Even if you're an East Coast dweller, it's very possible you have never heard of the "Northern Neck (NNK)" of Virginia. However, if you're an oyster lover living in the south, you've likely had an oyster or two from the area (Leon's lovers, I'm talking to you!). Weems is a small town a little over an hour outside of Richmond, located in the NNK along the Corrotoman River. NNK is a gorgeous region nestled between the Potomac and Rappahannock Rivers, and was referred to as "a place heaven and earth never agreed better to frame man's habitation" by Captain John Smith. The towns in the lower "neck" (Weems, Kilmarnock, Irvington, etc) make the perfect place to get away for a low key weekend. With all of the great local food, wine, and sunsets, all you need is some great company and you're set for an old fashioned escape.
Here are my Top 3 recommendations to check out in the area:
1. The Tides Inn Sunday Brunch
You can hop on a boat or drive through the small town of Irvington to check out a lovely lodging spot, The Tides Inn. We enjoyed a delightfully long and very scrumptious brunch; $60 pp gets you an amazing buffet amidst beautiful scenery. The spread includes crispy waffles, awesome She Crab Soup, and of some of the best seafood I've had; fresh oysters, stone crab, mussels, etc. Afterward you can work off your meal in a leisurely fashion with some croquet, game of giant chess, or a bike rental on their colorful fleet.
2. The Dog and Oyster Winery
Virginia wineries have certainly made a name for themselves on the East Coast, and Dog & Oyster is no exception. Byrd's Seafood Company can be found there on weekends with fresh local oysters, and you can even bring your dog along. The fried oyster tacos were a treat, and all of the wines we tried were delicious (I think our favorite was called "Oyster White"). Add in some fun scenery for photos and this place is a must-see. If you need a larger meal after your wine tasting, you can walk or drive right down the street to Nate's Trick Dog Cafe.
3. The Corrotoman River
Get yourself to a dock, boat, or riverbank, STAT! The views in this area are more than worth the trip. Our weekend included some riverside yoga and concerts on the dock (featuring guitar, ukulele, flute, drums, and yours truly on something like a maraca with no handle). I wanted to name us the "Movers & Shakers", but I was unanimously out voted. Anyhow, the Corrotoman offered most scenic boat rides and breathtaking sunsets that even a die hard Charlestonian could appreciate.
We traveled as a group of 10, so of course we needed some great hashtags. Check out #WeemsDOcometrue & #5days10baes for more photos from the weekend, which was actually to celebrate our 10th anniversary of being friends! Other than the locations I've suggested, we spent most of our weekend in a family home and did a lot of amazing cooking & entertaining ourselves without a TV, yay! We certainly bonded as friends and couples over the amazing scenery and slow paced environment. As they say, "Virginia is for Lovers!", and the Northern Neck area is certainly one reason why.