Marina Spotlights

Tides Inn and Marina - Irvington, VA

Marina Spotlight > IRVINGTON, VA

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.

tides inn & marina - spotlight - marinalife
Courtesy of The Tides Inn

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.

Rappahannock Oysters - tides inn & marina - spotlight - marinalife
Rappahannock Oysters | The Tides Inn

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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Champlin's Marina & Resort - Block Island, RI

AS YOU CRUISE into the Great Salt Pond along Block Island’s western shore, Champlin’s Marina greets you with cool blue waters and a warm welcome.

Owned and operated by TPG Marinas, the spacious marina boasts 100 wet slips and floating docks accommodating vessels up to 225’ with 15’ drafts, as well as a floating dinghy dock. Amenities include a fuel station, shower facilities, gas fire pits and a swimming pool that overlooks a stunning waterfront view.

Guests can enjoy a plethora of activities on the island from watersports to sightseeing. Rent kayaks, paddleboats, paddleboards and pontoon bikes to putter around the pond or cruise along the shoreline on single-rider or tandem bicycles. Play outdoor games with the kids or kick back at the pool bar.

The hotel offers 42 nautical-themed guest rooms with waterfront views and easy access to on-site eateries. Dine al fresco and enjoy fresh New England seafood at The Galley House restaurant, sip classic cocktails at Pier 76 dock bar and indulge in sweets, treats and libations at The Sugar Shack ice cream shop. Café Boutique coffee shop offers a quick stop for convenient grab-and-go items.

In 2021, the property went under a complete renovation, updated dining offerings and added new event space with a tent area alongside the charming pier. The marina also launched the new Champlin’s Choice Program, which offers members unlimited access to bike rentals and non-motorized watersports.

Experience true island life with a 25-minute walk into town to visit attractions and unwind at the beaches. Notable sites to visit include South East Lighthouse at Mohegan Bluffs, Block Island North Light and Rodman’s Hollow. Animal lovers should visit 1661 Exotic Farm and Gardens, Abrams Animal Farm or the Hodge Family Wildlife Preserve across from Clay Head Nature Trail.

The resort neighbors a variety of Block Island’s sandy shores such as Crescent Beach, Frederick J. Benson Town Beach, Mansion Beach and Scotch Beach. At the south end of the island, gorgeous views at Black Rock Beach, Vaill Beach and Mohegan Bluffs are minutes away.

“Champlin’s is a staple in the Block Island community,” says Dockmaster Bailey Ziobro. “Whether you choose to relax poolside, sip on a mudslide or listen to live music under the stars, we know we’ll leave you with memories to last a lifetime.”

Catch local events through the year including a farmers’ market on Wednesday and Saturday mornings in June, Blues on the Block concerts in July, movie nights on Tuesdays throughout the summer and the annual Run Around the Block Race in September.

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Port Personality: Leigh Diemert
Leigh Diemert, The Wharf

What in life prepared you for this job at The Wharf?

I started my career working on yachts and eventually earned my 100-GRT Master Captain’s license when I was just 20. I feel like my leadership as a captain prepared me to head an amazing team here at The Wharf, and my boating experience makes me well-equipped to run a world-class facility.

What’s new and exciting at The Wharf marina and waterfront district?

The Wharf Marina itself is new and exciting! The marina was just completed this past April. It’s a brand-new facility with amenities to match, including a club house, fuel dock with high-speed diesel, a dock shop and more!

What is the number one attraction you recommend for first-time visitors to the Washington, DC, area?

It may be too obvious of a choice, but definitely the monuments on the National Mall, especially during cherry blossom season. You can’t go wrong with any of the Smithsonian Museums either – but my favorite is Air and Space. Leigh Diemert General Manager The Wharf Marina Washington, DC What traits do you think every marina manager should possess? In this industry, adaptability is key, because every day has new challenges. I also think effective leaders know how to be assertive and kind simultaneously.

If you didn’t work at a marina, what would your dream job be?

A chef! I love to cook; it brings out my creative side. It also gives me so much joy when my family tries a new dish that I prepare, and they enjoy it. I just love how food gathers everyone together.

If you could own any type of boat or watercraft, what would it be?

Midnight Express. I love fishing and going FAST. So, they’re the perfect combo!

What is your favorite marine animal and why?

Blue sharks. They are highly migratory and can be found off the coast of every continent, except Antarctica. Unfortunately, they’re the most fished shark species, so we should do more to protect them. What are the advantages or challenges to being a woman in the marina business? In the travel field, we often see women in secondary roles, like stewardess, housekeeping, etc. As a young woman in this industry, it was a little intimidating for me to approach a yacht captain and ask questions about how I can be a captain one day. But I thank God every day that I did and that my captain was receptive — never questioning my ability because of my gender. However, not every man in this industry has believed in me as much as my first captain did. I’ve had my competency questioned countless times, and still feel like I have to work overtime to prove myself to my male colleagues. Ultimately, it’s made me better at my job. I’m confident that more women will occupy roles within the maritime industry as awareness increases.

What book do you believe every boater should read?

U.S.C.G. Safe Boating Regs

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River Dunes

Southern hospitality just got a bit cozier at this North Carolina marina community.

In the town of Oriental, River Dunes’ 28-acre inland basin marina boasts 126 slips with full-length finger piers for vessels up to 150 feet. The protected deep-water harbor along the Pamlico Sound and mouth of the Neuse River offers easy access from the ICW.

When you arrive at River Dunes, not only will you find upscale amenities and friendly customer service, but you also step into a bustling Harbor Village packed with provisions, shopping, activities and luxury accommodations.

Unwind in the 4,000 square-foot wellness and fitness facility overlooking views of Grace Harbor and the Neuse River, or have a spa day in the lounge offering three treatment rooms for massages, facials and relaxation.

Dine on-site at Yawl’s Café in the heart of Harbor Village, grab ice cream, snacks and shop retail at Grace Harbor Provision Company, or explore interior design at The Red Rickshaw home furnishings showroom. Enjoy activities such as biking, exploring beautiful scenery, paddling the backwaters and fishing at the Lakehouse. A fuel dock and concierge boating services are available.

River Dunes is pleased to announce that they were chosen as this year’s 2022 Southern Living Idea House, an annual tribute to home design. Gorgeous wrap-around porches, hardwood floors, hand-painted stairs and more than 4,000 square feet of art, lavish furniture and intricate details make up the design of this home.

“We’re honored that Southern Living chose River Dunes,” says President Ed Mitchell. “Their selected team; architect, interior designer, builder and many others came together to create a magnificent house.” “They’re familiar with River Dunes’ quality of architecture and design, and they wanted to put this year’s house in a community that shares those same standards as their publication,” says Mitchell.

Marina guests and visiting boaters can tour the Idea House Thursday-Sunday until December. Guests can witness the harbor transform into a holiday village as the Southern Living team will return in November to decorate the house with seasonal cheer. Take advantage of the River Dunes Harbor Club and Marina for a uniquely relaxing stopover on the ICW or a longer stay with monthly and annual leases also available.

Marinalife members can enjoy a 10% discount on Idea House Tours at; code: MARINALIFE.

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