It’s a place that had always intrigued me, but until recently I had never been to. The reason was simple, it’s a peninsula that isn’t on the way to anywhere else. Which in reality is a good thing, allowing the area to develop a character all it’s own…far from the hustle and bustle of the nearby I-95 corridor/megalopolis. Here, small towns and sleepy waterways reign supreme, adding to the area’s relaxing atmosphere. Driving through Reedville, we passed by an oyster and shrimp feast at the local fire hall. We would’ve stopped had we not just filled up at the Northern Neck Burger Company (seriously some of the best burgers that we’ve had anywhere).
Working on my upcoming book, one of the primary things that brought me to the area were the natural sights along the Potomac. Our first visit was on a gorgeous fall day to the beautiful cliffs at Westmoreland State Park, where it is possible (and encouraged!) to find ancient fossils such as sharks teeth. In addition to beautiful scenery, the neck has an incredible bald eagle population. I was able to see and photograph numerous eagles just by driving down major highways. Outside of Alaska, this was the largest amount of bald eagles that I’ve seen.
Despite the area being “off the beaten path” of today’s travels, it wasn’t always that way. The Potomac was once a major shipping thoroughfare for goods grown on the Neck’s rich soils. The productive agriculture gave root to some of Virginia’s most famous families. In fact, George Washington, James Monroe, and Robert E. Lee were all born here. So significant is the area’s history that the New York Times wrote an article about it, titling it “Virginia’s Forgotten History.”