Spring is finally here in Richmond! With warm weather comes the end of the semester and many new opportunities. Flowers are blooming again, and the sun is shining. It is the perfect time to go outside, and luckily Richmond, Virginia has an abundance of beautiful outdoor spaces; there is something here for everyone. Here are five great outdoor spaces in Richmond to explore on a spring day.
- Lewis Ginter Botanical Gardens
Lewis Ginter is only a short drive from downtown Richmond, but absolutely worth it. For a fee of $14 for adults, you’ll have access to a huge garden filled with beautiful flowers and plants.
Spring and summer are the prime times to enjoy this beautiful garden. Some of my favorite features are the fountain near the entrance, the walkthrough treehouse and the children’s garden.
They have a large greenhouse that hosts butterflies in the summer months. Another great feature is the restaurant located inside the gardens. There is definitely something for everyone here.
Whether you are here to learn about nature, sit in the sun or go on a stroll, this place is perfect for a warm day. Due to COVID, you will have to buy tickets online in advance. Here is a link to their website.
- Maymont Park
Maymont is the epitome of escapism in Richmond. If you’re dying to get away from the city but don’t feel like going far, this is the place for you. Once you’re in Maymont, the park is so big that you can only see rolling hills and trees.
Maymont features a beautiful Japanese garden with a working waterfall and an Italian garden beautifully blooming in the spring. They also have a wide variety of wildlife and a petting zoo (my favorite).
Get ready to spend a lot of time petting adorable little goats and sheep. Entry into Maymont is free, but consider donating to the foundation to keep Maymont beautiful and operating! For more information, visit their website here.
- Belle Isle
This is perhaps one of the most popular warm-weather spots in Richmond. Belle Isle is a staple of VCU student culture; it seems every student tries to come here at least once. On a sunny day, expect to see dozens of people lounging on the rocks getting a tan or spending time with friends.
If you’re more adventurous, you can take a kayak down the rapids or go hiking down one of Belle Isle’s many trails. Some cool spots include the rock climbing wall and the abandoned hydroelectric plant. Parking at Belle Isle can be difficult, so I recommend parking at Tredegar Iron Works for a small fee.
From there, it is just a short walk over the pedestrian bridge to get to the rocks. For more information about Belle Isle, its features and its rich history, you can visit this webpage.
- Libby Hill Park
If you love a good view, this is the spot for you. Located high on a hilltop overlooking the city, Libby Hill is a popular spot for joggers and outdoor lovers alike. There are plenty of benches and picnic tables to catch up with friends or do homework.
If you’re into running, the ridiculously long and steep staircase up the hill will provide you a great workout. Or if you’re just into dressing cute and taking photos, you can’t do much better than a green grassy hilltop with the beautiful city of Richmond behind you.
Libby Hill is equal in both beauty and history and definitely worth a visit. For more information, visit their website.
- VMFA Sculpture Garden
The Virginia Museum of Fine Arts is another staple of Richmond. They are widely known for their beautiful art collection inside, but many forget about the art collection on the outside. The sculpture garden has many beautiful pieces, but their staple is Kehinde Wiley’s “Rumors of War.”
They also have a waterfall, a garden and a small-scale recreation of the Poseidon statue at Virginia Beach. On warm days, you can expect to find people from all walks of life sitting on the grass, eating outside at the VMFA’s restaurant or just going on a stroll.
It is a perfect stop before or after your museum experience or a great place to just stop and relax. For more information, here is their website.