Northern Virginia offers a wide array of gardens, parks, monuments and trails to explore. No matter where you live, you’re bound to find one or all three within a 30 minute drive or less. With so many places to check out, it’s hard to pick our favorites so we’ve collected some of our top picks for you to check out!

Hidden Gem: Meadowlark Botanical Gardens

Meadowlark Botanical Gardens Founded in 1975, this park is a gem for both locals and visitors. This small park serves as a sanctuary for birds and butterflies while offering plenty of outdoor space to enjoy nature. The park is divided into two sections: the Meadowlark Garden and the Meadowlark Sanctuary. The former is a public garden that offers a variety of plants and flowers. The latter is a sanctuary for birds, butterflies and other animals.

Popular destination: Great Falls Park

This park, also known as the C&O Canal National Historic Park, is a popular spot for locals and visitors. You can find numerous trails, an observation deck, and even picnic areas. The park is also a popular destination for fishing and whitewater rafting. The C&O Canal Towpath Trail, which spans the length of the canal, is said to be one of the most scenic bike trails in the world.

Fun for everyone: Potomac Heritage National Scenic Riverway

The Potomac Heritage National Scenic Trail has something for everyone! This trail is a great way to experience the area’s natural beauty. It runs along the Potomac River and is part of a larger national trail system that connects to trails in other states. Great for kids Big Meadows Campground

Great for kids: Big Meadows Campground

The campground offers safe, family-friendly sites—some with electricity and water hookups. There are also horse corrals, picnic areas, and a playground.

Must-visit: Prince William National Forest, Triangle

A 9-mile scenic circle drive, 37 miles of lovely hiking paths, and paved and gravel biking roads may all be found in Prince William. You may learn more about the park’s fascinating past in the Visitor Center and on many of the trails in its 15,000 acres. Historic cabins or undeveloped areas are available for camping. On national fee-free days, there is no entry cost. Best for history, biking, and hiking enthusiasts of all ages.

What’s your favorite NoVa park? Comment below!