The area was first known to the Native Americans as Warascoyak, was colonized in 1634, and became the Town of Smithfield in 1752. The latest census indicates a population size of around 8,000 people.
The Town of Smithfield is known and famous for its ham! Intriguingly, there is a legal statute in place that says in order for the ham to be called a Smithfield ham, it must have been processed within the town limits.
Smithfield, Virginia is also home to the Fortune 500 company Smithfield Foods. Smithfield Foods is the largest pork processor and hog producer in the world! Fun fact: The company raises around 12 million hogs a year– now that’s a lot of bacon!
Windsor Castle Park
Take a morning walk at Windsor Castle Park and enjoy the historic buildings of Windsor Castle and the stunningly beautiful views of the Pagan River and Cypress Creek. You can go hiking, kayaking, or take your pup to the park!
Windsor Castle Park is also home to many Smithfield festivals and events such as the Wine & Brew Fest, Bacon and Bourbon Fest, and BOB (Bloody Marys, Oysters, BBQ and Brunswick Stew) Fest.
Feeling more like a beach day? Visit Historic Fort Boykin and access the peaceful beaches of the James River. And when you’re done with the beach, take a walk and tour the historic grounds of Fort Boykin.
Isle of Wight County Museum
Looking to learn more about the area? Visit the Isle of Wight County Museum and see the world’s oldest peanut (1890) and ham (1902). They also offer guided walking tours of Fort Boykin.
Darden’s Country Store
Or maybe you’re looking for some homemade southern goodies. Take a ride out to Darden’s Country Store, they’ve been “Hammin’ It Up” since 1952! Be sure to try their hommmade ham biscuits, they are to die for.
Shopping in Smithfield, VA
Need a little retail therapy? Check out the local shops along Main Street for unique products you may not find any place else: Maggie Casey’s Celtic Treasure, The Christmas Store, Fox and Crowd Dry Goods, Beyond Main (women’s clothing), Relics of Smithfield and more! Last but not least, there is a Farmer’s Market where you can buy local goods on Main Street– Saturdays from 9 AM to noon.
Dining is Part of the Experience
If you’re looking for southern cuisine, you’ve come to the right place. Salty cured ham, sweet potato biscuits, and fried green tomatoes are just a few of the southern staples you’ll find at many of the local restaurants.
Stop by The Cockeyed Rooster for a delicious homestyle breakfast, or stop by Ringo’s and grab yourself a heavenly handmade donut before they sell out. Come lunchtime, grab some barbeque from Q Daddy’s or visit the historic Smithfield Inn. And when dinner rolls around, enjoy outdoor waterfront seating at the Smithfield Station along with locally caught seafood.
- Breakfast: The Cockeyed Rooster, Ringo’s Donuts, Cure Coffeehouse, The Main Street Restaurant.
- Lunch: Q Daddy’s, Farmer’s Table, Taste of Smithfield, Smithfield Gourmet Bakery and Café.
- Dinner: Wharf Hill Brewing, Smithfield Station, Anna’s Ristorante, Red Point Taphouse.
- Dessert: Smithfield Ice Cream Parlor, Yummaries Bakery (Saturdays only).
- Wine: Summerwind Vineyard, Smithfield Winery & Events, Bon Vivant Wine & Brew (shop).
Where to Stay in Smithfield, VA
Can’t get enough of this charming town? Extend your visit and stay at one of these highly rated B&Bs and Hotels!
- Mansion on Main: “My wife and I stay here at least once a year and Dawn always makes us feel right at home. The location is great being able to walk across the street to a restaurant or shop. Inside the mansion gives you the feel of the Elizabethan world right before your eyes. The homemade food is country cooking at its best!!! Love the antique shop next door.” – Google Review
- Smithfield Inn B&B: “Great hidden treasure. Staff was truly awesome. Couldn’t get better. Very attentive, rooms quaint and clean. Good food and great drinks.” – Google Review
- Smithfield Station: “Fabulous place to stay. Ashley at the front desk is OUTSTANDING! Beautiful rooms, clean, very very Covid safe. Beds comfortable, nice touch with fireplace in room, big bathroom. Just lovely! We will be back.” – Google Review
Visit Smithfield, Virginia
If you like visiting small towns, then Smithfield, Virginia is for you! Whether you’re from out of town or a Coastal Virginia local, be sure to put this charming town on your list of places to explore.
This article originally appeared on Wander With Alex and was reproduced with permission.