Richmond, Virginia: 11 adventures, activities, and attractions - Lovicarious (2023)

The city of Richmond has no shortage of things to do. As the Virginia state capital, the city is rich in history and natural wonders. In recent years, however, a wave of young and ambitious residents have flooded in and a new Richmond is emerging. Local staples, classic diners, and 19th-century industrial warehouses are juxtaposed with modern boutiques and gastropubs. This “mish-mash” of new mixed with old, makes for an exciting destination where you can find an array of activities from the historical and educational to the artistic and artisanal. Being that this is an “adventure” website, this article will highlight only the best “adventures” and activities that you can find in the city.

Explore Maymontestate

Richmond, Virginia: 11 adventures, activities, and attractions - Lovicarious (1)

If you are looking for something to do, you could probably spend an entire day exploring the grounds of Maymont. This 100-acre estate contains a museum, arboretum, Japanese gardens, carriage collection, wildlife exhibit, nature center, and children’s farm. Hop into a whimsical carriage for a romantic tour of the grounds. Check out the farm and wildlife exhibits where you can see everything from goats and chickens to bison, black bears, and red foxes. For a historical adventure, marvel in awe at the Maymont mansion, a complete expression of Gilded Age luxury and opulence.

Tele: +1 804 358 7166
Address: 1700 Hampton Street, Richmond, VA 23219 USA

Visit the Pygmy Hippo at Metro Richmond Zoo

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If you didn’t get your fill of cute fuzzy animals at Maymont’sfarm and wildlife exhibits, then a trip to the Metro Richmond zoo willdefinitely do the trick. Here you can meet the endangered pygmy hippo, feedgiraffes, walk through a budgie aviary, and observe a number of other wildanimals. The truly adventurous can take part in a Treetop Zoofari course whichcarries you 12-45 feet above ground, giving you a bird’s eye view of monkeys,kangaroos, giraffes, and more.

Know that your visit supports an organization which isplaying an important role in animal conservation. Richmond’s zoo is therecipient of the ZAA Excellence in Breeding award for their work in cheetahconservation. In the past 4 years, they have had 40 cheetah cubs born!

Tele: 804-739-5666
Location: 8300 Beaver Bridge Rd. Moseley, VA 23120

Related content: “Lexington, Virginia: 12 of the Best Adventures, Attractions, and Activities”

Stroll down MonumentAvenue

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Monument Avenue is a historical landmark stretching from Lombardy Street to North Thompson Street. The strip is lined with leafy green trees, enormous mansions, and giant statues of notable historical figures. The word “notable” could also be replaced with “controversial” due to the fact that many of the historical figures are in fact, Confederate veterans. While some say the statues symbolize white supremacy and call for their removal, others say they are a commemoration of an important part of American history and should be preserved.

The avenue is not limited to civil war figures however, strolldown the strip and you will also find tributes to oceanographer MatthewFontaine Maury, and tennis player Arthur Ashe. We learned on our recent trip tothe Poe Museum, that the city once proposed erecting a memorial to the greatauthor Edgar Allen Poe. Residents at the time, rejected the idea believing himto have a tarnished and unfavorable reputation. Although there is no giantstatue commemorating Poe, he does have his own museum. See below.

Visit one of theMuseums

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Like most major cities, Richmond has a huge collection of museums. There is the free Virginia Museum of Fine Arts encompassing more than 33,000 works of art. The Black History Museum & Cultural Center of Virginia is a statewide resource on Black history through exhibitions, discussions, and celebrations. In Richmond, you will also find the Virginia Holocaust Museum, the Valentine, and the Science Museum of Virginia.

You can mix up the traditional museum experience by attending one of their special events. Notable among them is the Unhappy Hour at the Poe Museum, a special after-hours event with music, fine food, and libations. Although we did not make it to the Unhappy Hour, we did have the opportunity to tour the Poe Museum, snap a selfie in a life-size coffin, and cuddle with the resident Black cats. Read all about our experience in our article “Discovering Poe at Richmond’s Edgar Allen Poe Museum“.

Splash around with somewater sports

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With several small lakes and a river running right through the heart of downtown, it’s no wonder that there are so many water-based activities in the area. During summer months you can go Paddle Boating at Fountain Lake, tubing at Pony Pasture, paddling (kayaking, canoeing, SUP, etc) at Huguenot Flatwater Park, or exploring at Belle Isle. Some places are not safe to swim in due to the current so do exercise caution in your pursuit of adventure.

Window shop in aquirky neighborhood

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Carytown is a mile-long strip of quirky and colorful restaurants and shops. Stroll down the street as you listen to street performers. See if you can spot some of the different murals painted by local artists. Sip a latte while people watching inside of the extravagant Can-Can Brasserie. Hunt around for your favorite graphic novel inside the used bookstore Chop Suey. If you are a chocolate lover, don’t miss For the Love of Chocolate where you can find any treat, delicacy, gift, and novelty related to chocolate.

Try gory “intergalactic” cooking at GWAR bar

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According to GWAR bar’s main chef “My mother taught me thesecret of intergalactic cooking…then I ate her.” Catch your attention yet? The80’s heavy metal band decided to open a GWAR themed restaurant in the middle ofRichmond where you can order items such as the Baconecutioner, Demoned Eggs,Nachos Destructo, and Poppin’ Pustulus Mac n’ Cheese. As if the meal names aren’ttheatrical enough, the bar is adorned with blood splattered walls and demonicbabies suspended from the ceiling.

If gory food is not your thing, then try Fancy Biscuit. It is adorable, cute and everything that is opposite from GWAR bar.

Tele: 804-918-9352
Location: 217 W Clay St., Richmond, VA 23220

Catch a classic movieat The Byrd

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The Byrd theatre was built in 1928 as one of the nation’sgrand movie palaces. At the time, patrons paid 25 cents for a matinee and 50cents for an evening movie. Since then, prices have soared and they now cost awhopping $4 a ticket! (Do you sense my sarcasm?) I do believe that the Byrd Theatreis quite possibly one of the only places that can you find $4 movies every day365 days of the year!

Not only have they tried their best to stay true toreasonable prices, but they also have stayed true to the look and feel of thetheatre. You will be instantly charmed by the bright red carpets leading up tothe curtained stage, the marbled walls, gold leaf arches, mezzanine, and the 18ft crystal chandelier suspended over the auditorium. Watching a movie in thistheatre is certainly an experience to remember.

Tele: (804)353-9911
Location: 2908 W Cary Street, Richmond, VA 23221

Check out Richmond’s nationallyrecognized street art murals

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While wandering the streets of downtown Richmond, it won’t take you long to notice that the entire city is a canvas for art. Thanks in part to the Richmond Mural Project, brick alleyways and walls are adorned with colorful murals from artists all over the world. Highlights include “Moonshine” by Etam Cru, “Light of Human Kindness” by Patience Salgado, and “Angel Wings” by Collette Miller. There are several tours and festivals celebrating the city’s artwork, although you are always welcome to conduct a scavenger hunt and find the artwork on your own self-guided tour.

Explore the Canal

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The canal stretches 1.25 miles along the James River through downtown Richmond. Along the canal you will find centuries of local history presented through monuments, medallions and art. The pathway is free to walk, or you can also purchase tickets to explore the canal by boat. Richmond Canal Cruises offer 40-minute guided tours aboard one of their canal boats. This however is a seasonal attraction, so be sure to check their website for updated hours.

Tele: (804)649-2800
Location: 139 Virginia Street, Richmond, VA 23219

Race a NASCAR race car at the Richmond Raceway

Richmond, Virginia: 11 adventures, activities, and attractions - Lovicarious (11)

Although the most expensive on this list, the Richard Petty driving experience is also one of the most unique and exciting. In this on-track experience, you drive a real NASCAR race car by yourself for an 8-minute racing session around one of the country’s premier speedways. Sound a little intimidating? There are two other ridealong options which allow you to ride shotgun with a professional racing instructor zooming around the course at top speed. Still not “feeling the need for speed”? You can experience the raceway from the safety of the stands as a spectator at one of the annual NASCAR Cup Series. Visit their main Richmond Raceway website for details.

Tele: 866-455-7223
Location: 600 E Laburnum Ave, Richmond, VA 23222

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What is Richmond VA most known for? ›

Virginia State Capitol

In 1861, following Virginia's secession from the Union, Richmond became the capital of the Confederacy. The city's capitol building subsequently became the home of both the state's General Assembly as well as the Confederate Congress.

What is there to do in Richmond for a day? ›

Top Attractions in Richmond
  • Virginia Museum of Fine Arts. 3,114. Art Museums. ...
  • Maymont. 2,064. Points of Interest & Landmarks • Farms. ...
  • Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden. 1,611. Gardens. ...
  • Hollywood Cemetery. 1,424. Cemeteries. ...
  • Virginia Capitol Building. 1,077. ...
  • Carytown. 1,164. ...
  • White House of the Confederacy. 1,261. ...
  • Virginia Holocaust Museum. 415.

What makes Richmond Virginia unique? ›


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. Terrific Opportunities – Lasting memories and fortunes erupt in Richmond.

Is there a lot to do in Richmond VA? ›

The city is jam packed with attractions including, some of the leading art museums in the country, science and technology museums and public parks and gardens. The colorful shopping district of Carytown and the open-air mall of Short Pump Town Center offer some great choices for retail therapy in the city.

Is Richmond worth visiting? ›

If you're passing through Virginia, you have to check out the artsy and historic capitol city of Richmond, Virginia. After all, it must be worth visiting as Lonely Planet named it one of their top 10 underrated cities to visit in 2018! That makes a weekend in Richmond a perfect featured weekend getaway.

Is it worth visiting Richmond? ›

Castles, cosy pubs and walks galore: there's plenty to love about the pretty market town of Richmond in the Yorkshire Dales. Richmond sits on the edge of the evergreen Yorkshire Dales and is the main tourist centre for exploring the Yorkshire Dales National Park and its multitude of soul-reviving countryside hikes.

Why are Richmond called the spiders? ›

It is most likely the team took the nickname from the Cleveland Spiders who, at the time, were highly successful. To this day, Richmond is the only university in the United States with the spider as its official nickname.

What percent of Richmond is white? ›

White: 45.20% Two or more races: 4.14% Other race: 2.30% Asian: 2.08%

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

Does Richmond Virginia have an aquarium? ›

The Virginia Aquarium & Marine Science Center. It's more amazing than you think. believe. dreamed.

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.

Is Richmond cheap to live? ›

The cost of living in Richmond, VA is 6% lower than the state average and 4% lower than the national average. Richmond, VA housing is 10% cheaper than the U.S average, while utilities are about 3% pricier.

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

Typical Expenses
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

Is Richmond Va an expensive place to live? ›

The Richmond, VA cost of living index is 94.9.

That means it's 5.1% more affordable than the U.S. average. Groceries and transportation expenses are about 10% below the U.S. average, but the Richmond housing index is only 84.2. By comparison, the cost of living in Virginia is about 4% higher than the national average.

Where do the rich live in Richmond? ›

Chesterfield County has the highest income of all the counties as well as City of Richmond. Within the City, the wealthy neighborhoods are mostly concentrated in what is known as “the Near West End”, Windsor Farms, Rothesay Circle, The Fan, Monument Avenue, River Road corridor, South of Cary St etc.

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 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

Are there still Confederate statues in Richmond? ›

A statue of Confederate General A.P. Hill stands on top of his grave at an intersection of Laburnum Avenue and Hermitage Road on July 20, 2022, in Richmond, Virginia. A Tuesday court ruling has cleared the way for Richmond, Virginia, to remove its last-standing Confederate statue.

What city in Virginia has the best nightlife? ›

Norfolk. This is definitely the biggest place in our top 10 with 242,803 thrill loving people. Both the nightlife and music venues ranked well here, and there were few fast food restaurants to bore those with a refined palate.

Does Richmond still have Confederate statues? ›

RICHMOND — The scars where Confederate statues once stood along Monument Avenue are now covered with pavement or landscaping, and social justice protests have largely gone silent. But just across town, a statue of rebel Gen. A.P. Hill still towers over one of Richmond's busiest intersections.

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.

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.

What is there to do in Richmond at night? ›

  • The Library Pot. 142. Bars & Clubs • Game & Entertainment Centres. ...
  • So Bar Richmond. 235. Bars & Clubs. ...
  • The Mitre. Bars & Clubs. Open now. ...
  • Be At One Twickenham. Bars & Clubs. Open now. ...
  • The Masons Arms. Bars & Clubs. Open now. ...
  • Incognito Richmond. Bars & Clubs • Wine Bars. Open now. ...
  • Bloomsbury Pub. Bars & Clubs. ...
  • The Turks Head. Bars & Clubs.

Is Richmond expensive? ›

The Royal Borough of Richmond upon Thames is one of London's most expensive areas, with house prices sitting significantly above the London average. The Royal Borough of Richmond upon Thames is one of London's most expensive areas, with house prices sitting significantly above the London average.

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.

Is it safe to live in Richmond? ›

How safe is Richmond, VA? The metropolitan area's violent crime rate was lower than the national rate in 2020. Its rate of property crime was higher than the national rate.

What is the blackest city in America? ›

At 90 percent, South Fulton is the Blackest city in America. No other city above 100,000 population has more than 80 percent Black residents. South Fulton, Ga.

What are the whitest states in the United States? ›

States with the highest percentages of White Americans, either White Alone or in combination with another race as of 2020:
  • Vermont 95.6%
  • Maine 95.4%
  • West Virginia 94.4%
  • New Hampshire 93.7%
  • Wyoming 92.0%
  • Montana 90.9%
  • Idaho 90.2%
  • Iowa 89.8%

Are there Black widows in Richmond? ›

The Richmond Black Widows are a women's American football team playing out of Richmond, Virginia.

How many inmates are in the Richmond city Jail? ›

About Richmond City Justice Center

One of California's biggest jails, the Richmond City Justice Center houses up to 1032 inmates at a given time. Both male and female inmates reside at this jail.

Why is Richmond a good place to live? ›

Richmond is a good place to live because it is filled with opportunities for work and building a career. While offering excitement and fun at restaurants, clubs, and entertainment venues. All without the high cost and inconveniences that come with living in some of the largest U.S. cities.

Is Richmond a town or village? ›

Richmond is a town in south-west London, 8.2 miles (13.2 km) west-southwest of Charing Cross. It is on a meander of the River Thames, with many parks and open spaces, including Richmond Park, and many protected conservation areas, which include much of Richmond Hill.

Is Richmond a nice city to live? ›

Richmond also made our list of the 5 Best Places to Live in Virginia. Richmond is at the fall line of the James River, 44 miles west of Williamsburg, 66 miles east of Charlottesville, and 92 miles south of Washington, D.C. With about 213,735 residents, Richmond is the fourth-most populous metro in the state.

Has Richmond Va ever had a white Christmas? ›

Weather records have been kept in Richmond for well over a century and there have only been a handful of times when we have had a white Christmas. In fact, our chance of having a white Christmas is 7%.

Is Richmond considered a big city? ›

How big is Richmond? The most recent estimate from the U.S. Census puts the city's population at just over 230,000 residents, with about 1.3 million in the metro area. It's the fourth largest city in Virginia.

What is the most common food in Virginia? ›

Virginia is known for its southern-style fare including oysters, peanuts, BBQ, country ham, blue crabs, trout, apples, and Brunswick stew. Many recognize these Virginia foods but don't know the origin or how they became a tradition on our tables.

What meat is Virginia known for? ›

Seafood is at the top of the list, of course — oysters and crab are abundant in the Chesapeake Bay — but Virginia is known for beef production, too. You'll also find lots of local produce, including peanuts, artichokes, and blackberries, plus Southern favorites like pimento cheese and fried chicken.

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 are there no basements in Richmond VA? ›

Due to the dangers of flooding, most houses in Richmond don't have a basement, and because of its close proximity to the airport, buildings cannot exceed above 46 ft tall.

Are there mountain lions in Richmond VA? ›

Mountain lions haven't had a population in Virginia since 1882. Sadly, mountain lions no longer live in Virginia. They were last seen in 1882 and have since been killed off.

Are there bears in Richmond? ›

Reality check: Bears end up in the city every year around this time, David Garst, Richmond district biologist with the Virginia Department of Wildlife Resources, told Axios. It's part of their natural life cycle.

Does it snow a lot in Richmond VA? ›

The average high temperature during the Richmond winter season is under 55°F. Does it snow in Richmond Virginia? Yes, but Richmond gets below-average snowfall. You'll get about 11” of annual Richmond snow, but it usually melts within a day or two.

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 industry is Richmond Va known for? ›

Today the city is known for a diverse set of industry clusters. A powerhouse in the financial, medical, biotechnology, knowledge-based services, manufacturing and transportation industries, the city is an attractive location for new businesses who want to be near top companies in these sectors.

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.

What is Richmond VA nickname? ›

River City

Is it expensive to live in Richmond VA? ›

The cost of living in Richmond, VA is 6% lower than the state average and 4% lower than the national average. Richmond, VA housing is 10% cheaper than the U.S average, while utilities are about 3% pricier.

Who is the largest employer in Virginia? ›

As it turns out, United States Army looks to the be the biggest company in Virginia clocking in with 500,000 employees.

How black is Richmond Virginia? ›

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

Why are spiders in Richmond? ›

It is most likely the team took the nickname from the Cleveland Spiders who, at the time, were highly successful. To this day, Richmond is the only university in the United States with the spider as its official nickname.

Why is Richmond called Dogtown? ›

A pre-Civil War gravity-powered railway hauled coal from Chesterfield County mines to Manchester's docks. It was an independent city that never quite collected enough revenue to be run properly and that was denigrated with the nickname “Dogtown.”

What is Richmond's sister city? ›

Pierrefonds, Quebec, Canada. 2022 marks the 55th anniversary of the relationship between Richmond and Pierrefonds. Pierrefonds amalgamated as one of the boroughs of the new City of Montreal as Pierrefonds-Roxboro on Jan 1, 2002.

What is someone from Richmond called? ›

A resident of Lawrence, Mass., is a "Lawrencian," but a resident of Lawrence, Kan., is a "Lawrentian."Someone from Norfolk is a "Norfolkian" in Virginia but a "Nor-folkan" in Nebraska. A person from Richmond, Calif., is a "Richmondite," while one from Richmond, Va., is a "Richmonder."

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