Attractions September 02, 2021
11 Ways To Spend A Picture-Perfect Fall Day In Surry, Virginia
Autumn in Virginia is a magical season. As the leaves change and the air becomes crisp and cool, we’re inspired to explore all that the Old Dominion has to offer. If you’re looking for a destination that promises history, natural beauty, delicious food, and endless charm, we would recommend planning a visit to
Surry, Virginia. This impressive destination has all the makings of a great adventure: a local winery, mouthwatering seafood, historic attractions, and plenty of hidden places to discover along the way. Without further ado, here are 11 ways to spend a picture-perfect fall day in Surry.
1. Chippokes Plantation State Park
Chippokes Plantation State Park, 695 Chippokes Park Rd, Surry, VA 23883, USA
Plan an outdoor adventure at
Chippokes Plantation State Park
, which offers over 12 miles of trails for hiking, biking, and horseback riding. Follow the Chippoax Trace Trail along the path of one of the earliest documented roads in Colonial Virginia. The trail terminates at College Run Creek where you’ll want to spend a moment taking in the unspoiled beauty of the woods and marshes.
Next, stop by the
Farm & Forestry Museum
for some barnyard fun on your way to a leisurely stroll along the banks of the historic James River where kids of all ages can search for the ever-elusive fossils and shark’s teeth. Guests can enter the park for day use (per day parking fee applies) or can plan to stay overnight at one of the park's lodging options. The campground includes 50 designated sites for tent and RV camping. Three yurts, as well as four Colonial-style cottages accommodate up to eight guests in a single cottage.
Chippokes Plantation State Park continues to operate as a working farm, as it has since the first land grant in 1619. Guests are able to experience planting and harvesting first-hand as it takes place seasonally within the park.
The park offers additional amenities and activities including historical interpretation and education programs at the Jones-Stewart Mansion, the River House, and the Farm & Forestry Museum.
Planned Fall events include a Colonial Re-Enactment Weekend on September 25 and 26, and the Chippokes Harvest Festival on Saturday, October 16.
2. Disc Golf at the Surry County Community Center
205 Enos Farm Dr, Spring Grove, VA 23881, USA
Ready for a bit of a challenge? Disc golf is one of the newest outdoor crazes! Take in a round of disc golf on the grounds of the Surry County Community Center, located on a (soon to be) 18-hole, par 3 course. Bring your own discs or use those provided by Surry County Parks & Recreation during regular business hours. Bring a picnic lunch or stop in at Anna’s Italian Restaurant for pizza, subs, or a salad.
3. College Run Farms
College Run Drive, College Run Dr, Virginia 23883, USA
During the month of October, guests from miles around flock to Surry to pick their pumpkins at
College Run Farms
, a small family-run farming operation in business since 1999. Their fields will be planted with pumpkins and gourds galore! In addition to pumpkin picking, children of all ages can enjoy the corn maze, pumpkin ice cream (additional flavors may be available as well), and other treats from the farm shop. We think ice cream should be eaten any time of the day, so no harm if you have a treat before lunch!
4. Cre8tive Works Gallery and Café
Whenever you get hungry, head on over to
Cre8tive Works Gallery and Café
where you can have a delicious lunch in friendly surroundings. The lunch menu offers sandwiches, burgers, salads, and more. While you’re waiting for your meal, explore the adjoining art gallery and let your creativity be inspired. Artist Everett Mayo would love to show you around and share his story. Here, driftwood is the path to exciting creatures and places; Everett paints it, sculpts with it, and uses it in 3-D pieces.
5. Hampton Roads Winery
Hampton Roads Winery, 6074 New Design Rd, Elberon, VA 23846, USA
When the day’s activities begin to wind down, make the short drive to the
Hampton Roads Winery
where you can relax on the patio with a glass of locally made wine or a delicious wine slushie. Watch the sun begin to set over the pond, or spend some time being entertained by the gravity-defying antics of the resident goats on the World’s Tallest Goat Tower. Guests can take the self-guided farm tour and discover all the secrets of this beautiful property.
6. Gray's Creek
Gray's Creek Marina, 633 Marina Dr, Surry, VA 23883, USA
Strap the kayak on your vehicle and head down to
Gray’s Creek Marina
adjacent to the Surry Seafood Company. The creek is a 6-mile-long tributary of the James River. It was first navigated by the Indigenous People of the coastal region and later explored by Capt. John Smith in 1607. Although never completed, a second colonial fort was attempted on the banks of the creek at Smith’s Fort Plantation to provide a fallback position for the Jamestown settlers. Today, only the raised earthworks remain.
One of the best parts about exploring the waterway is the breathtaking scenery. In 2020, Gray’s Creek was designated as part of Virginia’s Scenic Rivers Program. The Virginia Scenic Rivers Program’s intent is “to identify, designate and help protect rivers and streams that possess outstanding scenic, recreational, historic and natural characteristics of statewide significance for future generations.” Sheltered from strong coastal winds and currents, paddling on the creek allows guests access to marshes that support various species of wildlife and waterfowl. The marina includes a well-maintained boat ramp, kayak and canoe launch, 45 floating docks, a fishing pier, and a public bathhouse.
7. Surry Seafood Company
The Surry Seafood Co., 633 Marina Dr, Surry, VA 23883, USA
Once you’re done paddling and have worked up an appetite, you won’t be able to resist a delicious meal at the
Surry Seafood Company
. Dine on the deck and enjoy the fresh air and views of the creek and marina. Menu items include fresh seafood dishes, steaks, salads, burgers, and sandwiches. Add one of their signature drinks for an added note of festivity.
8. Smith's Fort Plantation
Smith's Fort Plantation, 217 Smith Fort Ln, Surry, VA 23883, USA
Open Friday through Sunday are two historically significant homes: Smith’s Fort Plantation and Bacon’s Castle Plantation. You can quite literally hike into history at
Smith’s Fort Plantation
. A short, half-mile hike from the house will lead you back in history to the site of a second fort begun by Captain John Smith in 1609. Smith was encouraged to establish a fallback position on the south side of the James River to protect the Jamestown colonists from attack by Spanish explorers. Although never completed due to the harsh conditions of the “starving time," raised earthworks still remain on the property. The property is also part of a dowery gift to John Rolfe from Chief Powhatan on his marriage to the Chief’s favorite daughter, Pocahontas. The house located on the property was built in 1761 and remains in its original condition.
9. Just For Kicks Cupcakes
Just for Kicks Cupcakes & More, LLC, 11911 Rolfe Hwy, Surry, VA 23883, USA
Need a quick pick-me-up? The route from Smith’s Fort to Bacon’s Castle will lead you through the Town of Surry where you will find
Just for Kicks Cupcakes and More
. Delicious cupcakes are Oz-themed. We recommend that you follow the Yellow Brick Road – and take Toto with you! The shop also offers to-go lunch items, Richlands Dairy ice cream, as well as art and craft items created by local artists.
10. Bacon's Castle
Bacons Castle District, VA, USA
Plan to spend some time exploring both the house and grounds at
, the oldest brick dwelling in Virginia and the only surviving example of Jacobean architecture in North America. Although neither a castle nor made of bacon, its name is derived from the fortified role it played in Nathaniel Bacon’s Rebellion of 1676.
Rumored to be haunted, the house is full of interesting stories of the people who lived there. According to African-American historian and genealogist Peighton Young, this includes the “stories of the families that were built under enslavement, the experiences of those who risked their lives to fight against the institution of slavery, and the people who created new lives and tight family units, which grew during the Reconstruction era and into the twentieth and twenty-first centuries.” The grounds feature a reconstructed 17th-century English formal garden, a restored smokehouse, and an 1830s slave dwelling.
11. The Jamestown-Scotland Ferry
Jamestown-Scotland Ferry, 16289 Rolfe Hwy, Surry, VA 23883, USA
The best way to get to Surry or to return home is always by way of the
. The ferry has been in this location for over 95 years and is now operated by the Virginia Department of Transportation, at no charge to travelers who use the ferry system. Crossing the historic James River by ferry usually takes about 20-30 minutes and allows guests a unique experience to capture the beauty of the river and imagine what the land might have looked like to the settlers of Jamestown when they arrived in 1607.
Have you ever visited Surry County, Virginia? What was your favorite part of the experience? Tell us all about it in the comments below — we’d love to hear from you! For more inspiration and ideas about planning your trip, be sure to check out the
Surry County Tourism website. You can also follow Surry County, Virginia on Facebook. Address: Surry, VA, USA Address: Bacons Castle District, VA, USA Address: Just for Kicks Cupcakes & More, LLC, 11911 Rolfe Hwy, Surry, VA 23883, USA Address: Chippokes Plantation State Park, 695 Chippokes Park Rd, Surry, VA 23883, USA Address: Hampton Roads Winery, 6074 New Design Rd, Elberon, VA 23846, USA Address: Gray's Creek Marina, 633 Marina Dr, Surry, VA 23883, USA Address: The Surry Seafood Co., 633 Marina Dr, Surry, VA 23883, USA Address: 205 Enos Farm Dr, Spring Grove, VA 23881, USA Address: Smith's Fort Plantation, 217 Smith Fort Ln, Surry, VA 23883, USA Address: College Run Drive, College Run Dr, Virginia 23883, USA Address: Jamestown-Scotland Ferry, 16289 Rolfe Hwy, Surry, VA 23883, USA