PHOTO: Richmond, Virginia. (photo via Flickr/Jim)
Situated on the James River, Richmond is perhaps best known for its decorated history and vibrant art scene. But as the weather turns and temperatures begin to rise, Virginia's capital city quickly transforms into a haven for lovers of nature and adventure.
Whether taking a stroll through walkable neighborhoods like Monroe Ward or Jackson Ward, relaxing along the riverfront or partaking in the country's largest outdoor music and sports festival, Richmond has a lot to offer.
Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden
Richmond's Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden is one of the top 10 such gardens in America and you'll quickly understand why. Spring is arguably the best time to experience the garden as visitors discover daffodils, tulips, azaleas and Virginia bluebells, among other blooms.
If you plan to make a return trip to the garden, consider signing up for a membership to earn free daily admission and discounts at the Garden Shop.
Virginia Capital TrailLooking to work up a sweat while you're in town? Hop on the Virginia Capital Trail for a satisfying walk, run or bike ride as the wide trail essentially mirrors the James River.
In addition to a slew of wildlife, the trail takes visitors past the former homes of several U.S. presidents, including William Henry Harrison, John Tyler and Benjamin Harrison.
Dominion RiverrockDubbed "America's Best Outdoor Festival," Dominion Riverrock is an annual outdoor music and sports festival geared toward adventure seekers. The three-day festival takes place on a six-acre riverfront park known as Brown's Island. Events include concerts, a film festival and tons of activities, including rock climbing, mountain biking and trail running.
This year's festival will run from May 19 through May 21 and will be headlined by Hard Working Americans and The SteelDrivers.
Richmond Canal Cruise
Available April through November, Richmond Canal Cruises are affordable, informative and quick. The 40-minute tour takes guests along the James River and Kanawha Canal, educating them about the history of Richmond's canal system in the process.
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Adults pay just $8 while children age 4 and under are free. Visitors can also charter the boats for $100 an hour on an excursion, dining or cocktail style tour.
Rafting, Kayaking and Tubing
If you can't get enough of the James River, book a ride with River City Adventures. The company offers whitewater rafting trips, kayaking and tubing while guests can select an adventure that suits their experience and comfort level.
Whether hitting the water as a couple or family, you're sure to have a blast while feeling at ease thanks to River City's world-class guides. Just be prepared to get wet.