First Landing State Park – Virginia Beach, Virginia
We love First Landing trails for hiking/walking and even trail runs. We love nature and the trails are easy to navigate. One of the trails lead to a beautiful hidden beach. First Landing it’s such a lovely place to be! There are tons of trails for hiking, biking and running. There is a trail center with maps, an informative museum,gifts, restrooms and a venue for special occasions. This is a great place for weddings, trail side or beach side. Where you can find me hiking the most.
Yes you have to pay for admission. But you are surrounded by beauty every step of the way. They have a snack bar and lots of places to sit if you get weary. Some areas are not shaded very well so it can get super hot in the middle of summer mid-afternoon. I love this place for a hike, even if it isn’t your normal “hike” type area.
456 acres of wilderness and wildlife, with 8.6 miles of loop trail surrounding a lake as well as a nature center with educational information. The trails are accessible year-round, are great for any skill level and dogs are welcome as well as long as they are on a leash. This is a beautiful hike!
Pretty view, isn’t it? This park offers 9 trails that cover approximately 30 miles, featuring a lake and plenty activities from bird watching to forested paths, fields of wildflowers, canoeing, as well as historical sites. The trails are considered suitable for all skill levels and can be fairly popular on nice weekend days, so if you prefer seclusion, get there early. Dogs are also welcome as well but must be on a leash.
Gloomy, rainy weather didn’t stop us from heading out to the Virginia Zoo this weekend. As an animal rights advocate I tend to have a love-hate relationship when it comes to zoos and aquariums. But I can see both sides of the story and know that many zoos are not just out to make money off their acquired living breathing property, but also hope for educating the public on why preservation of these magnificent being is vital. I also know many zoos have visionaries that fight the rights of animals from this angle. Knowing and seeing too well the mass extinctions that are taking place within our animals species habitats as well as species decline due to poaching and other forms ofanimal enslavement and abuse uses.
So when I visit a zoo I usually view with skeptical concerned eyes. But I’m happy to say this zoo does a pretty amazing job with care for their animals and utilizing their position to educate the public and preserve the species that come to live here at the Virginia Zoo. All zoos have room for improvements and recently this zoo had one of their Red Pandas escape because of tree branches. Sadly that Panda was never found. And since then they seem to have implemented more measures for protection of animal and human alike.
My hope always is that those who take on the responsibility of wildlife do so with respect for the animal and their nature and to educate the public on the beauty they possess and that if we do not take care and heed, they may all one day be gone.
Saturday the hubby and I had a morning yoga session at the Norfolk Botanical Gardens. The gardens host quite a few different community projects as well as certificate programs in Floral Design. It was a gorgeous cool spring day and a perfect way to spend Saturday morning together! The class was very beginner friendly and the instructor, Charlotte was amazing! She also teaches Yin Yoga at the The Space Above Yoga Center.
After yoga, we received free admission with the cost of the yoga class. What a beautiful way to spend a Saturday morning, yoga to restore surrounded with nature’s beauty. It was a magical day!
It was peaceful and kind of meditative at times. Even though we’ve live in this area nearly 9 years, my hubby’s never been to the Botanical Gardens before. So this made the day extra special.
I’ve been to the Gardens with visiting friends during the height of tourist season and it was beautiful. But it was hot and can get crowded. I’ve always recommended people travel here during off season. No lines, hotels are less expensive, and events are less crowded. So plan two trips to the area. One for relaxing and one to take in all the tourist vibe events!
So now come take a walk with us as we explore the
Norfolk Botanical Gardens
“There is unspeakable beauty and potential to be found in nature. It entices me and is an invitation I just have to accept.” ~Jil Ashton-Leigh
“A human being is a part of the whole called by us universe, a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feeling as something separated from the rest, a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest to us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty.” ~Albert Einstein
“It is no longer sufficient to describe the world of nature. The point is to defend it.” ~Edward Abbey
“There is a pleasure in the pathless woods, There is a rapture on the lonely shore, There is society, where none intrudes, By the deep sea, and music in its roar: I love not man the less, but Nature more” ~George Gordon Byron
“Adopt the pace of nature: her secret is patience.” ~Ralph Waldo Emerson
“‘Is the spring coming?’ he said. ‘What is it like?’ …
‘It is the sun shining on the rain and the rain falling on the sunshine, and things pushing up and working under the earth.'”
~Frances Hodgson Burnett, The Secret Garden
“Those who contemplate the beauty of the earth find reserves of strength that will endure as long as life lasts. … There is something infinitely healing in the repeated refrains of nature — the assurance that dawn comes after night, and spring after winter.”
~Rachel Carson, Silent Spring
“Nature’s peace will flow into you as sunshine flows into trees. The winds will blow their own freshness into you, and the storms their energy, while cares will drop off like autumn leaves.”
~John Muir, Our National Parks
“I felt like lying down by the side of the trail and remembering it all. The woods do that to you, they always look familiar, long lost, like the face of a long-dead relative, like an old dream, like a piece of forgotten song drifting across the water, most of all like golden eternities of past childhood or past manhood and all the living and the dying and the heartbreak that went on a million years ago and the clouds as they pass overhead seem to testify (by their own lonesome familiarity) to this feeling.”
~Jack Kerouac, The Dharma Bums
“An early morning walk is a blessing for the whole day.”
~Henry David Thoreau
“Whoever loves and understands a garden will find contentment within.”
As we walked through the Enchanted Forest, the birds became hyper aware and greeted us as we passed by! It was magical!
“Nature does not hurry, yet everything is accomplished.”
~ Lao Tzu
But the Butterfly Garden was blooming!
In a field of roses, she is a wildflower.
“One touch of nature makes the whole world kin.” ~William Shakespeare
“The richness I achieve comes from Nature, the source of my inspiration.”
The Rose Garden
“One of the most tragic things I know about human nature is that all of us tend to put off living. We are all dreaming of some magical rose garden over the horizon instead of enjoying the roses that are blooming outside our windows today.”
“Take time to smell the roses.”
Hope you enjoyed the tour of the Norfolk Botanical Gardens. We highly recommend it for a low key, long walk kind of day filled with beauty.