Monday, February 21, 2011

Exploring Downtown Smithfield

Saturday I woke up with that itch to go exploring. I've always enjoyed driving backroads, stumbling onto antique shops and burger joints, so I begged Sean to go adventuring with me. After some consideration, we decided to cross the James River and explore the Isle of Wight County area. Smithfield is a perfect day-trip town if you're in Hampton Roads.

Smithfield is of course known for its hams, but the town is a quaint village with perfect Victorian homes mixed with early settler landmarks, and a great little main street to amble down. We didn't eat, but if we had, we might have stopped at the famous Smithfield Inn, which has a very Southern front porch with rocking chairs.

We stopped first at Mansion House Art and Antiques, which was a little fancy for my taste, but interesting nonetheless. One of the antiques on display was this horseless carriage!

I particularly liked these mother-of-pearl inlaid caned chairs, $129 each I think. They looked a little too delicate to sit in, but they sure were pretty.

I thought this outdoor area at the William Rand Tavern, part of the Smithfield Inn, would be an amazing spot for a rehearsal dinner or small party. It looks like something out of "Gilmore Girls!"

Smithfield has bronze statues all around town, and I stopped to have a chat with Benjamin Franklin.

A few houses had these awesome checkerboard-painted porches; very fun and stylish!

This house had incredible detail. Sean dubbed it the bumblebee house.

And as we were walking back to the car, we spotted this driver. Only in Smithfield!

It's a darling town, perfect for an afternoon stroll. Later, I'm going to post an I Spy column about my favorite place in Smithfield, an amazing antique store called Wharf Hill Antiques.

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