Swimming, sunbathing, floating

Welcome to the most unique urban beach in the country, or so Richmonders think. There are swimming, sunbathing and floating spots all along the riverfront, but be forewarned the mighty James River is just that: mighty strong. There are class III and IV rapids roaring through downtown, as well as a number of calm swimming holes along the river. You have similar extremes when it comes to sunbathing; there are hundreds of rocks to lounge on and soft, sandy “beaches.” Remember, when floating in the river, have your feet headed downstream to protect you from the rocks. Here are some guides to swimming and floating on the James.

Guide to tubing on the James
Best swimming holes in Richmond
Top 10 places to swim in James River Watershed

Several companies offer visitors the chance to explore the James River and its shoreline through kayak, canoe, tube and riverboard rentals or guided trips.

Riverside Outfitters

Hours

Memorial Day through Labor Day
9 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily
Labor Day through Memorial Day
9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Tuesday through Sunday

Contact

Riverside Outfitters
6836 Old Westham Road
Richmond, Virginia 23225
(804) 560-0068
Driving directions 

River City Rafting

No hours listed.

100 Stockton Street
Richmond, Virginia 23224
804) 232-7238
reservations@rivercityraft.com