The Trick Dog Café offers some of the best food on Virginia's Northern Neck.
Gary Clark, Scott Wiseman, Art Meripol
Tides Inn: Irvington, Virginia
Who should go? Classic people who love the tried, true, and terrific. It’s the perfect setting for a family photo: Grandparents like it, kids adore it, guys propose to gals (then return for the honeymoon). Rates for the memory-making start at around $285.
Two sun-kissed girls in gingham sundresses, their father in tow, dance onto the emerald croquet lawn and plead for a lesson before dinner. Laughter and the crack of mallets against wooden balls add an entertaining touch of humanity for those of us waiting to admire the spectacular summer sunset.
It’s moments like this that make the Tides Inn so very special. Guests have come here for more than 60 years to relax and refuel, hold hands with a loved one, or secure the ties that bind their families together.
Just three stories high, this timeless inn sits at water’s edge, perched on a bluff overlooking Carter’s Creek, a tributary of the Rappahannock. Water surrounds the Tides on three sides. Wide windows in the guest rooms and common areas embrace the outdoors.
We can be as lazy or as energetic as we choose here. Activities include a top-notch spa, a challenging 18-hole golf course, and a sailing school. At the Chesapeake Club, we find both casual and formal dining options.
The wee town of Irvington is just a short walk away. Church bells chime the hour and serenade the tiny hamlet with hymns. A smattering of sophisticated shops entices even visiting city dwellers to linger and open their wallets.
The Trick Dog Café rivals the best restaurants in the region. Our favorites include the classic Caesar salad, crab cakes, and pan-fried soft-shell crabs (in season). We lift a glass to toast Irvington, the Tides Inn, and the memories we make here.
Tides Inn: 480 King Carter Drive, Irvington, VA 22480; www.tidesinn.com, (804) 438-5000, or 1-800-843-3746.
"Glorious Summer Retreats" is from the July 2008 issue of Southern Living. Because prices, dates, and other specifics are subject to change, please check all information to make sure it's still current before making your travel plans.