All About Colonial Beach

Beach Work Life

Opening a business can be exciting and frightening all at the same time!  Colonial Beach, a town with Southern hospitality and charm, welcomes you and hopes to put some of your fears to rest.  Please explore this section to find out useful information about Colonial Beach that can help in your economic decision making.

Colonial Beach Has Roots!

Colonial Beach, a water-front municipality in Westmoreland County, Virginia was settled in 1650 by the great-great grandfather of President James Monroe. The town was incorporated on February 25, 1892 and construction of homes, summer cottages, hotels, and marinas ensued. For years, watermen were the primary occupants of Colonial Beach and our many industries revolved around boating and the bounty of the Potomac River. Our heyday was in the early to mid-20th century when this second-largest Virginia beachfront became the “Playground on the Potomac”. Colonial Beach was a popular “bathing” and fishing resort and prior to bridge construction and automobile travel, most visitors arrived by paddle-wheel steamboats such as “The St. John’s” from parts of Maryland and Washington DC. The family of Alexander Graham Bell maintained a summer home in Colonial Beach called the Bell House, which still stands today.  Sloan Wilson, author of The Man in the Gray Flannel Suit, retired and died in Colonial Beach. Sherryl Woods, romance and mystery novel writer, has a home in Colonial Beach and bases many of her novels on her memories of childhood experiences in Colonial Beach.  Her Chesapeake Shores series has been turned into a television mini-series by the Hallmark Channel.  George Washington, the first President of the United States, was born in Colonial Beach and the George Washington Birthplace National Monument is within our town limits.  Stratford Hall, the home of the Lee family, is a short drive and James Monroe’s birthplace is near Colonial Beach as well.

Perfectly Situated on the Potomac River!

Colonial Beach is located in the northwestern part of  Westmoreland County on Virginia’s Northern Neck peninsula. It is bounded by the Potomac River, Monroe Bay and Monroe Creek.  It is located 65 miles from Washington DC, and 70 miles from Richmond.  The Potomac River forms the northeast boundary of Colonial Beach. The southern part of the town forms a peninsula which ends just above Monroe Bay and divides Monroe Creek from the Potomac River..

Colonial Beach has a total area of 2.8 square miles, of which, 2.6 square miles of it is land and 0.2 square miles of it (8.80%) is water. The town’s 2.5 miles of beaches are second in length only to those of Virginia Beach in the Commonwealth of Virginia.

All 4 Seasons and Incredible Summers

The climate in this area is characterized by hot, humid summers and generally mild to cool winters.

Colonial Beach Weather Averages:

Annual high temperature:69.9°F
Annual low temperature:47.7°F
Average temperature:58.8°F
Average annual precipitation – rainfall:42.68 inch

A Small Town with BIG Ideas!

As of the census of 2000, there were 3,228 people, 1,437 households, and 863 families residing in the town of Colonial Beach. The population density was 1,246.7/sq mi.  There were 2,030 housing units at an average density of 784.0/sq mi.   The racial makeup of the town was 79.21% white, 16.95% African American, 0.09% Native American, 0.62% Asian, 1.64% from other races and 1.49% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 3.38% of the total population.

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Thank you  to our featured photographers: Debbie Biemeck,  Mary Carter, Erich Cosby, Marc, Fitzsimmons, Larry Goven, Bobby Hooker, Bill Hutchins, Susan Pietras-Smith, and Katrina Price.  Information in the Business Development section provided by the Town of Colonial Beach, VA and developed and written by the Planning Commission of Colonial Beach, VA.  


Colonial Beach
Chamber of Commerce


106 Hawthorn St.
Colonial Beach, VA 22443

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