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Bring a Frisbee, let the kids loose, and lay down a blanket – there are some fantastic parks in Virginia.
Chesapeake City Park has something for everyone – pine forests to wander through, open space for dogs, a skate park, horseshoes, and a huge playground. If you are in Virginia Beach head to City View Park – it has several playgrounds, basketball courts, baseball fields, and picnic areas. Nearby Lecove Park has a playground and big grassy areas to run across, while Little Island Park sprawls across 130 acres and has spots for swimming, fishing, and crabbing. Princess Anne Commons Gateway Park has sculptures made of glass sun-reflecting panels.
In Portsmouth you’ll want to check out Links at City Park – this landscaped city park is riverside and also has a nine-hole golf course plus a pro shop and a lighted driving range. Portsmouth City Park is an urban waterfront spot which has both tennis and golfing as well as playgrounds and plenty of landscaping.
When you are in Arlington make sure to check out Virginia Highlands Park – this urban spot has playgrounds, athletic fields, and tennis courts. Nearby in Alexandria you can relax and cool off at Rivergate City Park.
Formerly Luray Cave, the Luray Caverns are located in northern Virginia near the city of Luray. A U.S. National Natural Landmark, the caverns were discovered in 1878, and were taken over by the National Park Service in 1974. Visitors to Luray Caverns need see the Great Stalacpipe Organ, and trek down the half-mile path through the arborvitae hedge maze. Set in the Shenandoah Valley, Luray Caverns is lit throughout the cave, and draws more than 500,000 annual visitors
Hugging a sheltered spot along the Potomac River near to where it dumps into Chesapeake Bay, Westmoreland State Park is a long-time family favorite destination.
Dedicated in 1936 as one of the state’s first parks, Westmoreland is noted for its 1,311 acres of rolling forest and the dramatic Horsehead Cliffs, which provide visitors with memorable panoramic views of the Potomac River.
Bring your fishing pole and cast a line into the river or bring your swimming suit and jump in yourself. The park has 7 miles of hiking trails, including the popular Beach Trail where you can see the embedded fossil remains of porpoises, whales, and sharks dating back to 15 million years. There is also a boat ramp and gift shop.
Plan your next trip to Virginia and be sure to include a tour of the Appomattox Court House National Historic Park. Found just east of Lynchburg in western Virginia, the Appomattox Court House National Historic Park was constructed in 1865. It was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1966.
The park is known as the site of the Battle of Appomattox Court House, this park features the former home of Wilmer McLean. This house, in 1865, hosted the ceremony where Robert E. Lee officially surrendered the Confederate Army to the Union and Ulysses S. Grant.
Home to the site of two Civil War battlefields, Bristoe Station Battlefield Heritage Park has much to offer within its one hundred and thirty three acres.
The two battles fought at what is now Bristoe Station Battlefield Heritage Park, are the battle of Kettle Run and the battle of Bristoe Station. The rich history of the land is evident when exploring the Park. Visitors will see barns, homes and other structures standing from the Civil War era.
Just over two and a half acres of trails are scattered throughout the land and allow visitors to walk and ride horses over the property to view the historic grounds.
Bristoe Station offers guided tours by requests in season for guests who wish to learn more about the battlefields’ rich history. Located in Bristow, just outside the larger city of Manassas, Bristoe Station Battlefield is not far from Richmond and Central Virginia.
Claytor State Park is a beautiful park located along Claytor Lake, southwest of Roanoke. The park encompasses over 470 acres in western Virginia. Recreational enthusiasts enjoy plenty of outdoor fun in the park. Fishing, boating, hiking, swimming and wildlife watching are fun outdoor activities.
Be sure to stop by the park's visitor center located in the historic Howe House, to view the exhibits and interactive displays. Enjoy an interpretive program offered at the Environmental Education Center to learn about the park's geology, wildlife and forestry.
Kiptopeke State Park, located across the Chesapeake Bay from Virginia Beach, was established in the early 1960s as a birding area. Bring your binoculars to watch the area's migratory birds or volunteer to help release resident and migratory birds from August through November.
Park visitors enjoy hiking and biking on the park's trails and strolling along the beach. Swimming, boating, fishing and crabbing are also popular recreational activities in the park. After a fun-filled day in the park, drive across the bay for a comfortable night's rest with Best Western hotels. Enjoy your time in the Virginia Beach.
Covering 134 acres, Lake Arrowhead Recreation Park is set in northern Virginia – just four miles outside of Luray. The 34-acre Lake Arrowhead is ideal for fishing, boating, or even lounging on the shore – canoes and paddleboats rentals are available Memorial Day to Labor Day. In addition to water recreation, Lake Arrowhead Recreation Park features two miles of hiking trails, playgrounds, baseball and softball fields, and volleyball and horseshoe pits. Hungry? Take advantage of one of six picnic shelters.
Residents and visitors of the Richmond area can head to Maymont Park – a wonderful 100-acre American estate, located west of downtown Richmond above the James River. The grounds of the estate include a historic, Gilded Age mansion, that was built by Major James H. Dooley and his wife Sallie, in 1893.
Tour the incredible mansion museum and grounds to see the beautiful gardens, the Robins Nature & Visitor Center, the Children's Farm, wildlife exhibits, and arboretum. The koi pond, waterfall, rose garden and bamboo forests are not-to-be-missed in the Japanese Garden. Along with Italian Garden, the gazebos are popular locations for private parties and weddings.
Set in Prince William County, Prince William Forest Park is located in northern Virginia between Stafford and Woodbridge. Established in 1936, the park covers over 16,000 acres and offers 37 miles of hiking trail, 21 miles of biking trail, and plenty of wildlife viewing. Found along the Potomac River and Interstate 95, the park neighbors Quantico Marine Corps Base. History buffs enjoy Prince William Forest Park’s remnants of the Cabin Branch Pyrite Mine, Greenwood gold mine, historic Virginia townships, and several structures built by the CCC.
Sandy Bottom Nature Park, encompasses over 450 acres of land near Hampton and Newport News, in the Virginia Beach area. The park features beautiful Sandy Bottom Lake, a 10,000 sq ft nature center, picturesque gardens, walking trails, picnic shelters and fishing piers. Enjoy paddling on the lake in a canoe, available for rental at the nature center.
While in the park, arrange for a special tour of the wildlife center to see the animals that are a part of the educational programs in the park. Host your next special event, party or meeting in the park's classroom and conference room. Kick up your feet in a comfortable Best Western guest room and enjoy your time in Virginia.