Ham is the head honcho in Smithfield, Virginia. Everywhere you turn, you see signs of this delicatessen. There isn’t much to Smithfield and it might be overlooked by many who drive north from the Suffolk and Norfolk area. My sister proclaimed Smithfield to be one of their favorite places to go when they want to get out of dodge on a weekend day so we decided we had to check it out ourselves.
The name, Smithfield, might sound familiar if you like to eat ham because the town is famous for its Smithfield hams. In fact, in 1926 the General Assembly of Virginia passed an act that states all Genuine Smithfield Hams must be made within the limits of Smithfield, Virginia.
We arrived right at lunchtime so we started our visit out at the Smithfield Ice Cream Parlor. This restaurant will remind you of the old soda fountains. I had the Smithfield ham sandwich (of course!). Everything was reasonably priced and our meals were perfect for lunch. You might be tempted by the ice cream counter but I recommend you wait.
First, head across the street and to the left to the Smithfield & Isle of Wight Visitor Center. You can learn more about the town of Smithfield but you will also want to pick up the Coloring Book and Scavenger Hunt for the kids.
Open that scavenger hunt booklet to the page that says Meet P.D. The Flying Pig. There are a number of participating attractions listed and each one has a P.D. hiding in the venue. The children need to find four of the flying pigs in four different venues. When you find one of the flying pigs, show it to an employee and they will sign off in your scavenger hunt booklet. After you have found four of the pigs, head back to Smithfield Ice Cream Parlor for a free ice cream scoop. There is also another option for ice cream at Sir Jeff’s Sir Cakes or a donut at Ringo’s Donuts.
Don’t miss the Isle of Wight County Museum where you will see the world’s oldest, edible cured ham from 1902!
The museum also has an interactive country store with a scavenger hunt for the kids.
I wish that we had more time to explore Smithfield but both the scavenger hunts kept all the kids happy and made for a lovely afternoon outing.