things to do in Richmond Virginia: Museum of Fine Arts

8 Great Things To Do in Richmond Virginia

Great things to do in Richmond Virginia include historic, nature, fun, food/drink, and other activities.

Richmond, Virginia is steeped in American history but today is blossoming as an adventure and foodie destination. Traditionally known as the capital of the US South (including the capital of the Confederate States during the 1860s), Richmond is also the hometown of Arthur Ashe, Shirley Maclaine, Warren Beatty, Fran Tarkenton, D’Angelo, and Bill Robinson (Bojangles). Monument Avenue—a bonus to my 8 great things to do in Richmond Virginia list below—recognizes Confederate heroes (like Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson) but in 1996 the Arthur Ashe monument was dedicated.

Yes, you can say that there are at least two sides to Richmond—the traditional, historic Richmond and the Civil Rights, progressive, and cosmopolitan Richmond. Richmond is only a 90 minute drive from Washington, DC and well worth a multi-day visit so that you can experience all sides yourself.

8 Great Things To Do in Richmond Virginia

St. John’s Church

One of the most important events in US history occurred at St. John’s Church in Richmond Virginia. In front of George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, and more than 100 other prominent leaders, Patrick Henry gave his “Give Me Liberty or Give Me Death” speech. That saying became a rallying cry during the American Revolution, which began only one month later. Today you can tour the historic church and graveyard, and perhaps catch one of the reenactments of the events from March 1775.

great things to do in Richmond virginia: St. John's Church (Patrick Henry)

St. John’s Church (Patrick Henry), Richmond, Virginia

Stroll around the graveyard on your own, especially if you have never seen table top cemetery stones.

things to do in Richmond Virginia: St. John's Church (Patrick Henry).

Historic St. John’s Church, Richmond, Virginia

Virginia State Capitol Building

The Virginia State Capitol Building in Richmond was named the #1 building that changed America. Thomas Jefferson envisioned and help design the building, specifically as a statement of USA’s independence from Britain. The Virginia State Capitol is modeled after an ancient Roman temple in southern France and countless USA buildings (including the US Capitol) are modeled after it.

things to do in Richmond, Virginia: Virginia State Capitol

Virginia State Capitol Building, Richmond, Virginia

This plaque inside the Virginia State Capitol shows how far back Virginia history extends.

things to do in Richmond, Virginia: Virginia State Capitol

Virginia State Capitol Building, Richmond, Virginia

Edgar Allan Poe Museum

Edgar Allan Poe spent most of his early childhood in Richmond Virginia. The Poe Museum houses the most comprehensive collection of Poe’s writings in the world. The museum building is not one that Poe lived in but is the oldest building in Richmond.

things to do in Richmond Virginia: Edgar Allan Poe Museum

Poe Museum, Richmond, Virginia

The Poe Museum rooms have period furnishings and decorations and Poe’s Enchanted Garden is a highlight. Watch out for the Black Cat.

things to do in Richmond Virginia: Poe Museum

Edgar Allan Poe statue, Richmond Virginia

things to do in Richmond Virginia: Poe Museum, Enchanted Garden

Resident black cat, Poe Museum, Richmond, Virginia

Hollywood Cemetery

Impress your friends with this trivia: Hollywood Cemetery is the only US cemetery where three Presidents are buried. Two US Presidents are buried here—James Monroe and John Tyler—along with Jefferson Davis, President of the Confederate States of America. OK, you might groan, but I did not say “three US Presidents.” Other important Hollywood Cemetery burials include six Virginia governors, two Supreme Court justices, and over 18,000 Confederate soldiers (including 22 Generals).

great things to do in Richmond virginia: Hollywood Cemetery

President John Tyler grave, Hollywood Cemetery, Richmond, Virginia

No doubt, Hollywood Cemetery in Richmond, Virginia is very historic, but it is also gorgeous. The cemetery encompasses the native nature and features beautiful walking paths and majestic trees. Its setting on a hill overlooking the James River makes visiting Hollywood Cemetery a popular great thing to do in Richmond Virginia.

great things to do in Richmond Virginia: Hollywood Cemetery

Hollywood Cemetery, Richmond, Virginia

Belle Isle

Belle Isle is an island in the middle of the James River with wonderful hiking and biking trails. During the Civil War, Belle Isle housed the largest Confederate prison and later Belle Isle was home to various industrial pursuits. A pedestrian bridge from Tredegar Street is perhaps the easiest way to access Belle Isle.

things to do in Richmond Virginia: Belle Isle

pedestrian bridge to Belle Isle, Richmond, Virginia

From Belle Isle, you can see the Hollywood Cemetery, downtown Richmond, and more.

things to do in Richmond Virginia: Belle Isle

Belle Isle, Richmond, Virginia

Virginia Museum of Fine Arts

Virginia Museum of Fine Arts is open every day of the year and charges no admission fee. When I last visited, major displays included equestrian art, art deco furniture, and Tiffany glass lamps.

things to do in Richmond Virginia: Museum of Fine Arts

Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, Richmond, Virginia


things to do in Richmond Virginia: Virginia Museum of Fine Arts

Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, Richmond, Virginia

Street Art

Over 100 street art murals can be found throughout the neighborhoods of Richmond Virginia. Here is a listing of street art by neighborhood and years. RVA Street Art Fest, a 3 day festival in April, draws artists from around the world to create these amazing murals.

things to do in Richmond Virginia: street art murals

street art mural, Richmond, Virginia


things to do in Richmond Virginia: street art murals

street art murals, Richmond, Virginia


things to do in Richmond Virginia: street art murals

street art mural, Richmond, Virginia

Food and Drink

The local food and craft beer scene in Richmond is crazy. So many creative chefs and brewers are opening places in Richmond and environs, and they strongly integrate with and appeal to the expanding adventure crowd.

Chef Owen Lane is one of the culinary stars of Richmond, Virginia and Vagabond is his current masterpiece. I had these amazing pork cheek tacos for lunch.

things to do in Richmond Virginia: Vagabond restaurant

pork cheek tacos, Vagabond, Richmond, Virginia

The roast pork omelet at Kuba Kuba is phenomenal.

things to do in Richmond Virginia: Kuba Kuba

roast pork omelet, Kuba Kuba, Richmond, Virginia

Capital Ale House is in the downtown area and serves many local brews.

things to do in Richmond Virginia: Capital Ale House

Capital Ale House, Richmond, Virginia

For lunch one day, we explored Carytown for awhile and then selected Weezie’s. They make very good sandwiches and interesting side dishes.

things to do in Richmond Virginia: Weezie's Kitchen

Weezie’s Kitchen, Carytown, Richmond, Virginia

On Thursday evenings from April through October, Hardywood Park Craft Brewery hosts a food truck court. During our visit there were over a dozen food trucks onsite. Oh, and Hardywood has incredible craft beer.

things to do in Richmond Virginia: Hardywood

Hardywood Park Craft Brewery, Richmond, Virginia

What are some of your favorite things to do in Richmond Virginia?

Note: We—Julie at and I—were hosted by Richmond Region Tourism (Visit Richmond VA) as an opportunity to explore and learn about Richmond, Virginia and share our favorite findings with our network.

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8 Great Things To Do in Richmond Virginia published on 29 December 2016.

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33 Responses to “8 Great Things To Do in Richmond Virginia”

  1. Patti Morrow January 16, 2017 at 12:38 pm #

    It’s funny that I’ve traveled to so many other countries but some places in my own haven’t been visited — especially the historic ones like Richmond. I’d go just to see the street art!

    • McCool Travel January 16, 2017 at 6:06 pm #

      I would return to Richmond just to see the street art, too. We are lucky, though, that they also have amazing food and drink and attractions and adventures.

  2. Jennifer January 15, 2017 at 4:23 pm #

    It’s sad that I live in Richmond and have only done one of the these. I keep meaning to do more where I live but it doesn’t seem to happen.

    • McCool Travel January 15, 2017 at 8:17 pm #

      Oh, my, which one? I am sure you have done much more than I have. Of course, you have 2017 and much more time to do these things. I love Richmond and hope to re-visit soon.

  3. suereddel January 13, 2017 at 3:48 pm #

    There sure is a lot to do in Richmond! I especially enjoyed your photos of the food (of course!). Looks like theres a lot of yummy food choices.

    • McCool Travel January 13, 2017 at 10:12 pm #

      I am no foodie expert like y’all but Richmond seems to have an amazing food vibe. Much young, creative culinary talent.

  4. Donna Janke January 11, 2017 at 9:53 am #

    Richmond sounds like a place I’d really enjoy visiting. I like exploring history, street art and eating! And I have never seen a table top cemetery stone.

  5. Carole Terwilliger Meyers January 9, 2017 at 8:48 pm #

    Richmond, Virginia is a great place to visit. I did miss the Poe museum when I was there last, so will add it on to my to-do list for next time. BTW, would love for you to submit your Poe cat image to my website photo gallery “Cats around the world.” Just compose a blurb like the others to go with it.

  6. knycx January 8, 2017 at 8:51 pm #

    Thanks for sharing and introducing Richmond. It’s great to see there are some exciting things to see and do in the city and I wish to be there myself some day! @ knycx.journeying

    • McCool Travel January 9, 2017 at 2:08 pm #

      Thank you for your nice note. I also hope you can experience the treasures of Richmond yourself soon.

  7. admintesting123 January 8, 2017 at 1:28 am #

    The place looks like a super beautiful and arty place. Can’t wait to see with my own eyes!

    • McCool Travel January 8, 2017 at 3:25 pm #

      Thank you for the note. Hope you enjoy your Richmond visit.

  8. Steph Be January 7, 2017 at 10:25 pm #

    I love Virginia! Can’t wait to go back and take a look at some of the places you went- especially Kuba Kuba, that omelette looks amazing! Thank you for a great read!

  9. Rajkumar Gaikwad January 2, 2017 at 7:56 am #

    These spots are really cool!!!
    seriously have to think about this place, well having a list of travel destinations to visit this year, have to put Richmond Virginia on my list for sure.
    Keep posting such amazing places
    Cheers 🙂

    • McCool Travel January 2, 2017 at 9:44 am #

      Thank you for the note, Rajkumar.

      Travel Happy!

  10. Liza December 30, 2016 at 6:22 pm #

    There’s an Edgar Allen Poe museum? How cool! I’d love to check that out. I have a friend that lives near Richmond, I think I should make a visit soon so we can check out some of these spots.

  11. Rebecca {foodie with family} December 30, 2016 at 3:32 pm #

    My sister lives in Richmond and I want to second your Hardywood recommendation! It is GREAT!

    • McCool Travel December 30, 2016 at 4:53 pm #

      Hey, thank you, Rebecca. Appreciate the note.

  12. Kelly Stilwell December 30, 2016 at 3:11 pm #

    I love Richmond and used to visit quite a bit when I lived in MD. The Richmond Science Center has Rat Basketball, where rats play…basketball! Ha! Betcha didn’t even know it was a thing! Thanks for the great ideas for when I go back!

    • McCool Travel December 30, 2016 at 4:54 pm #

      Ratsketball! Awesome. I will return to RVA just to see that. Thank you, Kelly.

  13. Jyl Johnson Pattee December 30, 2016 at 2:58 pm #

    I wish I had had this list when I visited Richmond a couple of years ago. It’s such a cute town. I’ll have to go back.

    • McCool Travel December 30, 2016 at 4:54 pm #

      Very cute. I also want to go back. Thank you for the note, Jyl.

  14. Becky Beall December 30, 2016 at 2:51 pm #

    Such cool stuff! The Poe Museum, the street art, the food!!! Now I must go. Thanks for the info.

    • McCool Travel December 30, 2016 at 2:57 pm #

      Thank you, Becky. How are you? I gotta get me down to southern Alabama in 2017.

  15. Julie @ FuninFairfaxVA December 29, 2016 at 9:24 pm #

    I’d like to return to Richmond to raft on the James River, bike some of the Virginia Capital Trail, and sample more of the great dine and drink scene. Fantastic city!

    • McCool Travel December 29, 2016 at 10:53 pm #

      So many discoveries to make in Richmond Virginia!


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