Richmond Outdoor Activities

Richmond Outdoor ActivitiesRichmond's history attracts a steady stream of visitors every year who revel in the sites that echo with memories of the Civil War. Yet, despite the fact that these tourists come to the city to see those landmarks, they are most certainly struck by Richmond's natural beauty. Situated by the James River, the area is brimming with nature everywhere you look. Beautiful parks, lush greenery and the inviting river are the perfect ingredients for a day spent outdoors enjoying Richmond's natural beauty.

Three Lakes Nature Center
The Three Lakes Nature Center is an amazing compendium of nature. The facility houses several types of reptiles, amphibians and fish of the region. It also features a 50,000-gallon freshwater aquarium that draws you into the dramatic scenes of aquatic depth. The kids will love the hands-on exhibits as they explore the natural relationship between air, land and water. Plus, this adventure with some of nature's most memorable creatures is free!

Address: 400 Sausilute Drive, Richmond, VA - MAP
Phone: (800) 262-5055
Web: www.dgif.virginia.gov

Metro Richmond Zoo
While the Metro Richmond Zoo is not the largest zoo, it is one of the most family-oriented zoos you'll ever encounter. Actually, the facility's more manageable size makes it easier for the whole family to navigate the layout. The kids will love petting and feeding the giraffes as well as getting up close and personal with the penguins. Don't forget to hop aboard any of the zoo's exciting rides that include the Safari Train, Jungle Carousel, and the Safari Sky Ride. Your wild ride awaits you at the Metro Richmond Zoo!

Address: 3800 Beaver Bridge Road, Richmond, VA - MAP
Phone: (804) 739-5666
Web: www.metrorichmondzoo.com

Major James H. and Sallie May Dooley
Maymont began as the 100-acre Victorian estate of Major James H. and Sallie May Dooley. The couple's mansion was complete in 1893 and over the next three decades they created lush garden scenery, picturesque landscapes and beautifully crafted outbuildings. Today, visitors can not only enjoy all of that natural allure, but there are such amenities as the Maymont House Museum, historic gardens, a carriage collection, nature center, wildlife exhibits and a children's farm to enjoy, as well. Still, there are several choice spots to enjoy an outdoor picnic on this inviting piece of historic land.

Address: 1700 Hampton Street, Richmond, VA - MAP
Phone: (804) 359-7165
Web: www.maymont.org

Joseph Bryan Park
The Joseph Bryan Park may be an inviting place for families to play and relax in the great outdoors, but, like plenty of places in Richmond, it has an interesting history. Before it became a park, the property was part of the Young family's Westbrook estate in the 1700s. It was also a gathering place for participants in Gabriel's Rebellion in 1800. In addition to a walking path and tennis courts, there's also a great playground and picnic area and a tot lot that features a very popular sandbox.

Address: 4308 Hermitage Road, Richmond, VA 23227 - MAP
Web: www.friendsofbryanpark.org

Brown's Island
Brown's Island was named for Elijah Brown who acquired the land from Rhode Island in 1811. This piece of land is strategically located near downtown and is now part of the James River Park. Live concerts are held there on Fridays during the summer, and the land features footpaths and hiking trails that prove to be popular with nature and outdoors enthusiasts from all over the area. Added attractions include the fast water with large and small rapids and a path that leads down to the river behind a pier that all make for a great opportunity to commune with nature.

Address: Under the Manchester Bridge, Richmond, VA - MAP
Web: www.brownsisland.com

Richmond's Byrd Park
A day spent outdoors at Richmond's Byrd Park is the perfect cure for that cooped-up feeling. This 287-acre gem of a park features three lakes that include Boat, Shields, and Swan Lakes. There are also areas for visitors to enjoy a picnic, jog around the park's perimeter, cast their fishing lines in the lakes or even take a paddle boat ride (during the summer on Boat Lake). Park-goers can also play a game of tennis at the nearby tennis courts or relax under the shaded shelter areas.

Address: 600 S. Boulevard, Richmond, VA 23221 - MAP
Phone: (804) 646-5733
Web: www.richmondgov.com