We’ve been feeling inspired with the consecutive days of great weather we have had in Virginia this week. But knowing our typical spring forecast trends, it won’t last! Instead of wasting these temperate days staying indoors, we are ready to fill them with springtime fun. Get outside and enjoy the gorgeous Virginia weather with a few of these sunny outdoor activities.
Spend the night outside at one of Virginia’s scenic campgrounds, or get primitive and plan some backwoods camping at one of the areas that permits it, like Shenandoah National Park. Set up a hammock and experience the spring sounds and scenery like never before, then watch the sunset at a picturesque outlook to make the most of your overnight excursion.
Nothing beats the sense of accomplishment you get from completing a strenuous hike and arriving at the top of a mountain. But the view you’ll discover at the top of Virginia’s mountain summits sure does come close. Climb one of these peaks and award yourself with an unforgettable vantage point.
Traverse rocky terrain on your mountain bike or take a more moderate approach on one of the rail trails. No matter what your approach, the pleasant spring temperatures are perfect for biking in Virginia.
When you think waterfalls, you imagine an Amazonian landscape or some other faraway destination. But there are plenty of awe-inspiring waterfalls right in your own back yard (we mean that figuratively, unless you are incredibly lucky). And many of them are only a short hike off the beaten path.
If you are more of a city dweller and the idea of a mountain getaway doesn’t appeal to you, there is plenty to do within your own urban area. For instance, many Richmonders stay around town during the warmer weekends, taking walks down grassy Monument Avenue in the evenings and spending their days at historic Belle Isle.
Virginia’s wines taste even better when sipped overlooking the unbeatable views from these winery patios. Plan a full day wine tour with friends, or stop by for a relaxing tasting and enjoy the outdoors while attempting to choose your favorite vino.
You don’t need to book a flight to find impressive wonders in the world. Virginia has eight of the most epic natural landmarks, all within a few hours’ drive of anywhere in the state. Travel to the Natural Bridge and stand where George Washington once surveyed the area (you can even see where he left his mark with his initials carved into the cavern wall).
Get back to nature and learn the secrets behind sustainable rural living with a Virginia farm tour. While some tours let you interact with cute animals like goats and sheep, these tours also focus on growing local and producing your own goods from scratch.
Virginia has dozens of festivals each spring, including music, outdoors, and holiday festivals. Take your friends and family to a spring festival in Virginia to see live entertainment, try local foods, and enjoy the budding landscapes that surround you as the weather improves.
10. Patio Dining
Restaurants all over Virginia have embraced patio dining, understanding that part of an enjoyable meal stems from one’s surroundings. While you can cover walls with ornate paintings and set the mood with expensive lighting, nothing beats the beauty that Virginia puts on display every single day.
Taking a ride with a warm breeze blowing through open windows is a simple pleasure that never fails to make you happy. Whether you are driving through a scenic National Park, rolling through your own home town, or smelling the salt of the Atlantic coast air, a drive during the spring months is an effortless way to enjoy springtime in Virginia.
12. Go Fishing
While the water is still too cold to swim, that doesn’t stop the fish from biting. Cast a line from the shore or take a boat out on the water to hone your fishing skills. Or if you’re looking for a new adventure, try deep-sea fishing through a chartered tour.
Although the landscapes of Virginia are impressive, nothing is more breathtaking than looking up at the sky during a clear spring evening. While you can travel to an observatory in Virginia built specifically for stargazing, you can still get great results by spreading a blanket outdoors, lying down, and enjoying the night sky the old-fashioned way.
14. Bike a City
Urban bike lanes are becoming more and more prevalent in Virginia cities, making it much safer to ride on the busy city streets. Even if you do not own your own bicycle, these cities all have locations where you can rent one for a few hours or even days at a time.
Spring in Virginia means budding flowers everywhere you look, and there are many places, such as Meadowlark Botanical Gardens in Vienna, where you can see carefully cultivated gardens start to embrace the season. A trip to these landscaped destinations is not your only option, however. The wildflowers have already begun to spread through the meadows and forests of Virginia, creating a colorful blanket everywhere they bloom.
Like bikes, there are plenty of river outfitters across Virginia that rent out kayaks and canoes for those that are not seasoned water sport enthusiasts, and many of these locations even offer affordable lessons. You can find waterways that fit every level of experience, from still ponds to rushing whitewater rapids, so make sure you are aware of the skill level required before you enter a new waterway.
While dining at a restaurant patio is a great way to enjoy warm weather, many people don’t want to deal with the hassle of reservations or the expense of eating at a nice restaurant. Pack your own meal and spread a blanket in a park (or even your own backyard) to get a similar outdoor dining experience for a fraction of the cost.
We’ve stopped at seventeen, but there are probably at least a thousand more activities you can do to appreciate Virginia’s warmer days. What is your favorite way to get outside and celebrate spring in the Commonwealth?
© pkeppel for Virginia’s Travel Blog, 2016. |