Virginia oyster trail map

Virginia is For Oyster Lovers

Virginia is For Lovers. We’ve all heard it – the Virginia Tourism Corporation team does a great job! We’ve all seen it – bumper stickers, anyone? We all love it!

But as of this summer, Virginia got a whole lot tastier when Gov. Terry McAuliffe added a twist!

In celebration of the new “Virginia Oyster Trail” Virginia is also for Oyster Lovers.

In August 2014, Gov. McAuliffe officially launched of the “Virginia Oyster Trail”— a major tourism development project that connects travelers to Virginia oyster purveyors, raw bars and restaurants, and the waterman culture throughout Coastal Virginia, the Northern Neck, Middle Peninsula and Virginia’s Eastern Shore.

The development of the Oyster Trail will “allow travelers to experience the state with taste by pairing the Virginia oyster with other quality products made in Virginia, including wine, craft beer, cider and spirits,” said Rita McClenny, President and CEO of Virginia Tourism Corporation, in a press release.

Virginia, deemed the “Oyster Capital of the East Coast,” has seven Chesapeake Bay oyster regions— regions that have been “producing bite-sized bundles of love and local flavor since the first settlers harvested them in Jamestown” over 400 years ago.

Here are some of the key reasons to love oysters:

Oysters Love the Environment

Besides being tasty, oysters actively filter the water they grow in, and the oyster industry is one of the few industries that, as it expands, provides tangible, increased environmental benefits. Oysters continually filter the waters of the Chesapeake Bay— and the more oysters we eat, the more that can grow, and the more that grow, the cleaner the Bay.

Oysters Love the Economy

Though oysters have been marketed in Virginia for centuries, they are still booming.

Dr. James Kirkely with the Virginia Institute of Marine Science (VIMS) told WAVY 10 the Chesapeake Bay oysters had $58.4 million worth of economic value in 2013.

Virginia’s oyster harvest increased by 25 percent from 2012 to 2013, with more than 500,000 bushels — the most in nearly a generation.

Over the past 12 years, the oyster harvest in Virginia increased from approximately 23,000 bushels in 2001 to last year’s level of just over 500,000— the highest level since 1987.

Oysters Love Watermen

“Watermen,” the men and women who make a living by fishing, crabbing and oystering on the Chesapeake Bay, are intertwined with the unique identity of the Bay and have molded its history, culture and economy. Virginia is the largest producer of fresh-wild catch and farm-raised oysters in the country thanks to those devoted watermen.

Oysters Love All Year Long

Historically, oysters were only eaten during the months whose names had an “R” because the quality was poor during the summer since the oysters had just finished spawning. Oysters are enjoyed year round now thanks to improved aqua culture techniques and disease-resistant oyster seed.

Oysters Love the Water Theyre Grown In

Oysters can be eaten raw, steamed, grilled and fried. And if you’ve been to Warner Hall for a feast in recent years, you’ve seen them as part of our menus. But beyond that, oysters vary in flavor based on the water in which they’re grown. Oysters grown in rivers with higher salinity, for example, will have a richer, saltier flavor. Thus, taking a trip along the entirely of the Virginia Oyster Trail will have you tasting oysters with a variety of flavors.

Oysters Love Your Diet

And don’t worry about counting calories with your oyster feasts. One-half pound of raw oysters only contain around 150 calories, and an abundance of iron.

For more information on the “Virginia Is For Oyster Lovers” campaign and more information on The Virginia Oyster Trail, visit the Virginia Oyster Trail.

Interested in making your way along the Virginia Oyster Trail? Why not make Warner Hall your central spot to stay? Visit our accommodations page here, find your room and book today! We have some favorite oyster eateries that we’d love to share with you!


    • Warner Hall Entry Drive

      Great Gloucester! – Now through Dec. 15, 2018

      Spend three nights in splendid Warner Hall style now through Dec. 15, 2018 and we’ll give you a $75 gift certificate to your choice of our favorite participating Gloucester restaurants, markets & shops. To name just a few: Bangkok Noi Thai Cuisine, Brent & Becky’s Bulbs, Goodman’s Antiques,  Juan’s Mexican Café and Cantina, Kelsick Specialty Market, Lulu Birds Kitchen, Nuttall’s Store, Olivia’s on Main, Patriot’s Grill, Scoot’s BBQ, Little England Mercantile, The Silver Box, Smith’s Florist, Sweet Tooth Café and Bakery, Tony & Milena’s, Up South!,  Ware Neck Produce, Yolanda’s, York River Oyster Co.

      You must enter GREAT GLOUCESTER in the guest notes when you make your reservation online! This special can not be combined with any other special. Only one special applies per stay.

      Click HERE to select your room and make your reservation now!

    • Dog Days of Summer 2018 Lodging Special

      For each online reservation made between Aug. 17 and Aug. 31, 2018 with a two day stay period through October 31, 2018,  the Inn at Warner Hall will donate 15% of lodging proceeds to the Gloucester-Mathews Humane Society. Additionally, guests that bring a 5lb. bag of pet food to check in / out will be entered in a drawing for a free overnight stay on Valentine’s Day.

      You must enter LOVE THAT TAIL in the guest notes when you make your reservation online!

      Click HERE to select your room and make your reservation now!

    • Gloucester Wine Festival – Sept. 22, 2018

      Great wines are waiting to be discovered at the 9th Annual Gloucester Wine Festival – Sat. Sept. 22, 2018.  Reserve your stay at Warner Hall for the weekend and receive two free tickets to the Wine Festival!

      Join fellow wine enthusiasts for a tasting of top Virginia wines & fine foods. Learn more about the art of wine making and tasting. Shop with local artisans and vendors and enjoy exciting live music while strolling the grounds of the internationally acclaimed Brent and Becky’s Bulbs.

      You must enter SEPTEMBER IS FOR WINEing in the guest notes when you make your reservation online!

      Click HERE to select your room and make your reservation now!

    • BrewJam Festival – Oct. 20, 2018

      Brew up some excitement this autumn over the weekend of Oct. 20, 2018. Spend two nights at the Inn at Warner Hall and we’ll give you two free tickets to Gloucester Main Street’s BrewJam. Sip some tasty “Brews” and spread your best dance “Jam” moves with friends who enjoy great music, craft beers and delicious food.

      You must enter BREW IT UP BABY! in the guest notes when you make your reservation online!

      Click HERE to select your room and make your reservation now!

    • OHHHHH For the Love of Oysters – Nov. 3, 2018

      Spend the weekend at Warner Hall and we’ll bring a taste of the Urbanna Oyster Festival to you here at the Inn! Experience the warmth & ambiance of one of our signature Boathouse Bonfires while feasting on tasty hors d’oeuvres, soups, salads and of course, OYSTERS!

      Saturday, Nov. 3, 5 – 8pm.

      $20 pp incudes Wine, Beer and live Bluegrass music!

      You must enter LOVE OYSTERS! in the guest notes when you make your reservation online!

      Click HERE to select your room and make your reservation now!

    View All Specials
    • There’s no doubt, it makes our day to know that keeping Warner Hall and its history alive for all to enjoy is so meaningful to all, from the descendants of the great men and women who lived here to the guests who lodge here. We recently received this lovely note of thanks and had to […]

    • We are certainly sad to see this vacation of ours come to an end. How lucky we were to have found this place. Warner Hall is exactly what the B&B experience should be. You have combined all of the essential elements of the perfect getaway. We will be back, many times I’m sure! Thank you! […]

    • Warner Hall not only equaled but exceeded our expectations. The warm Southern hospitality, the gracious surroundings, and the incredible cuisine combined to create a memorable birthday for Donna and for our friends. An outstanding evening of fellowship and food! You have paid attention to detail in the restoration, decoration and in the reception, hosting, “ghosting” care […]

    • Gloucester Main Street Bank Building

      Gloucester Main Street Re-Visioning Iconic Bank Building

      Restoring iconic buildings and breathing new life into them is, as you know, something that the Inn at Warner Hall greatly values. It’s our responsibility to preserve our past, and at the same time, grow into the future to build stronger communities. That’s why Innkeeper Theresa Stavens is honored to serve on the Feasibility Oversight […]

    • Summer and Fall 2018 Lodging Specials and Event at the Inn at Warner Hall

      Make your reservations online to qualify for these SUPER SPECIALS and BASK IN THE SUMMER AND FALL BENEFITS of a visit to Warner Hall! Please note that all applicable price adjustments will be made by the Innkeepers as reservations requests are made and accepted. Great Gloucester! – Now through Dec. 15, 2018 Spend three nights […]

    • A Night of Romance at Warner Hall Starring Elijah Rock & The Virginia Symphony Jazz

      A concert like no other that has come to Gloucester will close out this year’s Gloucester Arts Festival later this month, right here at Warner Hall! On Saturday, June 30, starting at 6:30 p.m., Elijah Rock, a triple threat entertainer breathing new life into the Great American Songbook from coast to coast, will join the […]

    View Blog