Located on the banks of the Pagan River—and just across the James River from Virginia’s Historic Triangle of Williamsburg, Jamestown and Yorktown—the small town of Smithfield is primarily known for its hams, but it has much more to offer and is well worth a visit.

Smithfield Station is a riverfront complex featuring a hotel, restaurant and marina. Cool off during the dog days of summer with a riverside lunch at the pet friendly restaurant and watch the boats go by or, if you have a nautical pooch, you can dock and dine for no additional charge if you want to boat in for lunch or dinner.

Before or after lunch, stroll the boardwalk or explore historic downtown Smithfield, filled with art galleries and specialty shops. There’s also a fabulous dog park called Windsor Castle Park, which offers so much fun for Fido that I’ve written a separate post about it.

If you’re considering an overnight stay, rather than a day trip, unfortunately the accommodations at Smithfield Station are not pet friendly, but there are several pet friendly hotels in the area, as well as a variety of private vacation rentals.

And if you do pick up one the town’s famous hams, please don’t share it with your BFF. Ham is heavenly for humans but harmful for dogs.