On and Off the Grid Things to Do and See in Richmond Virginia
We ranked Richmond, VA #58 on our Top 100 Best Places to Live list in 2014, and there’s so much to do as a resident or a tourist.
Visit the Edgar Allen Poe Museum
Established in 1922 in the oldest building in Richmond, the museum holds a range of items relating to the author’s life such as furniture, correspondence, manuscripts, trinkets, clothing, and much more. Even such oddities as a lock of Poe’s hair and a pair of his socks are kept here. There’s also a scale model of the city of Richmond as Poe would have experienced it.
See the Ruins of Belle Isle
The island was originally a Native American settlement before it became a Confederate prison camp in the Civil War. Abandoned buildings, an old oil and explosive materials storehouse, and nail factory can be found here. Click here for directions and more details on outdoor activities such as biking and hiking:
Take a Concrete Nature Walk Along the James River Park Pipeline Walkway
Get a close-up view of a large Great Blue Heron rookery where dozens of herons nest and raise their chicks. Click here for directions to the walkway access.
Get a Breath of Fresh, Opulent Air in the Maymont Gardens
Maymont is a beautifully preserved, 100-acre Victorian estate and gardens. Tour the mansion, elaborate gardens designed in the Japanese and Italian style, a nature center and Children’s Farm where you can pet goats and enjoy an outdoor picnic.
Defy Gravity at The Grand Kugel
Just outside of the Science Museum of Virginia you’ll find this magical 29-ton ball that can be spun or stopped with almost no effort thanks to the magic of science. The museum itself is housed in a former railroad station and showcases dozens of interactive experiences and exhibits.
Enjoy a Pint at One of Richmond’s 25 Breweries
Beer is a big deal here. No matter what part of town you’re staying in you can find a great local brewery, and it’s okay if beer isn’t your style because the cider scene is just as popular. Enjoy brews and your babes at family friendly restaurants like Stroops Heroic Dogs, Boulevard Burger and Brew, Roaring Pines (an American-made goods shop with an old-fashioned soda fountain), or Proper Pie or Shyndigz to satisfy your sweet tooth.
Get Your Tour On at The Valentine
If guided tours are your thing, you’ll love this haven of history and exploration. Relics of Richmond’s 400 year past can be found here, as well as many other avenues of learning including exhibitions, special events, research opportunities, school programs, public programs, guided tours and a self-guided tour of the Edward V. Valentine Sculpture Studio.
Stroll Down Monument avenue
The landmark boulevard of Monument Avenue, on the National Register of Historic Places, includes magnificent monuments and statues that have remained unaltered throughout history. You’ll also see examples of renowned architecture designed by John Russell Pope, Duncan Lee, and Baskerville & Lambert.
Virginia Museum of Fine Arts
Explore a vast array [33,000 permanent works, to be more exact] of art culture, from Art Nouveau, Art Deco, and Modern and Contemporary American art, to French Impressionist and Post-Impressionist art. Other programs, tours and restaurants are available – to learn more click here.
Get in Some Shopping at Carytown
This urban retail district comprises dozens of restaurants and boutiques. Browse and plan your shopping before you visit here.
Bonus Tip: if you’re visiting from out of town, and especially if you have kids, think about staying at the Great Wolf Lodge and Waterpark. It’s about 50 minutes outside of Richmond and very close to the coast.