Discover Richmond, Virginia: A Local's Recommendations on Best Attractions and Restaurants
Richmond holds a special place in my heart as I've witnessed its evolution over the years, having grown up nearby and calling it home for the last decade. Richmond is ideally located just under a three-hour drive from the mountains, beach, or city, providing countless opportunities for fun day trips or easy weekend getaways! Whether you're an art enthusiast, outdoor adventurer, or a dedicated foodie, the city offers a wealth of sights and attractions that cater to everybody. In my guide, I aim to share the local perspective on the best this city has to offer, ensuring that you make the most of your visit to Richmond.
The Fora Difference
Book with Yvan to access exclusive perks and experiences on your trip.
Free upgrades, spa credits and more—we got you
Customized travel planning for your style
Expert advice from people who’ve actually been there
Where to stay in Richmond, Virginia
The Jefferson Hotel
A regal, historic hotel in the vibrant heart of Richmond.
Hip property located in the historic Monroe Ward with trendy rooms and multi-bedroom suites.
Quirk Hotel Richmond
An eclectic blend of art, design, and Southern charm, serving as a creative hub in Virginia's thriving capital city.
Unlock perks by contacting Yvan to book your trip.
Things to do in Richmond, Virginia
The VMFA is a Richmond treasure with a large collection of nearly 50,000 works of art from all around the world. The museum contains works by Van Gogh, Degas, Picasso, and even the super rare Fabergé eggs. Open 365 days a year, and general admission is free (special exhibits require tickets).
Tip: Experience the best happy hour in Richmond on Friday afternoons in the sculpture garden.
Maymont is a historic mansion from the Gilded Age that overlooks the James River. Spend an afternoon strolling the 100-acre grounds and gardens. My favorite are the Japanese gardens! For a family-friendly experience, kids love seeing the wildlife habitats and getting up close with farm animals at the petting zoo.
Richmond’s eclectic shopping district with nine blocks of charm and character. Carytown has a variety of small, locally-owned businesses including boutiques, thrift and consignment stores, restaurants, specialty shops, and more. Some of my favorite establishments are Plan 9 Records, Mongrel, and World of Mirth. Don't miss the chance to see a movie at the historic Byrd Theater!
Immerse yourself in nature with this 600-acre park in the center of the city! Richmond is the only urban city in the country with class IV white water rapids right in the middle of downtown. There are areas for kayaking, canoeing, paddling, tubing and more. Riverside Outfitters is a trusted company for renting equipment or booking outings on the water.
Part of the James River Park System, Brown's Island is a large park, an ideal spot for picnics, leisurely strolls, or simply taking in riverside views. The pedestrian and cycling-friendly T. Potterfield Bridge links Brown’s Island to the Manchester neighborhood across the river. You can also explore the nearby Tredegar Iron Works Civil War Museum. During the summer, there are outdoor events and concerts hosted on the island. We love the Friday Cheers concert series in May and June!
Located just outside the city of Richmond, a day at King's Dominion is a thrilling family-friendly activity with exhilarating roller coasters, exciting attractions, and entertainment.
Wander through this beautiful and historic cemetery housing the final resting place of two U.S. presidents, James Monroe and John Tyler. With miles of walkable paths, the cemetery is high on a hill with stunning views of the James River at the President's Circle.
Tip: If you want to quickly hit all the important things to see, follow the blue line on the right side of the road.
A fun, quirky indoor miniature golf course with Wes Anderson vibes. Check in at the front desk and grab drinks at the lobby bar while you wait. You can carry your drinks as you navigate through the 13-hole course of an intricately decorated fictional hotel.
Explore Richmond's premier farmer's market every Saturday from 8am to 12pm. There are dozens of vendors offering fresh farmers produce, food trucks, coffee, and an array of specialty products, including artisanal breads, flavorful pickles, exquisite cheeses, and more
Historic Triangle (Williamsburg, Yorktown, Jamestown)
Places to eat & drink in Richmond, Virginia
A gem in the Church Hill neighborhood. Come early to grab homemade bread and pastries, all baked in wood ovens. They have some of the best croissants I’ve ever tasted!
This modern Jewish deli, recognized among Yelp’s top 100 brunch spots in the U.S., is a must-visit. Expect a wait, especially during brunch hours, but calling in for take-out is always an option.
Authentic Chinese food specializing in Sichuan cuisine. The restaurant is led by award-winning Peter Chang, who is considered by many to be the greatest Chinese chef cooking in America today.
Indulge in the authentic taste of New Zealand with sweet and savory pies. A perfect idea for a lunch date: pick up from the “pie hole” (get both a savory and sweet pie!), then eat it at the overlook at nearby Libby Hill Park. During the fall season, don't miss their pumpkin pie, hailed as the best by Food Network's Alton Brown!
The best pizza in Richmond IMO. Dive into New York-style pizza by the slice at this Carytown favorite, once a food truck, now with a small, cozy brick-and-mortar location.
A vibrant Cuban restaurant with a lively atmosphere. The huevos are delightful for breakfast, while I love the Cuban sandwich and ropa vieja entrees for lunch or dinner. Round it out with their irresistable flan or tres leches cake for dessert! I typically frequent the original location in the Fan, but both locations are recommended.
A beloved favorite among locals. Stella’s sources fresh, local ingredients, resulting in dishes that showcase the rich flavors of Greek cuisine. Try the traditional moussaka, savory lamb shank or grilled branzino (my favorite). Highly recommend getting a reservation as this popular spot is normally booked months in advance. They do take walk-ins and wait times are generally reasonable, with my personal experience I have never waited over a half hour to get seated at their communal table.
Rich and authentic Italian cuisine. Designed for those seeking an intimate and memorable dining experience, Edo's is the perfect restaurant for a romantic dinner or any special event. Another popular choice, so I also recommend securing a reservation here.
Jasper holds a special place in my heart as the spot where I first met my boyfriend. Beyond personal bias, it is one of Richmond’s top cocktail bars. During the holiday season, it transforms into a magical Christmas pop-up bar!
For beer enthusiasts, Scott's Addition is the place to be. With over 20 breweries and cideries within walking distance, explore favorites like The Veil, Starr Hill, and Hardywood. On most evenings, you can pop over to Brambly Park winery for live music.
Get in touch with Yvan
Did you like this guide? Reach out to customize and book your own experience. Or, just to chat about travel in general.
You can normally expect a response from Yvan within a business day or so. You'll also be subscribed to our travel newsletter (you can unsubscribe at any time).
This guide is part of our ongoing series on travel to Virginia.