Rising Tides

Just as the Chesapeake waters flow in fresh new patterns every day, so our view from the Tides is constantly refreshed by the people who visit us. Whether you're a longtime guest or awaiting your first trip to our peninsula, we look forward to welcoming you.

When the weather is too cold to cast a line, you can still cast a vote for what you love best in Virginia.

Virginia Living magazine’s annual “Best of Virginia” readers’ survey lists local businesses and organizations, restaurants, shops, bars, resorts, hotels, golf courses, spas and lots more.  Tides Inn has been honored in the past and we hope you’ll support us and other local businesses with your votes.  You can find the Tides Inn on the Eastern Region ballot. Results will be published in their May issue.

Once your vote is cast, you’ll be automatically entered to win an iPad mini fromVirginia Living.

Voting closes Friday midnight January 23, 2015.  Good luck!

Posted in Local Attractions

You can text about it. You can read about it.  You can watch it on YouTube.   You can eat them in a restaurant or at a festival.  Still, the only way you’ll understand oysters and the waterman’s life is to experience it firsthand on a waterman’s boat with a native waterman catching oysters the way it’s been done for many generations. And so we created The Oyster Experience.

This rare opportunity places you among a select group who know firsthand the work and satisfaction of harvesting fresh oysters. The  two-day Oyster Experience  is for those with an explorer’s heart and an adventurer’s  soul. You’ll be in capable hands aboard the working deadrise boat, Miss Nicole, captained by long-time native waterman, William Saunders.   William is a local waterman who was born into the oyster industry and has spent his entire life crabbing, fishing and harvesting local oysters.

The day after arrival, you’ll board early, like o-dark-thirty early, as do all watermen, and eat a typical small snack breakfast while William navigates to a local oyster bed designated as open for harvesting.  You’ll be shown the dredge method of oyster harvesting.  You’ll sort and size the oysters and learn the attributes that make for a good oyster.  For sure, we will open a few and you will be able to experience the freshest oysters you have ever tasted in your life.

After loading up the harvest, you’ll head to Kellum’s, the oyster shucking plant in Carter’s Creek. The Kellum family, who adopted William as a boy and brought him up in their family, will show you how these fruits of the sea are cleaned, shucked, packaged and shipped all over the United States.

Return to the Tides for an ‘Eat What You Catch’ experience cooked up by Executive Chef TV.  The afternoon is then yours at leisure.

Your trip will culminate the following day with a visit to Rappahannock River Oysters on the Rappahannock River to learn how a couple of local boys purchased a run-down marina and developed the most fascinating cottage industry from a two-man operation growing cultured oysters in the waters around the river into a revered and much publicized organization which now operates restaurants in Richmond and DC.  This company ships oysters to every state in the union and is a role model for the new breed of oystermen.   You’ll enjoy a light lunch at Merroir, which will include oysters.

The Tides Inn is offering this experience on Mondays – Thursdays from October 1 to early December.  If you’ve got the spirit and the nerve, pack your waterproof boots and book your unique oyster experience with us.

Posted in Local Attractions, Marina Matters, Virginia Food & Drink

The new Virginia Oyster Trail, recently unveiled by Governor Terry McAuliffe, links travelers with the best oysters in the world, some of which are from the Rappahannock River near the Tides Inn. We couldn’t be more excited as we are now perfectly situated at the crossroads of two gastronomic trails–the new Virginia Oyster Trail, and the Chesapeake Bay Wine Trail–making this the perfect place to pair Virginia oysters and wine.

The trail links seven oyster regions around the state and includes oyster purveyors, restaurants and raw bars. At the Tides, guests enjoy oysters paired with wine, Champagne, craft beer or cider.  We can also plan an expedition to see nearby sustainable oyster farms, with tastings.

Oysters have been a part of Virginia’s culture and diet since the first settlers stepped ashore at Jamestown in 1607.  Today, the commonwealth is the largest producer of wild-caught and farm-raised oysters in the country.

October is Virginia Wine Month and November is Virginia Oyster Month, so plan your epicurean getaway now with our Virginia Wine Trail Package.

Posted in Local Attractions, Virginia Food & Drink

A recent story in The Tennessean by Vicki Stout, “History Fills Virginia’s Northern Neck,” highlights the rich colonial history of our region including three presidents who were born here– George Washington, James Madison, and James Monroe, and General Robert E Lee’s ancestral home, Stratford Hall, which is open for tours.

For those wishing to research their own history, the Mary Bell Washington Museum and Library (named for George’s mother, a native of Lancaster County) houses an extensive geneology collection. Historic Christ Church, built in 1735, provides docent tours and a look into the lifestyle of eighteenth-century settlers.  The Steamboat Era Museum, just down the road from the Tides, provides a fascinating look at how steamboats affected the economy of the Northern Neck and other towns along the Chesapeake Bay in the nineteenth century. There are many morehistoric sites and museums to explore within driving distance of the resort. Our Activities Team can help plan your educational excursion.  With the Tides Inn Family Vacation Package, a $75 credit can be used at the Steamboat Era Museum and other local attractions.

One doesn’t have to travel farther than Irvington to begin experiencing America’s rich history on the Northern Neck.

Posted in Family Fun, Local Attractions