Isle of Wight & Smithfield

Smithfield is known for its rich history, hams, hospitality, and heart! If you’re interested in southern history and love the outdoors, a home in Isle of Wight County (which also includes Windsor and Carrollton) may be the right move for you. Families will love to know that Isle of Wight County Public Schools, based on test scores, ranked 2nd in South Hampton Roads and 33rd overall in Virginia. From kayaking and county fairs to the Smithfield Century Bike Tour and historic walking tours, there is much to do in this quaint town.


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16,000 people visit the Smithfield & Isle of Wight Tourism Center annually. The city is always hosting events featuring live bands, food, and festivities. Some notable examples include the Bacon, Bourbon & Beach Music Fest, the Annual Hog Jog, or the Downtown Smithfield Boardwalk Art show. Art enthusiasts may want to visit The Arts Center @ 319 or take a walking tour of all the George Lundeen Bronze Statues.

The town is known for its pigs and Smithfield ham. In 1926 a law was passed defining "Smithfield ham", with one of the requirements that it be processed within the town limits. The “Porcine Parade” celebrates the best-known symbol of the “Ham Capital of the World” to memorialize the agricultural roots and cultural history of the Town of Smithfield. Smithfield was notified in 2003 that the Smithfield Ham Biscuit had been accepted by Guinness World Records as the World's Largest Ham Biscuit. Created for the town’s 250th Anniversary Celebration it was 8 feet in width, 14 inches tall and included 500 pounds of Smithfield Ham.

If you aren’t quite that hungry, try a ham dish or brunch at Smithfield Inn Restaurant & Tavern. Built in 1752, it is older than The Alamo or even Independence Hall and George Washington even slept here! More in the mood for crab cakes and She-Crab soup? Captain Chuck-a-Mucks in Carrollton is a waterfront eatery with a scenic deck & a gift shop that was featured on the Food Network. The owner is an actual sea captain; no surprise that the fish and seafood is fresh and locally caught. Beer and history fans will love Wharf Hill Brewing Company. Try the Isle of Wheat, Interstellar IPA, and Holy Brale in the area that has been the center of Smithfield since 1752. The exposed brick building has been around since 1906.

For retail therapy, the quaint downtown area of Smithfield offers mom and pop shops. One regional favorite is the year-round Christmas Store. Make sure you return during Christmas season though because there is a plethora of activity, such as Historic House Tours & Antique Show, Downtown Smithfield Holiday Tree Lighting at the Smithfield Times Gazebo, Holiday Toy Train Display, Smithfield Farmers Market's "Christmas Craft & Food Market", and the Genuine Smithfield's Downtown Christmas Parade.

The towns of Smithfield and Windsor ranked 19th and 24th, respectively, in the top 100 Towns in Virginia to open a small business. Agriculture is important and there is a Farmers Market every Saturday from March until October, with special holiday markets in the winter. The area’s largest industries are manufacturing, accommodation & food services, retail, health care, and wholesale trade. Large employers include The Smithfield Packing Co., Keurig Green Mountain, International Paper, Cost Plus World Market, Food Lion, Smithfield Foods, Riverside Health System and Peninsula Metropolitan YMCA.

Smithfield and surrounding Isle of Wight County are as old as Virginia itself, first colonized in 1634. Located across from Jamestown, Captain John Smith in 1608 crossed the James River and obtained fourteen bushels of corn from the Native American inhabitants, the Warrosquyoack or Warraskoyak. Later, several members of the Puritan Bennett family settled there, leading them to neighboring Nansemond in 1635. Smithfield and surrounding counties saw action during the Revolutionary War and Civil War, mainly because of its proximity to the James River.

As a river town, its life and growth were dependent on the river. “Wharf Hill” was the waterfront location of the beginning of the industries of Smithfield. Sites of historic interest include the Wentworth-Grinnan House and the former colonial tavern, now the Smithfield Inn. Countryside attractions just outside Smithfield include Boykin's Tavern Museum, the 1800 Isle of Wight Courthouse, and Darden's Country Store & Smokehouse. The Jamestown/Scotland Ferry (located in Surry) allows tourists to visit Williamsburg, Virginia. History buffs will love the many sites that are free to the public. Like ?The Old Courthouse of 1750, The Schoolhouse Museum, a working cotton gin, Historic Fort Huger, and Fort Boykin Historic Park. Perhaps most well known is Virginia's Oldest Church, Historic St. Luke's.

Whether you come here to work, eat, absorb the history or relax in your retirement, we hope that you will call Virginia “home.” Let us help you find your home here.

  • Population: 36,552 IW / 8,355 Smithfield
  • Median household income: $66,835 IW / $65,907 Smithfield
  • Average resident age: 44.4 IW / 42.6 Smithfield
  • Median condo/ home value: $244,600 IW / $273,900 Smithfield
  • Median gross rent: $1,019 IW / $933 Smithfield

Sourced from:,_Virginia,isleofwightcountyvirginia/PST045217