If you love small-town charm, eco-adventure, performing and visual arts, history, festivals, boutiques, chef-owned restaurants, recreation, golf, guided tours, and peanuts you’ll love Suffolk, Virginia.
Home to Planters Peanuts and the birthplace of the iconic Mr. Peanut®, Suffolk boasts an array of activities and attractions. The 112,000-acre Great Dismal Swamp National Wildlife Refuge is a favorite for guided tours, nature trails, canoeing and bird-watching. The arts and culture scene offers the perfect blend of visual arts, theatre, dance, music and more. With five golf courses, boating, fishing and kayaking, not to mention historic sites, guided tours, shopping and unique eateries, Suffolk, Virginia, truly does offer something for everyone.
The Great Dismal Swamp National Wildlife Refuge is anything but dismal. Despite its foreboding moniker, it is the largest intact remnant of a vast habitat that once covered more than 1 million acres of land. Today, encompassing over 112,000 acres, visitors enjoy wildlife observation, history and lore. Lake Drummond, a 3,108-acre lake is the largest of two naturally occurring lakes in Virginia. Its foreboding forests protect its wildlife and ward off intruders. But for those who venture in, the Dismal Swamp shelters a wealth of history, lore, flora and fauna.
Suffolk Tourism offers a four-hour tour and is led by a biologist specializing is the unique habitat of the Great Dismal. Learn about the history, lore, vegetation and wildlife with this adventure that includes a brief walk along boardwalks and at Lake Drummond. Two-hour guided walking tours are also available.
Whispers of lore lurk in the shadows of downtown Suffolks historic Main Street as Legends of Main Street: A Suffolk Ghost Walk gets underway for the autumn season. Enjoy a hair-raising encounter with the “spirited” side of Suffolk. Follow a costumed guide through the shadows of historic Main Street discovering stories, legends and “unexplained occurrences” by lantern light. Tales of unsolved mysteries and unresolved affairs abound throughout Suffolk’s historically hip Ghost Walk. While particularly spooky this time of year, Suffolks award-winning Ghost Walk is offered year-round.
Suffolk High School, built in 1922, has been restored and repurposed as the premier visual and performing arts venue for Suffolk. In the heart of downtown, the classic Greek Revival structure houses a 500-seat theatre, which is the stage for concerts, ballets, musicals, dramatic works, symphony performances, films, etc. Two beautiful art galleries flank the Birdsong Theatre and host an ever-changing array of world-class exhibits. The galleries also provide additional space for special event rentals, receptions and meetings. The 62,880-square-foot facility offers studios for dance, painting, sculpting, weaving classes and several other arts-related classes.
While Mills Riddick’s contemporaries may have mocked his Greek Revival home when it was built in 1837, the house now stands as a beautiful reminder of the past. The building features elegantly furnished rooms and exhibits and is part of the Virginia Civil War Trails. The restored 1885 Seaboard Station Railroad Station displays a 2-room HO-scale model of Suffolk in 1907. The museum features railroad memorabilia and changing exhibits. Tours are available at each museum.