The small town of Smithfield, Virginia is situated within the state’s Hampton Roads region in the southeast, boasting Southern charm and a colorful history. The town also holds the unique title of "The Ham Capital of the World ' thanks to the Smithfield-based pork product company. Tourists and residents alike can find a number of fun and interesting things to do in town, from historic landmarks and museums to outdoor recreation activities to distilleries and breweries, Smithfield offers something for people of all ages.
1.St. Luke's Historic Church
© ivan kmit/stock.adobe.com
St. Luke's Historic Church is an example of things that aren’t always as they seem. The oldest brick church in the state of Virginia St. Luke's Historic Church and Museum is now a breathing, living symbol of religious freedom for the public and features a storied past. Visitors can explore the church and grounds of the national landmark and historic site, discovering more than four hundred years of America’s vibrant history. St. Luke's Historic Church is open to the public Tuesday through Saturday from 9:30am until 5:00pm between the months of February and December. Guided tours are available.
14477 Benns Church Blvd, Smithfield, VA 23430
2.Windsor Castle Park
© Windsor Castle Park
Windsor Castle Park encompasses more than two hundred acres of naturally beautiful land in the heart of Smithfield’s downtown district. Located along the banks of Cypress Creek and the Pagan River, the riverside park was dedicated in 2020 and is home to scenic overlooks, a path for mountain biking, a fishing pier, a launch for canoes and kayaks, a dog park, an open grassy area, a picnic area, a wooded network of trails, and Windsor Castle, the park’s historic manor house. The land once belonged to Arthur Smith, who was an ancestor of Arthur Smith IV, the founder of the town.
301 Jericho Rd, Smithfield, VA 23430, Phone: 757-542-3109
3.Isle of Wight County Museum
© Isle of Wight County Museum
The Isle of Wight County Museum was established in 1976 and shares the county’s story through a variety of interactive exhibits, such as the turn-of-the-century general store, along with displays that interpret the area’s history during the colonial era, the Civil War, the Cold War, the Blackwater River, and the ham industry of Smithfield, Virginia. Other exhibits include pre-colonial and colonial artifacts, prehistoric fossils, and the oldest edible cured ham in the world. The Isle of Wight County Museum is open from 12:00pm until 4:00pm on Sundays and from 10:00am until 4:00pm Monday to Saturday.
103 Main St, Smithfield, VA 23430, Phone: 757-356-1223
4.1750 Isle of Wight Courthouse
© 1750 Isle of Wight Courthouse
The 1750 Isle of Wight Courthouse is a historic building that acted as the courthouse for the Isle of Wight County between the years of 1752 and 1800. During the time period, the building was the center for the colonial government of the county, bearing witness to the country’s earliest days of democracy. The Isle of Wight Courthouse is one only four arcaded colonial court buildings still standing today in the state of Virginia, and is the only one that boasts a distinct semi-circular apse. There is no admission fee for people to visit the historic courthouse.
130 Main St, Smithfield, VA 23430, Phone: 757-356-9016
5.Trinity United Methodist Church
© Trinity United Methodist Church
The Trinity United Methodist Church in the quaint town of Smithfield, Virginia was built back in the year 1812 and was the first church to be built in town, 60 years after it was established. Over the years, the Trinity Methodist Church has undergone many different changes, ultimately leading to church as it appears today. The progressive, historic United Methodist Church is a place that welcomes all people, “challenges the status quo,” worships passionately, and aims to help transform the world through the love of God, drawing upon the church’s long-established spiritualities and rituals, while being pioneering and innovative.
201 Cedar St, Smithfield, VA 23430, Phone: 757-357-3659
© Paul Vinten/stock.adobe.com
Smithfield’s Fort Boykin has played a part in the history of the United States since the year 1623, when “the Castle” fort was built to protect the colonists of Jamestown from raiding Spaniards and Native Americans. Situated on top of a bluff that overlooks the scenic James River, the commanding view of the site offers an excellent observation point. Fort Boykin today still stands primarily intact, providing a great example of well-preserved military architecture during the Civil War era. The fort, which is open daily to visitors, is also located along the Virginia Birding and Wildlife Trail.
7410 Fort Boykin Trail, Smithfield, VA 23430, Phone: 757-357-0115
7.Blue Sky Distillery
The Blue Sky Distillery, owned and operated by Kim and Mark Rangos, is an award-winning micro distillery based out of Smithfield, Virginia, specializing in producing premium handcrafted spirits. There is no fee for distillery tours or tastings, making it a great place for both visitors and locals alike who are over the age of twenty-one to try some new spirits and see how they’re made. The Blue Sky Distillery tasting room is open on Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays from noon until 4:00pm. Bottles can also be purchased in the Distillery Store, as well as shirts, hats, and other kinds of merchandise.
20042 Isle of Wight Industrial Park Rd, Smithfield, VA 23430, Phone: 757-746-8342
© Nelms House
Located in the historic district of Smithfield, the Nelms House is an excellent example of the Victorian Queen Anne architectural style. The gorgeous interior has been carefully restored to reflect the building’s original beauty, featuring period decor, furniture, drapery, floors, and paint. The Nelms House offers a coffee/tea room for buffet refreshments consisting of local products, a Victorian boutique, and rooms that have been designed to act as a local art gallery. Visitors can also take a tour of the Victorian Era house as well, and special activities and events are hosted at the Nelm House throughout the year.
308 Main St, Smithfield, VA 23430, Phone: 757-334-9568
9.Wharf Hill Brewing
© Wharf Hill Brewing
Since 1752, Wharf Hill served as the center of Smithfield, Virginia. Both the 1752 Inn and the 1750 Courthouse can be seen for the top of the hill, while visitors could catch the steamboat along the Pagan River by taking a trip downhill. Wharf Hill is also now home to the Wharf Hill Brewing Company, a brewpub where guests can still see many elements of the building's past. This craft brewery, bar, and full-service restaurant offers some of the town’s friendliest staff, delicious food, and beers made by the brewpub’s owner and brewers, Tom Owen and Dave Walker.
25 Main St, Smithfield, VA 23430, Phone: 757-357-7100
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10.Taste of Smithfield
© Taste of Smithfield
Taste of Smithfield is the flagship store and restaurant of Smithfield Foods, and is known as a place that understands “what quality food means.” The extensive retail store and full-service restaurant offers some of the best hams around, as well as memorabilia from the small town of Smithfield, and more than two hundred flavors of peanuts. Taste of Smithfield captures the true atmosphere and history of the little town, serving a menu that consists of homemade soups, fresh salads, signature salads, 100% Angus beef burgers, and more. Ten craft beers on tap from Virginia microbrewers are available as well.
217 Main St, Smithfield, VA 23430, Phone: 757-357-8950
11.Anna's Ristorante Pasta Vino
Anna's Ristorante Pasta, Vino, and Pizza is a family-owned and operated pizzeria and Italian restaurant that started in the Smithfield, Virginia community in 1982, offering a vibrant dining ambiance full of Italian charm and walls of posters and family artwork. Anna’s Ristorante operated a “made-from-scratch kitchen,” preparing everyday recipes handed down from one generation of the family to the next. The restaurant features stone hearth-baked pizzas, pastas, salads, poultry and veal dishes, decadent desserts, nightly house specials, and a unique wine list. Anna's Ristorante Pasta, Vino, and Pizza is open seven days a week for lunch and dinner.
1810 S Church St, Smithfield, VA 23430, Phone: 757-357-4676
11 Best Things to Do in Smithfield, VA
- St. Luke's Historic Church, Photo: ivan kmit/stock.adobe.com
- Windsor Castle Park, Photo: Windsor Castle Park
- Isle of Wight County Museum, Photo: Isle of Wight County Museum
- 1750 Isle of Wight Courthouse, Photo: 1750 Isle of Wight Courthouse
- Trinity United Methodist Church, Photo: Trinity United Methodist Church
- Fort Boykin, Photo: Paul Vinten/stock.adobe.com
- Blue Sky Distillery, Photo: pictory/stock.adobe.com
- Nelms House, Photo: Nelms House
- Wharf Hill Brewing, Photo: Wharf Hill Brewing
- Taste of Smithfield, Photo: Taste of Smithfield
- Anna's Ristorante Pasta Vino, Photo: bbivirys/stock.adobe.com
- Cover Photo: Mark/stock.adobe.com