Maymont Park is a beautiful 100 acre park set right in the heart of Richmond, VA. Despite the hustle and bustle of the city, the atmosphere of the park makes you feel as though you’re out in the country side, with beautiful trees obscuring the city skyline.
For history lovers, the park is home to a historical mansion, dating back to the Gilded Age. Guided tours take patrons throughout the mansion, providing information about the wealthy Dooley family that built and owned the estate. Other historical buildings in the estate house the carriage collection, a historical collection of antique horse-drawn carriages and sleighs, many of which are in pristine condition.
Besides history, Maymont is also a wildlife refuge, providing homes to native injured Virginian wild life in order to conserve and raise awareness for certain species. Inside the park there are exhibits filled with bears, birds of prey, bobcats, foxes, and even bison. There is also a children’s farm and petting zoo housing classic farm animals such as goats and pigs.
There is also an indoor visitor’s section in the park housing tons of native fish, amphibians, and reptiles native to Virginia. Children and parents alike can watch the otters play or see ancient snapping turtles. While the rest of the park is free to the public, the visitor’s center does charge a $3 entrance fee, though the money goes towards caring for the park’s many animals and nature programs.
Even if you aren’t an animal lover, you can explore the park’s beautiful gardens which are themed to different places around the world. The Italian Garden is a popular wedding destination, adorned with columns, statuary, a gazebo, and a breathtaking fountain all carved in smooth stonework. The flowers are extremely vibrant and smell so lovely the wind carries their scent all throughout the park. There is also a Japanese garden featuring a relaxing waterfall and a massive koi pond. While sporting very little flowers, the Japanese garden finds its beauty in deep red Japanese maples and, in the Spring, gorgeous sakura trees.