Due to COVID-19 concerns, we understand many people are leery of visiting the usual touristy beach spots they usually enjoy. If you’re looking for ways to safely social distance but still have fun and stay cool, we have some great swimming hole suggestions for you!
Whether you want to hike then swim or just throw your flip flops off and splash in the water, these swimming holes in Virginia are within 3 hours of the Metro DC area. So, pack a bathing suit, towel, sun block and your mask to make the last month of the summer the most memorable yet.
Colonial Beach, VA
1 hour 30 minutes from DC Metro
Image courtesy of Fredericksburg.com
Colonial Beach offers sand, sun and water but is less crowded than the big name beaches. Learn more by visiting: https://colonialbeachva.net/.
Fun Fact: It is located on the Virginia/Maryland line so if you step one foot into the water, you have left Virginia and entered Maryland
1 hour 40 minutes from DC Metro
Image courtesy of 365 things to do in Richmond, VA
This portion of the James River is a classic swimming hole in Virginia. Belle Isle offers the opportunity to swim, sunbath on the rocks, kayak, hike and bike. Learn more by visiting: https://www.dcr.virginia.gov/state-parks/belle-isle
1 hour 45 minutes from DC Metro
Image courtesy of James River Park
Pony Pasture Rapids is also located on the James River and offers swimming, kayaking, fishing and rapid water fun. Learn more by visiting: https://jamesriverpark.org/project/pony-pasture-rapids
Scott County, VA
1 hour 55 minutes from DC Metro
Image courtesy of Waterfalls Hiker
It’s an easy to moderate 1-mile round trip to get to Little Stony Creek Falls. Once you are there, you will be able to swim while enjoying the views of the 24-foot high waterfall and lush cove hardwood forest. Learn more by visiting: https://www.explorescottcountyva.org/recreation/recreation-hiking/little-stony-falls/
1 hour 55 minutes from DC Metro
Image courtesy of Live And Let Hike
White Oak Canyon Falls offers easy to difficult hiking trails with a variety of swimming spots to choose from. Learn more by visiting: https://www.nps.gov/thingstodo/hikewhiteoakcanyon.htm
Paige County, VA
2 hours 15 minutes from DC Metro
Image courtesy of Hiking Upward
Emerald Pond is a beautiful spring fed swimming hole tucked away off the Bird Knob Hiking Trail. The views are beautiful, and water is clear & inviting. Learn more by visiting: https://www.onlyinyourstate.com/virginia/emerald-pond-hidden-lagoon-va/
2 hr 45 minutes from DC Metro
Image courtesy of Mama Go To Maps
The falls here are actually man-made but still offer a perfect place to take a dip. You can even slide down the smooth rocks for extra fun. Learn more by visiting: https://www.virginia.org/Listings/OutdoorsAndSports/NottowayFalls/
2 hours 45 minutes from DC Metro
Image courtesy of Tripadvisor
This destination offers ¾ of a mile of beach, lifeguards and even jet ski & kayak rental options.
Learn more by visiting: https://hampton.gov/3503/Buckroe-Beach-Park
Rockbridge County, VA
2 hours 50 minutes from DC Metro
Image courtesy of dcr.virginia.gov
There are multiple places to splash in the water along the Maury River. This area also offers fishing and a variety of skilled hiking trails. Learn more by visiting: https://www.dcr.virginia.gov/natural-heritage/natural-area-preserves/goshen
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