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Essex County Essex County

Essex County is located along the southern / western banks of the Rappahannock River in the Middle Peninsula of Eastern Virginia. Essex is located somewhat inland of the other counties of the Middle Peninsula. Essex’s primary commercial area and largest town is Tappahannock, which also serves at the county seat. Tappahannock can be accessed by either Route 360 (from Richmond) or via Route 17 (from Fredericksburg.) The oft-traversed Downing Bridge connects Tappahannock / Essex to the Northern Neck / Richmond County via Route 360.

Newest Listings in Essex County


Essex County and the town of Tappahannock, located on the banks of the Rappahannock River,  was a prominent center of commerce and port town in the 17th and 18th centuries.Colonial architecture is evident in a number of private homes still in existence, as well as in numerous businesses still existing in the buildings of that era. Since 1656, Ferries served Essex and the surrounding waterfront counties. In 1927, the first bridge across the Rappahannock River was built to connect the town of Tappahannock to Richmond County. The town is known for its original Native American name of Tappahannock meaning “town on the rise and fall of water.”


Essex has a vibrant, historic, waterfront community with many small town events. Tappahannock’s main street and the beautiful waterfront venues attract locals, historians, and visitors from across Virginia. Shop and dine on Prince Street, enjoy a concert series at the waterfront Rappahannock River park, or stroll through the Summer Farmer’s Market. Essex has many waterfront residential communities that share access to the Rappahannock River.

Access and Water

Essex County has approximately 317 miles of shoreline, primarily Rappahannock River water frontage. Enjoy easy boat access to the Rappahannock River with the two marinas and two public ramps. Because Essex county is easily accessible via 360 E, it is a popular waterfront or water access second home area for many Richmonders.

Driving distance from:

  • Richmond – 45 miles (1 hour)
  • Washington, DC – 100 miles (2 hours 10 minutes)
  • Norfolk – 95 miles (2 hours)