It’s often said that the best things in life are free. This statement usually refers to love, family, and the other priceless aspects of life. Well, it’s also true about living in Virginia. Because this state offers a whole range of activities at our disposal that don’t cost a dime. This list offers just some of the
legitimately fun things you can do while feasibly leaving your wallet at home.
1. Walk the magical grounds of Maymont (Richmond)
It's hard to believe the pristine gardens and grounds of Maymont are free of admission, but it's true. And visiting this historic park should be at the top of your to-do list if you've yet to see the beautiful wildlife and garden exhibits. Address: 1700 Hampton St, Richmond, VA 23220.
2. Stoll, hike, or bike the Virginia Creeper Trail (Abingdon)
Fall magic is in the air, and perhaps the best place to experience that is along the Virginia Creeper Trail. Beautiful at any time of year, this scenic 34-mile trail offers something for all activity levels. (Side note: anyone willing to pay a small fee can also enjoy the newly-added zip line!)
3. Stargaze from the McCormick Observatory (Charlottesville)
Located at the University of Virginia, the McCormick Observation Tower allows you to feel just a little closer to the stars. Every first and third Friday of the month, the center is open for public tours and the chance to gaze through these magnificent telescopes. Address: 600 McCormick Rd, Charlottesville, VA 22904.
4. Spend an afternoon at Crump Park (Glen Allen)
With playgrounds, a lake for fishing, beautiful walking trails, and the chance to see all sorts of wildlife, Crump Park is a wonderful place to spend an afternoon. Address: 3400 Mountain Rd, Glen Allen, VA 23060.
5. Explore Hemlock Overlook Park (Clifton)
This forested park also doubles as a challenging Outdoor Education Center. The programs themselves are not free, but enjoying a picnic in this lovely section of the state is. Address: 13220 Yates Ford Rd, Clifton, VA 20124.
6. Go on the Danville Riverwalk Trail
Stroll along this pictureque paved walkway that winds along Danville's beloved river. With restrooms and water stations along the way, it's the perfect place for visitors of all ages to enjoy.
7. Drive the Blue Ridge Parkway
This iconic drive through Virginia is one of the best ways to take in the scenic sweeping views so characteristic of the Shenandoah Valley. While gas certainly isn't free, admission to this beautiful parkway is.
8. Take a trip to the beach (Yorktown)
Temperatures may be dropping, but that doesn't make the Yorktown Beachfront any less beautiful. In fact, this time of year the waterfront will be even less crowded. Why not pack a lunch, bring some blankets, and watch these beautiful waters?
9. Visit the Roanoke Star
Located at the top of Roanoke's Mill Mountain is one of the most iconic views of the city: the Star. This attraction offers some of the best view of the city, and even features nature trails and a gorgeous drive.
10. Tour the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts (Richmond)
The Virginia Museum of Fine Arts is one of the most visited museums in Richmond and admission is completely free. Tour impressive galleries with unforgettable artwork. Some of the special exhibits do call for an admission, though. Also note there is a small parking fee except for members of the VMFA. Address: 200 N Boulevard, Richmond, VA 23220.
11. Take a ride on the Jamestown Ferry
Experience the historic Jamestown area the same way that settlers hundreds of years ago did: by boat. The ferry system is free of charge, running 7 days a week and connecting the Scotland Wharf to Jamestown. Address: 16289 Rolfe Hwy, Surry, VA 23883.
12. Visit the Old Town Farmers' Market (Alexandria)
This one is a little bit of a stretch, seeing as it's always encouraged to buy something at these markets and support the local farmers. However, there's nothing wrong with stopping by the Old Town Farmers' Market in Alexandria just for the sake of the live music and learning about the produce. You might even find a free sample or two along the way. Address: 301 King St, Alexandria, VA 22314.
13. See the goats at the Westmoreland Berry Farm (Colonial Beach)
This family-owned berry farm features one of the most unusual attractions in the Northern Neck: a goat walk. Watch these fascinating creatures stroll from one side of the farm to the other on their very own walkway. Nearby, there's also a cafe and gift shop. Address: 1235 Berry Farm Ln, Colonial Beach, VA 22443.
14. Attend an American Afternoon at the Floyd Country Store
Stop by the Floyd Country Store on Saturday afternoons for their music series known as Americana Afternoon, a free event that showcases some of the best local talent. And if you're up for it, you might even try your hand at some swing dancing the following Friday night, for a $5 admission. Address: 206 S Locust St, Floyd, VA 24091.
Now it’s your turn — what are some of your favorite free activities in Virginia? We’d love to hear them!