Visit the Inn at Warner Hall and you’ll not only be surrounded by our historic estate, but you’ll also have the opportunity to explore the quaint towns that surround us. Like Urbanna!
Reasons to Love Urbanna
If you’re a person intrigued by a town with more boats than people, Urbanna is worth the thirty minute drive up the road.
Turn off the main road, cruise up the Rappahannock River from the Chesapeake Bay, or take the slightly off beaten path and you’ll hit the historic waterfront town.
Urbanna, which offers a little something for everybody, is more than just a “Historic Port Town.” It bursts with flair, bustle and the widely popular Oyster Festival, deemed the Official Oyster Festival of the Commonwealth.
Established by an Act of Assembly at Jamestown in 1680, Urbanna is one of the nation’s oldest towns. And with a landmass of less than half a square mile, it’s also one of the smallest.
Because of its location on a sheltered, deep-water creek on a tributary of the Chesapeake Bay, Urbanna’s history, economy, ecology and culture ebb and flow with the waters that surround her.
It’s why the river still provides the town with much of its industry. Local watermen and women have produced a steady supply of the famous Rappahannock River oysters, blue crabs and fish.
The Urbanna Oyster Festival
Chances are if you have heard about Urbanna, you’ve heard about its famous Oyster Festival. Urbanna’s warmth and charm attract thousands of visitors yearly on this weekend alone. People come to enjoy its bounty of Chesapeake Bay seafood, to view the historic buildings, to sail and fish on the bay and Rappahannock River, to savor the quiet pleasantries of a lovely waterside community, and to celebrate annual events and festivals.
Some also come to try their hand at shucking their own oysters!
The Oyster Festival is held every year during the first full Friday and Saturday of each November—beginning Friday morning and ending Saturday night.
First established in 1958, the festival has grown to include food, arts, crafts, entertainment and oysters. Lots of oysters! And any way you like them—raw, roasted, steamed, stewed, fried or frittered!
Also check out the Fireman’s Parade, the official Oyster Festival Parade, the Crowning of the Queen and Little Miss Spat, the Oyster Shucking Contest, Antique Auto Show, and Wine and Oyster Tastings.
Love Urbanna in Each Season
Though Urbanna is most known for its famous Oyster Festival, the town keeps busy throughout the year with community events that are fun for locals and tourists alike.
The Polar Plunge and Chili Cook-Off, a town favorite, brings together the bravest folk to test their resolve in the February-chilled, icy waters of the Urbanna Creek before enjoying chili prepared by amateur and professional artisans from local Middle Peninsula and Northern Neck.
In a fight against cancer, the RE Strong Family Walk & Run gathers the town each spring in honor of one of its own (RE is Ruth Ellen Hurley who died in 2014 from cancer). An annual event, it benefits cancer research and support to those still in the fight.
The town celebrates the holidays with a Christmas parade – a good, ole-fashioned Christmas Parade complete with marching bands, antique cars and boats, fire engines, horses and homemade floats.
For more information on Urbanna, contact the Urbanna Business Association through www.urbanna.com.
To learn more about the Urbanna Oyster Festival, call 804.758.0368, or visit online www.urbannaoysterfestival.com.