One of everyone’s favorite things to look forward to during the warmer months in Richmond is spending some time outside! After being cooped up indoors during the cold winter months, Richmonders can’t wait to bask in the glow of the summer sun and soak up some rays.
One of the best ways to spend some time outside is by visiting some of the best parks in Richmond, VA. No matter what outdoor activity you’re looking for, these Richmond parks are sure to fulfill all your outdoor needs!
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This hilltop park was one of the earliest recognized parks in the city. Libby Hill Park is located in the Church Hill district and it offers some of, if not THE best views of the city.
Make sure you bring your camera to catch some great shots of the city skyline at sunset and see if you can spot the old Richmond Braves baseball team mascot, Connecticut the Indian, on top of one of the buildings nearby.
The parks features a well manicured lawn as well as a handful of park benches to enjoy the evening sunset.
Maymont Park has been a Richmond highlight for many generations. This 100-acre historic estate and park has so much to see, so plan on spending the whole day here and make sure you bring your walking shoes!
Inside the park you will find flower gardens, farm and wildlife habitats, the historic Maymont mansion, and a nature center. The Robins Nature center requires paid admission, but the rest of the park is free to the public with a suggested $5 donation.
In the warmer months you can find donation-based outdoor yoga classes held each Tuesday evening inside the park.
Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden
Lewis Ginter is a family-friendly botanical garden that is home to more than 50 acres of beautiful flowers and plants, located just minutes from downtown Richmond. The gardens are open daily from 10am-5pm, but tickets must be purchased in order to gain entry.
During the warmer months you’re always guaranteed to see beautiful flowers at this award-winning botanical garden, but one of their winter highlights is their holiday light show! During the holiday season, the gardens are decorated with hundreds of twinkling light displays and sculptures.
Annual memberships are available to enjoy the gardens year round.
Forest Hill Park
Forest Hill Park is my favorite place to have a picnic with friends. This large park has plenty of lush, green grass to spread out in and the shade of the old oak trees makes it the perfect spot to spend an afternoon.
It’s a great place to get some fresh air and sunshine with your family, friends, and dogs!
Between the months of May and October, you can find the South of the James Farmers Market set up at the park every Saturday morning. I highly recommend checking out this popular market for an amazing selection of fruits, veggies, homemade foods, and unique items.
Joseph Bryan Park
Bryan Park is the perfect place to get outside and get some exercise! The park is open daily from sunrise to sunset and entry is free for the general public.
Inside the park, you will find a number of walking/biking trails, a soccer field, playground, disc golf course, azalea gardens, and a small lake for fishing.
This park is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and was originally the site of a planned slavery insurrection known as Gabriel’s Rebellion.
This quaint, urban park is one of Richmond’s best kept secrets! Scuffletown Park is tucked away in a small alley in The Fan district of Richmond, VA.
Despite its small size, Scuffletown Park is bustling with activity. The well-manicured lawns, built in picnic tables, and park benches are the perfect spot to enjoy a coffee or some takeout with friends. There are plenty of restaurants within walking distance of the park to grab food, but be advised there are no bathrooms at this small neighborhood spot, so plan accordingly!
This park does not allow pets, so make sure you leave fido at home.
Byrd Park is a centrally located park offers over 200 acres of fun for the whole family. Throughout the park you can find public tennis courts, softball fields, walking trails with exercise equipment, and three small lakes for fishing and other activities.
The most noteworthy lake is the Fountain Lake where families gather for weekend cookouts, romantic evening sunsets, or to let children see the geese gathered around the lake (please do not feed the animals though!).
Pedal boat rentals are available during the summer months at the lake’s concession stand.
Inside Byrd Park you will find Dogwood Dell Amphitheater, which features outdoor entertainment in the summer, so make sure you check their calendar of events. Other notable events found at this park include outdoor yoga classes and the annual Richmond Vegetarian Festival.
Barker Field, a city dog park, is one of the most popular spots in town to bring your canine companion! Located inside Byrd Park, this multi-acre fenced area features shelters, seating, and water sources for the dogs.
The dog park is open year round, but the milder days of spring and summer are most popular. During this time, you can find dozens of dogs romping and playing in the yard.
Although we wouldn’t wish this on anyone, in the event of any injury, there is an emergency veterinary clinic just around the corner!
James River Park System
The James River Park system encompasses numerous parks throughout the city situated along the James River. Each park offers a multitude of activities like kayaking, swimming, rockhopping, fishing, tubing, hiking trails, and more.
The parks are all free and open to the public daily from dawn to dusk. Spending the day at the river is one of Richhmond’s most popular summertime activities.
For more info on the best river spots in Richmond, check out the website.
Pocahontas State Park
This Virginia state park is located about 20 minutes south of the city limits and is perfect for spending a little time in nature. The park offers over 90 miles of hiking trails, kayaking, boating, and overnight camping.
Inside the park you will find an aquatic center, which features swimming pools and water slides, so it’s a great place to bring the kids. You can also rent kayaks and spend the day paddling across the reservoir.
A 2,000 seat open air amphitheater is located inside the park where musical artists perform as part of the Pocahontas Premieres summer series, so check out their event calendar for a list of performers.
There is a required nominal fee to enter the park and other activities, such as the aquatic center and camping, may cost an additional fee.
PARK365 is one of the most kid-friendly parks in the city! The park is free and open to people of all ages and features specially designed equipment for those with physical or developmental disabilities. The park features sensory-friendly designs, wheelchair access, and much more.
As you can imagine, this park is very popular with families so it can be a bit crowded, but it’s the perfect opportunity to meet some new friends!
Great Shiplock Park
This historic inner-city park is definitely worth a visit. The park is located directly adjacent to the Shockoe Bottom district of Richmond where you can find numerous restaurants and bars, so it’s the perfect place for an after dinner stroll. The flat, paved sidewalks are perfect for people of all ages and abilities.
Here you will also find the beginning of the Virginia Capital Trail. This 52-mile-long trail spans 4 counties and leads from Richmond, VA to historic Jamestown. The trail is popular with bicycle enthusiasts, so check it out if you’re up for the challenge!