28 OF THE BEST THINGS TO DO IN FORT LEE
By Tracy Fuga
IntroductionWelcome to Fort Lee, located in America’s Historic Heartland in Virginia. The installation is just a short drive from the bustling city of Richmond which boasts a population of approximately 230,000. This beautiful and historic area has so much to offer visitors and those lucky enough to call it home. The weather tends to be on the warmer side here so you can always count on having something to do outdoors, if that’s what you’re into. And most of the time you won’t even have to leave the gates of the installation to find it! Here is a list of 26 of the best things to do while living on or near Fort Lee.
Suggested Read:Fort Lee Virginia: In-Depth Welcome Center
COVID-19 NoticeDue to the ongoing novel coronavirus pandemic, many businesses, venues, and parks may be temporarily closed or operating under restricted hours. Many, if not all, of the ones listed here, are likely subject to such restrictions for the time being though new re-openings and closings occur all the time. Therefore, a place we mention here may not currently be open or available for the time being. Check individual websites provided in each section or call to find out each place’s current hours and situation.
25 Things to Do in Fort LeeKnow what you are looking for? Click the number(s) to go right to what you go: (1-6) Parks (7-9) Golfing (10) Shooting Range (11) Fishing and Hunting (12-14) Gyms (15) Bowling (16-20) Attractions (21-24) Museums (25) Theater (26) Movie Theater (27-28) Distilleries & Breweries
Fort Lee Parks
1. Fort Lee Dog ParkBattle Drive, Building 9024 1 (804) 359-1539 Dog parks are a great way for owners and their pets to socialize, exercise, and strengthen their bond. Fort Lee’s fenced Dog Park is open from sunrise to sunset to allow ample off-leash playtime for your furry friends, helping them get accustomed to being around other dogs and enjoying the fresh air. Following proper dog park etiquette is essential to a great experience.
2. Pocahontas State Park10301 State Park Road Chesterfield, VA 23832 1 (804) 796-4255 Just 20 miles from Richmond, Pocahontas offers boating, picnicking, camping, camping cabins, 90-plus miles of trails, and nature and history programs. The Aquatic Center has a toddler pool, fountain wet deck, three-foot, and five-foot-deep leisure pools, an activity pool, and two tubular water slides, which means there are water-based activities available for kids and adults alike. Three lakes offer plenty of fishing. Boat rentals are available seasonally by the 225-acre Swift Creek Lake. Dining halls may be rented for meetings, weddings, and special events. Rustic group facilities with overnight cabins are available seasonally for larger groups. And a 2,000 seat amphitheater hosts a series of concerts and family-friendly entertainment.
3. Dutch Gap Conservation341 Henricus Park Road Chester, VA 23836 1 (804) 706-9690 Dutch Gap Conservation is a 25-minute drive north of Fort Lee but it might as well be a different world. The area within Henricus Historical Park is home to bald cypresses and is an ornithologist's dream - providing delightful bird watching opportunities. The southern section has a 4.5-mile trail loop that features a freshwater tidal lagoon, a favorite spot for anglers in search of bass. Eagles and other rare birds and a myriad of fish and wildlife can be viewed. Also, the area includes a blue heron rookery and a 2.5-mile Lagoon Water Trail, where paddlers can observe the remnants of submerged barges and several islands.
4. Lake Chesdin713 Sutherland Road Church Road, VA, 23833 1 (804) 265-9000 Just about half an hour drive west from Fort Lee, discover a quiet shore where you can fish day or night and go boating under the stars with a 24-hour ramp. Lake Chesdin is a reservoir that sits along the Appomattox River stocked with largemouth bass, big striped bass, walleye, catfish, and crappie. The Lake Chesdin Campground on the south side of the reservoir has 26 acres of shorefront property including a sandy beach for swimming, picnic tables, play areas, and a pavilion for larger get-togethers. Camping includes tent and RV sites with hookups available.
5. Hopewell Riverwalk at City Park205 Appomattox St. Hopewell, VA 23860 1 (804) 541-2353 At the mouth of the James River sits City Park, a mere 6 miles from Fort Lee. The Hopewell Riverwalk is a 1,700-foot boardwalk that follows the shoreline of the Appomattox River, near its confluence with the James River at City Point. While strolling along the Riverwalk it’s common to encounter bald eagles, great blue heron, and osprey. The Riverwalk is a family-friendly setting with railings on both sides from start to finish and plenty of room for strollers. Bicycles, motorized vehicles (except powered wheelchairs), and fishing are not permitted along the Riverwalk.
6. Gloucester Point Beach Park1255 Greate Road Gloucester Point, VA 23062 1 (804) 693-2355 Gloucester Point Beach Park has a large, shady and grassy area with picnic spots and a shelter, just an hour from Fort Lee’s front gates. The swimming area and sandy beach are perfect for sunbathing, wading, sandcastles and beach fun for the whole crew. The Beach House has a concession stand, restrooms and outdoor shower available during the summer season. The picnic shelter is available to rent for group picnics and it’s conveniently located near the volleyball court, restrooms, outdoor shower, concessions stand, beach, and fishing pier.
Fort Lee Golf Course
7. Cardinal Golf Club at Fort Lee11810 A Ave. Fort Lee, VA 23801 1 (804) 734-2899 Open all week (including most holidays) from dawn to dusk, this 27-hole golf course on Fort Lee offers a nice variety of length and playability that challenges all levels of golfers, from beginners to the pros. Spend some time at the full practice range before your tee time or work on your putting and chipping at the two large greens. A fully stocked pro shop is available to make purchases or inquire about lessons. There is also the Cardinal Golf Course Quick Service Restaurant where golfers can take a break and enjoy a variety of hot and cold sandwiches, soft drinks, and a wide variety of draft and canned beer.
8. Dogwood Trace Golf Course3108 Homestead Drive Petersburg, VA 23805 1 (804) 732-5573 The 18-hole Dogwood Trace Golf Course (formerly known as Lee Park Golf Course) in Petersburg, VA is a public golf course. Stretching over 6600 yards from the back tees while playing to a par 72 the course features four different sets of tee boxes and can be enjoyed by players of all skill levels. Players will find extensive bunkering lakes and ponds with bulkheads that come into play on several holes and well-manicured challenging greens.
9. Prince George Golf Course8399 Golf Course Drive Disputanta, VA 23842 1 (804) 991-2251 Prince George Golf Course is player friendly and great for beginners, but the many water hazards and strategically placed sand traps make it challenging enough to appeal to more advanced players. It's a golf course that is as scenic as it is challenging with each hole offering a different setting. In addition to the golf course, Prince George has one of the most extensive practice facilities in the area, featuring chipping and putting areas where you can work on your short game and a driving range for your long game.
Fort Lee Shooting Range
10. Personally Owned Weapons Range at Fort LeeRange #8 Fort Lee, VA 23801 1 (804) 765-1631 Looking to do some target practice? Look no further than Fort Lee’s Personally Owned Weapons Range. Open the first and third Sundays of the month, from 1000 to 1600. Gun enthusiasts can practice shooting with the following weapons: handgun, muzzleloader, shotgun, rimfires, and centerfire calibers. Targets are available for sale but you need to supply your own ear and eye protection and ammunition.
Fort Lee Fishing and Hunting
11. Outdoor Recreation15014 Fifth St. Fort Lee, VA 23801 1 (804) 765-2212 Hunting is permitted on post at Fort Lee, plus other local areas to explore. You’ll find information, maps and policies for both off-post hunting and fishing at the Outdoor Recreation building.
Fort Lee Gyms
12. Intramural and Varsity Sports4320 C Ave. Fort Lee, VA 23801 1 (804) 765-36896/3057 The Sports Office on Fort Lee provides athletically skilled Soldiers the opportunity to train and compete in individual and team sports. The best of the best might have the chance to go head to head against Air Force, Marine and Navy athletes in Armed Forces Sports events.
13. Clark Fitness Center2414 C Ave. Fort Lee, VA 23801 1 (804) 765-3636 The Clark Fitness Center has a lot to offer Fort Lee Family and MWR patrons, from racquetball courts and fitness/cardio rooms to saunas and a basketball court. All of your fitness needs can be met at this Fort Lee gym.
14. MacLaughlin Fitness Center4320 C Ave. Petersburg, VA 23805 1 (804) 765-3070 The MacLaughlin Fitness Center is the place to go for fitness classes on Fort Lee. You can choose from aerobics, boot camp, various styles of yoga, spinning and Zumba. The center also has a cardio room, weight room, Nautilus equipment room, saunas, racquetball courts and a basketball court. See the website for hours.
Fort Lee Bowling Alley
15. TenStrike Bowling Center at Fort Lee8016 C Ave. Fort Lee, VA 23801 1 (804) 734-6860 Featuring 32 bowling lanes, party packages, party/meeting rooms, youth bowling leagues, the TenStrike Action City Grill, and more. Regular game pricing, shoe rental, and event information can be found on their site here.
Fort Lee Attractions
16. Leisure Travel Office9024 Battle Drive Fort Lee, VA 23801 1 (804) 765-3789 The Leisure Travel Office offers discounted and special offer tickets to local, regional, and national theme parks, tours, attractions, and events. Special military discounted tickets and passes to Disney World, theme parks, Busch Gardens Williamsburg, zoos, aquariums, sporting events and movie tickets are just a few of the offers the LTS provides. This office is a great resource for seeking out new adventures and area information.
17. Petersburg National Battlefield5001 Siege Road Prince George, VA 23875 1 (804) 732-3531 Petersburg National Battlefield is the site of a grueling Civil War siege that spelled the end of Robert E. Lee’s Army (for which Fort Lee is named). This 2,700 acre park contains a 16-stop driving tour which takes visitors through all four units of Petersburg National Battlefield. Even if history isn’t your thing, it’s a beautiful place to hike with 10 miles of wooded nature trails and 8 miles of forested trails. Enjoy via bicycle, horseback or on foot.
18. Kings Dominion16000 Theme Park Way Doswell, VA 23047 1 (804) 876-5000 There’s so much to do at Kings Dominion that it’s almost impossible to take in everything in just one day. There are more than 60 rides, shows, and attractions including 12 roller coasters and a water park. Soak City was expanded in 2020 to include a new area called Coconut Shores, featuring a multi-level water play structure and a children’s wave pool.
19. Virginia Aquarium and Marine Science Center717 General Booth Blvd. Virginia Beach, VA 23451 1 (757) 385-3474 The Virginia Aquarium and Marine Science Center is home to more than 10,000 animals representing over 300 species in 800,000 gallons of fresh and seawater displays. Exhibits and hands-on experiences provide plenty of fun options for the whole family. Boat trips to see dolphins and whales in the Atlantic Ocean are also available. The onsite Adventure Park also offers endless fun including an eco-friendly zipline and aerial adventure experiences for kids, teens and adults to experience and enjoy.
20. Virginia Safari Park229 Safari Lane Natural Bridge, VA 24578 1 (540) 291-3205 While it’s a bit of a trek from the gates of Fort Lee (approximately 3 hours), you won’t want to miss the only drive-thru zoo in the state. Virginia Safari Park gives you the chance to get up close and feed more than 1,200 free roaming animals through the comfort of your own car. The three-mile route winds through the Shenandoah Valley countryside where you’ll feed camels, zebras, elk, llamas and bison. Or opt to take a 45-minute guided tour on the Safari Wagon Ride.
Fort Lee Museums
21. US Army Quartermaster Museum2220 Adams Ave. Fort Lee, VA 23801 1 (804) 734-4339 Since the creation of the United States Army, the Soldiers of the Quartermaster Corps have tirelessly and courageously kept the supply and logistical operations needed to fight and win running smoothly. Learn all about the history of these men and women through the numerous exhibits, multiple wings, and over 24,000 artifacts on display at the Quartermaster Museum.
22. US Army Women’s Museum2100 "A" Avenue, Bldg 5219 Fort Lee, VA 23801 1 (804) 734-4327 While they weren’t allowed to officially enlist until the 20th century, that has not stopped countless women from serving the Army and their country since 1775. Learn all about the courageous American women who gave their time, sweat, and blood in defense of our nation at the Army Women’s Museum. Visit on your own, take a tour, enjoy the research library, and more, all for free.
23. The Poe Museum1914 E. Main St. Richmond, VA 23223 1 (804) 648-5523 The Edgar Allan Poe Museum is a museum in the Shockoe Bottom neighborhood of Richmond, dedicated to the legendary American writer Edgar Allan Poe. Though Poe never lived in the building, it serves to commemorate his time living in Richmond. The museum’s centerpiece is the Enchanted Garden, inspired by Poe’s poem “To One in Paradise.”
24. Virginia Living Museum524 J. Clyde Morris Blvd. Newport News, VA 23601 1 (757) 595-1900 Discover Virginia’s combination aquarium, zoo, botanical gardens and science center, the Virginia Living Museum. View endangered red wolves up close and see sharks, jellyfish, fish without eyes, flying squirrels, stingrays and more. Experience the Touch Tank and walk along the boardwalk outside to view coastal birds, otters and beavers. Don’t miss the Butterfly Garden and Virginia Garden with the most extensive displays of native plants in the state. And lastly, the outdoor Dinosaur Discovery Trail where you can explore fossils and 16 life-like dinosaurs.
Fort Lee Theater
25. The Theater Company at Fort Lee1100 Mahone Ave. Fort Lee, VA 23801 1 (804) 734-6629 The Theater Company at Fort Lee is a nonprofit community theater dedicated to sharing its love of musical and non-musical theater with the masses. Some past seasons included productions of “Annie,” “White Christmas,” “Cinderella,” “9 to 5” and “Hello Dolly!” The Fort Lee theater is one of the only local theaters that offers year-round theatrical experiences for children with two productions during the regular season and an annual summer camp.
Fort Lee Movie Theater
26. Destination Theater5246 Oaklawn Blvd Hopewell, VA 23860 1 (804) 415-4000 Due to the coronavirus, the Destination Theater made an announcement on their Facebook that they will remain closed to the public until movies start to showcase in the theaters again. Once they open back up they promise to bring back their fan favorite fresh popcorn and a fun, safe environment to watch future box office hits.
Distilleries and Breweries
27. DistilleriesAmerican spirits were born in Virginia. In fact, the first batch of whiskey was distilled in the state back in 1620. Most people don’t associate Virginia with spirits but there are distilleries to be found throughout the state. Plan a tour with a group or find the distilleries closest to you for a quick tasting.
28. BreweriesLike most of the country, Virginia has become inundated with craft breweries in the last decade. In a short period of time Virginia has become a state that loves craft beer and brew trails and regions have been popping up all over. Find the craft beer trail closest to Fort Lee or venture further out to enjoy that hoppy goodness.
ConclusionThe area around Fort Lee is bustling with things to do. It’s perfect for avid fishermen and hunters, outdoor enthusiasts, thrill seekers or literary junkies. Whatever your mood or hobby, there’s something for you to enjoy near your new home. Get out there and see why there’s so much to love about Virginia!
The appearance of U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) visual information does not imply or constitute DoD endorsement.
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