Tips on how to Plan a Journey to Richmond, Virginia

“There’s not one story of Virginia, however many,” reads the doorway to one of many long-standing exhibitions on the Virginia Museum of Historical past & Tradition in Richmond. It’s a message that resonates throughout the state, but it surely’s particularly poignant right here within the capital, the place the historical past is advanced, the residents are passionate, and there’s an unmistakable dedication to conservation, training, artwork, and entrepreneurship. 

Preservation stays central to Richmond’s character, notably in terms of museums and structure, however that is additionally a vacation spot that continues to push for change and assist new concepts. “It’s not the identical Richmond,” says Kelli S. Lemon, a social entrepreneur, group activist, and proprietor of City Grasp Suite. She encourages guests to “include an open thoughts of seeing one thing new” and perceive that Richmond is “not what we had been identified for [in the past], however what we at the moment are.” It’s this multi-faceted, dynamic nature, without end rooted in a way of place, that makes the town so engaging — and much more transformative. “Watch out,” warns Invoice Martin, director of The Valentine, “Richmond… may change you.” 

traveler1116/Getty Photos

As Martin tells Journey + Leisure, Richmond is “stuffed with the highly effective tales of people that created our nation and with quite a lot of experiences the place you will discover your personal story.” Whether or not your journey features a stroll alongside the James River, a day looking the reveals on the Virginia Museum of Effective Arts (VMFA), or a number of hours laughing with a pal over dinner in Church Hill, you’re sure to go away with a newfound appreciation of this storied Southern metropolis. Or chances are you’ll not need to depart in any respect — Richmond is likely one of the finest locations to stay in Virginia, in response to actual property consultants.

Thinking about planning a visit, however not fairly positive the place to start? Learn on to find T+L’s information to Richmond, Virginia.

Prime 5 Can’t Miss

  • Guide a room at The Jefferson, the grandest lodge in Richmond. 
  • Stroll the Pony Pasture Rapids Path alongside the James River — or float down the waterway on a tube. 
  • Uncover the person personalities of Richmond’s neighborhoods, together with Church Hill, Jackson Ward, The Fan, and Scott’s Addition. 
  • Take pleasure in afternoon tea at Floris, the VMFA’s elegant tearoom that opened on the finish of 2023. 
  • Plan your go to for the autumn, when many of the Virginia humidity has departed.

Finest Lodges

Courtesy of The Graduate Richmond

The Jefferson

“There’s nothing like staying at The Jefferson,” says Lemon. The 181-room historic property is probably the most regal lodge in Richmond, with a historical past that dates again to 1895. Upon coming into the Palm Court docket foyer, your eyes are instantly drawn upward to the colourful stained glass ceiling; the spectacular structure continues all through the widespread areas, most notably into the Rotunda. One of many eating areas for the favored Champagne Sunday Brunch (which requires reservations made nicely prematurely), the Rotunda is outfitted with Corinthian columns, a resplendent staircase, and decor that harkens again to the Gilded Age.

There are touches of this design fashion within the historically adorned visitor rooms and suites, however they don’t really feel overly heavy or outdated, due to a full-scale renovation that came about from 2013 to 2017. To finish the expertise, visitors will need to dine on the lodge’s restaurant (and native favourite) Lemaire. “Make sure you order the peanut soup or the pimento cheese for a style of Richmond,” says Jeanita Harris, The Jefferson’s director of visitor providers.   

Quirk Lodge 

Really useful by each Lemon and Martin, Quirk Lodge is the youthful, extra trendy lodging choice on the town. Opened in 2015, the property goals to be a vacation spot “the place artwork and historical past intersect.” Meaning you’ll discover authentic art work all through the property (which was constructed because the J.B. Mosby & Co. Dry Items Retailer in 1916) —  from the brilliant visitor rooms to the on-site gallery. Earlier than an enormous day of exploring Richmond, gasoline up at The Espresso Bar, then return to The Foyer Bar or Q Rooftop Bar for pre-dinner cocktails. 

Graduate Richmond

Richmond could also be an enormous metropolis, but it surely’s additionally a school city. The College of Richmond, Virginia Commonwealth College, Virginia State College, Virginia Union College, and Randolph Macon Faculty are all situated inside the higher Richmond space, so it is smart that the Graduate Lodges model would have an outpost within the metropolis. Together with its cozy rooms and a health middle, Graduate Richmond has an out of doors pool, a rooftop cocktail bar, and an all-day café and bar. 

Finest Issues to Do

Take a look at a number of the metropolis’s top-tier museums.

Visiting Richmond’s museums is on the high of Martin’s must-do checklist. “After all, begin with The Valentine on your introduction to the area’s historical past,” he says, “Then the choices are limitless: the Virginia Museum of Effective Arts, Virginia Museum of Historical past & Tradition, Maymont, Science Museum of Virginia, Youngsters’s Museum of Richmond, The American Civil Warfare Museum, and Agecroft Corridor & Gardens.”

ferrantraite/Getty Photos

Spend a day alongside the wonderful James River.

“The James River runs proper by means of downtown,” says Harris, who provides that guests can select from the “pleasure of sophistication 4 rapids, a leisurely float down the river in a tube, or a hike alongside the miles of nature trails.” For rafting, tubing, and kayaking journeys, try Riverside Outfitters. Martin additionally suggests a extra stress-free exercise of merely “packing a lunch and discovering a rock;” you’ll discover a variety of massive picnic-perfect rocks round Belle Isle.

Take a tour of the Virginia State Capitol.

Free one-hour excursions are provided all through the week on the Virginia State Capitol, situated within the aptly named Capitol District. “The excursions are about 45 minutes lengthy, and the educated docents present a beautiful introduction to Richmond and Virginia historical past,” says Harris. Plus, she notes, it’s dwelling to a life-size statue of George Washington, which is alleged to be one of the crucial correct depictions of the historic determine. 

Uncover native artists and musicians. 

Richmond’s creativity isn’t simply relegated to 1 neighborhood or one class. Reasonably, it takes on quite a lot of shapes all through the town. To admire and store for domestically made art work, try Artwork Works, Iridian Gallery (which focuses on works by LGBTQ+ artists), Arts within the Park (a free outside occasion that takes place in Could), Eric Schindler Gallery, or the Crossroads Arts Middle. Richmond’s music scene is equally numerous and spectacular. To see which performances align along with your travels, comply with native venues — like The Camel, The Canal Membership, or The Broadberry — and native bands and performers — together with Cleophus James, Butcher Brown, and The Shack Band.

Finest Eating places

Courtesy of The Roosevelt

The Roosevelt

Whereas Martin says pinpointing only one or two high Richmond eating places is “unimaginable,” he does point out The Roosevelt (together with Grisette) is one in all his neighborhood favorites. Right here, Chef Leah Department brings her personal contact to Southern delicacies, with a menu consisting of delicacies like cornbread with whipped maple butter, fried catfish, and tobacco-smoked pork butt. 


There are common cheese and charcuterie boards, after which there are the expertly curated cheese and charcuterie boards at Grisette. The considerate, cozy house is open for dinner Tuesdays by means of Saturdays, and reservations are advisable. Honest warning, although: You’ll need to keep away from filling up on meats and cheeses. It’s essential to avoid wasting a little bit of room for the fan-favorite profiteroles.  


“Positioned within the charming Church Hill neighborhood, it is a favourite suggestion for visitors occupied with seafood. The cocktails are tasty as nicely,” says Harris. Alewife’s signature sampler platter, the Siren’s Tune, is a basic, though the menu does change weekly. 

Floris at VMFA

After making your rounds by means of the VMFA’s reveals — don’t miss the in depth Fabergé assortment — it’ll be time for afternoon tea at Floris. The museum’s tearoom includes a rotating menu that takes inspiration from the neighboring collections, and the environment and construction are akin to a British afternoon tea. It’s elegant with out being stuffy, and the $45 tea service comes with pastries, candy treats, and savory bites. 

Mama J’s

You’ll need to come hungry to Mama J’s, a family-owned restaurant within the historic Jackson Ward neighborhood. Assume fried rooster, crab truffles, pork chops, brisket sandwiches, and a complete host of scrumptious sides — macaroni and cheese, candied yams, and seafood salad included. 

Finest Purchasing


Carytown is a favourite space for native buying,” says Harris. The mile-long stretch of Cary St. is stuffed with varied one-of-a-kind eating places and retailers — and you possibly can spend hours popping out and in of the storefronts. “Friends at all times come again with plenty of buying luggage from World of Mirth, Ten Thousand Villages, For The Love of Chocolate, Touring Stylish Boutique, and GlassBoat,” she explains. 

Outlets at Libbie and Grove

In Richmond’s West Finish neighborhood, you’ll discover a assortment of boutiques and gourmand eateries all situated alongside Libbie, Grove, and Patterson Avenues. To replace your wardrobe, there’s Nellie George, Peter-Blair, the Outlets at 5807, and Jean Concept. To refresh your house, browse the picks at Fraîche, Gild and Ash, and Beckon House.

Finest Time to Go to

Joe_Potato/Getty Photos

In keeping with Harris, the perfect time of 12 months to go to Richmond is the autumn: “The climate is ideal for going to the river, [or] exploring the town by bicycle, Segway, or on foot.” Plus, she says, “The cooler temperatures additionally make for nice evenings out to take pleasure in Richmond’s vibrant nightlife.” Spring can be an attractive time to go to; the daffodils, cherry blossoms, tulips, magnolias, and azaleas are blooming at Lewis Ginter Botanical Backyard — and also you’ll be capable of keep away from summer time’s muggy climate and bigger crowds.

Tips on how to Get There 

Richmond Worldwide Airport (RIC) is likely one of the bigger airports within the state of Virginia, and it’s served by 9 main air carriers — together with Delta, American Airways, JetBlue, and United. The airport is barely about 10 miles from downtown Richmond, so vacationers ought to think about a few 15- to 20-minute drive between the 2. Uber and Lyft rides are available for pickup. Alternatively, Richmond is dwelling to 2 Amtrak stations; the Principal Avenue Station is situated downtown whereas the Staples Mill Highway Station is eight miles northwest of downtown (you’ll have to take a cab to get into the town). 

traveler1116/Getty Photos

Neighborhoods to Go to

“Richmond is a metropolis of neighborhoods,” says Martin, and Lemon provides that it’s essential for vacationers to “go into the native neighborhoods, discuss to the individuals [who] have lived there for a very long time, see the structure, [and] see the native companies which have been there for years.” 

Church Hill

“Church Hill is dwelling to St. John’s Church, the place Patrick Henry gave his well-known ‘Give Me Liberty or Give Me Dying’ speech, and the structure and sights take you again in time,” says Harris. For those who’re hungry whereas within the space, snag a freshly baked deal with at Sub Rosa Bakery

Jackson Ward

Jackson Ward, a traditionally Black neighborhood in Richmond, is stuffed with essential cultural and historic markers — together with the dwelling of Maggie L. Walker (the nation’s first Black feminine financial institution president), the Black Historical past Museum and Cultural Middle of Virginia, and a statue of American faucet dancer Invoice Robinson. Delicacies within the space can be first-rate, so positively add Adarra, Mama J’s, and Penny’s Wine Store to your journey itinerary. 

Scott’s Addition

For those who’re occupied with a brewery crawl, there’s just one place to go: Scott’s Addition. The world is filled with taprooms, cideries, and distilleries — most of that are situated in repurposed warehouses. Contemplate beginning your tour at Bingo Beer Co., Starr Hill Beer Corridor & Rooftop, or Three Notch’d Brewing.

The Fan District

“The Fan, given its title by the streets that ‘fan out,’ is stuffed with eating places, bars, retailers, and museums,” says Harris. It’s on this a part of the town the place you’ll discover the Virginia Commonwealth College campus, in addition to Monument Avenue, the picturesque boulevard that includes beautiful houses and the Arthur Ashe Monument (Ashe was a local of Richmond.)


“One other space to discover is Manchester alongside Hull Avenue. This neighborhood has its personal distinctive historical past and is likely one of the fastest-growing components of the town with native meals favorites like Croaker’s Spot,” says Martin. 

Brookland Park Boulevard

“I’d additionally suggest exploring the Brookland Park Boulevard (Barton Heights and Highland Park) space,” says Martin. “In these early streetcar neighborhoods, you will discover nice structure, historical past, and small native companies and eating places — don’t miss Ruby Scoop’s Ice Cream!”

Tips on how to Get Round

There are just a few methods to discover Richmond. Having a automotive is useful, notably in the event you plan to cowl quite a lot of floor in at some point (simply be ready to check your parallel parking expertise). Biking can be a good way to get across the metropolis; Riverside Biking and The Kickstand each supply half-day and full-day leases. 

There’s additionally the native bus system, operated by the Higher Richmond Transit Firm, and the GRTC Pulse route is a superb choice for guests. The “high-capacity bus fast transit system,” because it’s referred to as, serves a virtually eight-mile route alongside Principal Avenue and Broad Avenue. It stops at 14 key locations, like Scott’s Addition, the Science Museum, and VCU. Discover the total route and schedule right here. It’s at the moment free to experience.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *