Although the Northern Neck retains its rural heritage, there is never a dull day at the region. With hiking trails, wine tastings, water sports, fine arts and entertainment, the Northern Neck is a hub of culture and activity for both indoor and outdoor enthusiasts.
Central to the Northern Neck’s activities is the YMCA. With branches in all four counties, the YMCA is a regular gathering place and much more than just a gym. It has a wide range of activities for all of its members, from toddlers to seniors. Membersenjoy fitness classes, day trips to exciting locations, club and social activities, evening soiree fundraisers, festive community luncheons and popular annual races amongst many other activities. Everyday, hundreds of people come to work out, talk, enjoy time with the community, and also get excellent tips on how to stay healthy and happy.The Richmond County YMCA also offers an award-winning pre-school and after-school care for children, as well as activities geared to engage teens, and an amazing summer camp.
For art enthusiasts, there are a number of guilds and galleries to enjoy with unique events such as “Art on the Water,” which introduces local artists and their work during fun evenings of music and libations.
Music lovers will be enthralled by the Northern Neck Symphony featuringtalented musicians, both local andfrom across the East Coast. There are also a number of choirs, music groups and concerts – from jazz, to folk or classical – with performances throughout the year.
Wine connoisseurs will be particularly pleased with the region’s vineyards. With nearly a dozen wineries, the Northern Neck is well known for tastings at farmers’ markets, special events, and personalized tours to the vineyards.
For those who love fishing or water sports, there could not be a better fit than theNorthern Neck. Surrounded by the Potomac River, the Chesapeake Bay, and the Rappahannock River, the region is a welcome arena for those who enjoy canoeing, sailing, motor boating, swimming, and especially fishing. From croaker to catfish and rockfish, the region’s waters are teeming with the best catch just waiting to be reeled in.
The Northern Neck also boasts an impressive amount of historical museums and sites, many of which date to the founding of our country. Visitors can see firsthand where George Washington and James Monroe were born, as well as the homes of Robert E. Lee and Francis Lightfoot Lee. It has a steamboat era museum which truly takes one back in time, and many other local museums and historical sites.
For those looking for outdoor fun, the region has a multitude of hiking trails and an active Audubon Society that regularly hosts walks. There are also two state parks that offer special tours and activities throughout the year.Horticulturalists will be thrilled by the extremely active Master Gardener’s Club and arborists will enjoy the beauty and splendor of the man-protected refuges where dense forests are home to many different species of trees, birds and animals.
The region is also home to a growing population of Bald Eagles, which can be seen up close and personal at the Rappahannock Refuge during rehabilitation releases. They can even be seen during a regular drive down towards the water, where many of the splendid birds have built their nests.
There are day trips by boat up the Rappahannock River where you can view the scenery while enjoying local wines. You can also take a quick cruise from Reedville to Tangier Island, one of the most unique crab fishing villages in the country. It has retained its heritage and is reminiscent of walking into a beautiful, bustling village in the late 1800’s.
The Northern Neck is truly an amazing place to call home, with something for everyone!
For more information on planned day tours or specific sites, visit www.northernneck.org.