Note: IF THE GIAMARIA IS NOT AVAILABLE, please check out my other boat the COOKIE B.
Available this spring. The ELIZABETH CLEMENTINE
Dear future guests,. I will admit there is no completely safe place to spend your time, but if you must get away please do it where the air flows free up and down a river or across farmer's fields or through a nearby forest if possible; areas similar to the one where all three of my boats are berthed.
We are blessed to be in a very unique country setting near the beautifully renovated Lily Pad Cafe; the only true outdoor riverside eatery in the Richmond area.
Here you will find what I believe is a safe place to hike, bike or run on nearby county roads in National Parks, or on the VIRGINIA CAPITOL TRAIL. Or you could just choose to read, paint, write, fish, sun, or work "from home" by using our internet service You will also find a great deal of personal space and solitude which will become immediately apparent as you drive down either of our three first highways in the entire United States of America: Osborne Turnpike, old route #5, or Kingsland Road before you get to experience America's first river; the James.
The GiaMaria and the Cookie B are berthed in very calm waters and are Indeed, awesome places to spend your time. They are in fact, places like no other in the entire United States, and I will make an honest attempt to back up this statement in the description that follows given the few words that are allowed.
As for the GiaMaria, she is a 50' Chris Craft houseboat that has been completely remodeled inside and out in order to give our guests a home-like atmosphere without losing the feel of being on an old riverboat. It is modern in every sense of the word. It has been reconstructed to have a large bathroom with a full sized vanity, a 4' designer shower, ventilator fans, and its own USCG certified sanitation system. It comes complete with a queen eleven inch memory foam mattress (Sleep Innovations) and high quality bedding, a small but complete galley and a large colorful salon with carpeted floors a 46" TV, and a fireplace to keep you warm and cozy. Outside you will find a large open upper deck with great views for morning coffee or evening drinks and a lower covered bow deck.
The Cookie B is equally as nice, however character limitations in this space do not allow such an elaborate description if I am to describe this unique area where these vessels are docked. But you can find the Cookie B's unique listing here on Homeaway as well.
But it is not just the GiaMaria or the Cookie B that you will enjoy. It is also there unique location. The Richmond Yacht Basin is less than 10 country road miles from downtown Richmond. And their setting cannot be duplicated. It is adjacent to the Richmond National Battlefield Park and well kept privately owned farms. Just one mile away is Osborne Landing, a county owned facility which has a nice fishing pier, a Bass Master's boat launch, a nice walking trail along the river's edge, a canoe and kayak launch ramp, pavilions for picnics/cookouts, bathrooms and a wonderful playground for kids. It is always kept in tip-top shape, and it is all free to the public.
After a beautiful canopied drive which will take you to the marina, you will find yourself standing on the ground where so many famous people lived and events took place that shaped our nation's history. Some of the historical people who lived in the nearby Indian settlement of Arrohateck included Chief Powhatan's son, Tanx or (Parahunt) and Pocahontas his daughter, who married her English born husband John Rolfe. Pocahontas and John Rolfe after marriage made their home on this property, and with the help of indentured servants and later African slaves, they helped to save Jamestown by producing tobacco from the "Varina" seed. It was the only "gold" that those early colonists would find, yet it would have tremendous economic value in many European countries and save the colony from being abandoned..
We are also located where Captain John Smith found his "sweetest water" during his early explorations, while others like, George Washington, Patrick Henry, Abraham Lincoln, Robert E. Lee and his mother, Anne Hill Carter, John Marshall, 4th Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, Susannah Bowling, Layfayette, Benedict Arnold, Gen. Cornwallis and thousand of bound African slaves passed thru this oxbow in the James River on their way to build and transform our nation. Battles on land and in the river were fought here too, during both the Revolutionary War and the Civil War. During the Revolutionary War, Benedict Arnold sank our Colonial Fleet within eyesight of the GiaMaria and the Cookie B before burning Richmond. Union Ironclads like the Monitor and Galena fought other Ironclads like the Confederate's CSS Virginia while trying to pass Drewery's Bluff, the confederate's "Annapolis" while trying to subdue Richmond.
And Just around the river's bend east of Richmond Yacht Basin is Henricus, the London Company's second settlement after Jamestown in the New World. Unfortunately the original "cittie" was destroyed by Opechancanough, Chief Powhatan's successor "brother" during the Indian Massacre of 1622.
Today however, Henricus is a thriving reconstruction of what it was like in the days of Sir Thomas Dale's early 1600's "town", and many of my guests who have visited there say it is on par with Jamestown.
Just down the road heading east along Route 5 (a Virginia Bi-Way) are plantations like Shirley, still owned and operated by the same family since its beginning in the 1600's and Berkley, where Taps was first composed and played, and also where the first Thanksgiving was arguably held. There is also Westover, the home of President William Henry Harrison (Ole' Tippecanoe), Sherwood Forrest, the home of "His Accidency", President John Tyler, and Evergreen, the birthplace of Edmund Ruffin, who is the father of modern agriculture and the southern firebrand who is credited with firing the shot that started the Civil War. These are just a few of the historical places or attractions to be found within a few minutes of the docking space of the GiaMaria or the Cookie B. Then going west on Route 5 into Richmond you will find St. John's Episcopal Church where Patrick Henry told the King of England, to go to hell, or Hollywood Cemetery where a great many historical figures are buried like the Presidents Monroe and Tyler. Within minutes if you are a Civil War buff, then you are in luck because you will be set squarely in the middle of where the Battle of the Crater took place, as did Cold Harbor, Malvern Hill, White Oak Swamp, Deep Bottom, Chaffin's Farm, Pamplin Historical Park and City Point (Gen. Grants headquarters during the siege of Petersburg) and many other well known and not so well known battle sites and fortifications.
Much about our old and dusty beginnings causes us to be proud, but at the same time ashamed. However, because of the lessons learned from our past, the Richmond area today has become a bright and shiny place which is set like Rome on seven hills.
Here you will find many and varied museums or river rapids for those brave enough to take the plunge, sports events of every kind, major universities and hospitals like Virginia Commonwealth University's Medical College of Virginia, world class car races at Richmond International Raceway and cycling (the UCI world championship 2015), as well as the Richmond Marathon (rated the 18th largest in the nation). There are also restaurants galore from local favorites to world class dining. Richmond is fast becoming a gourmets delight and the Craft Brewery Capital of the South. Chic shopping districts like Carytown, River Road, Short Pump or Stoney Point are all within a short distance, as are outlet malls and several large shopping centers.
Watersports and tours of many kinds are offered in several nearby places. Major garden tours (voted one of the best in the country) like Lewis-Ginter Botanical Gardens or Maymont Park as well as national, state and local parks are all within minutes of the GiaMaria. And in one to two hours by car you can be in the Blue Ridge Mountains or Charlottesville or Virginia Beach or Washington, DC, or Williamsburg or Jamestown, or Yorktown, or Petersburg, or Kings Dominion, or Busch Gardens, and several major outlet malls.
We even now enjoy the Virginia Capital Trail. It is a cycling/walking, running hard surfaced path of 52 miles that links Richmond, the Capital of Virginia, and the Colonial Capitals of Williamsburg and Jamestown. And all of this is only a sampling of what you will find within a stones throw of either vessel.
The area though is also a wildlife lover's delight. There are many native species of plants and animals such as rare Lady Slippers, Bald Eagles, ancient swamps of Cypress and Junipers, Running Cedar, and Song Birds galore. There are Foxes, both red and silver, and occasional bobcats, beavers and otters. We are also a flyway for many species of creatures, such as Butterflies, Purple Martins, Ducks, Geese, Humming Birds, Robins, Northern Bald Eagles. Fish such as Striped Bass, American and Hickory Shad and American Eels spawn here in the spring. And in the fall, ancient Sturgeons weighing more than 500 pounds can be seen jumping out of the water.
As for fishing, we have both Large and Small Mouth Bass, several species of Catfish, record sized Crappie and several local guides will guarantee that you will catch a catfish of 40 pounds or more during late fall and throughout the winter.
But if dancing is your thing, then the Tobacco Company is just down the road where you can party late into the night.