Colonial Beach, VA

Geographical Location

Colonial Beach is a small town located in Westmoreland County nestled on the Potomac River in the Northern Neck region of Virginia. You're only 65 miles from the nation’s capital, Washington, D.C. and 70 miles from the state capital, Richmond, VA. The southern part of the town forms a peninsula that ends just above Monroe Bay and divides Monroe Creek from the Potomac River. 
 

Overall Personality

Colonial Beach is a quaint riverside resort town that’s rich in history, heritage, and unspoiled beauty. Lounge on the beach, fish from the pier, cruise around in a boat, catch a glimpse of the mighty bald eagle, watch a race at the drag way, or search for fossilized sharks teeth. Want something to eat? There are over 25 different restaurants serving everything your taste buds could ever want. You will find fresh seafood in just about all of the restaurants here. There is also everything from Thai to French to burgers and ice cream and everything in between. There are a number of bed and breakfasts throughout the town and a variety of marinas along the waters. As for gambling, Riverboat on the Potomac offers Off Track Betting, Keno, Poker Tournaments, and Maryland and Virginia lotteries. There is truly something for everyone in Colonial Beach. 
 

Defining Characteristics

The town was first settled in 1650 by the great-great grandfather of President James Monroe, as Monrovia. Colonial Beach emerged as a bathing and fishing resort in the late 19th century known as the “Playground on the Potomac.” On February 25, 1892 the town was incorporated and there was extensive construction of houses, summer cottages, and hotels. The area was the center of the Potomac River Oyster Wars between Virginia watermen and the Maryland State Oyster Police that lasted from the late 19th century to the 1960s. Once called “the poor man’s Vegas” Colonial Beach offered slot machines in per casinos extending into Maryland waters because gambling was illegal in Virginia. However, in the 1960s the piers burned in a devastating fire. 
 

Noteworthy Attractions

The family of Alexander Graham Bell maintained a summer home, which still stands today. It currently operates as a B&B. The James Monroe family home site and birthplace of President James Monroe now has a small monument to him. President George Washington was also born near here and there is monument in his name located in Colonial Beach.
 
Do you love wine? Ingleside Winery is one of the oldest and largest wineries in Virginia and offers a full range of wines, tours, tastings, a museum and a gift shop.
 
How about a farm? Westmoreland Berry Farm and Orchard, with its stunning views, is a riverside farm located in Virginia’s Historic Northern Neck along the Rappahannock. You can pick your own fruit or buy it ready-picked from the Country Store. You can also play with the goats or just sit and relax and enjoy the view while the kids enjoy themselves in the play areas.
 
What about hiking? Visit Westmoreland State Park. There are many trails, including one along the sandy beach where you might even find an ancient shark’s tooth. There is also an Olympic-sized pool, kayaks for rent or bring your own, or fish from the park’s pier.
 
Do you love to bird watch? Voorhies Nature Preserve is home to a bald eagle or two. You can also find cormorants, terns, swans, ducks, blue herons, and osprey that nest along the shores of Colonial Beach.
 

Transportation Options

Colonial Beach is served by Virginia State Route 205. The town is also accessible by boat and is the last deepwater port for pleasure boats on the Potomac River. Colonial Beach is a “Golf Cart” town. Don’t be surprised if you see your neighbors cruising around town in the golf carts or on bicycles. There is also a trolley service to get around town.
 

Types of Homes

There are a variety of homes in Colonial Beach. You can find old Victorian style homes, cute quaint cottages, colonial style homes, or ramblers. You name it and its more than likely there. Want something on the water? Got it! Want to be in the middle of town? Done! Want something new? Ok! Want something old with a ton of character? Got that too!
 

Annual Events

There are a ton of events that take place year round. Bikefest, Potomac River Festival, High Tides Blues Festival, 4th of July Fireworks, Sirens of the Beach Music Festival, Waterfest, Boardwalk Arts & Crafts Fair, Fall Festival, Rockfish Tournament, Rod Run to the Beach, Triathlon Festival, and Winter Festival to name a few.

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