44 Fun & Unique Things to Do in Richmond, VA | 2023 (with Photos)
Welcome to Richmond, Virginia, a city brimming with history, culture, and endless opportunities for exploration.
In this guide, we will take you on a journey through our list of Richmond’s best attractions, revealing the hidden gems and iconic landmarks that make this a must-visit destination.
Whether you're a history lover, art enthusiast, or nature admirer, Richmond has something for everyone. Get ready to see the vibrant atmosphere of the city, where the past meets the present, and each experience offers a chance to learn something new.
Most Recommended Thing to Do
Virginia Museum of Fine Arts
Top Choice Hotel
Omni Richmond Hotel
Our Top Choice Restaurant
Our Top Choice Bar for Nightlife
The Top Choice Bar For Nightlife in Richmond, United States of America is The HofGarden.
Best Time to Visit
Spring and fall offer ideal weather for visiting.
Moderate temperatures, varying between warm and cool.
Buses, trains, cars, bikes - plenty of options.
Average Cost ($, $$, $$$)
My Top Recommendation
As an avid traveler, I can't recommend enough visiting the vibrant city of Richmond in the United States. This charming destination has something for everyone, from history buffs to outdoor enthusiasts. Take a stroll along the historic streets of Shockoe Bottom, where you'll find a delightful blend of cobblestone roads, boutique shops, and mouthwatering restaurants. Immerse yourself in the city's rich history by visiting the iconic American Civil War Museum or exploring the fascinating exhibits at the Virginia Museum of History & Culture. For a touch of nature, make sure to explore the stunning James River Park, where you can hike, bike, or even go kayaking amidst breathtaking natural scenery. Don't forget to indulge in the local culinary scene and savor mouthwatering dishes like traditional Southern comfort food or enjoy a craft beer at one of the city's many breweries. With its welcoming atmosphere and endless possibilities, Richmond is truly a hidden gem that will make any trip unforgettable.
If you're seeking a unique experience in the United States, look no further than Richmond, an urban haven that perfectly blends history, culture, and southern charm. Begin your journey in the historic district of Church Hill, where you can admire beautifully preserved architecture and learn about the city's significant role in American history. Experience the infamous Richmond Canal Walk, a picturesque stroll alongside the canal with stunning urban views and vibrant street art. For a dose of culture, make sure to visit the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, home to an exquisite collection of art spanning various periods and cultures. Food lovers will delight in Richmond's burgeoning culinary scene, with a diverse range of restaurants serving up everything from international cuisine to mouthwatering BBQ. End your day with a hop-on, hop-off trolley tour, allowing you to navigate the city's attractions at your own pace. Richmond's captivating blend of history, art, and delectable flavors will leave you with memories to last a lifetime.
What You'll Need to Bring
- Comfortable walking shoes
- Lightweight clothing suitable for the weather
- Sunscreen and sunglasses
- A reusable water bottle
- Maps or a navigation app
- Travel guidebooks or brochures
- A camera or smartphone with a good camera
- Portable phone charger
- Travel-sized toiletries
- Local currency or credit cards for expenses
Table of Contents
1. The Virginia Museum
Experience the captivating blend of art and history at the Virginia Museum. At the Virginia Museum, delve into a world of artistic wonders spanning centuries, from classical masterpieces to contemporary creations.
Discover thought-provoking exhibitions and collections that showcase the rich cultural heritage of Richmond and beyond.
2. The Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden
Meanwhile, at the Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden, you can lose yourself in the enchanting oasis of nature. Explore themed gardens, vibrant blooms, and tranquil landscapes, all while learning about the fascinating botanical wonders that thrive in Virginia.
This remarkable attraction offers a delightful fusion of art and natural beauty that will leave you inspired and awestruck. The garden shop also has a variety of plants for sale.
3. The Virginia Holocaust Museum
For history lovers and those intrigued by Richmond's rich past, the Virginia Holocaust Museum is a must-visit attraction.
At the Virginia Holocaust Museum, bear witness to the courageous stories of Holocaust survivors, explore powerful exhibits, and gain a deeper understanding of the impact of this tragic chapter in history.
4. The American Civil War Museum
At the American Civil War Museum, delve into the complex narratives of the Civil War era. Uncover the personal stories, artifacts, and interactive displays that shed light on the conflict and its profound impact on the nation.
These museums offer poignant and educational experiences that allow visitors to connect with the past and gain valuable insights into Richmond's history.
5. The Science Museum of Virginia
Embark on a journey of scientific exploration at the Science Museum of Virginia. Engage with interactive exhibits that ignite your curiosity, discover the marvels of technology, and delve into the wonders of the natural world.
If you are in Virginia with kids, the Science Museum of Virginia is a great spot to visit with all the family.
6. The Virginia Museum of Fine Arts
At the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, you will see a world of artistic brilliance. Admire masterpieces spanning various periods and mediums, from paintings to sculptures and beyond.
Gain a deeper appreciation for the power of human creativity and expression. The Museum of Arts offers a captivating experience that leaves visitors both enlightened and inspired.
7. Hollywood Cemetery
Journey through time and uncover the rich tapestry of Richmond's history at Hollywood Cemetery. As you wander through the serene grounds of Hollywood Cemetery, you'll encounter the final resting place of many prominent figures from the past, including statesmen, soldiers, and literary icons.
Explore the elaborate tombstones and mausoleums that reflect the city's heritage and pay tribute to those who shaped its destiny.
8. The Walker National Historic Site
Visiting the Walker National Historic Site is also highly recommended. Step into the preserved home of Maggie L. Walker, a pioneering African American businesswoman and community leader.
Discover her inspiring story and gain insights into the struggles and triumphs of the African American community in Richmond. This site offers a profound journey into the past, allowing visitors to connect with the stories and legacies that define Richmond's history.
9. The James River
Enjoy the natural beauty and historical significance of the James River and its surrounding national historic landmarks. Begin your exploration by experiencing the tranquil allure of the James River, where you can embark on river cruises, paddle boarding adventures, or simply relax on its scenic banks.
As you venture further, discover the iconic Virginia State Capitol, a national historic landmark that stands as a testament to Richmond's rich history and architectural grandeur.
Learn about the city's political heritage and admire the neoclassical beauty of this remarkable structure. These sites offer a captivating blend of nature and history, providing visitors with a unique glimpse into the heart of Richmond.
10. The Virginia State Capitol Building
Immerse yourself in Richmond's vibrant history with a visit to the iconic Virginia State Capitol. The Virginia State Capitol is a historic landmark that played a significant role in the birth of the United States.
Marvel at its architectural splendor and explore the hallowed halls where legislation and policy decisions were made.
11. The Legacy of James Monroe and John Tyler in Richmond
Delve into the legacies of two influential American presidents, James Monroe, and John Tyler, right here in Richmond. Explore the James Monroe Museum and Memorial Library, where you can learn about Monroe's pivotal role in shaping the nation's early history.
Uncover artifacts, documents, and personal belongings that provide insight into his life and accomplishments. Transitioning to the John Tyler Memorial, dive deeper into the life of this intriguing statesman and discover his contributions to the country.
These sites offer a unique opportunity to unravel the stories of two presidents, gaining a deeper understanding of their impact on American history, right in the heart of Richmond.
12. Short Pump Town Center
Meanwhile, at Short Pump Town Center, enjoy a modern shopping experience while surrounded by history. Discover a diverse array of retail options, dining establishments, and entertainment venues, all nestled within the rich historical context of Richmond.
Short Pump Town Center beautifully blends the old and the new, offering a captivating glimpse into the city's storied past.
13. The Virginia Historical Society
Richmond History Museums are a good way to learn about history but we have something even better. Embark on a captivating journey into the past at the Virginia Historical Society.
At the Historical Society, dive deep into Richmond's history through engaging exhibitions and artifacts that bring the stories of the region to life. Uncover the city's cultural heritage and its role in shaping Virginia and the nation.
14. The Edgar Allan Poe Museum
Transitioning to the Edgar Allan Poe Museum, you can explore the world of Edgar Allan Poe, the renowned writer of mystery and macabre. Immerse yourself in his literary legacy as you discover personal belongings, manuscripts, and rare memorabilia at the Poe Museum.
Museums like this one offer unique insights into both Richmond's history and the captivating tales of one of its most famous literary figures. Visit the Poe Museum if you love literature and history.
15. Church Hill Historic District
Step back in time and immerse yourself in the rich Civil War history of Richmond by exploring the Church Hill Historic District.
Begin your journey through time in the Church Hill Historic District, where you can wander through its charming streets lined with beautifully preserved 19th-century homes and learn about the significant role Church Hill played during the war.
16. Hardywood Park Craft Brewery
If you are over 21 and looking for fun things to do in Richmond, VA, we have something exciting for you. The vibrant atmosphere of Hardywood Park Craft Brewery is a gem of Richmond.
Take a tour of the Hardywood Park Craft Brewery, taste the local beers, and savor a long cold drink after your exploration at the brewery. This is one of the best things to do in Richmond, VA on a very hot or rainy day.
17. Richmond National Battlefield Park
The Richmond National Battlefield Park is a great place to delve deeper into the conflicts that shaped the nation. Discover well-preserved battlefields, interpretive exhibits, and insightful guided tours that shed light on the events that unfolded on these hallowed grounds.
Richmond National Battlefield Park offers a remarkable opportunity to connect with the stories and legacies of the War in Richmond. Also, it is a great place to enjoy fresh air and maybe have a picnic.
18. The Old Stone House
Experience the charm of Richmond by visiting the enchanting Old Stone House. Step into the past at the house, a historic gem that stands as a testament to Richmond's architectural heritage.
Explore its fascinating exhibits, which showcase the city's early history and the daily life of its inhabitants.
19. The White House in Richmond VA
It's not the White House you have in mind. There is a White House of the Confederacy in Richmond, Virginia. It was the official residence of Confederate President Jefferson Davis during the American Civil War. The house served as the executive mansion for the Confederate States of America from 1861 to 1865.
Today, it is a museum and part of the American Civil War Museum complex, providing visitors with insights into the history and significance of the Confederate government during the war.
20. The Museum District
Transitioning to the Museum District, a haven for history lovers, embark on a journey through time as you visit museums dedicated to various aspects of Richmond's past.
From art and culture to science and historical artifacts, the Museum District offers a paradise of knowledge and discovery for enthusiasts of all ages.
21. Richmond's Canal Walk
Dip yourself in the charm of Richmond's Canal Walk, a picturesque waterfront promenade that winds along the historic James River and Kanawha Canal.
Stroll along its pathways, marvel at the scenic beauty, and discover the stories of Richmond's industrial past.
22. The James River Park System
Escape to the picturesque James River Park System and embrace the beauty of nature.
Spanning miles of scenic trails, riverfront views, and lush green spaces, this park system offers opportunities for hiking, biking, and kayaking. All thrill seekers like to come here. This can also be a perfect spot for a romantic picnic.
23. The Virginia Museum of History
Embark on a journey through time at the Virginia Museum of History and get acquainted with the vibrant history of Richmond. Discover captivating exhibits that showcase the city's role in shaping Virginia and the nation.
Explore the diverse narratives of its people, from Native American tribes to early settlers, from the Revolutionary War to the Civil Rights Movement. Listen to the stories of triumphs, challenges, and innovations that have defined Richmond's past.
With engaging displays, interactive exhibits, and a wealth of historical artifacts, the Virginia Museum of History offers an enlightening and immersive experience that celebrates the dynamic heritage of Richmond.
24. Belle Isle
Escape to the enchanting Belle Isle, a picturesque island nestled in the James River, where history and natural beauty intertwine. Explore the island's sites, including remnants of a Civil War-era prison camp and a hydroelectric power station.
Take a leisurely stroll along scenic trails, marvel at stunning views of the river, and enjoy outdoor activities such as picnicking and kayaking. Immerse yourself in the tranquility of this island oasis, where the echoes of the past harmonize with the serenity of nature, offering a truly captivating experience in Richmond.
25. The Metro Richmond Zoo
This is something ideal for families. Unleash your curiosity and embark on an interactive journey at the Metro Richmond Zoo.
At the Metro Richmond Zoo, encounter a diverse array of wildlife from around the world and engage with hands-on exhibits that offer insights into animal conservation and habitats.
26. The Black History Museum
Transitioning to the Black History Museum, delve into the rich and vibrant history of African Americans in Richmond and beyond. Explore interactive displays, multimedia presentations, and engaging artifacts that illuminate the triumphs and struggles of the Black community.
This museum is a perfect place where you can learn a lot and it can provide immersive experiences that educate, inspire, and foster a deeper understanding of our natural world and cultural heritage.
27. Learn About Patrick Henry
Transport yourself to a bygone era as you wander through the streets of Richmond, adorned with magnificent historic buildings. Marvel at the architectural splendor and craftsmanship of structures that have withstood the test of time.
Immerse yourself in the spirit of the American Revolution at St. John's Episcopal Church, where Patrick Henry delivered his iconic "Give me liberty or give me death" speech.
Let the echoes of history guide your footsteps as you explore these hallowed buildings, offering a glimpse into Richmond's storied past and the legacies of remarkable individuals who shaped our nation.
28. Food Tours
Indulge your taste buds and immerse yourself in the culinary delights of Richmond through food tours.
Embark on a guided tour that takes you to local eateries, where you can savor the diverse flavors and dishes that make the city's culinary scene so remarkable.
29. Arthur Ashe Blvd
Here you can see the vibrant atmosphere of Arthur Ashe Blvd, a street named after the tennis legend and civil rights activist. Explore its bustling energy, lined with shops, restaurants, and cultural landmarks.
This is a great place to find some souvenirs to get back home to your friends and family members because there are many amazing shops here on Arthur Ashe Blvd.
30. Nature Center
The famous Richmond Nature Center is another hidden gem. Explore the tranquility of a Nature Center, and embrace the natural wonders and biodiversity of the region.
Engage with interactive exhibits, learn about local flora and fauna, and enjoy the serenity of Richmond's natural landscapes. Destinations like Nature Center offer a perfect balance of urban charm and natural beauty for a memorable experience.
31. The Children's Museum
Ignite the imaginations of young minds at the Children's Museum, where interactive exhibits and hands-on activities create an engaging and educational experience.
Delight in the laughter, learning, and exploration that fill the museum's halls. Your kids will have so much fun at the Children's Museum and they will learn a lot. It's a win-win if you ask us.
32. Wilton House Museum
Transitioning to the historic Wilton House Museum, immerse yourself in the elegance of a meticulously preserved 18th-century plantation.
Admire the architectural beauty, explore the lush gardens, and learn about the lives of those who once called this estate home.
33. Broad St
Listen to the cultural heartbeat of Richmond along Broad Street. This vibrant hub is adorned with art galleries, theaters, shops, and eateries that showcase the city's creative spirit.
But this street is not only for art lovers and hipsters. You can find something for everybody right here so make sure to do some research and visit the cultural heartbeat of Richmond along Broad Street.
34. See George Washington's Influence in 2023
The influence of one of America's founding fathers is still evident in Richmond. Visit sites associated with George Washington in Virginia.
Explore his life and legacy at museums, historical sites, and landmarks such as Ferry Farm, where he spent his youth. Gain insights into his pivotal role in shaping the nation.
George Washington's presence offers a captivating fusion of contemporary culture and historical significance, allowing visitors to experience the best of Richmond's past and present.
35. Cary St
Indulge in the charm of Cary Street as you stroll along its tree-lined sidewalks, boutique shops, and inviting cafes. Breathe in the fresh air and soak in the lively ambiance of this beloved street.
36. Learn the Stories of the American Civil War and Jefferson Davis
Delve into the poignant stories of the Civil War at museums and historical sites that shed light on this pivotal period in American history. Explore exhibitions that offer insights into the war's causes, consequences, and personal narratives.
As for the legacy of Jefferson Davis, learn about the life and impact of the Confederate president through informative displays and artifacts.
These destinations provide a deeper understanding of the Civil War era and the individuals who shaped its course, offering a thought-provoking journey through Richmond's history.
37. Visit the Cultural Center of Richmond
Explore Richmond's vibrant cultural scene at the city's Cultural Center. Explore art galleries, theaters, and performance spaces that showcase the city's artistic diversity.
The best time for exploring the Cultural Center has to be spring because of the weather during that time.
38. The City Hall
When you visit City Hall, discover the administrative hub of Richmond, where the city's governance and civic life converge. Admire the architectural grandeur and learn about the city's rich political history.
The City Hall offers a unique blend of cultural immersion and civic engagement, providing a comprehensive experience of Richmond's dynamic character.
39. The American Civil War Center
Expand your knowledge of the Civil War at the American Civil War Center, where thought-provoking exhibits delve into the complexities of this pivotal era.
Discover stories of soldiers, civilians, and enslaved individuals, gaining a deeper understanding of the war's impact.
40. Broad Street Station
Travel back in time as you step into the historic Broad Street Station, once a bustling railway hub that connected travelers to distant destinations.
Marvel at its architectural splendor and learn about its role in shaping Richmond's transportation history.
41. Libby Hill Park
Now something for photographers who are looking for a perfect picture. Indulge in breathtaking panoramic views of the city at Libby Hill Park, a picturesque vantage point that overlooks the James River and Richmond's skyline.
This is an ideal place to get that postcard look and send it to your friends so they know you had an amazing time here in Richmond, VA.
42. Agecroft Hall
Head to Agecroft Hall and step into a Tudor-style mansion that has been relocated from England to Richmond.
Explore its exquisite gardens, admire the architectural elegance, and learn about the captivating history of this remarkable residence.
These destinations offer a blend of natural beauty and historical grandeur, providing a delightful escape in Richmond.
43. The Richmond Beer Trail
Visit the Richmond Beer Trail, where expert guides lead you through a curated selection of local breweries, offering insights into the art and craft of beer making.
These experiences combine literary intrigue with the flavors and creativity of Richmond's thriving beer culture, providing a captivating and indulgent adventure.
44. Amusement Parks in Richmond
Richmond is not just a hub of Virginia history, it also lies near a few theme parks. Experience the excitement and entertainment that Virginia has to offer at its theme parks, such as Kings Dominion.
From exhilarating rides to family-friendly attractions, these parks provide fun-filled adventures for visitors of all ages. Embark on a journey of discovery and amusement as you explore the secrets of Old City Hall and enjoy the excitement of Richmond's entertainment parks.
FAQs About Things to Do in Richmond, VA
Now, let's see some frequently asked questions about things to do in Richmond, VA.
What are the best things to do in Richmond, VA for seniors?
Seniors can enjoy a variety of enriching activities in Richmond, VA. Visit the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts for art appreciation, explore the historical significance of Hollywood Cemetery on Cherry St and Agecroft Hall, and take a leisurely stroll along the peaceful Canal Walk.
The Science Museum and Richmond Railroad Museum also offer engaging experiences for seniors.
What are the best things to do in Richmond, VA for families with kids?
Richmond, VA offers plenty of family-friendly attractions. Engage in interactive learning at the Science Museum of Virginia, explore the fascinating exhibits at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, and enjoy outdoor adventures at Belle Isle.
Take a food tour in Downtown Richmond or explore the history-rich Jackson Ward neighborhood for a well-rounded family experience.
What to explore if you only have one day in Richmond, VA?
Make the most of your day in Richmond, VA by visiting key attractions. Start with a tour of the architectural masterpiece by Thomas Jefferson, the Virginia State Capitol. Explore the rich history of Broad St, stroll through the scenic Canal Walk, and immerse yourself in the cultural charm of the Jackson Ward neighborhood.
What are the best outdoor attractions in Richmond, VA?
Richmond, VA boasts incredible outdoor attractions. Discover the natural beauty and recreational opportunities at Belle Isle, where you can hike, bike, and enjoy the James River. Take a leisurely stroll along Broad St, visit the historic Canal Walk, and immerse yourself in the vibrant energy of the city center while exploring its outdoor spaces.
Summing Up: Fun & Unique Things to Do in Richmond, Virginia
Richmond, Virginia, is a treasure trove of remarkable experiences, where history, art, and natural beauty converge.
From the captivating exhibits at the Virginia Museum and Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden to the poignant stories at the Virginia Holocaust Museum and Civil War Museum, there's no shortage of enriching adventures.
Enjoy the city's cultural heritage, stroll along the James River, and uncover the secrets of its national historic landmarks. With a vibrant blend of the old and the new, Richmond is a city that never fails to captivate and inspire.