The Best Things to Do in Richmond, VA | HI USA

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The Best Things to Do in Richmond, VA

Richmond VA skyline
By Adrianna Hardy
Adrianna is a Richmond native and a founder of the travel agency Mas Travelled.

The capital of Virginia, Richmond is a historic city sitting on the banks of the James River. From breweries, to parks, to museums, the city has something to offer every traveler. Here are some of the best things to do in Richmond, Virginia.

Explore Carytown

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Filled with restaurants and shops, Carytown is a six-block section of Cary Street and an ideal area to walk and explore. Indulge your sweet tooth by visiting Sugar and Twine for coffee, pastries, and the best chai tea latte in Richmond. Or head to Carytown cupcakes for one of their unique cupcakes, including vegan and gluten-free options. Popular nearby places to grab a meal include the Daily, where you can get delicious pizza and unique cocktails, and French brasserie Can Can, which is the perfect spot to split a cheese board and a bottle of wine with a friend.

To shop local, check out Bygones for a vintage find, Mongrel for “uncommon gifts and cards,” or one of the many clothing boutiques scattered along Cary Street. To round out your time in Carytown, be sure to catch a movie at the historic Byrd Theatre, which features movies for just $4 a ticket. Check online or at the theater to find out what’s playing each day, as there are only two shows daily at 7:15 p.m. and 9:30 p.m.

Brewery Hop in Scott's Addition

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What was once an industrial area is now one of Richmond’s fastest-growing neighborhoods. Scott’s Addition has become especially popular due to the large number of breweries that have come to call this neighborhood home: there are more than 13 in the area, and they’re all within walking distance of each other.

Scott’s Addition is also home to an arcade bar (Circuit), a shuffle board bar (Tang & Biscuit), and a bowling bar (River City Rolls). To fuel up while you’re hopping from bar to bar, stop at one of the many food trucks in the area, usually found parked at the breweries. There are also a few Richmond favorite restaurants close by such as Lunch & Supper, which is known for its eclectic decor and delicious southern-style food.

Explore the Waterfront

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Richmond takes advantage of its riverfront location by offering a variety of attractions and activities on the waterfront. Don’t miss a stroll along the Canal Walk, which features unique street art as well as historical city sights.

Farther down the river are popular parks Belle Isle and Brown’s Island. Both parks have several trails along the water that offer a quick escape from the hustle of the city. Belle Isle is best known for the large rocks set in the river that are perfect to lay on and sunbathe on warmer days. If you’re the adventurous type, Richmond also boasts class IV rapids, and there are several companies that can lead you on rafting tours. Finally, be sure to check out the Potterfield Bridge and the Belle Isle Pedestrian Bridge for iconic views of the Richmond Skyline from the water.

Visit the Museum District

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Come to Richmond’s Museum District to get your culture fix, starting at the neighboring Virginia Museum of Fine Arts (VMFA) and Virginia Historical Society. The VMFA houses a wide array of art from around the world, and its permanent collection is free to visit. The museum also boasts a restaurant on the upper floor that has craft cocktails and a view of the sculpture garden. The Virginia Historical Society focuses on the history of the state and has a suggested $10 donation for admission.

Walk Through Maymont Park

maymont gardens in richmond va

Maymont is a 100-acre public park that includes impressive Japanese and Italian gardens; an Animal Center where you can feed goats, sheep, and other farm animals; and wildlife exhibits where you can spot bald eagles, foxes, and even a black bear. History buffs should be sure to head to the Victorian Maymont Mansion for a tour to learn more about the family that once lived on the grounds.

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