Despite a couple of false starts in February, spring is almost here in Northern Virginia (we promise!). And whether you’re planning excursions with your family, friends or significant other, the NoVa area has countless options for fair-weather fun. Spring into action with our list of featured festivals, hiking adventures and bike trails in or a quick drive away from Northern Virginia:best laptops for gaming 2017
Virginia Arts Festival (March 18 - May 29)
March marks the 20th anniversary of the Virginia Arts Festival, an event that brings artists from all over the globe to perform in venues throughout the Coastal Virginia - Hampton Roads area. The Festival aims to bring world-class performing arts to Virginia citizens and visitors, and makes a positive impact on students’ lives through educational programs. Highlights of this year’s line-up include Itzhak Perlman performing with the Virginia Symphony Orchestra on April 13 and the Royal Winnipeg Ballet’s performance of Swan Lake from March 31 through April 2. Visit www.vafest.org for more information and for a full list of events.
National Cherry Blossom Festival (March 20 - April 16)
One of the biggest benefits of living in Northern Virginia is quick, easy access to Washington, D.C.’s wide array of cultural events and institutions. Each spring, the District celebrates the National Cherry Blossom Festival, an explosion of pink and blush that draws crowds into the District from all over the globe. The Festival celebrates the enduring friendship between the United States and Japan, with diverse and creative programming that promotes traditional and contemporary arts and culture, nature, and community spirit. Many of the Festival’s events are free and open to the public. Highlights include the official opening ceremony on March 25 and the Blossom Kite Festival on April 1. Visit www.nationalcherryblossomfestival.org for more information and full schedule of events.
A memorial to America’s 26th president, Theodore Roosevelt Island was transformed by landscape architects in the 1930s from neglected, overgrown farmland into a “real forest” designed to resemble the natural forest that once covered the island. Today you can enjoy miles of trails through wooded uplands and swampy bottomlands that pay tribute to Roosevelt, a great outdoorsman and conservationist. Pro tip: download your Roosevelt Island trail map, birding checklist and brochure here.
Home of one of the nation’s first canals, Great Falls Park offers jaw-dropping views along with a rare glimpse into early United States history. Great Falls Park has many opportunities to explore both history and nature, all in a stunning 800-acre park. Plan a hike along Mather Gorge's clifftops or stop by the Visitor’s Center to learn more about the history of the Patowmack Canal and how George Washington's interest in the Potomac helped shape the United States.
Ready to grab your bike and hit the road? You’re in luck! Whether you’re cycling for fun or fitness, Northern Virginia is known for scenic bike routes that make for safe, fun rides. Here are two of our favorite NoVa bike trails:
Mount Vernon Trail: 18 Miles
A scenic trail that runs along the Potomac River to George Washington's estate at Mount Vernon, Mount Vernon Trail is recommended for VA residents and visitors, alike.
Washington & Old Dominion Trail: 45 Miles
The Washington & Old Dominion Trail (W&OD or "Wad") offers the chance to explore several Northern Virginia counties, starting in Shirlington and ending in rural Purcellville, VA. The trail is paved with nine foot wide asphalt and passes through quaint villages like Falls Church and Leesburg, and more urban areas such as Reston and Herndon. Visit the Virginia Bicycling Federation for more information on VA bike trails. --- Whether you’re hitting up a festival or hitting the trails this spring, there’s so much to do in Northern Virginia! For more local adventures, check out our list of 4 Virginia Vineyards You Need to Visit.