Kilmarnock, VA may not be one of the first places you consider when taking a vacation in Virginia. But Kilmarnock is one of the great small towns in the state, and it has a number of hidden gems that make it well worth the visit.
Kilmarnock is located in Lancaster County and Northumberland County in the Northern Neck of Virginia. The town had a population of only 1,487 as of the 2010 census.
The town of Kilmarnock is about a 2.5-hour drive southeast from Northern Virginia, about a 1.5-hour drive east from Richmond, and about a 2-hour drive north of Norfolk. This makes it a surprisingly easy place to visit from many major cities in the state.
Whether you’re interested in historic sites, parks, water activities, cultural activities, or more, Kilmarnock has a little bit of something for everyone!
Below are some of my top recommendations for things to do in Kilmarnock, VA.
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Table of Contents
- Hughlett Point Natural Area Preserve
- Kilmarnock Town Center Park
- Belle Isle State Park
- Compass Entertainment Complex
- Deltaville Maritime Museum
- Ditchley Cider Works
- Good Luck Cellars
- Kilmarnock Brewhaus
- Northern Neck Farm Museum
- Kilmarnock Museum
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Hughlett Point Natural Area Preserve
Kilmarnock, VA 22482
Open Daily from 6:00 am to 10:00 pm
Not applicable. Free admission.
The Hughlett Point Natural Area Preserve is an important wetlands area in Kilmarnock. It is located along the Chesapeake Bay.
It serves as a vital habitat for the threatened northeastern beach tiger beetle, as well as the nesting area for ospreys, bald eagles, northern harriers, and many other birds.
The nature preserve includes trails, undeveloped and secluded beaches, a woodland boardwalk, and wildlife viewing platforms.
Please note that parking is extremely limited at the preserve. The parking lot has 11 spots, and there is no additional parking.
Kilmarnock Town Center Park
150 N Main Street, Kilmarnock, VA 22482
Open Daily from Dawn to Dusk
The Kilmarnock Town Center Park is a charming oasis in downtown Kilmarnock. It is perfect for families, children, and pets. There is a Splashpad Waterworks area where kids 12 and under can play in the water fountains. It is open daily from 10 am to 8 pm. There is also a Riverplay water feature for kids.
The park also features Scottie Yard Dog Park where you can bring your four-legged friends. The dog park has sections for large dogs and small dogs to play offleash.
The park also hosts music performances by local artists from May to October. You can find out more information online.
Another event that takes place from May to October is the Kilmarnock Farmers Market. On the 4th Saturday of each month, meats, seafood, vegetables, fruits, bakery items and farmers market worthy products.
During the Christmas season, the park hosts Christmas in the Park, with a tree lighting ceremony, Santa’s Village, and lovely Christmas decorations to behold!
Belle Isle State Park
1632 Belle Isle, Rd, Lancaster, VA 22503
Open Daily 8:00 am – 6:00 pm
Belle Isle State Park is located about 16 miles west of Kilmarnock. It is located along the Rappahannock River. The state park features 7 miles of shoreline. The diverse landscape includes wetlands, farmlands and coastal forests.
The park features a campground, as well as biking, walking, and even horseback riding trails. Visitors can rent bicycles, kayaks and canoes on site to explore the natural beauty of the park.
Visitors can also stay overnight at the Bel Air and the Bel Air Guest House.
Compass Entertainment Complex
100 Entertainment Dr, Irvington, VA 22480
- Monday – Thursday: 4:00 pm – 9:00 pm
- Friday – Sunday: 12:00 pm – 9:00 pm
- Open Daily: 12:00 pm – 9:00 pm
Meridian Bar & Grill:
- Monday – Thursday: 4:00 pm – 9:00 pm
- Friday – Sunday: 12:00 pm – 9:00 pm
You can purchase a Fun Pass to use at any of the attractions. Pricing information can be found on their website.
The Compass Entertainment Complex is a massive entertainment space that is perfect for the whole family.
The complex has a luxury Movie Theater, Arcade, Batting Cages, Bumper Cars, a Climbing Wall, Go-Carts, KidZone, Mini Golf, Ropes Course, Challenge Zone, and Virtual Reality. And so it definitely has something for just about everyone!
There is also a restaurant onsite, the Meridian Bar & Grill, which features dishes like She Crab Soup, Fried Oysters, Pizza, Sandwiches, and more. They also offer Sunday Brunch, with yummy dishes like Sweet Potato French Toast and Breakfast Pizza.
Deltaville Maritime Museum
287 Jackson Creek Rd, Deltaville, VA 23043
- Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday: 10:00 am – 4:00 pm
- Sunday: 12:00 pm – 4:00 pm
- Closed on Wednesdays
Tickets are $5.00.
The Deltaville Maritime Museum is located about 20 miles south of Kilmarnock. The museum tells the story of the maritime history of the Deltaville Region near the Chesapeake Bay.
Some of the exhibits include wooden boatbuilding from the 1800s. The museum even hosts an annual Family Boatbuilding Week where families can build a Wright Skiff in the style of the 1930s!
There are numerous boats on display, including a replica of the Explorer boat used by Captain John Smith back in the 1608 when he was exploring the coastline around Virginia. There is also an example of a log-bottom buyboat from 1924.
Other exhibits cover such diverse topics as Native American boatbuilding, Lighthouses of the Chesapeake Bay, and Chesapeake Bay Oysters.
There are also outside exhibits, including several boats that are on display, as well as exhibits on Oyster Gardening, Oyster Reef Restoration, and a Dolphin Garden with two bronze dolphin statues.
As a special bonus, the Maritime Museum also offers free Discovery Cruises by boat. The boat tours take place on the the fourth Saturday of the month from May through November from 9 am to 1 pm.
The museum is located at Holly Point Nature Park, which is definitely worth exploring. The 36 acre park is devoted to providing a habitat for the indigenous flora and fauna of the wetlands. The park features walking trails, kayak landing points, a pier, picnic areas, a wildflower meadow, open pavilions, an Azalea Garden, and a Camellia Garden.
The park grounds also feature a Children’s Garden with edible plants, and a delightful Sculpture Garden.
Ditchley Cider Works
1571 Ditchley Rd, Kilmarnock, VA 22482
- Saturday: 12:00 pm – 4:00 pm
- Sunday: 11:00 am – 3:00 pm
- Sunday Brunch: 11:00 am – 2:00 pm
Ditchley Cider Works is a cidery that also produces meat and poultry products, including pork, sausage, beef, and chicken. They also host Sunday brunch (reservations are strongly recommended.)
The historic property dates all the way back to the mid-1600s. When visiting, you can explore the restored manor house dating back to 1752, orchards, grass pastures, wooded areas, and even 2.5 miles of shoreline with a natural beach.
You can also book overnight stays at the historic farmhouse.
Good Luck Cellars
1025 Goodluck Rd, Kilmarnock, VA 22482
- Monday and Thursday: 11:00 am – 5:00 pm
- Friday: 11:00 am – 8:00 pm
- Saturday: 11:00 am – 6:00 pm
- Sunday: 12:00 pm – 5:00 pm
Good Luck Cellars offers a number of fun events, including live music and food trucks, plus Sangria Sundays! They even offer massages on select days! You can learn more about all of their upcoming events.
You can purchase a five flight-tasting, wine by the glass, and bottles.
The winery allows dogs outside but not inside.
44 W Church St, Kilmarnock, VA 22482
Thursday – Sunday: 2:00 pm till closing
The Kilmarnock Brewhaus is a brewery serving craft beer, plus local wine, and food.
As the name suggests, their beers are heavily influenced by German beers. Some of their featured brews include a Brute IPA, Apple Porter, Edelweiss IPA, the refreshing Peach Shandy, and the robust Eichenbock. Free beer tastings are also available.
The Brewhaus also has hot dogs and pizza, plus free popcorn!
They feature both indoor and outdoor seating.
The brewery hosts live music events on Thursday nights. You can learn more online.
Northern Neck Farm Museum
12705 Northumberland Hwy, Heathsville, VA 22473
May through October:
- Saturday from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm
- Sunday from 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm
- Adults: $2.00
- Children (6 – 18 years): $1.00
- Children (Under 6): Free
For those interested in agriculture and farming, the Northern Neck Farm Museum offers visitors a unique look at the history and practices of farming in the region. The museum is located about 15 miles north of Kilmarnock in Heathsville, VA.
Some of the special exhibits at the museum include historic tractors on display dating back to the early 20th century. There are also numerous farm equipment items, ranging from a unique dog-powered pulley machine to more common horse-drawn plows. There is also an exhibit devoted to the life of the farm wife, which includes historic sewing machines and kitchen equipment.
The museum hosts many special events, including a Tractor Show, and a Farm to Fork Dinner.
Fall is an especially busy time at the museum. There is a Corn Maze that is generally open on weekends from September to October. Fall also marks the time for the annual Fall Festival, which includes the corn maze, hay rides, sawmills, antique equipment, and Kid’s Corn Box.
You can learn about these events and more online.
The museum also features an open pavilion and a gift shop.
Note that the museum’s hours are limited to the warmer months of May to October, on weekends only.
76 N Main Street, Kilmarnock, VA 22482
Tuesday to Saturday: 11:00 am – 4:00 pm
(Note that the museum is closed from December through February.)
Free Admission. Donations are welcome.
The Kilmarnock Museum is located in downtown Kilmarnock in one of the oldest buildings in the town. It features items highlighting the history of the town, dating all the way back to the 1700s! The items were donated by residents, which makes it a very unique and personal place to visit.
Some of the items on display include watermen’s tools, farmer’s tools, and historic pictures of the town and its residents. There is even a room dedicated to Kilmarnock, Scotland, which is the sister-city of Kilmarnock, Virginia.
Learn all about the best activities in Eastern Virginia!