News & Politics

Dream Weekends: Tides Inn

A charmer on the Chesapeake.

Irvington, Virginia

With water on three sides and guest cruises on a vintage 127-foot yacht, the Tides Inn is unlike any of the resorts of the Mid-Atlantic.

Almost all of its 106 rooms and suites have water views, and all that water inspires nautical activities: a sailing school for all ages and abilities; watercraft with sails or motors; a pool and a sandy beach.

Guests fish and play tennis. Many bike into the town of Irvington, which has shops for the gourmet, gardener, and fashionista. Others take day trips to Stratford, Robert E. Lee's childhood home, or any of the Monroe/Madison/Washington historic sites in the Northern Neck.

A recent $12-million renovation included improvements to the well-regarded Golden Eagle Golf Club. In the inn's four restaurants, Smithfield ham and grits are still on the menu, but the cuisine has recently been updated and improved.

For more than a half century, this gracious property has drawn visitors back, enough to employ a family-reunion specialist. If your cousin insists on bringing her precious Fido, no problem; small pets are welcome.

Bottom line: Nature provides serenity at this resort on the water.

Tides Inn, 800-843-3746; From $195 a room for two a night.