River City’s Best Watering Holes

Cooling off in the river is a great option when it’s hot in Richmond. The James is easy to access from lots of spots and finding a watering hole to keep cool when temperatures spike is a fun option for everyone.
Pony Pasture is one of the best jumping-off points. This ‘urban paradise’ has shallow waters along the shore that are great for kids and it also has rapids for sliding (carefully) over the river’s rocks. Downriver from Pony Pasture, Belle Isle has an inland quarry and bigger rapids along its banks. Belle Isle’s boulders make for great resting spots to picnic and sunbathe in between your dips in the river.
One of RVA’s best-kept secrets is the ‘Philadelphia Quarry.’ Though it’s open by invitation only, this secluded quarry near Douglasdale Road offers cool waters and a cool history too. The seemingly misplaced name is attributed to its granite being used for Philadelphia’s city hall in the 1800s.
If you’re in the mood to splash around outside of River City, you can head to the coast or find some freshwater streams in the mountains. Visit Virginia’s guide to soothing swimming holes here.

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