Things to do in Richmond

About Richmond

Short tours suitable for tight schedules in Richmond include the Capitol Square Tour, exploring the heart of Virginia's government, and Art Walks, providing quick yet immersive looks at the rich street art scene.
Richmond's must-see attractions include the Virginia State Capitol, with its historical significance and architectural beauty, the Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden for nature lovers, and the historic Hollywood Cemetery, known for its notable figures and stunning views.
For those visiting with children, the Children's Museum of Richmond provides interactive fun, Maymont's estate offers wildlife encounters, and the Science Museum of Virginia delights with hands-on science exhibits.
Outdoor activities abound in Richmond, from biking the picturesque Virginia Capital Trail to exploring the sweeping views at Belle Isle or white-water rafting on the James River for the more adventurous.
When indoors, visit the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, fascinating for art enthusiasts, catch a show at the historic Byrd Theatre, or dive into the storied past at the Edgar Allan Poe Museum.
Among Richmond's best tours are the Richmond Landmark Tour, featuring historical narratives, the Trolley Tour through the city's most iconic areas, and the Craft Brewery Tour for local beer enthusiasts.
Popular museums in Richmond include the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, the American Civil War Museum, and the Valentine, each offering unique insights into art, history, and Richmond's own cultural story.
For rainy days, consider brewery and distillery tours, exploring the Poe Museum, or taking a guided tour of the Capitol building, which offer sheltered yet enriching experiences.

Best Things to Do in Richmond

Explore Richmond's rich history, culture, and stunning landscapes through our immersive audio tours.

Richmond: The Edgar Allan Poe Museum

What is it?
A treasure trove for literary enthusiasts celebrating Edgar Allan Poe's work.
Why you should go?
The Edgar Allan Poe Museum offers a fascinating look at the life and art of one of America's most influential writers. Nestled in the oldest building in Richmond, this unique museum features memorabilia, letters, and first editions of Poe's works. It's among the best Richmond tours for anyone intrigued by the macabre or looking to delve deeper into the annals of literary history. The museum also houses a charming Enchanted Garden inspired by Poe's poem "To One in Paradise."

Richmond: Richmond National Battlefield Park

What is it?
A historical park commemorating Civil War battles that occurred around Richmond.
Why you should go?
Richmond National Battlefield Park offers a moving experience as it stretches across several sites with storied pasts. Visitors can traverse battlefields, walk through fortifications, and visit the Chimborazo Hospital site, one of the largest military hospitals during the Civil War. Embrace the opportunity for education and reflection on one of the most pivotal times in American history, making it a significant and sobering inclusion for things to do in Richmond.

Richmond: Carytown

What is it?
A vibrant shopping district filled with boutiques, restaurants, and eclectic shops.
Why you should go?
Carytown, known as "The Mile of Style," represents the lively side of Richmond activities, appealing to shoppers and foodies alike. This bustling neighborhood offers a diverse array of independent stores, eateries, and cafes set against a backdrop of colorful murals and charming architecture. It's the perfect place to find a unique souvenir, savor local cuisine, or simply soak up the laid-back, bohemian atmosphere. A visit here shows a different, yet quintessential, side of Richmond.

Richmond: Virginia Museum of Fine Arts

What is it?
A world-class museum with an expansive collection spanning 5,000 years of art.
Why you should go?
The Virginia Museum of Fine Arts stands out as one of the must-see cultural riches. With an impressive array of art from nearly every continent, it is an art lover's paradise and a highlight among Richmond excursions. Admission to the museum's permanent collection is free, allowing visitors to explore a myriad of artworks, from ancient to modern, without constraint. Additional features include rotating exhibitions, a sculpture garden, and engaging educational programs.

Richmond: Belle Isle

What is it?
An urban island oasis offering recreational activities and scenic views.
Why you should go?
Belle Isle is a scenic refuge in the heart of downtown Richmond, accessible by a pedestrian bridge suspended over the James River. It's an ideal location for fun things to do in Richmond, offering rock-hopping, hiking trails, and spots for sunbathing and swimming. The island also features interesting historical remnants, including a former powerplant and granite quarrying sites. It's a natural haven for a peaceful escape or an adventurous day out.

Richmond: Virginia State Capitol

What is it?
An iconic neoclassical building steeped in American history.
Why you should go?
Designed by Thomas Jefferson, Virginia State Capitol is more than an active seat of government—it's a symbol of American democracy. As one of the essential places to visit in Richmond, this architectural marvel welcomes visitors to experience the legislative process and explore its significant past, including the Virginia General Assembly, the oldest continuous law-making body in the New World. Unwind in its picturesque and educational surroundings while reveling in the beginnings of American history.

Richmond: Maymont

What is it?
An opulent Victorian estate with sprawling gardens and a nature center.
Why you should go?
If wondering what to do in Richmond, Maymont should be on your to-see list. This American Gilded Age estate offers a glimpse into the life of the wealthy in the 1800s with its beautifully restored mansion. The estate's 100 acres of grounds boast Japanese and Italian gardens, a children's farm, a wildlife center, and an arboretum. It's a Richmond excursion that offers both historical insight and natural beauty, perfect for a leisurely stroll or family outing.

Richmond: The American Civil War Museum

What is it?
A museum dedicated to the Civil War's history from multiple perspectives.
Why you should go?
The American Civil War Museum is amongst the most intriguing things to do in Richmond for history enthusiasts. This museum tells a comprehensive story through the eyes of Union and Confederate soldiers, slaves, and civilians. With personal artifacts, interactive exhibits, and enlightening narratives, the museum lays bare the complexities of the era. It's an examination of national identity, sacrifice, and how the war's legacy continues to shape contemporary America.

Richmond: Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden

What is it?
A year-round botanical display with themed gardens and a conservatory.
Why you should go?
Recognized as one of the best things to do in Richmond, Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden presents an array of plants in themed settings that provide respite from the city's hustle. Alongside beautiful flora, visitors can enjoy educational programs, special events, and the striking architecture of its conservatory. Encompassing about 50 acres, it's an enchanting journey through nature's diversity and the ideal spot for both relaxation and horticultural inspiration.

Richmond: Hollywood Cemetery

What is it?
A historic garden cemetery overlooking the James River.
Why you should go?
Steeped in beauty and history, Hollywood Cemetery ranks among the unique Richmond activities. Not just a final resting place; it's a serene landscape that honors the memory of two U.S. Presidents, James Monroe and John Tyler, alongside countless Civil War soldiers. Pack a picnic to enjoy among the ornate gravestones and statues, or take a reflective walk through the winding paths that offer somber beauty and peaceful views over the James River.

TOP-5 tours in Richmond for first-time visitors

  • Discover the vibrant history and things to see in Richmond with the "Historic Highlights" tour, guiding you through the city's storied past and architectural gems.
  • Indulge in the "Art & Soul of Richmond" tour, showcasing the best places to visit in Richmond for art lovers, from street murals to esteemed galleries.
  • The "River City Nature Trail" tour offers what to do in Richmond for outdoor enthusiasts, highlighting scenic parks and greenways along the James River.
  • Embark on the "Capital Cuisine" audio experience, one of the fun things to do in Richmond, featuring the city's culinary hot spots and foodie favorites.
  • "Richmond's Cultural Beat" tour encapsulates the fusion of tradition and innovation in local Richmond activities, from historic theaters to modern music venues.

Fun things to do in Richmond with kids

Richmond bursts with engaging attractions that cater to young explorers. The city's beloved Children's Museum of Richmond is a wonderland where hands-on exhibits stimulate creativity and learning. Little ones can ignite their imaginations in interactive play areas, like the "Town Square" and "Water Play," fostering a sense of discovery at every turn. The Science Museum of Virginia appeals to curious minds with its captivating mix of science and play. Families can unravel the mysteries of space, engage with live science demonstrations, and marvel at the giant-screen films in the Dome theater. For outdoor adventure, the Metro Richmond Zoo offers an up-close look at wildlife, featuring a skyride with panoramic views and a chance to hand-feed gentle giraffes. These destinations are among the top fun things to do in Richmond with kids, ensuring a trip filled with education, excitement, and wonder.

Things to do in Richmond with family

When it comes to family-friendly activities, Richmond offers an array of memorable experiences. The Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden is a living canvas bursting with color, where families can unwind in the Butterfly House or engage with hands-on activities at the Children's Garden. History comes to life at the American Civil War Museum, where interactive exhibits provide a dynamic learning environment for all ages. Here, the stories from the Union and the Confederacy, as well as those of enslaved and free African Americans, are told with sensitivity and depth. Another must-visit is Maymont, a Victorian estate that presents a window into the Gilded Age with its meticulously restored mansion set in a 100-acre park complete with wildlife habitats and themed gardens. These attractions rank among the best things to do in Richmond with family, promising engaging learning opportunities and shared enjoyment for visitors of all ages.

Free things to to do in Richmond

Richmond's abundance of cost-free attractions makes it a standout destination for travelers on a budget. Stroll the scenic Virginia Capital Trail, which winds through picturesque landscapes and historical sites, offering a glimpse into the area's past and present. Art enthusiasts can take a self-guided tour of the city's extensive street art, with murals that color the urban fabric of Richmond, turning a simple walk into an inspiring journey. Another valuable stop is the Virginia State Capitol, where visitors can delve into the nation's roots free of charge, marveling at the impressive architecture and absorbing the history of this pivotal building. These attractions represent only a fraction of free things to do in Richmond, ensuring that the city's rich culture and beauty are accessible to all who roam its charming streets and lush green spaces.

Cheap things to do in Richmond

Richmond offers a wealth of budget-friendly activities that provide cultural enrichment and fun without breaking the bank. Art lovers can visit the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, which grants free admission to its permanent collection, comprising works from around the globe. Nature enthusiasts can relish the outdoors at the Pony Pasture Rapids Park, a part of the James River Park System, where the James River's soothing sounds provide a backdrop for picnics, hiking, or wildlife spotting. For a small fee, history buffs can explore the Edgar Allan Poe Museum to celebrate the literary genius' life and work. This unique museum is housed in Richmond's oldest building and provides a glimpse into the past with an enchanting garden setting. Each of these handpicked attractions exemplifies the range of affordable things to do in Richmond, guaranteeing that visitors can enjoy the city’s offerings while staying within their means.

Things to do in Richmond for couples

Couples seeking a romantic getaway in Richmond will find a delightful mix of culture, history, and natural beauty. A stroll through the lush landscapes of Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden, especially during the bloom of the roses, offers a serene and enchanting experience. For a taste of local flavors and a cozy afternoon, the Richmond Wine Station offers self-serve tastings of various wines in an intimate setting, perfect for toasting to love and companionship. History and architecture aficionados will find solace in the historic district of Church Hill, where cobblestone streets lead to charming cafes, stunning city-view parks, and St. John's Episcopal Church, the site of Patrick Henry's famous "Give me liberty or give me death" speech. These destinations are must-dos for couples visiting Richmond, providing an array of shared experiences from the peaceful to the profound.

Things to do in Richmond at night

Richmond transforms as the sun sets, offering an array of nocturnal activities. The vibrant arts scene comes alive at First Fridays, a monthly cultural event in the arts district, where galleries open their doors for an evening of art, music, and mingling. For a blend of history and mystery, the Ghosts of Richmond Walking Tour takes visitors through eerie alleyways and historic haunts, sharing tales that chill and thrill. And for those who enjoy capping their night with laughter, the Coalition Theater presents an engaging lineup of improv and sketch comedy shows, showcasing local talent in an intimate setting. Each nocturnal activity offers a unique way to experience Richmond's charm, providing visitors with entertainment options that highlight the city's rich cultural tapestry.