Let’s face it: Virginia is for outdoor lovers. Kayakers, hikers, surfers, zip-liners and more find ample opportunity for fun in the Old Dominion. But what’s even
better is that you don’t have to participate in these epic activities to enjoy epic “outdoorsy” things. As you’ll see with the following activities, there are so many ways to experience the beauty of the great outdoors without breaking much of a sweat at all. This list is perfect for those who are looking to minimize intensity while maximizing exposure to beauty. It’s also a great list for anyone looking for family-friendly activities that are sure to entertain. Here are some options to help you make the most of this summer.
1. Visit Maymont
Richmond's Maymont is one of the most unique parks in the state. Not only is admission completely free, but the park itself includes gardens, wildlife, a historic mansion, and an educational center. This is an ideal option if you've got kids, who will love the petting zoo complete with sheep and baby goats. Be sure to stay tuned with the park's calendar, because many summertime events and concerts take place here.
2. Admire the Dan Ingalls Overlook
The Dan Ingalls Overlook, located at the top of Warm Springs Mountain, is an incredible and breathtaking view. Fortunately, you don't have to hike for miles to enjoy it. Once you've pulled in to the main lot, this incredible view awaits. And if you're in the mood to stretch your legs, you can take the short hike further up the mountain to enjoy an even fuller view.
3. Witness a Skyline Drive sunset
One of the great things about Skyline is that it's intended to be driven. This means visitors can witness the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains from their car, stopping only when they'd like to marvel at a particular overlook. There are plenty of nearby trails for those who wish to spend more time in the area, but the drive is guaranteed to provide plenty of views.
4. Hunt for Fairy Stones
Fairy Stone State Park is located in Patrick County and is notorious for the tiny stones that the park is named for. These stones, also known as Staurolite, tend to resemble tiny crosses and are sought like treasure by visitors. Hunting for stones is just one of the many incredible outdoor options at the park.
5. Hike to Dark Hollow Falls
Virginia has many beautiful waterfalls, and Shenandoah National Park's Dark Hollow Falls can be accessed by a short and sweet 1.4 mile trek. The trail is a bit steep in some places, but the path is broad and well-maintained. It'll all be worth it when you see the water cascading up to 70 feet in some places.
6. Take a dolphin-watching cruise
A company by the name of Rudee Flipper offers dolphin and whale watching tours that cruise from Rudee Inlet to Cape Henry. This 90 minute tour provides breathtaking visions of sunsets and gorgeous views. What better a way to experience the coastline of Virginia Beach than watching for some friendly fins?
7. Go stargazing at Staunton River
Staunton River State Park is one of only 25 dark sky parks in the world. In other words, the stargazing here is phenomenal. Visitors can canoe down the river to enjoy the stars or simply watch from a comfortable blanket. This is sure to make for a memorable summer night.
8. Go underground at Luray
Luray Caverns is one of the most unique experiences in Virginia. Visitors can travel below ground to explore the extensive and exquisite cavern system below. Unique rock formations, pools of water, and fascinating tours will make for awesome entertainment.
9. Look out onto five different states from High Knob
The High Knob Scenic Tower is an observation tower that provides one of the most expansive views in the eastern U.S. Rather than having to climb for hours to enjoy the views, visitors can ascend this beautiful 3-story building.
10. Spend an afternoon at the Prince William Forest Park
This northern Virginia park is one of the loveliest in the area. Visitors can drive a 9-mile scenic loop or enjoy the 1.4 mile hike which crosses over the South Fork Quantico Creek. This also happens to be a great place for a family camping trip, as it's known for being peaceful and calm.
What are some of your favorite epic outdoorsy things to do in Virginia that don’t require incredible endurance? We’d love to hear from you!