Located near the beautiful James River in Virginia, Sunnyside is a charming community in New Kent County known for its rich history, scenic landscapes, and vibrant culture. Whether you’re a local resident looking to uncover hidden gems or a traveler seeking a unique destination off the beaten path, Sunnyside has something for everyone. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll delve into the must-see attractions, outdoor activities, dining options, and more that make Sunnyside a truly special place to visit.

History and Culture

Sunnyside boasts a fascinating history that dates back to the colonial era. Named for its sunny disposition and picturesque views, this community has been a hub for agriculture, commerce, and community gatherings for centuries. Visitors can explore historic sites such as the Sunnyside Plantation, a well-preserved example of 18th-century architecture that offers insight into the region’s past.

New Kent County itself is rich in history, with ties to figures like George Washington and Thomas Jefferson. The county has played a significant role in shaping Virginia’s identity and is a treasure trove of historical landmarks and stories waiting to be discovered.

Outdoor Recreation

For nature lovers and outdoor enthusiasts, Sunnyside is a paradise waiting to be explored. The community is surrounded by lush forests, rolling hills, and the majestic James River, offering ample opportunities for hiking, biking, fishing, and kayaking. Sunnyside Park is a popular spot for picnicking and birdwatching, while the nearby Colonial National Historical Park provides a glimpse into the region’s past with its colonial-era settlements and walking trails.

Dining and Shopping

After a day of adventure, visitors can refuel at one of Sunnyside’s charming eateries and cafes. From homestyle Southern cooking to gourmet cuisine, the community offers a diverse range of dining options to satisfy every palate. Don’t miss the chance to sample local favorites like fried green tomatoes, Virginia ham biscuits, and fresh seafood caught right off the coast.

For those looking to bring home a piece of Sunnyside, the area is dotted with quaint shops and boutiques offering unique gifts, artisan crafts, and locally made products. Main Street is a hub for shopping, where visitors can browse antique stores, art galleries, and specialty shops filled with one-of-a-kind treasures.

Events and Festivals

Throughout the year, Sunnyside hosts a variety of events and festivals that celebrate the community’s history, culture, and local talent. From music concerts and food festivals to craft fairs and holiday parades, there is always something exciting happening in Sunnyside. Be sure to check the local event calendar to see what’s on during your visit.

Nearby Attractions

While Sunnyside itself is a gem worth exploring, the surrounding area is also brimming with attractions worth visiting. Just a short drive away, visitors can explore historic Williamsburg, tour the Jamestown Settlement, or relax on the picturesque beaches of Virginia Beach. For a taste of big-city amenities, Richmond, the capital of Virginia, is also within reach, offering museums, shopping, and dining experiences.


Whether you’re planning a weekend getaway or an extended stay, Sunnyside offers a range of accommodation options to suit every traveler’s needs. From cozy bed and breakfasts and historic inns to modern hotels and vacation rentals, there are plenty of choices for where to rest your head after a day of exploring.


1. How do I get to Sunnyside?

Sunnyside is conveniently located off Interstate 64, making it easily accessible by car from major cities like Richmond and Williamsburg. The nearest airport is Richmond International Airport.

2. What is the best time of year to visit Sunnyside?

Spring and fall are popular times to visit Sunnyside, as the weather is mild and pleasant for outdoor activities. Fall foliage in the area is particularly stunning, making it a great time for scenic drives and hikes.

3. Are there any guided tours available in Sunnyside?

Yes, there are guided tours available for those looking to learn more about the area’s history and culture. Local tour companies offer walking tours, bike tours, and river cruises that provide insightful glimpses into Sunnyside’s past.

4. Can I go fishing in Sunnyside?

Fishing is a popular activity in Sunnyside, especially along the James River and in nearby lakes and streams. Anglers can try their luck at catching bass, catfish, and panfish in the region’s abundant waters.

5. What are some family-friendly activities in Sunnyside?

Families can enjoy a variety of activities in Sunnyside, such as visiting amusement parks, exploring nature trails, and attending local festivals. The community also has playgrounds, parks, and recreational facilities that cater to young visitors.

6. Are there accommodations in Sunnyside for large groups?

Yes, there are accommodations in Sunnyside that can accommodate large groups, such as vacation rentals, resort properties, and group lodges. It’s advisable to book in advance, especially during peak tourist seasons.

7. What should I pack for a trip to Sunnyside?

Visitors to Sunnyside should pack appropriate clothing for the season, comfortable shoes for walking and hiking, sunscreen, insect repellent, and a camera to capture the stunning views and memorable moments.

8. Is Sunnyside pet-friendly?

Some accommodations and outdoor areas in Sunnyside are pet-friendly, but it’s recommended to check with individual establishments before bringing along pets. Certain parks and attractions may have restrictions on pets for the safety and comfort of all visitors.

9. Are there wineries or breweries to visit in Sunnyside?

While Sunnyside itself may not have wineries or breweries, there are several vineyards and craft breweries in the surrounding New Kent County and nearby regions. Visitors can take a short drive to sample local wines, beers, and spirits while enjoying the scenic countryside.

10. What is the local cuisine like in Sunnyside?

The local cuisine in Sunnyside is a mix of traditional Southern fare and contemporary dishes influenced by fresh, seasonal ingredients. Visitors can expect to find seafood dishes, BBQ, farm-to-table fare, and classic comfort foods that showcase the region’s culinary heritage.

Plan your visit to Sunnyside today and immerse yourself in the beauty, history, and charm of this hidden gem in New Kent County. Whether you’re seeking adventure in the great outdoors, a taste of local culture, or simply a relaxing getaway, Sunnyside has it all. From historic landmarks to scenic vistas, there’s something for everyone to discover in this vibrant community nestled along the James River.


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