Maymont House and Gardens
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Maymont House and Gardens is located at 2201 Shields Lake Dr, Richmond, Virginia. Admission is free with a suggested $5 donation. Your admission gain you access to the Maymont House Museum, 100-acre Estate & Park, Italian & Japanese gardens, the arboretum, the carriage collection, the nature center, wildlife exhibits and the children farm. Stepping through the gates of Maymont is like passing through a "Stargate". You enter an elegant estate with 100 acres of natural beauty. James Dooley and his wife Sallie made Maymount their home from 1893 to 1925. James made his money the hard way, building a railroad empire. The entire estate is a professionally preserved historic landmark, managed by a not for profit group dedicated to excellence. You may take a guided tour of the Dooleys' lavish residence. You may stroll winding walkways with panoramic views of park-like settings, the mighty James Rivier far below the estate, formal gardens, hundreds specimen century-old trees, and picturesque estate buildings. You may visit the nature center (good depiction of the natural water cycle), the outdoor wildlife exhibits that includes a pair of brown bears, and the children farm. A 33-room mansion preserves the lavish lifestyle of American millionaires of the 1890s. Frescoes, "Tiffany" stained glass, and finest woodworking are some of the highlights of the upstairs interiors. The contents of the house are mostly originals from the estate. Mrs. Dooley's bedroom features an unique swan bed. Downstairs, the heart of the house is fully restored and reveals the life of the staff that ran this house. The rooms include the kitchen, common pantry, butlers pantry and wine cellar. A 100-acre private playground in the heart of the capital of the south. Maymont is one of the most significant original Victorian landscapes remaining on the East Coast. You can observe that the entire hill has been terraced to provide space for the ever-blooming Italian Garden, the Japanese Garden with a 45-foot tall waterfall, more than 200 specimens of native and exotic trees, a grotto, fountains and gazebos. The carriage collection include both everyday and luxury horse-drawn vehicles. It is possible to arrange for a private private carriage ride. You must call in advance. The children farm is hands on, the available species will vary. The outdoor Virginia wildlife exhibits include a pair of brown bears, bison and bobcats. The nature center includes a 20,000-gallon aquarium with interactive displays that accurately depicts the flora and fauna of the James River. Included on the grounds of Maymont are a gift shop, restaurant/cafe/lunch room.
Facilities of the Maymont House and Gardens may be rented for special events.