There is something for everyone to do in Isle of Wight County, whether you’re visiting historical sites, enjoying festivals, live theatre and concerts, hiking, cycling, kayaking or birdwatching.
From sophisticated art galleries, to rustic general stores and antique dealers, you’ll find the one-of-a-kind treasures you don’t see at the mall.
With so much to pack into your stay in Isle of Wight, you’re bound to get hungry. Fortunately, there are restaurants and unique food shops to satisfy every craving and every palate.
Spend a night, a weekend, or make this your hub for exploring all our region has to offer. Comfortable accommodations come in all styles, from timeless bed and breakfast inns to modern hotels with the latest amenities.
Landmarks in Isle of Wight County
Historic St. Luke’s Church, 14477 Benns Church Boulevard, Smithfield
A National Historic Landmark since 1962, St. Luke’s is the earliest original Gothic structure in the United States. Built in 1632, it is now the only colonial church left standing in Isle of Wight County. The building’s Gothic character is reflected in its buttresses, stepped gables, brick traceried windows and medieval, timber-trussed roof. Admission fee. Guided tours are available. (757) 357-3367
1750 Isle of Wight Courthouse, 130 Main Street, Smithfield
Built around 1750, this structure was used as a courthouse for half a century by the Town of Smithfield, which grew up around it. Once typical of courthouses across Virginia, this is one of only four remaining arcaded colonial court buildings. Constructed by William Rand, it features a distinctive semi-circular apse popular in English churches of the era. When the county seat was moved from Smithfield in 1800, the courthouse became a residence and the arcade was blocked up and the roof changed to a gable. Preservation Virginia restored the building to its 18th century appearance between 1959 and 1961, and ownership was deeded to Historic Smithfield, Inc. in 2013. (757) 356-9016.
Isle of Wight County Museum, 103 Main Street, Smithfeld
The Isle of Wight County Museum was founded in 1976 by a group of volunteers dedicated to the preservation of county history. The museum’s exhibits include prehistoric fossils, Native American and Colonial artifacts, a turn-of-the-century country store, displays interpreting the Smithfield ham industry, and perhaps the museum’s most notable artifact: the world’s oldest, edible cured ham. (757) 356-1223
Boykin’s Tavern, 17146 Monument Circle, Isle of Wight
Built in 1762, Boykin’s Tavern is named for Francis Boykin, who served as a lieutenant with Patrick Henry and later camped with George Washington at Valley Forge. At the end of the 16th century, Boykin donated land for a new Isle of Wight courthouse, conveniently situated next to his tavern where court officers and personnel, curious observers and travelers could stop for meals and refreshments. A Virginia Historical Landmark. (757) 365-9771
Historic Fort Huger, located off Route 10 at 15080 Talcott Terrace, 8 miles north of Smithfield (follow the Civil War Trails signs)
Historic Fort Huger is a strategic Civil War fort located overlooking the James River. This fort, along with Fort Boykin, was established to block the approach by land and river to the Confederate capital in Richmond. View the ghost fleet on the James River, take the self-guided walking tour through the new trails and see the cannon mounted along the edges of the fort. (757) 357-0115, www.historicisleofwight.com
Four Square Plantation, 13357 Four Square Road, Smithfield
A Virginia Historical Landmark since 1979, this house was built in 1807 by Andrew Woodley and was considered by many to be one of the most beautiful and largest houses of its kind in this area of Virginia. Most recently, it has been operated as a bed and breakfast inn. (757) 365-0749
Commonwealth Gin, 25165 Buckhorn Drive, Windsor
Commonwealth Gin is a working cotton gin that offers tours to groups of 10 or more with advance notice. (757) 242-3566
William Scott Farmstead, VA Route 603 E of the junction with VA Route 600, near Windsor
Also known as the Roberts House and Ennis Pond House, this historic home was built circa 1750-1775, and is a two-story, five bay, gable roofed brick dwelling. The front facade features a pedimented one bay porch supported by Doric order columns. The interior retains much of its early Federal interior woodwork. Also on the property are the contributing servants’ quarters, smokehouse, barn, and corn crib. Privately owned.
Hayden’s Lane, Located in the 200 block of Main Street in downtown Smithfield and running between Main and Grace Streets, Hayden’s Lane was originally the driveway to Hayden Hall, an early girls’ school. The garden department of the Woman’s Club of Smithfield and the town created a lovely sitting garden and walkway to relax and enjoy the peaceful surroundings. Hayden’s Lane is available to rent for special events through the Smithfield Center.
The Schoolhouse Museum, 516 Main Street, Smithfield
An African American history museum of public education built in 1932, the museum features period desks,and books, and offers oral histories of those who attended the one-room school. Call for hours. Free admission. (757) 365-4789
Smithfield and Isle of Wight Visitors Center, 319 Main Street, Smithfield
The visitors center is home to the Smithfield/Isle of Wight Convention and Visitors Bureau. Stop in for a historic walking tour map, and information on area attractions and events. Guided group tours are available with advance notice. Accessible public restrooms and parking are also available. (757) 357-5182
Arts Center @ 319, 319 Main Street, Smithfield
Sharing space with the Smithfield Visitors Center, the Arts Center @ 319, a program of the Isle of Wight Arts League, exhibits the works of local and regional artists in multiple shows throughout the year. The Arts Center also hosts working studios for eight residential artists, a gift shop that features creations by its member artists, and an arts classroom. (757) 357-7707
Smithfield Center, 220 North Church Street, Smithfield
A multi-purpose conference and community facility where groups large and small can find everything they need for a meeting, conference, wedding or banquet. The Center’s 2,300 square-foot outdoor deck overlooking the Pagan River takes full advantage of its gorgeous waterfront location. (757) 356-9939
Sources: Historical Notes on Isle of Wight County, Virginia by Helen Haverty King & Isle of Wight County Historic Resources