao, Heathsville, Lottsburg, Reedville, Wicomico Church
Bodies of Water: Chesapeake Bay, Ingram Bay, Potomac River, Great Wicomico River, Cockrell Creek, Dividing Creek, Indian Creek, Mill Creek, Tipers Creek
Gloucester is a diverse county, with lovely waterfront, rural farmlands, and all the conveniences you need along the Route 17 corridor. It covers 288 square miles, with 70 square miles of water. The current population is approximately 36,000. Located on the Chesapeake Bay, Gloucester has five rivers – the North, Ware, Severn, York, and Piankatank. These wonderful waterways offer terrific fishing, boating, kayaking, and are home to many vacation cottages as well as prestigious estates.
Richmond County, not to be confused with the city of Richmond, was established in 1692 and has a current population of approximately 9,000 people. The county covers 216 square miles and 25 square miles of water, with the largest body of water being the Rappahannock River. Warsaw is the largest town and county seat, with shopping, dining, consumer services, and Rappahannock Community College.
Essex County stretches along the shores of the Rappahannock River and covers 286 square miles. The current population is approximately 11,000. Ideally located just 45 miles from Richmond and 100 miles from Washington D.C., it’s about an hour’s drive from Williamsburg or Fredericksburg. Established in 1692, Essex is named for the English county of Essex. With Tappahannock being the county seat and the only large town, the remainder of the county is a land of pastoral rural beauty.
King And Queen County
King and Queen County is cradled between the York River and Mattaponi River (named for its early inhabitants, the Mattaponi Indians). It is a richly forested area, interspersed with farmlands, creeks and streams. Timber products and agriculture are the heart of the local economy, though many residents take advantage of the easy commute to Richmond for jobs in the city. Contained in its 326 square miles are 127 farms totaling over 50,000 acres. The current population is approximately 6900. Plenty of shopping and services can be found in nearby West Point and Tappahannock.