I have to put Maymont in the unexpected gem category. Erika and I headed down to Richmond last month and while we were there I nonchalantly asked someone how far Maymont was. Earlier, I received a Garden tip via some friends; Britney Dilberto, Jason McClellan, and Kelly. Having not done any research, I presumed this “Maymont” would be a place I could check out some other month, or even year. I learned my lesson in that one day. Always, always check out every tip – It’s a tip for a reason. This is precisely why I take tips sooo seriously now.
Being that we were just 15 minutes away, I suggested to Erika that we stop by and get a feel. The trip was a surprise at nearly every turn. First of all, instead of paying a set fee to get in, there is a suggested donation box. Very nice. We ended giving more.
Maymont is a huge park with gardens, an aviary, children’s farm and even a small wildlife habitat. arboretum and, of course, the mansion and related buildings and the educational center. This is a day long destination garden.
The great thing about Maymont is that it’s a journey; it’s a walker’s paradise for those who like to explore.
I especially enjoyed stumbling through a small hole in the foliage. After standing up I found myself in full view of an entirely unexpected waterfall!
The Mansion and Park are the preserved property of James and Sallie Dooley who lived on this hill over the James River during the Gilded Age of Wealth. The Dolley mansion boasts 12,000 square feet and has over 33 rooms. The tour is an event just in itself. For more information on this magnificent mansion’s interior go to http://www.maymont.org/NetCommunity/Page.aspx?pid=330
For a fee there are also Carriage rides available for traversing the park in addition to the free Tram!
Erika and I just popped back down about a week ago to see this wonderland in it’s full Fall foliage and to take in the areas of the park we didn’t know were there. It was even better on round two. If your looking for a fun day to stroll romantically, birdwatch or take the kids, this is a great one!
This week, look for Assistant Garden Photo Bee and birding enthusiast Erika Malmgren’s first post for the blog! She will be covering all birding related areas of our visits.
Come back tomorrow for a lovely visit to the vast and colorful Japanese Garden.