Eastern Virginia: Best Living & Recreation Winners 2022 – Virginia Living


Entertainment & Events

Annual Charity Event

1st: Barrier Islands Center Oyster Roast Fundraiser

7295 Young St ., Machipongo

BarrierIslandsCenter. org , 757-678-5550

The Barrier Island Center is one of the Eastern Shore’s most vital educational resources, and its Annual Oyster Roast is its largest fundraiser, helping preserve the area’s unique coastal heritage. Local oyster houses manage roasting and steaming oysters and clams, and the silent auction showcases a variety of local talent—from artisans and restaurants to entrepreneurs and artists.  

2nd: Bay School Annual Fine Arts Auction, Matthews

BaySchool-Arts. com , 804-725-1278

3rd: Chesapeake Academy Annual Auction, Irvington

ChesapeakeAcademy. org , 804-438-5575

Art Event

1st: An Occasion for the Arts

Merchants Square, Williamsburg

AOSTA. org

This arts extravaganza has become the area’s premier arts and music festival. Held the first weekend in October, AOFTA draws outstanding artists from around the country and is a fixture in Williamsburg’s rich, cultural scene. Drawing nearly 100 artists, it features a Youth Arts Show, live performances on two stages, and a food hall.  

2nd: 2nd Sundays Art & Music Festival, Williamsburg

2ndSundaysWilliamsburg. com , 757-879-3029

3rd: Art and Music on the Farm at Machipongo

BarrierIslandsCenter. org , 757-678-5550

Entertainment for Adults

1st: Compass Entertainment Complex

one hundred Entertainment Dr ., Irvington

CompassEntertainmentComplex. com , 804-884-4356

A multi-purpose family entertainment center nestled in Virginia’s Northern Neck, Compass Entertainment Complex provides a quality entertainment and movie-going experience in a family-oriented environment. The state-of-the-art entertainment venue features the area’s only multi-screen movie theater, in addition to an arcade, indoor adventure course, climbing walls, go-karts, along with a full-service restaurant and bar.

2nd: Rosie’s Gaming Emporium, Locations in Hampton, New Kent

RosiesGaming. com , 804-966-7223

3rd: Axe Republic, Williamsburg

AxeRepublic. com , 757-808-5397


1st: Urbanna Oyster Festival

Drawer C – 390 Virginia St ., Suite C, Urbanna

UrbannaOysterFestival. com , 804-758-0368 f

The Urbanna Oyster Festival has remained a treasured event in Eastern Virginia for 65 years—and counting. Featuring the Virginia State Oyster Shucking Championship and the popular Fireman’s Parade, the festival also offers music, waterfront activities, arts and craft vendors, wine and beer tastings, delicious food, and also a children’s carnival.

2nd: Daffodil Festival, Gloucester

DaffodilFestivalVa. org , 804-693-2355

3rd: Bacon, Bourbon & Music Fest, Smithfield, Smithfield

SmithfieldVaEvents. com , 757-869-0664

Historic Theater

1st: Historic Palace Theatre

305 Mason Ave., Cape Charles

Historic-Palace-Theatre. Business. site , 757-331-4327

The Historic Palace Theater, in the heart of Cape Charles, is the town’s performing arts hub. Dating in order to 1941 and restored in the 1990s, it now offers a robust schedule of movies, plays, music, and dance performances. The nonprofit Arts Enter provides fine plus performing arts education and programming at both the Historic Palace Theater and nearby Lemon Tree Gallery.  

2nd: Virginia’s Li’l Ole Opry (formerly Donk’s Theater), Matthews 

DonksTheater. com , 804-725-7760

3rd: Kimball Theatre, Williamsburg

Kimball. WM. edu , 800-249-0179


1st: LOVEwork in Cape Charles

Bay Avenue and Mason Avenue, Cape Charles

Virginia. org , 757-210-8083

With an L made of sea glass and seashells to represent the bayside community, a tractor tire as the O for agriculture, a V made of kayaks for outdoor adventure activities, and an E fashioned from crab pots for aquaculture, the LOVEwork in Cape Charles artistically reflects the town’s rich history and community.

2nd: LOVEwork at Deltaville Maritime Museum and Holly Point Nature Park, Deltaville

DeltavilleMuseum. com , 804-776-7200

3rd: LOVEwork at Whitley’s Peanuts in Gloucester

WhitleysPeanut. possuindo , 804-642-1975


1st: Chrysler Museum of Artwork

One Memorial Place, Norfolk

Chrysler. org , 757-664-6200

In 1971, automotive heir William P. Chrysler donated most of his vast art collection to what was then the Norfolk Museum of Artistry and Sciences. It was renamed the Chrysler Museum of Art soon thereafter. According to The New York Times , Chrysler’s holdings were “one any museum in the world would kill with regard to. ” Now, 50 years and several expansions later, the particular Chrysler is one of the country’s most distinguished mid-sized museums.      

2nd: American Revolution Museum at Yorktown

JYFMuseums. org , 757-253-4838

third: Deltaville Maritime Museum, Deltaville

Deltavillemuseum. apresentando , 804-776-7200

Music Venue

1st: Ferguson Center for the Arts

1 Avenue of the Arts, Newport News

FergusonCenter. org , 757-594-8752

Christopher Newport University’s Ferguson Center for the Arts stands out from the rest with its commitment to offering a broad range of performances. Designed by renowned architects I. M. Pei plus Henry Cobb, the Ferguson Center is a world-class location that has hosted headlining talent including Andrea Bocelli, Tony Bennett, and Joan Baez.

2nd: Flat Iron Crossroads, Gloucester

FlatIronCrossroads. com , 804-699-3361

3rd: Chrysler Hall, Norfolk

SevenVenues. possuindo , 757-664-6464

Performing Arts Company

1st: The Lancaster Players

361 Chesapeake Dr ., White Stone

LancasterPlayers. org , 804-435-3776 

What started out as a few Northern Throat moms wanting to find a creative outlet for their children has become one of the area’s most successful regional theaters. The all-volunteer Lancaster Players recent productions include Motherhood the Musical , The Savannah Sipping Society , and a live radio play of Alfred Hitchcock’s The 39 Steps.

second: The Westmoreland Players, Callao

WestmorelandPlayers. org , 804-529-9345

3rd: The Court House Players, Gloucester

CourthousePlayers. org , 804-815-8504

Radio Station

1st: WXGM AM 1420

634 Main St ., Gloucester

Xtra99. com , 804-693-2105

Long the number one radio station in Gloucester, Xtra99. 1 has won the Eastern Region’s top spot. The station offers an unique and fun programming mix, playing music from up and coming local talent to billboard charts. Station culture is dedicated to community outreach and supporting a variety of area fundraisers.  

2nd: WGH FM 97. 3, Virginia Beach

973Eagle. apresentando , 757-490-9797

3rd: WJVA LPFM 106. 5, Hampton

WJVARadio. org , 470-344-9582

Special Event Venue

1st: Deltaville Maritime Museum

287 Jackson Creek Rd., Deltaville

DeltavilleMuseum. com , 804-776-7200

In the heart of the Chesapeake Bay’s boatbuilding region is the Deltaville Maritime Museum and Holly Point Nature Park. Celebrating the area’s rich nautical heritage and extraordinary boating history, the museum encourages visitors to learn about boatbuilding and watch skilled craftsmen produce replicas of the signature vessels that once plied the waters of the Bay.  

2nd: Chrysler Hall, Norfolk

SevenVenues. com , 757-664-6464

third: Chrysler Museum of Art, Norfolk

The chrysler. org , 757-664-6200


Dog Groomer

1st: Blue Collar Dog Services

4155 George Washington Hwy., Hayes

Facebook: @bluecollardogservices , 804-993-7023

Beau Davenport opened Blue Collar Dog Services in 2019 after gaining experience inside PetSmart’s grooming department. He and his team make “your dog feel like part of our family” and specialize in dogs that are a bit more difficult to groom, whether due to health or behavioral issues or unruly fur.  

2nd: 4 Leggers Daycare, Boarding plus Grooming, Irvington

Facebook: @4leggersnnk , 804-577-4280

3rd: Clip-It-Up Pet Grooming, Williamsburg

ClipItUpGrooming. com , 757-220-0066

Dog Training Company

1st: Belroi Agility and Obedience Center

6023 Gallopond Ln., Gloucester

Facebook: @BelroiAgilityClub , 804-693-2167

From jumps and tunnels to cones and planks, agility courses test dogs’ physical and mental acuity through obstacles designed to challenge handlers plus dogs alike. Belroi Speed and Obedience Center offers agility classes for all levels and its many obedience classes help bring out the best in your furry friend.  

2nd: Citizen K9 Dog Training & Agility, Norfolk

CitizenK9DogTraining. com , 757-724-1332

3rd: Canine Obedience Training at Hunt Club, Locations in Chesapeake, Virginia Seaside

Dog-School. biz , 757-427-2292

Pet Boarding/Day Care

1st: 4 Leggers Daycare, Boarding and Tidying

3413 Irvington Rd., Irvington

Facebook: @4leggersnnk, 804-577-4280

This particular small business located in Virginia’s Northern Neck excels in offering the best personalized services regarding dogs and cats. 4 Leggers Daycare, Boarding and Grooming has a team of talented employees known for their caring demeanors and attention to detail, ensuring your furry friend will be well taken care of.

2nd: D. U. G. ’s Daycare & Spa, Smithfield

DogsDayCareAndSpa. com , 757-356-9909

3rd: Bay Rivers Boarding & Daycare, Yorktown


Veterinary Hospital

first: Cape Charles Animal Hospital

22491 Lankford Hwy., Suite B., Cape Charles

CapeCharlesAnimalHospital. possuindo , 757-695-8378

From routine wellness checks to surgical and dental care, Cape Charles Animal Hospital is the area’s choice intended for excellent veterinary care. The particular practice also offers emergency services. Vet Nathan Higgins consistently gets five-star reviews to get his compassion and patience, and the staff is praised for excellent customer service and flexibility.  

2nd: Gloucester Veterinary Hospital, Gloucester

GloucesterVet. com , 804-693-3030

3rd: Animal Care of Gloucester, Hayes

AnimalCareOfGloucester. com , 804-642-5740


Family Entertainment

1st: Compass Entertainment Complex

100 Entertainment Dr ., Irvington

CompassEntertainmentComplex. apresentando , 804-884-4356

A multi-purpose family entertainment center nestled in Virginia’s North Neck, Compass Entertainment Complex provides a quality entertainment plus movie-going experience in a family-oriented environment. The state-of-the-art entertainment venue features the area’s only multi-screen movie theater, in addition to an arcade, indoor adventure course, climbing walls, go-karts, and a full-service restaurant and bar.

2nd: Busch Gardens, Williamsburg

BuschGardens. com , 757-229-4386

3rd: Bethpage Miniature Golf & Ice Creamery, Urbanna

BethpageCamp. com , 804-758-4653

K-12 Independent School

1st: Chesapeake Academy

107 Steamboat Rd., Irvington

ChesapeakeAcademy. org , 804-438-5575

Located in Virginia’s Northern Neck, this independent school aims to provide a safe plus nurturing environment for students’ academic, emotional, and social development. In 2019, the school opened an Arts & Innovation Hub and expanded the James Library, creating an integrated space for robotics, coding, digital arts, and video and audio production.

2nd: Aylett Country Day School, Millers Tavern

ACDSPatriots. net , 804-443-3214

3rd: Cape Charles Christian College, Cape Charles

CCCSESV. org , 757-331-1717


1st: Chesapeake Academy

107 Steamboat Rd., Irvington

ChesapeakeAcademy. org , 804-438-5575

Known as a small school with a huge classroom and dynamic approach to education, Chesapeake School provides a safe and nurturing environment for students to develop academically, emotionally, and socially. The academy serves a diverse population in Virginia’s Northern Neck. Its campus includes a Nature Trail plus Outdoor Classroom featuring direct access to Carter’s Creek.

second: Aylett Country Day School, Millers Tavern

ACDSPatriots. net , 804-443-3214

3rd: Buoys and Gulls Preschool, Hartfield

LowerUMC. org , 804-776-6250

Summer Camp

first: Chesapeake Academy Summer Camps

107 Steamboat Rd., Irvington

ChesapeakeAcademy. org , 804-438-5575

The summer camp offerings at Chesapeake Academy have a little something for every child. Kids can expect a summer of fun, exploration, and discovery participating in activities like paddle boarding, soccer, astronomy, visits to zoos and farms, and a STEM program for girls making full use of the school’s Arts & Innovation Hub.

2nd: Aylett Country Day time School, Millers Tavern

ACDSP. net , 804-443-3214

third: Camp Piankatank, Hartfield

CampPiankatank. com , 804-776-9552


Air Charter Service

1st: Bay Aviation

2649 Greys Point Rd., Topping

BayAviationOnline. com , 804-436-2977

Bay Aviation’s skilled pilots design and instruct aviation courses and participate in several volunteer outreach programs, including the Forgotten Heroes Foundation, which connects pilots, engineers plus teachers with students in STEM programs. The fliers also fly for Pilots N’ Paws, an all-volunteer organization that coordinates transports to rescue animals across the country. Flight instruction at Bay Aviation is also offered, along with the necessary support to earn a private pilot’s license.  

2nd: Coastal Sky Taxi, Topping

CoastalSkyTaxi. com , 804-436-3128

3rd: Hampton Roads Charter Service, Locations in Chesapeake, Va Beach

HRHeli. com , 757-488-9044

Bed & Breakfast

1st: These types of Haven Inn

403 Tazewell Ave., Cape Charles

BayHavenInnBnB. possuindo , 757-331-2838

Patrons of the Bay Inn enthusiastically proclaim that its hosts, idyllic location, and comfortable accommodations are a wonderful combination of history and a welcoming, laid-back atmosphere. And despite the “no rush” vibe, there is still plenty to do. The inn is surrounded by the extraordinary beauty of the Eastern Shore and closeby are guided kayak tours with Southeast Expeditions, Kiptopeke State Park, and Sterrett Gardens.  

2nd: Kilmarnock Inn, Kilmarnock

KilmarnockInn. apresentando , 804-435-0034

third: The Hope & Glory Inn, Irvington

HopeAndGlory. com , 804-438-6053

Historic Site

1st: Colonial Williamsburg

ColonialWilliamsburg. org , 800-446-9240

Colonial Williamsburg provides more than 600 reconstructed original buildings, two world-class museums, and an extensive educational outreach program for students, educators, and history buffs alike. Serving as the capital of the colony and later the particular Commonwealth from 1699 to 1780, the site now includes historic taverns, lodging, shopping, horse-drawn carriage rides, and more.

2nd: Fort Monroe National Monument, Ft. Monroe

NPS. gov , 757-722-3678

3rd: Stratford Hall, Stratford

StratfordHall. org , 804-493-8038


1st: The Tides Inn

480 King Carter Dr ., Irvington

TidesInn. com , 804-438-5000

With a dedication to hospitality, the Tides Inn has long established itself as the “Virginia Family members Resort. ” Recently reopened and refreshed, the resort offers a variety of events and activities, including cooking demonstrations, kayak tours, wine plus oyster excursions, and arts experiences in the newly created Maker Space.

2nd: Hotel Cape Charles, Cape Charles

HotelCapeCharles. com , 757-695-3854

3rd: The Williamsburg Inn, Williamsburg

ColonialWilliamsburgHotels. possuindo , 757-220-7978


1st: The Tides Inn

480 King Carter Doctor, Irvington

TidesInn. com , 804-438-5000

Recently reopened and refreshed, the Tides Inn now offers a variety of events and activities, including cooking presentations, kayak tours, wine excursions, and arts experiences within the newly created Maker Space.

2nd: Great Wolf Lodge, Williamsburg

GreatWolf. com , 757-229-9700

3rd: Cherrystone Loved ones Camping Resort, Cape Charles

Cherrystone. apresentando , 757-331-3063

Tourist Attraction

1st: Busch Gardens

1 Busch Gardens Blvd., Williamsburg

BuschGardens. com , 757-229-4386

Set on nearly 500 acres, Busch Gardens Williamsburg is one of the country’s most popular amusement parks. Ten different European hamlets are replicated in the style of villages in England, France, Germany, Italy, Scotland, plus Ireland. The park is known for its Broadway-style productions and for showcasing each country’s authentic food, music, and festivals. Its world-famous roller coasters include Griffon, Loch Ness Monster, Almpengeist, and Apollo’s Chariot.  

2nd: Colonial Williamsburg

ColonialWilliamsburg. org , 800-446-9240

3rd: Cape Charles Beach, Cape Charles

Virginia. org , 757-331-3259

Outdoors & Active

Dance Studio

1st: 7 Cities Ballroom Dance Studio room

5251 John Tyler Hwy., Suite 65-67, Williamsburg

7CitiesBallroom. com , 757-903-4867

7 Cities Ballroom Dance Studio is named for the seven cities that make up the Hampton Roads area. Now headquartered in Williamsburg, 7 Cities is run by Steve Kirvan who has 25 years associated with ballroom dancing experience. Sam has competed professionally throughout the Southeast, amassing a number of awards. Group classes and private instruction are available.    

2nd: Chesapeake Dance Middle, Chesapeake

ChesapeakeDance. com , 757-361-9400

3rd: A Time To Dance, Virginia Beach

ATimeToDanceVa. com , 757-490-8999

Golf Course

first: Bay Creek

one Clubhouse Way, Cape Charles

BayCreekLife. possuindo , 757-331-8623

Gulf Creek aims to bring families and nature together while preserving the Eastern Shore ecosystem. With a 27-hole program designed by Arnold Palmer and Jack Nicklaus along the Chesapeake Bay, you’ll enjoy the views as much as the game. Golfers of all ages and skill levels have the chance to take private lessons and group clinics with PGA Professionals.

2nd: Piankatank River Golf Course, Hartfield

PRGCGolf. com , 804-776-6516

third: Golden Eagle Golf Club, Irvington

TidesInn. apresentando , 804-438-4460


1st: BodyFit, White Stone

578 Chesapeake Dr ., White Stone

BodyFitVa. com , 804-436-2214

When the weather is fine, Bodyfit owner Ramona Darden takes advantage of the gym’s origins as a firehouse to open the garage doors for open-air classes. With 24/7 access to the fitness studio, and many classes and workshops to choose from, you’ll find becoming your healthiest self is easier than ever.

2nd: Body By D, Locations in Gloucester, Yorktown

BodyByDGym. com , 757-369-8479

3rd: Northern Neck Family YMCA, Kilmarnock

YMCAVP. org , 804-435-0223

Hiking or Biking Trail

first: Freedom Park Trails

5537 Centerville Rd., Williamsburg

JamesCityCountyVa. gov , 757-259-4022

Freedom Park is a 600-acre forested retreat with two miles of multi-use trails plus 20 miles of mountain bike trails. Also within Freedom Park is the Williamsburg Botanical Garden, the GoApe Treetop Adventure Course, and an interpretive center. Independence Park’s rich history, which usually dates to the 1650s plus includes a 19th-century Free Black Settlement, is sure to intrigue background buffs.

2nd: Virginia Capital Trail, Richmond to Williamsburg

VirginiaCapitalTrail. org , 804-788-6453

3rd: The Mariners’ Noland Trail, Newport News

MarinersMuseum. org , 757-596-2222

Specialty Fitness

1st: C-Fit Studio

143 N. Main St ., Suite 100, Suffolk

CFitStudio. com , 757-514-1180

C-Fit Studio is all about “honoring the body you were given and loving the skin you’re in. ” Instructors help clients move safely and efficiently and encourage confidence and growth. Nutritional counseling, personal training, infrared sauna, and group classes inside yoga, pilates, KAOS, fit core, cycle circuit, and more are offered.  

2nd: Bdefined, Williamsburg

BdefinedFitness. com , 757-345-6801

3rd: Abilities Abound Physical Therapy & Wellness Center, Callao

AbilitiesAPWC. com , 804-529-5178

Tennis Facility

1st: Folkes-Stevens Tennis Center

4501 Parker Ave., Norfolk

PlayTennisODU. com , 757-683-5312

Folkes-Stevens, on the Old Dominion University campus, is a membership-based tennis facility spanning 74, 000 square feet with eight indoor and 12 outdoor courts. All courts are hard surface. Ample spectator space includes comfortable seats, flat screen TVs, and vending machines. Junior groups, adult leagues, stringing, and a pro shop are also available.  

2nd: The Indian Creek Yacht and Country Club Racquet Program, Kilmarnock

ICYCC. com , 804-435-1340

3rd: Graham Slam Tennis, Chesapeake

GrahamSlamTennis. com , 757-560-5400

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *