A trip to Deltaville is the perfect blend of an idyllic road trip, great food, and fun on the water.

Every now and then you learn of a town or tourist site that you'd never heard mentioned before. Did you know that bayside beaches are just about an hour away from Fredericksburg? You do now!

Deltaville, Virginia, is one of the dozens of small towns that dot both sides of U.S. Route 17 and beyond. They are collectively known as the Northern Neck region of the state. Basically, the area is where the Potomac and Rappahannock Rivers meet the Chesapeake Bay. Life is slower down there, in a very good relaxing way.

The Northern Neck isn't the type of place you go for late-night hotspots. The sidewalks roll up before midnight, and even earlier during the week or when it's not prime tourist season in the summer. This is more of a family-friendly destination, with antique shops, u-pick farms, and plenty of country charm.

Explore nearby Hughlett Point to enjoy a beach, or head to Jackson Creek Outfitters to rent a paddleboard or kayak. You can also enjoy the view from the decks of local restaurants like the Deltaville Tap and Raw Bar. The good life is lived on the water here, and some of the best ways to pass the time are spent getting wet.

The region is a photographer's dream, so don't forget to take plenty of pictures around town. You have your choice of subjects, from elegant sailboats and yachts to colorful fields of flowers. If you extend your visit and spend the night, you'll catch some amazing sunrise shots in the morning.

Drive over the Rappahannock to explore the nearby towns of Kilmarnock and White Stone. Be sure to try some of the local restaurants and bakeries while you're there. The area is full of quaint options when it comes to getting a good meal or local products.

Old Truck Market sign

Know Before You Go

  • Cell phone service can be spotty. Make sure you have a printed map or a road atlas, just in case.
  • Once you get off I-95, the drive itself is very relaxing. Create a playlist and enjoy the canopy roads on Route 17.
  • Shorelines are deeded to properties in town, so you need to be sure you're on public property before staking a claim on the sand.
  • Many of the small farmstands only take cash. Plan accordingly!
  • Airbnb is your best bet for finding a place to stay if you want to book an overnight trip. The smaller towns in the Northern Neck don't have big chain hotels like they do in Tappahannock or Fredericksburg.
  • If you do go in the water, watch for minnows (they tickle) and jellyfish (they sting). Generally speaking, the Chesapeake Bay is nice and calm, perfect for taking a quick dip.

**All photos by Sarina Petrocelly

When it comes to getting away for a quick day trip, you can't go wrong by heading for the coast. Set your GPS for Deltaville, grab your bathing suit, and get out there!

Do you have a favorite destination in the Northern Neck? Tell us about it in the comments.