Norfolk Botanical Garden pictured above @anna_on_the_keys, Instagram  

Spring is here, and with it comes warmer weather and these top 9 things to do outdoors. We’ve put together some local favorites and recommendations for your ultimate spring bucket list! 

1. Pack a Picnic

Town Point Park Picnic - Crowdriff@seldenmarket, Instagram

Norfolk is surrounded by water on three sides, which makes for many parks with waterfront views. Grab sandwiches from Pendulum Fine Meats’ Luncheonette, some of the most sustainably sourced meat in town, and make your way to a relaxing picnic at Norfolk’s Plum Point Park to watch the sailboats glide by. Or for a downtown picnic, pick up a colorful throw or fabric from Pure Lagos, a little lumpia and garlic fried rice from Slide Thru Fam and stroll across the street to Town Point Park for a picnic on the waterfront.

2. Watch a Sunrise at the Beach

spring bucket list - beach

@quintthepup, Instagram

The sun rises in the east, and we are blessed in Norfolk with soft sand and beautiful sites of the sunrise on two of our beaches, East Beach and Ocean View. Grab a coffee to-go from Cova and make your way to either location for a gorgeous sunrise over the water. Bring the pup! Dogs are allowed on both beaches until 10 am.

3. Gather Fresh Produce at a Farmer’s Market

spring bucketlist - farmers market

There’s nothing better than snacking on fresh berries and organic veggies. Peruse our Top Farmers Markets in Norfolk and find some sun-soaked produce and fun souvenirs like handmade soap and local honey.

4. Explore a Themed Garden

The beautiful Norfolk Botanical Garden has over 60 themed gardens on the property and there is always something to explore. Most blooms can be spotted during the spring and summer months, but make sure to check out their year-round gardens too. The Sensory Garden is year-round and filled with plants that will please all of your senses. Visitors are encouraged to enjoy the sights, textures and smells of this space.

5. Enjoy a Rainy Day

spring bucket list - barry art museum

Yes, we said it… ENJOY your rainy day. With spring comes showers, but that doesn’t mean you have to sit inside! Explore our abundance of museums, including the Chrysler Museum of Art, Nauticus Maritime Museum, Hermitage Museum & Gardens, MacArthur Memorial and the Hunter House Victorian Museum. Be sure to splash in a rain puddle on your way in! For more museums, click here.

6. Find a Piece of Art

Giant sculptures, iron statues and a life-size kaleidoscope are all pieces that are scattered throughout our city for your enjoyment. While there are more than 50 pieces of public art (and counting), we’ve rounded up the must-see pieces for you. 

7. Read on a Rooftop

spring bucket list - slover library@dsullivan32, Instagram

The gorgeous Slover Library in Downtown Norfolk offers rooftop patios where you can relax and read in the beautiful weather outside, all for free!

8. Dine on the Patio

Located in the south, Norfolk boasts a warm spring. What better way to soak up the sun than to dine and sip outside? Check out Longboards for a surf shack vibe and marina views, or grab a bite of Italian food on a rooftop patio with garden lights at Leone'sCheck out more patio dining here.

9. Walk Among Animals at the Zoo

spring bucket list - virginia zoo@heidigoseek74, Instagram

The Virginia Zoo is located in the heart of the city. Stroll the 53 acres of luscious gardens and visit its 700 furry, feathered and scaly animal friends. Witness the animals in their natural habitat; giraffes outstretching for leaves, monkeys swinging from branch to branch and grasp a moment of tranquility with the songs from a Magpie bird before you head home.