Tappahannock Travel Guide

  • Tappahannock, Virginia
    Tappahannock, Virginia
    by b1bob
  • Seafood for sale (oysters and clams
    Seafood for sale (oysters and clams
    by grandmaR
  • Shrimp and King Crab
    Shrimp and King Crab
    by grandmaR

Tappahannock Things to Do

  • Shop 'til you drop

    For those who use the word antique as a verb, Tappahannock is the town for you. There are some nice stores scattered across the Northern Neck, but they aren't located as strategically or clustered as close together as the ones in Tappahannock. You can find everything from country treasures to rare furniture, the stores in Tappahannock have the lot....

  • St. John's Episcopal Church

    St. John's Episcopal Church, built in 1849 under direction of Rev. John Peyton McGuire, is the only purely Gothic Revival structure in the county. St. John's is also one of the earliest churches of this style in Virginia. What makes this church stand out is its simplicity. It has gone through several restorations and expansions including an...

  • St. Margaret's School

    This house is now the center part of a much larger building, as school wings were added on each end in the 1920s; but the original building can still be seen on the outside by the four large chimneys and original roof lines. The original home was built by Dr. Thomas Gordon on the land that was once the Coleman Plantation. It changed hands several...

  • Roane-Wright-Trible House (aka Essex...

    This Georgian mansion was built on the corner of Duke and Water Lane about 1850 by Dr. Lawrence Roane. His son inherited it and exchanged hands several times over the years and decades. The exterior bricks are stuccoed and now painted white and the front and rear porches both have fluted columns. This 12-room home became the Essex Inn in 2000.

  • Essex County Courthouse

    This impressive brick building was built in 1848 facing Prince Street. It has large columns and semi-columns on the front, two storey windows, and walls almost 3 feet (1 m.) thick. In 1926, Alfred I. DuPont renovated the interior and installed a clock steeple as a gift to the people of Essex County. The structure not only featured the court, but it...

  • Custom House

    The two-storey brick house with a dormer roof is believed to be older than 1750 when its first recorded owner was Archibald Ritchie. When the port of Tappahannock was established about 40 years later, the collector of customs for the town and the county of Essex lived here. Allen Douglas Latane who owned and edited the Rappahannock Times lived here...


Tappahannock Hotels

Tappahannock Restaurants

  • Not What it Used to Be

    Traveling through Tappahannock many times a year, I was often taken to Lowery's by a traveling companion. Most of the time the idea to eat there began with, "Oh, we used to come to this restaurant when I was a kid". Well times have changed. This is not a bad restaurant, just in my opinion, outdated and average at best. A little expensive for the...

  • Long Time Favorite

    I remember going to this restaurant in the spring when we were driving from Norfolk to Baltimore (circa 1961). My mom and I would always have the shad roe in the spring. But Lowrey's has been around longer than that - since 1938 Wesley and Lorelle Lowrey have been feeding people - the people from Richmond who are coming to 'the Rivah' and the...

  • Local - Fresh - Fast - Friendly

    We were driving north on US route 17, which we had not driven in some time. It was getting on toward 5:30, it was rainy and darkly overcast, and we were getting hungry. As we approached Tappahannock, we wanted to stop and eat. I remember that there was a regular sit down restaurant in the center of Tappahannock, but didn't know whether we had...


Tappahannock Transportation

  • b1bob's Profile Photo

    by b1bob Updated Sep 28, 2006

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    Downing Bridge, the gateway to the Northern Neck (from Tappahannock to Warsaw) changed the reliance on the river when the original opened in 1927. Until then, the only way to cross the Rappahannock was by ferry from either Tappahannock or Ware's Wharf. The present bridge was built in 1963. The bridge may have taken away the isolation that some in the Northern Neck enjoyed before the bridge was built. However, it brought tourism to the Northern Neck which replaced jobs lost when many of the fish processing plants closed and during slow years for crab potters and oystermen.

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    Downing Bridge from the Tappahannock side Downing Bridge

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Tappahannock Local Customs

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    by b1bob Updated Jun 18, 2006

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    This relatively recent tradition has allowed Tappahannock (a riverside town 40 miles, 66 km. northeast of Richmond) to shine every third Saturday in June since 2003. I had thought about going in 2005, but something had come up at the last minute. It came together this year when Jimmy Shaw brazilnut30 planned to go with my mama and me. Lee also planned to meet Jessi there before they went on to the Northern Neck. The website told us the traffic would be terrrible and recommended that we park in the Tappahannock Town Center parking lot to catch a shuttle bus (which happened to be an Essex County school bus) which goes back and forth from there to the Beale Church on Queen Street. (That was my first go of a school bus since round about 1985 when Lee was wee.) There were plenty of vendors that sold everything under the sun. There was also plenty of food from which to choose. If I hadn't had a cold or allergies, I would have splurged and eaten some local seafood, but Jimmy and I settled on a chili cheese hot dog and a corn dog respectively. There was also plenty of things for little children to do, like a play park and a mini train ride. I just knew Lee would enjoy all that if Jessi only gave him time to play. Before we met Lee, Jessi, and her mama, I had two unexpected encounters with people I knew. The first was from an old high school friend (Pete Trible) who has a law office in town. The second was with Carol Ware, my English teacher from 10th grade who remembered me after all these years. It was a really hot day, but it was a fun trip to a historic little town alongside the river.

    Rivahfest 2006 one of many food vendors antique cars Jessi, Lee, Jimmy, and me
    Related to:
    • Historical Travel
    • Festivals
    • Arts and Culture

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Tappahannock Off The Beaten Path

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    by b1bob Written Oct 30, 2006

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    Tappahannock is known as the gateway to the Northern Neck. In many ways, Tappahannock has more in common with the Northern Neck than many other towns on this side of the Rappahannock. Within an hour's drive of Tappahannock are the small towns in the Northern Neck, which, like Tappahannock, thrive on fishing and tourism. Points of interest in the Northern Neck include the houses on Cockrell Bay in Reedville, the historic towns of Lancaster and Warsaw, the birthplaces of both George Washington and Robert E. Lee in Westmoreland County. Locals stay there and people make holiday there because the Northern Neck seems a world away from Richmond, Norfolk, and Washington. The towns in the Northern Neck are so small, residents and holidaymakers have to go all the way to Tappahannock to shop at Wal-Mart or go to a movie.

    Northern Neck
    Related to:
    • Family Travel
    • Beaches
    • Road Trip

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Tappahannock Favorites

  • Essex Room, Ritchie House 1740

    When we lived in Philadelphia in 1969, I visited Winterthur Museum. H. F. duPont had a massive collection of pre-Revolutionary American furniture. He not only bought the furniture, but he bought the walls and surroundings right out of the house and displayed it as it would have been when it was new.Ritchie House is on the historic tour of...

  • Historic Downtown Walking Tour

    The map of the walking tour and additional information is on the Essex County website.This brick largely Greek Revival church was originally the Courthouse. The steeple and front entrance was added later. In 1774, three Baptist preachers (John Waller, Robert Ware and John Shackelford) were tried an convicted of preaching the Scriptures, contrary...

  • Tappahannock Hotels

    4 Hotels in Tappahannock

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