THERE'S SOMETHING FOR EVERYONE ON THE VIRGINIA OYSTER TRAIL!

Download an information one-sheet:
AGRI-ARTISANS | RESTAURANTS | LODGING | POINTS OF INTEREST | ARTISTS | ART RETAIL VENUES

We’re not just building a trail,
we’re cultivating a local economy!


The Virginia Oyster Trail is an exciting new economic development program initiated by Governor McAuliffe, driven by the Artisans Center of Virginia and fueled by a diverse management team that includes the Virginia Tourism Corporation, area watermen and regional businesses through out the state.

The Virginia Oyster Trail (VOT) is a visitor-directed experiential “journey of discovery” connecting “aqua-artisan” oyster businesses, producers/purveyors, seafood restaurants and raw bars, pairings with wine and craft beers and spirits, experiential eco-tours, unique lodging and cultural sites in Virginia’s distinctive coastal region for the ultimate Virginia Oyster travel experience.

Enroll now to enjoy these benefits

MARKETING AND BRANDING

Free lease of a “Virginia Oyster Trail” metal locator sign for active trail members.

Inclusion in the trail’s related marketing promotions (exclusive exposure is available per opt‐in sponsorship/marketing placements applies).

Use of the Virginia Oyster Trail logo for PR (Brand Usage Policy applies).

Unique Individual Business Profile

Individual business profile on the Virginia Oyster Trail (VOT) website:

Your “Demi‐website” features include:

  • Business photos,
  • logo,
  • location map,
  • description,
  • contact info,
  • link to personal website,
  • social marketing links like Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Youtube and Etsy.

Connnective networking opportunities: Business; Local Government; Tourism; Community Leaders; and more.

Calendar and Digital Marketing

Promote your upcoming Virginia Oyster related events and promotions on the Virginia Oyster Trail Calendar of Events.

The monthly Virginia Oyster Trail White Boot Blog reaches oyster lovers worldwide to share interesting Virginia Oyster-related topics on a more personal level.

Social Media Marketing Feeds

Virginia Oyster Trail social media feeds are a quick and easy way to share content with multiple social media sites.

The Virginia Oyster Trail is positioned as a great resource for oyster related content and as a conduit for Virginia tourism.

Dynamic Google Mapping

One of the most used features on the Virginia Oyster Trail is the dynamic Google map.

Let visitors see exactly where you are on an interactive Google map. Your map pin shows your location, displays your name, tagline, address, and links directly to your profile page.

See who's on the trail!

Trail Site Links

Choose a button below to explore the many oyster-related locations, activities and experiences that are waiting you.

What Others Are Saying About The Virginia Oyster Trail


Participation Details

 

GENERAL CRITERIA – ALL VIRGINIA OYSTER TRAIL SITES

  • The site features and promotes a genuine Virginia Oyster visitor experience.
  • The site focuses and guarantees Virginia Oyster authenticity and quality.
  • The site celebrates the cultural diversity of the region and reflects positively on its heritage.
  • The site is well marked with a business sign (a VOT trail sign will be provided once qualified).
  • The site specifies and maintains regular business hours. Seasonal hours are acceptable. Businesses that are open to the public “by appointment only” or fewer than two days per week will be considered.
  • The site is visitor friendly, clean, safe and provides adequate restrooms, ample parking, directional signs, icon denoting handicap accessibility, etc.
  • The site’s parking area is easily accessible by 2‐wheel drive vehicles (4‐wheel drive only access areas do not qualify).
  • The site promotes, connects and collaborates with other participants on the Virginia Oyster Trail.
  • The site is featured or agrees to be featured on the Virginia Tourism Corporation website: Virginia.org (Note: other Virginia Oyster Industry related website participation is recommended however not required for trail participation).

Program Disclaimer: All trail site businesses/owners are solely responsible for complying with zoning regulations, ordinances, health and business licensing requirements as well as any required or discretionary insurance liability coverage in addition to taking steps to reduce/eliminate risk due to negligence.

The enrollment application is subject to review to ensure the business meets participation criteria. Once you are approved, you will receive an official 'welcome' with the login codes and a trail sign will be made available.

Complete Application

AGRI-ARTISANS

Examples: Agri- Artisans, Aqua-Artisans, Agro-Artisans, *Wineries, Breweries, Distilleries, Cideries,**Farmers Markets

  • The Agri‐Artisan site provides a cultural heritage interpretative experience of the Virginia Oyster.
  • The site has qualified as a business by presenting evidence of at least one of the following for approval: photo, exhibits, demonstrations, workshops, maps, brochures, video or another expressed written method.
  • The site’s agricultural and food products prioritize locally grown or produced goods.
  • *Wineries, breweries, distilleries, cideries must exhibit proof of one of the following:
    – Participates or hosts a minimum of 3 Virginia Oyster Events/year.
    – Serves Virginia Oysters either as a menu option or in pairings at least 2 days a week, for a minimum of 3 weeks.
  • **Farmers Markets must feature Virginia Oysters on a regular basis.

$60 per year

+ $40 one-time setup fee

Open enrollment on the VOT is year ‘round with exposure online in real‐time, all the time. Special Note: A significant discount applies to businesses that are also participating as a trail site on an overlaying Artisan Trail Network regional trail.

Complete Application

RESTAURANTS

Examples: Restaurants, Oyster Bars, Diners, Night Clubs, Cafés

The restaurant must specifically feature the Virginia Oyster on a consistent basis and as a main item on their menu. Suggested methods of interpretation:

  • Feature and promote at least one Virginia Oyster producer’s product while offering different menu preparations (half‐shell, roasted, fried, baked, stewed, seasoned, etc.).
  • Creates a separate Virginia Oyster story sheet (akin to a wine list).
  • Describes the type of Virginia Oyster being served, i.e., the region it came from and distinguishing taste characteristics.
  • Notes the name of the Virginia producers or watermen who supplied the oysters.
  • Option, yet highly encouraged: Recommend pairings where Virginia‐made beverages, condiments, produce, meats, dairy products are served.
  • Feature a monthly Virginia Oyster Night emphasis.

$100 per year

+ $50 one-time setup fee

Open enrollment on the VOT is year ‘round with exposure online in real‐time, all the time. Special Note: A significant discount applies to businesses that are also participating as a trail site on an overlaying Artisan Trail Network regional trail.

Complete Application

LODGING

Examples: Bed & Breakfast; Campsite; Cabin; Inn

  • The lodging site is locally‐owned/managed in the Virginia Chesapeake Bay, Eastern Shore and/or Coastal Virginia regions. Franchises and chains will only be considered in areas where lodging is at an extreme minimum.
  • All lodging sites must feature/promote the Virginia Oyster, providing Virginia Oyster Trail interpretive materials that tell about the local Virginia Oyster.
  • In the event a lodging property does not qualify, yet the property has a restaurant serving Virginia Oysters, it may qualify as a “restaurant” (see Restaurants tab for specific restaurant criteria).

$100 per year

+ $50 one-time setup fee

Open enrollment on the VOT is year ‘round with exposure online in real‐time, all the time. Special Note: A significant discount applies to businesses that are also participating as a trail site on an overlaying Artisan Trail Network regional trail.

Complete Application

POINTS OF INTEREST

Examples: Historic & cultural centers; museums; information/ interpretive; educational; recreational; events/festivals

  • A point of interest site specifically features the Virginia Oyster’s cultural heritage within the region.
  • A point of interest site features educational activities that are open to the public and provide content specific to the Virginia Oyster whether artistic, environmental, historical, or business related.
  • A point of interest site features recreational and/or event activities that specifically revolve around the Virginia Oyster.

$100 per year

+ $50 one-time setup fee

Open enrollment on the VOT is year ‘round with exposure online in real‐time, all the time. Special Note: A significant discount applies to businesses that are also participating as a trail site on an overlaying Artisan Trail Network regional trail.

Complete Application

ARTISTS

Examples: Painters with watermen and/or Virginia Oyster subject matter; jewelers/sculptors and other craft artisans utilizing Virginia Oyster shells in their works; Production level artisans creating authentic Virginia Oyster collectibles

  • The artist is creating original works that specifically feature the Virginia Oyster on a consistent basis and as a main line of their media.
  • The artist’s studio has qualified as a business by presenting evidence of at least one of the following for approval: website; photo, maps, brochure, video or another expressed written method.
  • The artist’s studio may also provide demonstrations and/or workshops on their art.
  • The artist’s studio features 5 or fewer artists (including the owner of the studio). If more than 5 artists are featured, the site must upgrade to “an affiliate venue”.

$60 per year

+ $40 one-time setup fee

Open enrollment on the VOT is year ‘round with exposure online in real‐time, all the time. Special Note: A significant discount applies to businesses that are also participating as a trail site on an overlaying Artisan Trail Network regional trail.

Complete Application

ART-RELATED RETAIL VENUES / AFFILIATES

Examples: Locally‐owned business where retail sales are made such as: galleries; retail shops; gift shops

  • The affiliate venue promotes original works and/or exhibitions featuring local artists who specifically feature the Virginia Oyster in their media.
  • The affiliate venue, gift shop and/or gallery prioritizes “American‐made” with an emphasis on locally created art from the trail region. Shops with a strong product line of imports or crafts made from kits may not qualify.

$120 per year

+ $50 one-time setup fee

Open enrollment on the VOT is year ‘round with exposure online in real‐time, all the time. Special Note: A significant discount applies to businesses that are also participating as a trail site on an overlaying Artisan Trail Network regional trail.


Sponsors

Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development
Take Home A Piece of Virginia
Virginia’s River Realm
Virginia is for Lovers
Virginia Department of Agriculture
Virginia Oyster Country logo

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