As you know from our popular Best of Richmond series, there’s nothing we love more than finding fabulous Richmond hotspots – from restaurants to activities to unique historic sites. Of course, with the current social distancing rules in place, many of our favorite spots are not open to the public at the moment. However, that doesn’t mean that we don’t still have a few “Best of Richmond” tricks up our sleeve….
We know that, after weeks of quarantine, everyone is itching to get out of the house. However, we also know that to be safe, sticking to outdoor locations that allow for ample distancing from others is the best way to go. Fortunately, one of the best things about Richmond and the surrounding areas is that many of our most beautiful attractions are a perfect fit.
So this week, for our Best of Richmond installment, we’re going to be looking back at some of our favorite lists from the past and reminding you of some amazing spots that will not only allow you to get outside and explore a little, but remain safe and healthy at the same time.
Of course, you’ll want to call ahead or check websites to make sure the following places are still open to visitors, and keep in mind that many of the public amenities (toilets, picnic shelters, playgrounds, etc) may be closed. However, at our last check, most of these fantastic spots were available for visitors during the day. Just remember to keep your distance from other visitors and be safe!
And so without further ado….enjoy the Best of Richmond Outdoors: Social Distancing Edition!
If you’ve already worn out the sidewalks of your neighborhood and exhausted every walking path within a three-mile radius, it’s time for something new. Some of our favorite family-friendly hiking trails in the state just so happen to be right here in the Greater Richmond area – or within an hour’s drive or less. We picked our favorites based on the following features:
- Good for all ages (easy enough for little ones, but challenging enough for older hikers)
- A nice distance for the whole family (or trail options for shorter legs)
- Easy to find
- Diverse and/or unique scenery and activities
Consider this list to be your own personal weird and wonderful scavenger hunt! With all of these wacky sites located in Richmond (or within a 45 minute drive), you can easily make a day of finding and exploring all five of our favorite unique sites. We picked each of these sites because they offered:
- Free visiting or viewability
- A unique backstory
- Historical significance
If there’s any silver lining to the current Coronavirus crisis and subsequent quarantine, it’s that many families are rediscovering family activities – like bike riding! While it can be tough to get everyone to stick together on busy neighborhood streets, a dedicated bike trail can offer a safe, fun ride for the whole family. Fortunately, we’ve found five amazing family-friendly trails for you to choose from, each with:
- Surfaces and topography for all skill levels
- Plenty of stopping/resting places and interesting sites
- Easy access with plenty of parking and/or entrance points
While biking, hiking, and exploring are all fun, a day outdoors doesn’t have to be spent working up a sweat. And we can’t think of any better way to relax in the great outdoors than a good old fashioned fishing trip. So grab your poles and tackle box and try one of our favorite Richmond-are fishing spots, each which features:
- Public fishing
- Facilities/bathrooms (although they may be closed at the moment!)
- Kid-friendly, scenic settings
Last but not least, keep it simple, keep it fun, and keep it easy – pack a picnic! Picnics don’t have to be anything more than some simple sandwiches and snacks to become a memorable outing for the whole family. Picnics are especially nice if you have little ones who may or may not be able to participate in some of the more rigorous activities listed above – but even with older kids, picnics are a way to change things up, spend time as a family, and enjoy some fresh air. Keep in mind that we initially chose our favorite spots because they all offered:
- A great view and/or location
- Amenities (picnic shelters, restrooms, etc.)
- Available activities (other than just picnics)
However, most parks have closed playgrounds, picnic shelters, and public restrooms – so be sure to bring a blanket to sit on and – as always, keep your family a safe distance from other visitors!
While we may not be able to take full advantage of all the Richmond has to offer at the moment, be sure to visit our entire Best of Richmond series to make a list of must-do activities for the future!