Marina Spotlights

Tides Inn and Marina - Irvington, VA

Mid-Atlantic
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October 2021
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By
Susan
Elnicki Wade

ABOUT THREE HOURS south of Washington, DC, and an hour east of Richmond, Tides Inn & Marina delivers genuine Southern hospitality at an intimate resort in the heart of Virginia's Northern Neck. The picturesque setting is located along Carter's Creek where the Rappahannock River flows into the Chesapeake Bay.[caption id="attachment_324265" align="alignleft" width="300"]

tides inn & marina - spotlight - marinalife

Courtesy of The Tides Inn[/caption]Just a short walk from the hotel lobby awaits a lovely marina that accommodates up to 24 vessels ranging from small weekend cruisers to 150-foot yachts. Services include onsite security, pump out, electricity, Wi-Fi and two working boatyards with mechanics and parts to handle boat repairs.The grounds around the marina present more than an idyllic pastoral landscape. Tides Inn offers a variety of activities to entertain you from dawn until a stellar sunset colors the sky. Take your pick from the golf course, outdoor pool with beach access, fitness center, lawn games, bike rentals, paddleboats and kayaks, tennis and pickleball courts, and much more.The décor of the 66 redesigned guestrooms and four new luxury suites is artful elegance, and the staff makes you feel right at home the minute you enter the property. Even pets receive a special treat upon arrival.[caption id="attachment_324266" align="alignright" width="390"]

Rappahannock Oysters - tides inn & marina - spotlight - marinalife

Rappahannock Oysters | The Tides Inn[/caption]Long considered one of the top culinary destinations in the region, two dining options Chesapeake Restaurant & Terrace and Fish Hawk Oyster Bar benefit from the bounty of the Bay and fresh ingredients from nearby farms. Guests also delight in epicurean events, regional tastings and sessions with gastronomic experts on topics from local seafood to wine. Several fall events celebrate the area's food favorites: Oyster Roast & Dance, Irvington Crab Festival, and Holly Point Art & Seafood Festival.If you'd like to explore the surrounding region, Tides Inn teamed up with Volvo to provide a complimentary road trip experience. Drive in style and discover local highlights such as the Steamboat Era Museum, Dog & Oyster Vineyard, and Merroir Tasting Room (a casual eatery at a spectacular waterfront location where aquafarmers pull fresh oysters from the Rappahannock). You can also see the progress made at Tide Inn's $3.6 million Shoreline Restoration Project that partners with conservationists to build a living shoreline, enhance the oyster habit and plant new trees along Carter's Creek.

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Port Personalities > Tom Ryan
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Tom Ryan, Marina Director

TOM RYAN
Marina Director
Provincetown Marina
Provincetown, MA

What in your life prepared you for a job in the marina industry?

After working in the boating industry for 20+ years and staying in several marinas while owning and working on vessels, I feel like I can anticipate the needs of boat owners and I am well-equipped to accommodate them.

 

Tell us about your experience captaining the Roseway for the World Ocean School.

My experience was life changing. Being in charge of an historic schooner vessel like Roseway taught me patience. Making a positive daily impact on the kids at World Ocean School was some of the most rewarding work I’ve ever been a part of in my life. 

Where do you like to send people for an authentic dining experience when they arrive at your marina for the first time? 

I like to send people to the Lobster Pot. It’s a Provincetown institution that’s been in operation since 1943. From its iconic neon sign to the lobster rolls — it can’t be beat!

Where is your favorite place to relax on your day off?

I would definitely say Long Point Beach is a favorite. The shuttle from MacMillan Pier drops you right in the sand. You plop your chair down and relax while watching boats exit and enter the harbor.

 

Name your top three favorite boating songs on your playlist.

“Chan Chan” by Buena Vista Social Club, because it’s just a relaxing song and it reminds me of my early days in Key West. “Second Hand News by Fleetwood Mac — this song, to me, screams summer! But if you’re out boating here in Ptown, you can’t go wrong with “Old Cape Cod by Patti Page.

If you could walk in anyone’s shoes for a day, who would it be? 

Ernest Shackleton, the great Antarctic explorer of the early 1900s. Having the courage and resolve to lead his team from certain death to safety was a remarkable and inspiring story. 

 

What is your favorite part of the day at the marina?

“The Golden Hour” – when all our guests are situated and relaxing means we’ve done our job!

 

What is the one thing that everyone should do or see in Provincetown?

This artistic town is known for its nightlife, so catching one of the many shows that are offered here is a must-see! Also, if you miss them on your way in, WHALES! The best way to see them is by jumping on one of the whale watch boats that head out daily to the feeding grounds on Stellwagen Marine Sanctuary.

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Steelpointe Harbor Marina
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Perched on a peninsula in the heart of Bridgeport, Steelpointe Harbor sits along the tranquil shores of Long Island Sound. The 2.8 million square-foot waterfront development boasts a newly constructed harborwalk lined with dining, shopping, luxury residences, and a state-of-the-art marina and service facility. 

All types of vessels up to 300’ (including wide berths for catamarans) can dock at Steelpointe Harbor Marina while steering clear of bridge passes to Long Island Sound via a 35’ channel. Built in 2019, the new marina features top-of-the-line concrete floating docks in a protected harbor with deep channel access. 

The full-service marina offers 200+ slips, storage and haul-out. Amenities include complimentary Wi-Fi, 30, 50 and 100 amp electric, a fuel dock and boater’s lounge. Repairs, painting and refurbishing services are available at Bridgeport Boatworks located across the harbor. 

Walk right off your boat to enjoy a delicious dinner on-site at the award-winning BOCA Oyster Bar that serves fresh Atlantic and Pacific oysters and traditional New England cuisine. Experience outdoor waterside dining and live music throughout the season.

“Enjoying a sunset dinner on the patio at BOCA while watching the ferry cruise in and out of the harbor is a must-do,” says Dockmaster Robert De Nigris.

“We’re committed to providing you with everything you need from dockage, repairs and fuel to local restaurants, shopping and entertainment — so you will not be disappointed here.”  

Venture into town across the bridge for local provisions, retail, attractions and venues such as Hartford Healthcare Amphitheater and Total Mortgage Arena, home of the New York Islanders hockey team. For traditional Italian cuisine, check out Ralph –n- Rich’s famous “Sunday Sauce” or Trattoria ‘A Vucchella’s wood oven pizza. 

Just a few miles from the marina, you can enjoy lovely parks and greenery such as the state’s largest zoo, Connecticut’s Beardsley Park Zoo to the north, and Seaside Park’s beaches to the south. 

Be sure to catch popular events and festivals such as the Steelpointe Yacht & Charter Show in June and the Sound on Sound Music Festival in September with headlining acts including Stevie Nicks, Dave Matthews Band, The Lumineers and Brandi Carlile. 

The marina plans to add more amenities such as airport and event shuttle service, as well as developing 420 units in a new residential area. Stay tuned for updates at bldsteelpointe.com

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Morningstar Marinas at Little Creek, VA
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MORNINGSTAR MARINAS AT LITTLE CREEK, VA, a great cruising destination, has reached a new level of excellence with major renovations that every boater along the Atlantic Seaboard will want to stop by and see.

Morningstar Marinas at Little Creek - marina spotlight - marinalife
Courtesy of Morningstar Marinas at Little Creek

After acquiring the marina, Morningstar received permits to not only replace all the wet slips with new Bellingham docks but also adjusted the configuration to better suit coastal boaters. The upgrades included widening the slips, installing full-length fingers, and achieving 100% clear main walks using tri-frames for dock box placement and cantilevered mid-basin power pedestal bump outs. When you consider they also replaced the fuel and electrical systems, Morningstar Marinas Little Creek will become a premiere marina on the East Coast.Morningstar will exceed all boaters' expectations by offering 350 dry storage spaces in its fully enclosed building, 180 wet slips ranging from 25' to 75' and 400' of side tie. Amenities include a bath house, laundry room, and showers. Other upgrades include a new Toyota forklift, Wi-Fi, pump out, and new fueling stations with ValvTect gasoline and diesel.

As a backdrop to all these improvements, the location is a dream for recreational boaters and anglers. "Being nestled in the back of Little Creek gives boaters a protected basin from weather, but they're only minutes to the Chesapeake Bay, Atlantic Ocean, James River and the entrance to the ICW," says Michael Quinn, General Manager.

Stony's Dockside Waterfront Bar & Grill allows our boaters to enjoy a wonderful meal within minutes of stepping off their vessel. Within walking distance are COVA Brewing Company, Longboards East Beach, and other local favorites. The warm waters at the mouth of the Chesapeake Bay create a fishing paradise for anglers, and miles of easily accessible beaches entice visitors to dive in for a swim or just soak up the sun.

Morningstar Marinas at Little Creek - marina spotlight - marinalife
Courtesy of Morningstar Marinas at Little Creek

"The proximity to Norfolk and Virginia Beach's restaurants, shops and entertainment gives marina guests the conveniences of a big city backed up to an abundance of open water," notes Quinn. Regardless of whether you plan to stay annually or for a couple nights, a visit to Morningstar Marinas, next to Norfolk International Airport in the up-and-coming East Ocean View Section of Norfolk, presents endless opportunities and your gateway to all the Chesapeake Bay has to offer.

Make sure you schedule your trip around one of the many festivals in the area including Harborfest, Town Point Virginia Fall Wine Festival, and Neptune Festival. If you plan a spring visit, don't miss the Patriotic Festival Norfolk for family friendly activities, concerts with national performing artists, and celebrations for all branches of the U.S. armed forces.

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