Hamtown USA: Things to Do in the Town of Smithfield, Virginia

About Smithfield, Virginia

Smithfield, Virginia, is a small, picturesque river town located on the Pagan River in South Hampton Roads. Major surrounding cities include Suffolk, Newport News, and Hampton.

The area, first known to the Native Americans as Warascoyak was colonized in 1634 and became the Town of Smithfield in 1752. The 2023 census indicates a population size of around 8,900 people.

The Town of Smithfield is known and famous for its ham! Intriguingly, a legal statute in place says– for the ham to be called a Smithfield ham, it must have been processed within the town limits.

Smithfield, Virginia, is also home to the Fortune 500 company Smithfield Foods. Smithfield Foods is the largest pork processor and hog producer in the world! Fun fact: The company raises around 12 million hogs a year– now that’s a lot of bacon!

Things to do in Smithfield, VA

Windsor Castle Park

Take a morning walk at Windsor Castle Park and enjoy the historic buildings of Windsor Castle and the stunningly beautiful views of the Pagan River and Cypress Creek. You can go hiking or kayaking or take your pup to the park!

Windsor Castle Park is also home to many Smithfield festivals and events, such as the Wine & Brew Fest, Bacon and Bourbon Fest, and BOB (Bloody Marys, Oysters, BBQ, and Brunswick Stew) Fest. 

Fort Boykin

Feeling more like a beach day? Visit Historic Fort Boykin and access the peaceful beaches of the James River. And when you’re done with the beach, take a walk and tour the historic grounds of Fort Boykin.

Isle of Wight County Museum

Isle of Wight Co. Museum

Looking to learn more about the area? Visit the Isle of Wight County Museum and see the world’s oldest peanut (1890) and ham (1902). They also offer guided walking tours of Fort Boykin.

Darden’s Country Store

Darden's Country Store Smithfield, VA

Or maybe you’re looking for some homemade Southern goodies. Take a ride out to Darden’s Country Store. They’ve been “Hammin’ It Up” since 1952! Be sure to try their homemade ham biscuits!

Shopping in Smithfield, VA

Downtown Smithfield, Virginia

Need a little retail therapy? Check out the local shops along Main Street for unique products you may not find any place else:

  • Maggie Casey’s Celtic Treasure
  • The Christmas Store
  • Fox and Crowd Dry Goods
  • Beyond Main (women’s clothing)
  • Perfectly Natural Soap
  • Sew Personal Boutique
  • Victoria’s Rose
  • Relics of Smithfield and more!

Last but not least, there is a Farmer’s Market where you can buy local goods on Main Street– Saturdays from 9 AM to noon.

Dining is Part of the Experience

Smithfield Station Virginia

You’ve come to the right place if you’re looking for Southern cuisine. Salty cured ham, sweet potato biscuits, and fried green tomatoes are just a few of the southern staples you’ll find at many local restaurants.

Stop by The Cockeyed Rooster for a delicious homestyle breakfast, or stop by Ringo’s and grab yourself a heavenly handmade donut before they sell out. Come lunchtime, grab some barbeque from Q Daddy’s, or visit the historic Smithfield Inn. And when dinner rolls around, enjoy outdoor waterfront seating at the Smithfield Station along with locally caught seafood.

  • Breakfast: The Cockeyed Rooster, Ringo’s Donuts, Cure Coffeehouse
  • Lunch: Q Daddy’s, Farmer’s Table, Taste of Smithfield, Smithfield Gourmet Bakery
  • Dinner: Wharf Hill Brewing, Smithfield Station, Anna’s Ristorante, Red Point Taphouse
  • Dessert: Smithfield Ice Cream Parlor, Yummaries Bakery
  • Wine: Summerwind Vineyard, Smithfield Winery & Events, Bon Vivant Wine & Brew (shop).

Where to Stay in Smithfield, VA

Mansion on Main Bed and Breakfast Smithfield, Virginia

Can’t get enough of this charming town? Extend your visit and stay at one of these highly-rated B&Bs and hotels!

Mansion on Main: “My wife and I stay here at least once a year and Dawn always makes us feel right at home. The location is great being able to walk across the street to a restaurant or shop. Inside the mansion gives you the feel of the Elizabethan world right before your eyes. The homemade food is country cooking at its best!!! Love the antique shop next door.” – Google Review.

Smithfield Inn B&B: “Great hidden treasure. Staff was truly awesome. Couldn’t get better. Very attentive, rooms quaint and clean. Good food and great drinks.” – Google Review

Smithfield Station: “Fabulous place to stay. Ashley at the front desk is OUTSTANDING! Beautiful rooms, clean, very very Covid safe. Beds comfortable, nice touch with fireplace in room, big bathroom. Just lovely! We will be back.” – Google Review

Visit Smithfield, Virginia

If you like visiting small towns, then Smithfield, Virginia, is for you! Whether you’re from out of town or a Coastal Virginia local, be sure to put this charming town on your list of places to explore.


Alexandrea Sumuel - Groves is a nationally syndicated travel writer and founder of the Wander With Alex travel blog. Her work has appeared on MSN, YAHOO!, Euronews, and FOX, ABC, and NBC affiliates across the United States. 

Alex travels to experience, eat, explore, and occasionally escape! She collaborates with destinations, vacation property management companies, and hospitality technology firms to provide her readers with exclusive insights and information.