Tucked up a creek off the Rappahannock River, Urbanna, which was settled in 1680, still retains its historic atmosphere mixed with a blend of modern life. Colonial plantations Rosegill Farm and Hewic, both on the National Register of Historic Places and both privately owned, still stand, one on each side of town. Rosegill, built in 1650, was once the residence of a colonial governor. A short walk into town from the waterfront takes you up the old Prettyman’s Rolling Rd. (now Virginia St.), along which hogsheads of tobacco were rolled downhill to the harbor’s wharfs.
In recent years Urbanna has seen something of a resurgence. Retirees and Richmond-area commuters, attracted to this small town surrounded by water, forest and farmland, are bringing fresh civic energy. This small town has lots of charm with its gas style lights, old-fashioned clock, colorful banners and beautiful landscaping. A short walk from any of the marinas brings you to the heart of a compact town.
The Urbanna Oyster Festival, held the first weekend in November of each year, attracts as many as 50,000 visitors to its two-day, town-wide festival (no small undertaking for a town of less than 500). Highlights include almost continuous live music, two parades, numerous food and craft vendors, educational exhibits and the famed oyster shucking contest, where state champions complete for the right to attend the national championship in Maryland. And, of course, there is the crowning of the Oyster Festival Queen and her Little Miss Spat (baby oyster).
The Waterway Guide Team has gained extensive boating knowledge over the years, and now we are sharing all of the tips, skills and tools we’ve picked up along the way!