Exploring Nature

Featured Gardens & Nature Centers

Green Spring Gardens

Spend a day learning about plants and wildlife at Green Spring Gardens. Groups can take a tour through the wooded stream valley to see over 20 thematic demonstration gardens featuring ponds, naturalistic native plants, and more. 4603 Green Spring Rd., Alexandria, VA 22312. Tel: 703-642-5173. Cost: Fee.... More Info

Other Listings

Chesapeake Arboretum

624 Old Oak Grove Rd., Chesapeake, VA 23320. 757-819-7510. 45 acres of trails and hardwood forest come together to create "nature's classroom." The arboretum provides groups with 3 different nature walks complete with ID tags to help them identify the plants they encounter. Free.

False Cape State Park

False Cape State Park is a 3,844-acre park that lies between Back Bay and the Atlantic Ocean. The park offers recreational activities, trails, and educational programs for groups to enjoy a day or overnight trip spent with nature. 4001 Sandpiper Rd., Virginia Beach, VA 23456. Tel: 757-426-7128. Cost: Fee.

First Landing State Park

2500 Shore Dr., Virginia Beach, VA 23451. 757-412-2300. The park's two centers give groups a glimpse of what life was like for the English colonists that first disembarked here in 1607, and also highlight the park's ecosystems. Recreational activities, cabin rentals, and ranger-led programs available. Fee.

Fort C.F. Smith Park

Visit Fort C.F. Smith Park, where science meets history. The 19-acre site features a 20th century mansion called the Hendry House, Civil war earthwork ruins, a half-mile of trails, a Bird Creek, and an Ornamental Peace Garden. 2411 24th St. North, Arlington, VA 22207. Tel: 703-243-7329. Cost: Fee.

Jerome "Buddie" Ford Nature Center

5750 Sanger Ave., Alexandria, VA 22311. Visit Jerome “Buddie” Ford Nature Center for a day of scientific exploration. Groups will have the chance to see live animals such as birds of prey, black bear, red fox, owls, turtles, salamanders, and more. 703-746-5559. Fee.

Long Branch Nature Center

625 S. Carlin Springs Rd., Arlington, VA 22204. 703-228-6535. Discover nature at Long Branch Nature Center at Glencarlyn Park! Groups will enjoy exhibits, live animal displays, interpretive gardens, a viewing pond, and more. Programs aim to teach groups about animal and plant science. Free/Fee.

Williamsburg Botanical Garden

5537 Centerville Rd., Williamsburg, VA 23188. 757-880-1893. Features 15 garden areas for groups to enjoy. The garden boasts a variety of plant life such peonies from Eurasia in the Heirloom Garden, blue mistflowers in the Wildflower Meadow, flowers native to coastal Virginia in the Calcareous Ravine, and more. Free.