48 Hours in Kilmarnock: A Couples Guide to Shopping, Dining and Exploring in Virginia's River Realm

Have you been promising your partner some quality time? Relaxing sunset views, fresh seafood, and a side of adventure might be just what you both need to tune out your daily lives and tune in to each other. During the beauty of a Virginia fall, plan a weekend in Kilmarnock, where you can find romance and a culinary adventure.

Day 1

Check In to The Kilmarnock Inn is located just off Main Street. The enchanting bed and breakfast is ideally located within walking distance of restaurants, antique shops, art galleries and other gems. The enchanting space is full of treasures like a practice putting green, a garden from which guests can harvest, a spacious deck for relaxing and eight guest cottages, each named for a Virginia-born president.

After a little exploring and getting settled into your cottage, it’s time for dinner. Get yourself riverside at Willaby’s on the Rappahannock for that perfect sunset photo or head to the source at Urbanna Seafood Market and Raw Bar. Here, you can taste local oysters fresh from the Bay, catch a glimpse of the soft shell crab shedding tanks, and enjoy specialties like crab bites, spicy tugboat shrimp, a low country boil for two, burgers, salads, and more. A glass of wine or beer will pair with anything on the menu! Whatever you choose, make sure to grab a seat on the deck and soak up the River Realm sunset together. While you’re visiting, ask about the Virginia Oyster Academy, a taste-touch-learn bay-to-table experience held in the fall.

Day 2

Start your day with coffee, pastries and quiche at Carried Away Cuisine. Here, you can also prepare for your day traveling around the area. The cafe carries gourmet packaged goods, wine, and desserts. Pack a picnic with a freshly prepared salad, wrap sandwiches, and truffles. You’ll need it as you follow the Watermen’s Way Boots. This community art project honors the heritage of local watermen. Rubber white boots are worn by watermen throughout the Chesapeake Bay region as they work the water, harvesting oysters, crabs, and fish from the Bay, rivers, and creeks.  Fifteen local artists have designed large pairs of these boots to find around Virginia’s River Realm. Start with the boots at Kilmarnock Inn and follow them to locations including the new Kilmarnock Town Centre ParkBurke’s Fine Jewelers, and the Steamboat Era Museum. Make your final stop at the Tides Inn. Stand inside them for the ultimate selfie!

Complete your Watermen’s Way tour at The Tides Inn, located on Carter’s Creek, a stunning nook in Virginia’s River Realm and an anchor for the local oyster industry. Captain William Saunders can show you and your partner around during a sunset cruise. He’ll share authentic history about the region you won’t hear anywhere else. Snuggle up to your honey and feel the breeze during this unique experience. Make sure to ask about Ellery Kellum Rock, an oyster sanctuary reef recently planted in Carter’s Creek. To set up a sunset tour, call the Tides Inn Activities Desk at (804) 438-4489 or call Capt. Saunders himself at (804) 761-2974.

After you step off the boat, head to the Tides Inn patio for a dreamy snack and a drink. Start off with a Lancaster Lemonade, the flagship drink of the Tides. The cocktail is created using fresh lemon, limoncello, vodka, and fresh garnishes. After one or two (we won’t be counting!) place an order for Angry Oysters, which start with fresh Rappahannock oysters that are then lightly roasted, tossed in a butter-based hot sauce, and served with a traditional watermelon relish. Your taste buds will thank you for indulging in this exciting foodie favorite.

Day 3

Enjoy a leisurely breakfast at The Kilmarnock Inn. After you soak up the scenery and pack your bags, head out for a final walk around town to pick up some souvenirs. Stop in to Burkes Fine Jewelers to find a river themed bracelet. Invest an hour in Pearl or Weekends hunting for the perfect fall parka.

For a light, yet exotic lunch, eat at Chao Phraya Thai and Sushi Grill. The Thai and sushi grill has an extensive and exciting sushi menu. You’ll find it packed every night of the week for good reason. The food meets a high standard and the presentation is always fun and colorful. Your meal may come with color changing lights or feature local oysters--there’s something for everyone!

As you wrap up your visit, stop in for a relaxing wine tasting at Good Luck Cellars. The local winery has gorgeous views and a loyal fan base for their Virginia wines. Check for their Oyster Saturday dates when you can pair terroir with merroir. This vineyard and winery have an amazing wrap around porch that overlooks the vines and features an outdoor fireplace. Perfect for a chilly fall weekend. Select the perfect wine to take home to experience your romantic adventure in Virginia’s River Realm all over again.

See more local foodie favorites here.

This getaway was submitted by Virginia’s River Realm.