The right way to Plan a Journey to Richmond, Virginia

“There may be 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, however it’s particularly poignant right here within the capital, the place the historical past is complicated, the residents are passionate, and there’s an unmistakable dedication to conservation, training, artwork, and entrepreneurship. 

Preservation stays central to Richmond’s character, significantly in terms of museums and structure, however that is additionally a vacation spot that continues to push for change and help new concepts. “It’s not the identical Richmond,” says Kelli S. Lemon, a social entrepreneur, neighborhood 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, ceaselessly rooted in a way of place, that makes town so attractive — and much more transformative. “Watch out,” warns Invoice Martin, director of The Valentine, “Richmond… may change you.” 

traveler1116/Getty Photographs

As Martin tells Journey + Leisure, Richmond is “crammed with the highly effective tales of people that created our nation and with a wide range of experiences the place you will discover your individual story.” Whether or not your journey features a stroll alongside the James River, a day looking the displays on the Virginia Museum of Fantastic Arts (VMFA), or a number of hours laughing with a buddy over dinner in Church Hill, you’re certain to depart with a newfound appreciation of this storied Southern metropolis. Or you could not wish to go away in any respect — Richmond is without doubt one of the finest locations to stay in Virginia, in accordance with actual property specialists.

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

High 5 Can’t Miss

  • E book a room at The Jefferson, the grandest resort 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. 
  • Get pleasure from 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.

Greatest Accommodations

Courtesy of The Graduate Richmond

The Jefferson

“There’s nothing like staying at The Jefferson,” says Lemon. The 181-room historic property is essentially the most regal resort in Richmond, with a historical past that dates again to 1895. Upon getting 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 effectively upfront), 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 type within the historically adorned visitor rooms and suites, however they don’t really feel overly heavy or outdated, because of a full-scale renovation that came about from 2013 to 2017. To finish the expertise, visitors will wish to dine on the resort’s restaurant (and native favourite) Lemaire. “Make sure to order the peanut soup or the pimento cheese for a style of Richmond,” says Jeanita Harris, The Jefferson’s director of visitor companies.   

Quirk Resort 

Advisable by each Lemon and Martin, Quirk Resort is the youthful, extra trendy lodging possibility 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 intense 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, however it’s additionally a university city. The College of Richmond, Virginia Commonwealth College, Virginia State College, Virginia Union College, and Randolph Macon School are all situated throughout the larger Richmond space, so it is smart that the Graduate Accommodations model would have an outpost within the metropolis. Together with its cozy rooms and a health heart, Graduate Richmond has an outside pool, a rooftop cocktail bar, and an all-day café and bar. 

Greatest 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 record. “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 Fantastic 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 Photographs

Spend a day alongside the fantastic 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 lot of massive picnic-perfect rocks round Belle Isle.

Take a tour of the Virginia State Capitol.

Free one-hour excursions are supplied 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 house to a life-size statue of George Washington, which is claimed to be some of the correct depictions of the historic determine. 

Uncover native artists and musicians. 

Richmond’s creativity isn’t simply relegated to at least one neighborhood or one class. Slightly, it takes on a wide range of shapes all through 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 Might), Eric Schindler Gallery, or the Crossroads Arts Middle. Richmond’s music scene is equally various and spectacular. To see which performances align together with your travels, observe 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.

Greatest Eating places

Courtesy of The Roosevelt

The Roosevelt

Whereas Martin says pinpointing only one or two high Richmond eating places is “inconceivable,” he does point out The Roosevelt (together with Grisette) is certainly one of 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 beneficial. Honest warning, although: You’ll wish to keep away from filling up on meats and cheeses. It’s essential to save lots of a little bit of room for the fan-favorite profiteroles.  


“Situated within the charming Church Hill neighborhood, it is a favourite suggestion for visitors fascinated by seafood. The cocktails are tasty as effectively,” says Harris. Alewife’s signature sampler platter, the Siren’s Music, is a traditional, though the menu does change weekly. 

Floris at VMFA

After making your rounds by means of the VMFA’s displays — don’t miss the intensive 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 ambiance 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 wish to come hungry to Mama J’s, a family-owned restaurant within the historic Jackson Ward neighborhood. Assume fried rooster, crab desserts, pork chops, brisket sandwiches, and a complete host of scrumptious sides — macaroni and cheese, candied yams, and seafood salad included. 

Greatest Procuring


Carytown is a favourite space for native buying,” says Harris. The mile-long stretch of Cary St. is crammed with numerous one-of-a-kind eating places and outlets — and you could possibly spend hours popping out and in of the storefronts. “Company at all times come again with plenty of buying baggage 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 Idea. To refresh your property, browse the choices at Fraîche, Gild and Ash, and Beckon Residence.

Greatest Time to Go to

Joe_Potato/Getty Photographs

Based on 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 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 also be a stupendous time to go to; the daffodils, cherry blossoms, tulips, magnolias, and azaleas are blooming at Lewis Ginter Botanical Backyard — and also you’ll have the ability to keep away from summer season’s muggy climate and bigger crowds.

The right way to Get There 

Richmond Worldwide Airport (RIC) is without doubt 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 couple of 15- to 20-minute drive between the 2. Uber and Lyft rides are available for pickup. Alternatively, Richmond is house to 2 Amtrak stations; the Fundamental Avenue Station is situated downtown whereas the Staples Mill Highway Station is eight miles northwest of downtown (you’ll must take a cab to get into town). 

traveler1116/Getty Photographs

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, speak to the individuals [who] have lived there for a very long time, see the structure, [and] see the native companies which were there for years.” 

Church Hill

“Church Hill is house to St. John’s Church, the place Patrick Henry gave his well-known ‘Give Me Liberty or Give Me Demise’ 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 crammed with essential cultural and historic markers — together with the house 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 also be first-rate, so undoubtedly add Adarra, Mama J’s, and Penny’s Wine Store to your journey itinerary. 

Scott’s Addition

For those who’re fascinated by a brewery crawl, there’s just one place to go: Scott’s Addition. The realm is full of 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 identify by the streets that ‘fan out,’ is crammed with eating places, bars, outlets, and museums,” says Harris. It’s on this a part of town the place you’ll discover the Virginia Commonwealth College campus, in addition to Monument Avenue, the picturesque boulevard that includes beautiful properties 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 without doubt one of the fastest-growing elements of town with native meals favorites like Croaker’s Spot,” says Martin. 

Brookland Park Boulevard

“I might 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!”

The right way to Get Round

There are a couple of methods to discover Richmond. Having a automotive is useful, significantly for those who plan to cowl plenty of floor in in the future (simply be ready to check your parallel parking abilities). Biking can also be an effective way to get across the metropolis; Riverside Biking and The Kickstand each provide 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 wonderful possibility for guests. The “high-capacity bus fast transit system,” because it’s known as, serves an almost eight-mile route alongside Fundamental Avenue and Broad Avenue. It stops at 14 key locations, like Scott’s Addition, the Science Museum, and VCU. Discover the complete route and schedule right here. It’s at present free to journey.

Leave a Reply

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