Our spring bucket list will inspire a whole season of fun outings for every age and ability in Virginia, Washington DC, and Maryland. Whether you are active or relaxed, adults-only or family-focused, we’ve got ideas for you. Just click the links for details on each destination, and check them off as you go.
2020 UPDATE: Many of the gardens, trails, and destinations listed below are closed due to social distancing regulations. Others are open but with limited services. Check for the latest closure information before you head out.
Spring Bucket List: Gardens and Wildflowers
Gardens come alive and spring wildflowers fill our fields and woods when we finally say farewell to winter. These 10 destinations fill with beautiful flowers in spring, whether planted in formal garden beds or spread by nature in parks and trails.
- Meadowlark Botanical Garden, Vienna Virginia
- Green Spring Gardens, Alexandria Virginia
- River Farm, Alexandria Virginia
- Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden, Richmond Virginia
- Cherry Blossoms in Virginia and Washington DC
- Cherry Blossoms in Kenwood Maryland
- Bluebells at Riverbend Regional Park, Great Falls Virginia
- Tulips at Burnside Farms, Haymarket Virginia
- Apple blossoms in Winchester Virginia
- Azaleas and magnolias at the National Arboretum, Washington DC
Spring Bucket List: Green Woodlands and Waterside Walks
There is nothing quite like the vibrant green of emerging foliage, and the rush of water filling rivers and runs after spring rains. Explore these local woods and parks to enjoy leafy trails, water views, and more of those spring wildflowers.
- Seneca Regional Park Hike, Great Falls Virginia
- Great Falls Park River Trail McLean Virginia
- Difficult Run and Ridge Trail, McLean Virginia
- Huntley Meadows Park, Alexandria Virginia
- Bull Run Occoquan Trail, Clifton Virginia
- Great Falls Tavern and Olmsted Island, Potomac Maryland
- Mason Neck State Park Bayview Trail, Lorton Virginia
- Theodore Roosevelt Island, Arlington Virginia
- Burke Lake, Burke Virginia
- Annapolis Waterfront, Annapolis Maryland
Spring Bucket List: Scenic Drives and Views
When the bare trees of winter are replaced with lush spring foliage, country roads and nature trails beckon travelers. Take your waterproof boots along, but don’t let spring rains and snowmelt keep you away from local trails. The views you will enjoy make up for any mud you may encounter.
- Washington DC Cherry Blossom Scenic Drive, DC
- George Washington Memorial Parkway, Virginia
- Snickersville Turnpike, Loudoun County Virginia
- Skyline Drive, Shenandoah National Park, Virginia
- Sugarloaf Mountain, Urbana Maryland
- Bear’s Den Overlook or Raven Rocks Hike, Bluemont Virginia
- Sky Meadows State Park Piedmont Overlook Trail, Delaplane Virginia
- Leesylvania State Park Pier and Freestone Point, Woodbridge Virginia
- Mary’s Rock Hike, Shenandoah National Park, Virginia
- Dirt Farm Brewing and Wineries with Sensational Northern Virginia Views
How many fun outings on our spring bucket list have you visited, and which will be on your to-do list this year? We suggest picking at least a couple of destinations from each category to fully experience the changes that spring brings to the mid-Atlantic region. If the weather cooperates, this could be the year to tackle them all.
If you have a spring favorite to add to our list, please share your suggestion in the comments below. Happy exploring!
This article was published in 2017 and updated in 2020.