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The Easiest Breeziest Vacation: The Tides Inn

Updated: Aug 3, 2021

If you are in the Richmond or DC Metro area, The Tides Inn is the perfect easy escape. Driving in you pass the picturesque street lined with ‘The Local’ cafe, a few shops and restaurants. If you blink you may miss it! Round the corner to the resort entrance and make your way down the driveway past the tennis courts and putting greens. The beautiful flowers and long sea grass greet you as you walk towards the entrance, passing the complimentary bikes waiting for you to ride. A smiling face of the staff member opening the door for you, “Good afternoon, Welcome to The Tides.”

This is my third visit to The Tides in the last decade and each visit boasts new additions, improvements, and refurbishments. The furnishings are light and bright; mixing traditional furnishings with clean modern lines. The light pours in from the patio overlooking the private harbor as you inhale the fresh scents of citrus and sandalwood; delightful even through your mask! And yes… you can buy the candle or diffuser in the gift shop if you want to keep reliving your stay when you return home.

We found our beautiful room with a balcony overlooking the water. After dinner we sat here, feeling like we were watching National Geographic enjoying the turtles, fish and beautiful egrets swooping down right outside our room. My previous visits to The Tides, I focused on The Spa, the pool, sailing, paddle boarding, kayaking and biking to The Dog & Oyster Winery. Those same great programs and complimentary services are still available at the resort but they have introduced so much more!

They have a brand new Chef’s Table cooking school on property that is absolutely stunning. I have to be honest a few years back I wasn’t jumping up and down about the food at The Tides but we were VERY IMPRESSED this time around. Even something as simple as a burrata tomato salad had unexpected pops of flavor around the plate. After dining with The Chesapeake restaurant for dinner and breakfast I am VERY excited about taking a cooking class with them for my next visit.

The new Fish Hawk restaurant was another fun addition to the property, great for getting a poolside cocktail, lunch or some yummy apps before dinner. I was on an Aperol spritz kick when I was there. It started at the pool and ended with my nightcap on the National Geographic balcony.

Across the hall from the cooking school is the Maker Space, an artists’ studio space that offers events and classes with local artists and creators. Take a pottery class, candle making or learn to make beautiful jewelry highlighting local oyster shells.

The Tides Inn have certainly amped up their to-do’s on and around property. In addition to the cooking school and Maker Space, some other exciting offerings are oyster shucking classes, Wednesday whiskey tastings, sustainable farming lunches and wine workshops. Sailing lessons, water sports, fishing, crabbing, tennis, golf and winery/brewery tours are all still fan favorites on and around property as well.

The spa has a fresh new look and feel. Kathryn, the spa manager let me know there are BIG plans in the coming years, expanding from their quaint spa of a few treatment rooms to something much grander. The Tides is owned by Enchantment Resort in Arizona which houses Mii Amo spa (currently under renovation). This spa destination is OVER THE TOP in luxury, unique services and wellness. I am excited to see that same super-spa attention sprinkle over the Northern Neck in the coming years. An extension of the spa and wellness area is the fitness center. It sported brand-new equipment and a great yoga studio with daily complimentary classes.

Off property it was fun to see some additions to the area. While The Local coffee shop still remains the town’s staple, some other fun spots that have popped up since I was there last are Dredge, Vine wine bar (woman owned) and The Office which is located in an old dentist office. Another restaurant recommended to me by a former Northern Neck local (the owner of my neighborhood's Brookland Park Market) is Adrift. The chef/owner cooked previously at The Inn at Little Washington and his cuisine presents refined flavors in a casual setting. Lastly, one of my favorite spots that serves delicious and unpretentious cuisine is the lovely Merrior, the home base for the Rappahannock Oyster group. This is a great place to stop on your way in or way out of town – perfect for a date or for the kids to run around while you slurp some of the best oysters known to man.

Tips when staying at The Tides…

-Book with me to include extra amenities and make sure you get the perfect room. Do you want a spectacular views outside huge windows overlooking the harbor or do you prefer a quiet little balcony on a side creek? Let's make it happen.

-Tuesday is a recharge day for many local businesses (Steamboat Museum, Dog & Oyster, Vine, Adrift all closed Tuesdays). If you are staying a few nights this would be a great day to explore the resort. If you are only able to stay one night, another evening would be better suited it you want to explore the town a bit more.

-Let me help you pre-book any activities such as classes, spa treatments or dining prior to arrival. It’s a small town and locals love the dining options and spa services at The Tides as much as the guests!

-Get ready to relax and enjoy. This small town with a slower pace is the perfect escape from the daily hustle and bustle.

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