Lancaster County is cradled between the Chesapeake Bay to the east and the Rappahannock River to the south and west, both of which contribute to its 180 miles of shoreline. This county is home to the towns of Irvington, Kilmarnock, and White Stone. The most recent census estimated the county’s population at just over 11,000.
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Lancaster is populated by several well-known towns.
Surrounded by coastal tidal waters, Irvington has much to offer. There are various public marinas in the area, plenty of shopping, summer concerts, the Farmer’s Market, and even several local vineyards. Arguably the most popular attraction in Irvington is The Tides Inn. Located where the Chesapeake Bay Wine Trail meets the Virginia Oyster Trail, this boutique resort offers lush accommodations, Tides-to-Table dining, and an award-winning golf course. If you are looking for a taste of the outdoors, Belle Isle State Park lets visitors hike, canoe, kayak, bike, and explore its tidal wetlands. The diverse habitats within the park are home to a vast number of different critters, from blue herons and bald eagles to white-tailed deer and turkeys. Lastly, if you find yourself in Irvington during the holidays there are several annual events to look out for — such as the 4th of July Parade, the Turkey Trot, and the Christmas Holiday Festival. No matter the time of year, Irvington always has something going on.
The town of Kilmarnock is another notable destination within Lancaster County. This charming small town is an especially unique area on Virginia’s Northern Neck due to its more urban amenities. Kilmarnock is filled with shops, sidewalks, restaurants, and a constant sea of friendly faces. Looking for something to do away from all the buzz? There’s also a nature trail located inside of Baylor Park where you can enjoy a quiet afternoon viewing native plants, waterfowl, and other wildlife. Kilmarnock also neighbors several of the wineries on the Chesapeake Bay Wine Trail — The Dog and Oyster Vineyard, Good Luck Cellars, and Athena Vineyards.
Widely known as the Southern Gateway to the Northern Neck, White Stone has become a growing destination for locals and tourists alike. With plenty of attractions, historic landmarks, and over 75 local businesses, there is never a dull moment in White Stone. During the summer months, thousands of vehicles pass through the town and across the majestic, 2-mile-long Robert O. Norris Bridge. One of White Stone’s biggest attractions is the annual Rappahannock River Waterfowl Show. Thousands of people from all over the country attend the show to see the impressive paintings, prints, carvings, taxidermy, photography and more which are on display. All proceeds benefit the White Stone Volunteer Fire Department.
Chartered by the Virginia General Assembly in 1651, Lancaster County was the 12th county to be established in the Virginia Colony. The true depth of its history can be found seen in several of its attractions. For instance, the 1735 Christ Church is open to the public year-round and offers a glimpse into the daily life of a colonist. The stunning edifice is in near-original condition and has its own museum on site.
Driving distance from:
- Richmond — 76 miles (1hr 35min)
- Washington, D.C. — 115 miles (2hr 25min)
- Norfolk — 86 miles (2hr 17min)
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