By Leonard M. Banks
Set aside your worries, and rediscover your inner desire to relax in the town known as Virginia’s playground of the Potomac, most notably known as Colonial Beach, VA.
Relax and recharge your mental batteries, while boating, biking, running, walking, touring, dancing and interacting with nature. The soft intrinsic sounds of ospreys, geese, ducks, crashing waves, neighbors blowing golf cart horns and children playing by the shores could be your next travel destination.
Throughout the year, decadent tropical delights await you at the second largest beach in Virginia. Whether it’s in the form of shopping, dining, history, recreational activities, fishing, sports, festivals or just plain enjoying the fruits of mother nature, the beauty of blissful sunsets and sunrises are the perfect mechanism to unwind and soak in the breath taking beauty of a community that is known for hospitality.
After witnessing the growth of her town from childhood to adulthood, Robin Schick, the mayor of the Colonial Beach is a firm believer in rolling out the welcome mat for tourists and new residents alike. “I get excited about welcoming new residents into our town and encourage them to get involved with the many non-profit initiatives that foster our strong sense of community. The work from home lifestyle combined with our small school system attracts new families that become part of the fabric of our community year-round. There is something for everyone and lots happening in town that new residents can contribute to.”
Located off the beaten track of northwestern Westmoreland County, on Virginia’s Northern Neck peninsula. Logistically bound by the shores of the Potomac River, and 65 miles from Washington, DC and Richmond, VA. If you’re arriving by boat, Colonial Beach is 35 nautical miles from the Chesapeake Bay.
Family business traditions are a staple of the Colonial Beach community. In operation since 1912, Denson’s Grocery and R&B Oyster Bar has been a community favorite, farm to table restaurant for three generations.
Located on 117 Washington Ave., the restaurant offers the best in fresh seafood, and a dedicated staff of hardworking men and women.
“The reason why it’s been so successful is because we have the same people working here,” Denson’s Grocery and R&B Oyster Bar owner Rocky Denson said. “We all know that our job is to serve good fresh food. My wife and I have been blessed.”
With crab cakes as their feature food, Denson’s prides its self on a host of seafood specialties including, blue crabs, fish and shrimp. All seafood products are caught from the Chesapeake Bay.
The center of tourist activity in town is the boardwalk, which is the center of attention for landlubbers and sea lovers alike. Town Hill is a multi-diverse oasis of family oriented fun. Some of the activities that attract gatherings are: Market Days & Bluemont Concerts, Boardwalk & Crafts Festival, Potomac River Festival and Family Movie Night.
If you’re looking for culture and the beauty of fine arts, then look no further than 100 Taylor St., Suites 101 and 102, and find your aesthetic taste buds satisfied at Jarrett Thor Fine Arts (JTFA). Since 2007, the gallery has been operated by founders, Carl and Joyce Thor, along with the Artists’ Alliance, an informal co-op of artists in all forms media. Collectively, the gallery has filled a cultural void within the community.
JTFA and Artists Alliance are located at 100 Taylor St. #101-102 in Colonial Beach. There are tentative plans to resume the Second Friday Art Walk in June.
The gallery is currently open on Saturday and Sunday and the last Friday of every month from 11 a.m. – 4 p.m. However, as Covid-19 diminishes the hours will expand to meet needs of the public. In addition, there are tentative plans to resume the Second Friday Art Walk in June.
As for the future, the sky is the limit. The largest development project over 125 years is coming to town in the form of the Richmond-based firm Dodson Development Group. The goal is to build a four-phase project calling for townhomes, renovated office and retail buildings, beachfront hotel and boardwalk space.
Festivals, businesses and parade activities are observing Virginia Department of Health COVID-19 guidelines. In addition, the public is encouraged to check schedules before attending public events.
Featured festivals include: The 70th annual Potomac River Festival, Colonial Beach Bike Festival, and Holiday Golf Cart Parade.
There is never a dull moment in Colonial Beach, and the palette of things to do is most active during the summer months. If you have an interest in exploring the shores along the beach, then stop by the Ferry Landing Pier and try your hand at bike rentals, fishing charters, kayaking.
Also, on July 17th – July 18th, venture out to the Colonial Beach Municipal Town Pier and witness hundreds of athletic thrill seekers compete in the annual Pohanka Honda Colonial Beach Triathlon.
Historical tours within the hillsides of Colonial Beach feature: George Washington Birthplace, Stafford Hall, and James Monroe Birthplace.
Lodging ranges from a bounty of budget hotels to luxurious bed and breakfasts.