- My own yard! Sometimes it’s great to just walk out your own backdoor and work in the garden, or just sit and watch the bees go to work. Put up a bird feeder, plant some flowers, and enjoy all of the activity!
- Central Park NYC – Yes! Central Park! I love NYC. I love the energy, the food, and the people. But when I need a break from the excitement, I head over to Central Park to take in some of the surprising natural history of the area.
- Chesapeake Maritime Museum and St. Michael’s MD – there are many places to enjoy all that the Chesapeake Bay has to offer, but if you want to learn about the bay and its history, this museum has a lighthouse plus plenty of hands-on exhibits, friendly docents, and fun festivals to enjoy.
- Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge -- it's not just about ponies, although they are very cool! You can camp or stay at a hotel or rental house when you visit. Lots of great wildlife, hiking, biking, and even a lighthouse.
- Douthat State Park in Bath and Alleghany Counties in VA – a great state park with a beautiful lake, lots of woods and the nearby Virginia Safari Park!
- Edisto State Park SC – beautiful beach, few crowds, great visitors center, bike trails, and the ever-popular Botany Bay Plantation
- Fairystone State Park in Stuart VA – it’s fun to go searching for fairystones while learning about the geological processes that led to their formation! This park also has a lake and camping sites.
- Great Smoky Mountains National Park -- a little crowded, but the salamanders are worth the visit!
- Huntley Meadows Park in Fairfax County VA – a hidden treasure! Over 1,400 acres of tidal wetlands and forested wetlands. Fascinating visitors center and great educational programs. Bird watchers – this is the place for you!
- Riverbend park in Fairfax County VA – right next to the Potomac River, the perfect place to enjoy the Potomac river gorge without the crowding often found at Great Falls National Park. If you go, be sure to drive into the little town of Great Falls VA for a slice of pizza at Deli Italiano – best in Northern VA!
- Shenandoah National Park -- it gets a little crowded in the fall when people come to see the leaves, but this is a great park for year-round activity. Lots of wildlife including black bears! Don't miss the beautiful White Oak Canyon Trail, and if you're not into camping, try the Lewis Mountain Cabins.
- Sky Meadows State Park near Paris VA– Easily one of my favorite state parks in Virginia. Easy driving distance from the DC metro area, and over 300 interpretive programs per year! Great hiking and beautiful views.
When I want to enjoy nature, here are a few places I go: