Best day trips from Richmond, Virginia - Lonely Planet (2023)

Richmond is officially on the radar for travelers seeking great food and beer, cultural attractions, and outdoor adventures –all without the crowds and price tag of more established tourist towns.

Once you’ve had your fill of Virginia’s capital city, you’re also in the perfect position to explore the rest of the Commonwealth. From its convenient location smack in the center of Virginia, Richmond is an easy drive – or train ride – from the coast, the mountains, and the countryside.Here are the seven best day tripsfrom Richmond, Virginia.

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Best day trips from Richmond, Virginia - Lonely Planet (1)

1. The Historic Triangle

Why go?To take a step back in time to the earliest days of the American colonies.

Virginia’s Historic Triangle–Jamestown, Yorktown and Williamsburg – is located less than an hour away from Richmond, making this an ideal day trip. Follow the scenic Colonial Parkway to explore historic sites including the first English settlement at Jamestown and the Yorktown battlefield where the Revolutionary War ended. Wrap up at the world’s largest living history museum in Colonial Williamsburg, where you can see what life was like in colonial times before grabbing a bite to eat in the nearby Merchant’s Square.

How to get to Virginia’s Historic Triangle: Follow Interstate 64 east for about 50 miles (under an hour) to reach Williamsburg. Yorktown and Jamestown are about 10 minutes farther on. Public transportation is limited, so a car is recommended to navigate this area.

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Best day trips from Richmond, Virginia - Lonely Planet (2)

2. Virginia's Northern Neck

Why go?Because you don’t have to drive all the way to Virginia Beach to find sandy shores and briny oysters.

Virginia’s Northern Neck region follows the western shores of Chesapeake Bay, with tiny fishing villages and historical sites scattered throughout. Start in charming Irvington for a cup of coffee at The Local and then head over to the Tides Inn for lunch with views over the water at Fish Hawk Oyster Bar. Choose from state parks like Westmoreland and Belle Isle for walking and biking trails through the scenic wetlands. On your way back to Richmond, swing by Merroir Tasting Room to sample oysters from the celebrated farms of Rappahannock Oyster Company.

How to get to Virginia’s Northern Neck: Head east of the city on Interstate 64 and then hop on Route 33 to reach the remote wilds of these wetlands. You’ll reach Irvington in about an hour, but you could spend an entire day getting lost on these pretty country roads if you wanted.

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Best day trips from Richmond, Virginia - Lonely Planet (3)

3. Fredericksburg

Why go?To stroll across Civil War battlefields and sip award-winning bourbon.

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Fredericksburgisa quaint college town about an hour north of Richmond. The 40-block historic district is brimming with charming shops and restaurants. Try to snag a spot at the seasonally inspired Foode, located in a restored bank building. Just outside of town, you can tour numerous Civil War battlefields; visit George Washington’s boyhood home at Ferry Farm; and get a taste of another sort of history at the A. Smith Bowman Distillery, the oldest bourbon in Virginia.

How to get to Fredericksburg: Fredericksburg is a straight up Interstate 95 about an hour’s drive from Richmond. You can also reach the city via Amtrak train.There’s a direct route from Richmond’s Main Street Station to downtown Fredericksburg.

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Best day trips from Richmond, Virginia - Lonely Planet (4)

4. Virginia Wine Country

Why go?To sample wine from one of the East Coast’s buzziest growing regions.

More than 300 wineries are located in 10 distinct growing regions in Virginia, and those in the central part of the Commonwealth are known as the Monticello AVA (American Viticultural Area). This pastoral region located on the eastern slopes of the Blue Ridge Mountains is known for its fertile clay soil and long growing season. With roots reaching all the way back to Thomas Jefferson’s early experimentation with European grape varieties, wines in this region tend to have a complex old-world flavor with a modern twist. From stately Barboursville Vineyards and picturesque Pippin Hill to the quirky Merrie Mill Farm and Vineyard in Keswick, there’s a winery to suit every style of sipper.

How to get to Virginia Wine Country: Head west from Richmond to find some of Virginia’s top wineries, many of which are scattered around the rolling countryside about an hour from the city. You’ll need a car to navigate these country roads, but wine tours are available (and a safer bet than driving).

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Best day trips from Richmond, Virginia - Lonely Planet (5)

5. Appalachian Mountains

Why go?To see why this part of the Appalachian Mountain range is known as the Blue Ridge.

If you’re craving more dramatic landscapes than Richmond’s gentle hills, head west toward the Appalachian Mountain range for miles of hiking trails, picturesque parkways and breathtaking vistas. Point your GPS toward Rockfish Gap – from this point you can drive north into the Shenandoah National Park on Skyline Drive or head south onto the Blue Ridge Parkway. On either of these scenic drives, you’ll find numerous hiking trails and overlooks where you can pull off to enjoy the views. If you’re road tripping in the winter, you may want to pop down to Wintergreen Resort for a day of skiing.

How to get to the Appalachian Mountains: Drive west of Richmond and you’ll see mountains appear on the horizon within about an hour. You’ll be right in the midst of those mountains not long after that. You will need a car to navigate this rural region.

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Best day trips from Richmond, Virginia - Lonely Planet (6)

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6. Washington, DC

Why go? Because it’s totally doable to hit up DC’s highlights in just one day.

Sure, the nation’s capital warrants a proper visit of its own, but at just about two hours from Richmond, it’s also a very manageable day trip, especially if you take the train and bypass traffic. Leave Richmond early in the morning and you’ll have plenty of time to visit your favorite Smithsonian museum and walk or bike around the monuments. Depending on the season, you may prefer to schedule in some sports:D.C. United, the Washington Nationals and the Washington Capitals are just a few of the teams based here. Grab some grub at a food hall like Union Market or The Roost before hopping back on the train to return to Richmond.

How to get to Washington, DC: If you’re driving up Interstate 95 to reach DC from Richmond, you’ll want to time your trip carefully – traffic can be brutal in northern Virginia. To make the trip easier, take an Amtrak train from one of Richmond’s two train stations. Two hours later, you’ll be right in the heart of the city at Washington DC’s Union Station.

Best day trips from Richmond, Virginia - Lonely Planet (7)

7. Charlottesville

Why go?To experience a small Southern city that balances modern innovation with history and heritage.

Home to the University of Virginia, Charlottesville is a historic town with a refreshingly youthful energy. Visit the pedestrian-friendly Downtown Mall to explore the local shops and restaurants, many of which offer outdoor seating on the shady sidewalk. Nearby Monticello offers a fascinating glimpse into the life and mind of Thomas Jefferson, while Carter Mountain Orchard is a favorite stop for apple-picking and cider-sipping in the fall.

How to get to Charlottesville: The city is about an hour’s drive west of Richmond on Interstate 64. You’ll need a car to get here.

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FAQs

What is the best time to travel through Richmond VA? ›

The best time to visit Richmond is from April through June. Not only will you experience pleasant temperatures, but you'll also encounter few crowds as area colleges wind down for the summer.

How far is the beach from Richmond Virginia? ›

Yorktown Beach

With a distance of 62.2 miles, Yorktown Beach is just a 1-hour drive away from Richmond via I-64 E.

Is Richmond worth visiting? ›

And like other best places to visit in the commonwealth, Richmond boasts some impressive American Revolution sites (like St. John's Church) and an extensive chronicle of Civil War memorabilia (found in The American Civil War Museum or the Virginia Historical Society).

Is Richmond upper class? ›

Richmond itself is very upper-class - houses on the Green sell for upwards for £1.5million, and a lot of people there are obviously upper-class (or upper middle-class). Some are nice, but some REALLY think they're better than you. Castelnau is quite upper-class in some places. Twickenham is all kinds of middle-class.

What salary do you need to live in Richmond VA? ›

Typical Expenses
1 ADULT2 ADULTS (1 WORKING)
0 Children3 Children
Required annual income after taxes$31,622$70,459
Annual taxes$7,758$17,286
Required annual income before taxes$39,380$87,744
7 more rows

What is the best day to travel for less traffic? ›

If you are looking for the best day to drive long-distance, Sunday is the day that tends to have the least amount of traffic on the roads. However, Tuesdays have the least amount of crashes according to the NHTSA (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration).

What month has the best Weather in Virginia? ›

The best time to visit Virginia is during April which marks the beginning of spring to October. Temperatures during these months are considerably warm and subtropical climate dominates the weather of Virginia.

What is the coldest month in Richmond VA? ›

Richmond's coldest month is January when the average temperature overnight is 27.6°F. In July, the warmest month, the average day time temperature rises to 87.5°F.

What is the prettiest beach in Virginia? ›

Best Beaches in Virginia
  • Virginia Beach.
  • Westmoreland State Park.
  • Colonial Beach.
  • Cape Charles.
  • Bethel Beach Natural Area Preserve.
  • Hampton, VA.
  • Chincoteague.
  • Lake Anna State Park.

How long is Fredericksburg to Richmond VA? ›

The distance from Richmond to Fredericksburg is 53 miles. The road distance is 56 miles.

How long is the Amtrak ride from Richmond to DC? ›

Richmond to Washington, DC train information with Amtrak: Average Duration: 2 h 52 min. Average Price: $1. Amtrak frequency: 3 a day.

What food is Richmond known for? ›

8 Foods to Try in Richmond, Virginia
  • 01 of 08. Pimento Cheese. dbvirago / Getty Images. ...
  • 02 of 08. Oysters. Denise Panyik-Dale / Getty Images. ...
  • 03 of 08. Beer. ...
  • 04 of 08. Crab. ...
  • 05 of 08. Pizza. ...
  • 06 of 08. Wine. ...
  • 07 of 08. Northern Neck Ginger Ale. ...
  • 08 of 08. Apples.
17 Nov 2020

Is Richmond VA a walkable city? ›

Richmond is an incredibly walkable and bicycle-friendly city, where the need for a car isn't always necessary. The city has a network of sidewalks that make it easy to walk or bike from one neighborhood to another, and Richmond has a bus-based public transportation system.

What is so great about Richmond? ›

Art museums in Richmond have drawn national attention and if you're a foodie - you'll love living in Richmond. National Geographic put Richmond on their list of the World's Top 10 places to travel for food. Richmond also made our list of the 5 Best Places to Live in Virginia.

What percent of Richmond is white? ›

The 5 largest ethnic groups in Richmond, VA are Black or African American (Non-Hispanic) (47.5%), White (Non-Hispanic) (40.4%), White (Hispanic) (4.99%), Two+ (Non-Hispanic) (2.92%), and Asian (Non-Hispanic) (2.13%).

Why is Richmond called the fan? ›

The Fan is a district of Richmond, Virginia, so named because of the "fan" shape of the array of streets that extend west from Belvidere Street, on the eastern edge of Monroe Park, westward to Arthur Ashe Boulevard.

Is Richmond an up and coming city? ›

Forbes Names Richmond One of '10 Up And Coming Cities for Entrepreneurs' It's no secret to Richmonders that we're a great city for start-ups and entrepreneurs.

What is considered wealthy in Virginia? ›

In Virginia, you'll need to earn $584,000 or more to be considered 'rich'. Technically, Washington, D.C., which isn't a state, has the highest AGI to be considered one of the highest earners at $918,000. Don't land among the top 1% of earners in your state? You may still be considered 'rich' in your community.

What is middle class income in Virginia? ›

Table
Population
Income & Poverty
Median household income (in 2020 dollars), 2016-2020$76,398
Per capita income in past 12 months (in 2020 dollars), 2016-2020$41,255
Persons in poverty, percent 10.2%
54 more rows

What is a good paying job in Virginia? ›

Top Paying jobs in Virginia
  • Customer Service Sales Specialist. new. ...
  • Sales Associate. new. ...
  • Flex/PRN/Contract - CNA options! FIshersville, VA -$20/hr. ...
  • Work from anywhere. new. ...
  • Sales Representative. new. ...
  • Delivery Driver $18 Per Hr. Amazon DSP. ...
  • Car Sales Associate. new. ...
  • RN / LPN / Registered Medication Aide / CNA for Facility Staffing.

What are the worst days travel by car? ›

According to AAA, those who are traveling by car should get on the road before 11 a.m., and try to avoid crossover with commuters on weekday afternoons. Above all else, avoid traveling between 4 p.m. and 8 p.m. on the weekend days, Friday through Sunday.

What is the least busy month to travel? ›

Fewer people are able to travel when school begins, so the demand decreases. To increase this demand, travel suppliers lower prices during the months of August – November and January – May.

What times of the day is traffic the worst? ›

What time of the day is traffic the busiest? According to a study, there is more risk in the afternoon commute compared to the morning commute. In 2016, between 4 pm and 6:59 pm, 6201 people lost their lives in traffic accidents.

What is the rainiest month in Virginia? ›

The month with the most rain in Virginia is June, with an average rainfall of 3.8 inches. The rainless period of the year lasts for 3.8 months, from November 23 to March 18. The month with the least rain in Virginia is January, with an average rainfall of 0.0 inches.

What is the rainiest season in Virginia? ›

Winter is the “driest” period coming it at 9.35 inches of rain for our 30-year averages. Fall comes in as the second driest, but much wetter at 11.06 inches of rain. Spring comes in averaging 11.13 inches of rain. Summer tops the charts as the wettest season, coming in at 13.91 inches of rain per year.

What's the coldest month in Virginia? ›

Winter (December – February) can be quite cold and often includes snow and ice; average temperatures during this time range from -2 to 10°C (30-50°F). January is typically the coldest month of the year.

What month does it snow the most in Richmond VA? ›

There are about 21 freezing days below 32°F during January. January is also the snowiest month in Richmond, Virginia with 4.5” of snowfall. That's more than 40% of the annual snowfall in a single month!

Does it snow a lot in Richmond VA? ›

On average, Richmond records an annual snow accumulation of 7.2 inches (183 millimetres) after 10.1 snowfall days.

Will it snow in 2022 in Virginia? ›

November 2022 to October 2023. Winter will be colder than normal, with near-normal precipitation and above-normal snowfall. The coldest periods will be early December, late January, and mid- to late February. The snowiest periods will be in early and late January and in February in the south.

What is the number one attraction in Virginia? ›

1. Shenandoah National Park and Skyline Drive. In the center of Virginia, Shenandoah National Park protects portions of the Blue Ridge Mountains, which range in height between 2,000 and 4,000 feet.

What is the most famous beach in Virginia? ›

Virginia Beach

No beach in Virginia is as famous as Virginia Beach. Vacationers love the access to the Atlantic Ocean. It is close to the Chesapeake Bay, which gives the area extra charm when it comes to the food scene and activities beyond building sandcastles.

What is the closest ocean beach to Richmond VA? ›

FAIRVIEW BEACH #1 is situated 53.12 mi to the NE of Richmond Virginia.

Why is Fredericksburg so popular? ›

Fredericksburg is home to popular attractions like the National Museum of the Pacific War, Texas Wine Country, award-winning shopping, and Enchanted Rock State Natural Area.

How do I spend a day in Fredericksburg VA? ›

Top Attractions in Fredericksburg
  1. Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania National Military Park. 552. Historic Sites • Battlefields. ...
  2. Old Town. 332. ...
  3. Historic Kenmore. 220. ...
  4. A. Smith Bowman Distillery. ...
  5. Chatham Manor. 393. ...
  6. Fredericksburg Battlefield and Visitor Center. 261. ...
  7. The Rising Sun Tavern. 248. ...
  8. Hugh Mercer Apothecary Shop. 220.

How far is Richmond from Washington, D.C. Civil War? ›

Since the Union capital--Washington D.C.--and the Confederate capital--Richmond--were located a mere 100 miles apart, much of the fighting raged between these two cities. Washington was never seriously threatened by Southern forces, but Richmond experienced more than its share of alarms and battles.

Is it cheaper to take Amtrak or fly? ›

Train travel is often cheaper than flying, in part because you can generally take more with you before paying extra baggage fees. It can also be more convenient and relaxing than driving, especially if you'd be driving in an unfamiliar place or driving for many hours nonstop to get to your destination.

What is the most scenic Amtrak trip? ›

Amtrak's Coast Starlight is considered one of the most scenic routes in the Amtrak system, offering the very best views of the Pacific Coast, from the cliffs of Pacific Coast Highway to the peaks of the Cascade Mountains.

How much does it cost to take the train from Richmond to DC? ›

Richmond to Washington, D.C. train information
ROUND-TRIP FROM$20
ONE-WAY FROM$10
AVG TRAVEL TIME2h 23m
TRAIN COMPANIESAmtrak

Is Richmond VA a foodie town? ›

Because in recent years, Richmond has been thriving as a culinary destination – thanks to a cool crop of locally-based chefs, sommeliers, and restaurateurs, all of whom are elevating the local dining scene to buzzy new heights.

Why do people love Richmond? ›

EXPLORE VIRGINIA'S CAPITAL CITY

Richmond is more than a city – it's a way of life. RVA is packed full of culture, American heritage, and more! A Part Of History – Many historical sites, monuments, and events started here. Iconic Scenery – Home to breathtaking views and amazing places.

What is Virginia signature food? ›

When it comes to Virginia cuisine, our food is as intertwined with history as it is taste. Virginia is known for its southern-style fare including oysters, peanuts, BBQ, country ham, blue crabs, trout, apples, and Brunswick stew.

What is the safest part of Richmond? ›

The safest neighborhoods in Richmond are Bellevue, The Museum District, The Fan, Westover Hills, Byrd Park, and Three Chopt.

How white is Richmond Virginia? ›

Table
Population
White alone, percent 45.2%
Black or African American alone, percent(a) 46.1%
American Indian and Alaska Native alone, percent(a) 0.2%
Asian alone, percent(a) 2.1%
54 more rows

How black is Richmond Virginia? ›

Black or African American: 46.11% White: 45.20% Two or more races: 4.14%

What are the good areas to live in Richmond VA? ›

Some of the best neighborhoods in Richmond, VA for young families include the following:
  • The West End.
  • Bellevue.
  • Midlothian.
  • Short Pump.
  • Westover Hills.
21 Feb 2017

Where are the rich neighborhoods in Richmond? ›

Check Out The Top 10 Most Expensive Neighborhoods To Live In Richmond:
  • Windsor Farms. With a median home price of $1,810,302, Windsor Farms is the most expensive neighborhood on our list. ...
  • Central Office. ...
  • Mary Munford. ...
  • Stonewall Court. ...
  • Chimborazo. ...
  • Scott's Addition. ...
  • The Museum District. ...
  • Shockoe Slip.

Is living in Richmond Va nice? ›

It's the perfect place if you want something a little less crowded and maybe a little cheaper. I think it also offers a lot of great options for buyers moving from more expensive places. Richmond is truly brimming with fun and is a vibrant, creative city.

Is Richmond a friendly city? ›

One of the most hipster-friendly cities in America! Richmond's free-thinking, nonconformist nature is most prominently displayed in Carytown, a nine-block collection of quirky local shops and restaurants.

Why is it called the Fan in Richmond? ›

The Fan is a district of Richmond, Virginia, so named because of the "fan" shape of the array of streets that extend west from Belvidere Street, on the eastern edge of Monroe Park, westward to Arthur Ashe Boulevard.

Is Richmond Virginia good for retirees? ›

Richmond is ranked as a great place to retire

U.S. News analyzed 100 metropolitan areas in the United States and ranked Richmond as the #32 best place to retire. The magazine bases their rankings on housing affordability, desirability, happiness, retiree taxes and healthcare quality.

Is Richmond VA a good place for retirees? ›

Richmond, Virginia is the ideal location for savvy and active adults to retire to. Situated just 98 miles south of the nation's capital, Richmond offers a mild climate, robust infrastructure -- including public transportation -- and a plethora of recreational and cultural pursuits.

How do I spend a weekend in Richmond VA? ›

Here are our top picks for places to visit if you want to spend a weekend in Richmond.
...
  1. Millie's Diner.
  2. Virginia Holocaust Museum.
  3. Edgar Allan Poe Museum.
  4. Take a Stroll Along the Canal Walk.
  5. Old Original Bookbinder's Seafood and Steakhouse.
  6. Libby Hill.
  7. Bev's Homemade Ice Cream and Café
7 Nov 2022

What is Richmond known for? ›

Richmond is a city of culture, nature, food, and more! There are infinite things to do in RVA, from dining at James Beard-nominated restaurants to white water rafting down the mighty James River, from visiting world-class museums to attending incredible ethnic festivals.

What percentage of Richmond is Chinese? ›

Richmond boasts a great diversity of backgrounds: over 180 different ethnic or cultural origins with at least 25 residents were reported. The most commonly reported ethnic origin in Richmond is Chinese, with 99,870 people or 48 percent of the City's population having this background.

Is Richmond VA a wealthy city? ›

The per capita income in Richmond in 2018 was $35,682, which is upper middle income relative to Virginia and the nation. This equates to an annual income of $142,728 for a family of four. However, Richmond contains both very wealthy and poor people as well. Richmond is an extremely ethnically-diverse city.

What is the coldest month in Richmond Virginia? ›

Richmond's coldest month is January when the average temperature overnight is 27.6°F. In July, the warmest month, the average day time temperature rises to 87.5°F.

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