While You’re There: Main Street Station
Consider stopping by the Main Street Station at the western end of Shockoe Slip. The large red brick structure, also known as The Clock Tower, was one of Richmonds two main train stations for decades . After horrible flooding in the 1970s and a fire in the 1980s, passenger trains were rerouted to the suburban Staples Mill Station. Staples Mill may currently be the main train station in Richmond, but it possesses a tiny fraction of Main Street Stations grandeur.
Luckily, some service has been restored to the old station. There are a few trains, typically one in the morning and one at night, that run to and from Virginia Beach, and to and from the Staples Mill Station, continuing north to D.C. and points beyond. You can take Amtrak if youre in the mood for a daytrip, or just pop in for a stroll around the interior of the beautiful structure.
1500 E Main St, Richmond, VA 23219
Fabulous Weekend Trips From Richmond Va
Are you looking to escape the city and find the best weekend trips from Richmond VA? This guide offers some amazing suggestions for a weekend getaway from RVA! | Day trips from Richmond | Weekend getaways from Richmond VA | Richmond weekend trips | Richmond weekend getaways | Places to visit near Richmond | Places to visit in Virginia | Richmond to Washington DC | Hiking in Virginia | National Parks in Virginia | Weekend trips in Virginia | Weekend trips in North Carolina | Things to do in VA
Fun Things To Do In Richmond Virginia
Richmond, Virginia is a small city that punches well above its weight in terms of history, culture, nightlife, and nature. Whether you like urban or outdoors activities, Richmond has you covered with neighborhoods like The Fan and Shockoe Bottom and its location on the scenic James River. If youre looking for a jumping off point for other cities on the East Coast like D.C., Baltimore, Philadelphia, and New York, Richmonds situated perfectly.
While the city does have a rough history of being the capital of the Confederacy during the Civil War, as well as being the literal murder capital of the US in the 90s, RVA has come a very long way. Crime rates are way down across the board, and people and businesses are moving back into the city. Even Monument Avenue, infamous for its statues glorifying Confederate leaders, has shed nearly all of them.
Today, Richmond is a vibrant, history city with excellent walkability and a growing food scene. Anchored by Virginia Commonwealth University and a wide variety of attractions and companies, there is something to attract and keep people of all types.
Read on for 12 Fun Things to Do in Richmond, Virginia!
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White House Of The Confederacy
Built in 1818 as a private residence, this was the executive residence of Confederate President Jefferson Davis, his wife Varina, and their children from August 1861 until they were forced to leave during the evacuation of Richmond in April 1865.
Beautifully restored to its wartime appearance, it is now furnished in the height of period fashion, with Rococo-Revival furniture upholstered in silk, fine carpets, and flocked wallpaper, as it would have been when guests like Robert E. Lee visited the mansion.
Varian Davis was an accomplished hostess, and the house reflects her style as she entertained at dinners, reception, balls, and garden parties during Richmonds social season. You can visit the garden she planted behind the house, filled with fragrant roses.
Along with the Tredegar Iron Works, it serves as a Museum of the Confederacy, with vast collections of artifacts from the Civil War and the Confederate states. Although the collections include flags, hand weapons, photographs, and other artifacts, the focus of the permanent and changing exhibits is on the personal stories.
Address: 1201 E Clay Street, Richmond, Virginia
When Is The Best Time To Visit Richmond
Anytime September through June is a fine time to visit Richmond .
In my opinion, October is the absolute best time to visit Richmond. Theres crisp air and daytime temperatures that are pleasant for walking through neighborhoods.
My second favorite time of year is late March/early April. The cherry blossoms bloom and there are lots of other spring flowers. Pack a rain jacket though the weather can be hit or miss but a lot of times youll get lucky.
Winters are cool without much snow. If youre used to weather in the northeast or midwest, youll love it.
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Virginia Museum Of Fine Arts
Richmond has a rich cultural history, and the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts exemplifies this.
This VA museum has a mission to keep art alive. You can find all kinds of wonders inside this museum, which the city introduced during the Great Depression.
Opening a museum during such an uncertain time might seem rather risky. However, the people of Richmond and VA as a whole know when something is worth pursuing.
The Virginia Museum of Fine Arts shines as a standard for what art can do for a city. Richmond made it through the Depression, but they havent stopped creative inspiration.
At this Richmond gem are galleries displaying art from different cultures, including African American, South Asian, and Russian.
There is nothing but respect for other ways of life. Its because of the open-minded nature of Richmond that a museum such as this can thrive.
Visiting this VA museum is what to do if you have any reverence for art.
Address: 200 N Arthur Ashe Blvd, Richmond, VA 23220, USA
What To Do In Richmond: Historic Tredegar
One of the three locations for the American Civil War Museum, Historic Tredegar is located near Brown’s Island and Belle Isle on downtown Richmond’s riverfront. It also shares a site with the Richmond National Battlefield Park Visitor Center. The Historic Tredegar is a private museum associated with the American Civil War Museum based on the location of the Tredegar Iron Works, once the third-largest iron manufacturer in the United States.
During the American Civil War, the works played a vital role in the production of iron and artillery for the Confederate States of America and today stands as a National Historic Landmark.
500 Tredegar Street, Richmond, Virginia, Phone: 804-649-1861
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Short Pump Town Center
Short Pump Town Center
Despite its name, this site is anything but short on attractions. Its one of the best places to visit in Richmond. Short Pump Town Center has so much for locals and tourists to visit.
This is a shopping and entertainment complex unlike any other in Virginia.
At Short Pump Town Center, you can choose between a plethora of stores, including plenty that are unique to the area.
Theres also all kinds of great dining to be had here. You can get Mexican, Italian, and Vietnamese, among other cuisines.
Short Pump Town Center is one of the best places to visit in VA due to how exciting it is.
You can also catch musicians and hilarious comedians around here. Come by for a weekend thats sure to be packed with fun.
Address: 11800 W Broad St, Richmond, VA 23233, USA
Finer Dining In Richmond Va
- Lemaire is one of the best fine dining restaurants in Richmond. The restaurant is located in The Jefferson, a historic hotel you must visit . The dishes have a modern flair, and we highly recommend the Scallops with red corn grits and black garlic cream.
- Belle is an elegant downtown location offering a French-American menu. The pimento cheese beignets are a Richmond specialty.
- Maxs on Broad offers French-inspired regional cuisine in a glass-fronted restaurant in the Arts District.
- Perlys Deli, also in the Broad Street Arts District, is an award-winning Jewish deli with a cool retro vibe.
- Vagabond serves Southern comfort food near the State Capital and The National theater. Their downstairs speakeasy features live entertainment, including jazz on Wednesdays.
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Richmond Murals: A Street Art Lovers Dream
You could spend days exploring the vibrant murals that decorate buildings throughout the city of Richmond. From the huge to the hidden, in every mood and style, murals seem to pop up on every block. The Richmond Mural Project is your best guide to finding particular murals, or you can just wander the neighborhoods and streets and see what you discover.
Best Things To Do In Williamsburg Va
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Things To Do Alone In Richmond Va: Solo Travel In Richmond
There are lots of great things to do alone in Richmond. These activities are very fun and make solo travel in Richmond amazing.
Richmond is the capital of the state of Virginia in the United States. It is one of the oldest cities in the country. There are great things to do in the city.
For example, you can see art at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts. And you can see beautiful nature at the Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden.
There are many kinds of activities that are great for solo travel in Richmond. For example, there are fun things to do if you want to meet others and make friends.
A great activity for this is joining a group and hike with others. But you can also join a photography group in Richmond if you want to meet new people. This is very fun if you like photography.
Besides that, there are many more things to do alone in Richmond. For example, you can go on a canal cruise and learn about the city. Or you can take cooking classes at Mise En Place.
Furthermore, a very fun activity is joining art classes at the Richmond Art Center. And there are more great things to do when you are alone!
Unique And Fun Things To Do In Richmond Va
Weve rounded up more than 25 of the best places to visit in Richmond Virginia. Destinations and activities are grouped based on interest, so you can explore them all or focus on your favorite. Our list includes outdoor fun, historic sites, art museums, cool neighborhoods, places to eat and drink, and great places to stay in downtown Richmond.
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T Tyler Potterfield Bridge
The .3-mile-long T Tyler Potterfield Bridge is fun during the day and evening. On a summer day, the bridge offers a great view of people swimming, kayaking, and rafting in the James River. On the south side of the river, you can watch climbers practicing their skills on the Manchester Wall. Youre sure to see joggers and cyclists as you make your way across the T Pott.
The bridge begins with a history lesson. The installation Three Days in April tells of the fall of Richmond during the Civil War. In the evening, clusters of light tubes add a slightly alien look to the scene. The bridge is always open, and its one of the best things to do in Richmond VA at night. Its also a perfect spot to watch a beautiful sunrise or sunset over the river.
Best Things To Do In Richmond Va Top Activities & Places To Go
- David Reeve
Richmond is one of the oldest major cities in the United States, as well as Virginias capital.
This city is rich in history and has many amazing museums and historical landmarks that make any getaway more interesting.
Whatever youre in the mood for on your vacation, may it be visiting parks, going shopping, interacting with wildlife, or stopping by a kid-friendly destination, Richmond has it all.
Because I want to help you plan the perfect vacation, here is a list of the best things to do in Richmond, VA.
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+ Things To Do In Rva
Lots of FREE and low-cost things to do in RVA
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Frequently Asked Questions And Answers
What are people saying about things to do in Richmond, VA?
This is a review for things to do in Richmond, VA:
“Escape Room RVA is hands down the BEST escape room experience I’ve ever had, and it is always a treat to visit. This place is not your average escape room, they go above and beyond to make their rooms feel REALISTIC and true to the storyline. Their attention to detail in room design, challenging puzzles, and highly interactive game masters sets them FAR ABOVE any escape room on the East Coast! You live the experience from the moment you pull in the back parking lot to find the entrance, and then down the stairs where the rooms are held in the basement. Such a cool experience, and definitely a MUST do if you’re in the Richmond area.”
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What Is There To Do Outside In Richmond Va
Richmond, Virginia, may be full of southern charm hotels. It is also a city with a wild side. With the James River at the heart of the city museums, activities like swimming things, rafting and paddle boarding are central to the city life touring.
Bring the kids to the Richmond region, and get them moving and running through beautiful parks with mansions, petting zoos adventure, river walks and nature trails. Biking river-side on the Virginia Capital Trail and collecting rocks.
Kids can play like a champ at the Science Museum of Virginia, Virginia Museum of Fine Arts and any of Richmonds three Childrens Museum locations.
Richmond National Battlefield Park Civil War Visitor Center At Historic Tredegar
Meet a National Park Service Ranger and see three floors of exhibits. Learn about Richmond during the Civil War and hear about the battlefields that surround downtown Richmond. You can run or hike the trails, and leashed dogs are allowed. Biking is permitted on the Totoptomoy Creek trail and most park roads. Open 9 a.m. 5 p.m. daily.
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Take Photos Of Richmond During A Group Tour: Nice Thing To Do Alone In Richmond If You Like Photography
There are many photogenic places in Richmond, and seeing these during a tour is great during a solo trip.
You can do the “A Photo Safari” experience in Richmond for this.
During this, you walk through the city together with a guide and other people. A guide shows you the best murals and other great places for photography.
At each spot, you have enough time to take great pictures!
What’s great is that you do this tour with other people. This social aspect makes it, even more, one of the best things to do alone in Richmond.
Kayak The Rapids Of The James River
The James River flows right by Downtown Richmond, out to the Atlantic Ocean. It was a major source of food for the local Native Americans, who fished by its banks for generations, and it was a power source for the industry that would spring up later in the 18th Century.
Today, there are all kinds of ways to enjoy the river, but a particularly unique way is to kayak them. Which might sound odd, considering you can do that in a lot of cities, right? Well, Richmond is the only city in the United States with Class IV white water rapids running through downtown!
Rapids are categorized from Class I to VI, with VI being extremely dangerous and often uncharted. Class VI are turbulent and do present some risk, but are perfectly manageable with the right guide.
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Museums In Downtown Richmond
The American Civil War Museum is more than a collection of artifacts. In the battle against the all-too-human instinct to wish the past were simple, the museum explores the unparalleled significance the Civil War holds to complexities we face today.
- Location: 480 Tredegar St, Richmond, VA 23219
- Hours: Thursday – Monday 10:00am – 4:00pm
The Black History Museum and Cultural Center of Virginia celebrates the rich culture and moving histories of African American people in Virginia and their contributions to our magnificent country.
- Location: 122 West Leigh St, Richmond VA 23220
- Hours: Thursday – Saturday 10:00am – 5:00pm
This National Park Service visitors center in downtown Richmond offers both self-guided and guided walking tours. Available facilities include, a sales area, visitor information, restrooms and park maps are available. Please note that there is a parking fee for the American Civil War Center at Tredegar Iron Works. The rate for parking at Tredegar Iron Works is $3 per hour, or a flat fee of $18 for the day. One hour of free parking is included in your free visit to the NPS Visitor Center at Tredegar. See a park ranger at the visitor desk to receive parking validation.
- Location: 470 Tredegar Street, Richmond, VA 23219
- Hours: Temporarily closed due to Covid-19
- Location: 102 Hull Street Richmond, VA 23224
- Hours: Saturday 11:00am – 4:00pm Sunday 1:00pm – 4:00pm