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The time has never been better for businesses to invest in Colonial Beach, which has the best beach on the Northern Neck and the second longest beach in the state of Virginia.  Downtown Colonial Beach was a popular river resort in the past and is lively again today. In the early years, steamboats brought in crowds of visitors from Washington and Baltimore and then mid-century the town became a gambling mecca. 

invest in colonial beach

Today the downtown music pours into the streets from multiple venues. Locals and visitors stroll into art spaces, poke around the town museum, follow a walking tour of historic sites and murals, or check out the numerous shops filled with collectibles.  People relax, socialize, and enjoy adult beverages at a craft brewery, Tiki Bar, and under vine-shaded restaurant patios.  Diners have their choice of cuisine ranging from award winning seafood, to barbecue, southern, sushi, French, Thai and Chinese cuisine.


The declaration of the Colonial Beach Historic Commercial District in Fall 2021 has resulted in new investors buying historic properties with plans of restoring them.  For more information about the Historic District click here.

People are discovering Colonial Beach’s historic and charming town in the country with a beach and opportunities for a range of water sports, urban amenities, and only a relatively short drive from the Washington, DC and the Richmond metropolitan area, closer than any resort community in the tri-state area. 


Historic, small-town charm, a robust arts scene, opportunities for all kinds of outdoor activities, fine and homestyle dining, nearby historic sites that showcase the birth of our nation, and a variety of lovely accommodations make today’s Colonial Beach and its downtown a hidden gem to discover and return to enjoy again and again.

Attributes of Colonial Beach

historic colonial beach

With the help of Virginia’s Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD), Downtown Colonial Beach sponsored two community discussions in August 2021 with a group of at least 40-50 self-selected citizens.  The meeting yielded several attributes of Colonial Beach’s downtown and community that people value highly:

  • Small town feel & sense of community: Colonial Beach has been called the “Playground of the Potomac” and provides a comforting know-your-neighbor feel where you can see the same people out and about and build new friendships.  Colonial Beach is a town with front porches and golf-carts and lends itself to everyone knowing everyone else.


  • Inclusive, welcoming, and diverse people: We are an inclusive and welcoming community.  As you walk or drive around town, you will see people from a variety of backgrounds, all united in their love for our river town.  Colonial Beach is both a town in which young families feel comfortable and one that is a growing retirement destination. 


  • Intimate downtown that is both walkable and golf cart friendly: There is a large population in the broader Colonial Beach area (which contains one-third of the population of Westmoreland County) that can be drawn into our downtown, which is nicely concentrated near the water with several historically preserved inns, bed & breakfasts, rental cottages, and multiple churches.  We have a growing inventory of mixed-use buildings.


  • Downtown cultural attractions, music, art, theater, and history: There are significant cultural attractions located downtown. In addition to the Colonial Beach History Museum, the Colonial Beach Performing Arts Association has opened a new playhouse and gives several plays a year and is starting to host musical events there; various groups are exploring ways to attract additional musical events to supplement those that already take place at the restaurants and breweries, which also act as music and art venues in which the work of local musicians and artists are featured.  In addition to the museum and other buildings on the Historic Register, the area surrounding Colonial Beach has the birthplaces of three presidents, two additional signers of the Declaration of Independence, Robert E. Lee, as well as other historic sites and state and county parks.


  • The Waterfront, boardwalk, pier, and marinas:  The Potomac River and Monroe Bay are the key attraction to Colonial Beach We have the second longest beach in Virginia, and during the summer the population quadruples.  Boatowners from the immediate Washington, D.C. area keep their boats in slips in Colonial Beach where the fees are a fraction of what they are in the big city. 

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