Just a short drive from of Washington D.C., Richmond is the sleeper city with world-class cuisine, copious boutiques, and untold things to do and see. The capital of Virginia is probably best known for its role in history (it was a key player during the Revolutionary and Civil Wars), but today it’s become a hub for national corporations, science research, and the arts. Its state capitol building is worth a visit as well as the nearby and bustling Carytown neighborhood. Take a stroll along the riverfront’s mile-long canal walk or check out one of the city’s many cultural institutions. Whether you’re exploring the spectacular outdoors, sipping a cappuccino at one of downtown’s many coffee shops, or checking out Edgar Allan Poe’s socks at his eponymous museum, you’ll have to make it more than a weekend getaway when visiting this historical and modern city.
Places to Eat
801 N. 23rd St., Richmond, Virginia 23223
Because of its history and proximity to the very international population of the nation’s capital, Richmond offers diverse and surprising eats that are often fusions of old and new. In the mood for chicken schnitzel but also craving some Southern salads? Then stop by cozy Metzger Bar and Butchery which offers seasonal menu items as well as European inspired staples like currywurst. If you can’t decide what to order, the chef’s tasting menu is a whopping five course of their creative cuisine.
23 W. Marshall St., Richmond, Virginia 23220
Chef Adam Hall has traveled the world tasting different cuisines, but his menu always references his Southern roots. The passionate chef and foodie makes sure that his locally-sourced fare highlights his favorite dishes from his travels to Latin America, Mexico, and the Caribbean. Try the oxtail sopes or, if you’re dining on Sundays, be sure to order Hall’s favorite meal of all time—fried chicken.
626 China St., Richmond, Virginia 23220
This 2016 James Beard Award semi-finalist stands out for a reason—where else can you get escargot with a ham biscuit or a “Fabergé” deviled egg adorned with caviar? Conde Nast Traveler describes the dining experience at L’Opposum as the confluence of “Liberace, Andy Warhol, and Nick Cave [collaborating in] a college-town tavern.” With cocktails that are just as whimsical as the food, this restaurant is not to be missed when visiting Richmond.
4901 Libbie Mill East Blvd., Suite 175, Richmond, Virginia 23230
The name Shagbark doesn’t exactly roll off the tongue, but it’s not a silly portmanteau for this Four-Diamond Star eatery. The restaurant’s appellation actually comes from a species of tree that lines the James River, which runs through the center of the city. Seasonal with intense flavors, the “up-South” cuisine at one of Richmond’s standout dining outposts has been celebrated by dozens of food critics. The menu notes the farms and origins of each dish, so be adventurous and try the delicious garlic-brined chicken breast paired with a wine from their noted sommelier.
Places to Stay
201 W Broad St, Richmond, VA 23220
If there is one standout place to stay in Richmond, it would be the Quirk Hotel. A play on its feminine and fun interior design, this 2019 U.S. News and World Report “Best Hotel” boasts a coffee lounge, playfully-designed restaurant, and elegant rooftop bar. Conveniently located downtown, the Quirk Hotel can be your outpost for sightseeing and dining around the city—or just the place to relax sipping a cocktail or coffee as you check out the local artists on display in the hotel’s Gallery.
101 W Franklin St, Richmond, VA 23220
If you like history and opulence, then the Jefferson Hotel is the perfect spot to stay. The rooms are large and the suites are luxurious. Take a breather with a swim in their indoor pool or “stay in” one night and dine at celebrated restaurant Lemaire.
2300 E Broad St, Richmond, VA 23223
If you want to stay central but don’t want to spend your travel budget on lodging, make your home base the quaint and affordable Inn at Patrick Henry’s. Just steps from the Edgar Allan Poe Museum and the Historic St. John’s Church where the patriot Henry proclaimed “Give me liberty or give me death!”, this cozy and comfortable inn is the perfect place to return to after a busy day.
Things to See
1800 Lakeside Ave, Richmond, VA 23228
The Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden is a site not to be missed. With 50 acres of sprawling landscaping and gardens, this historical property boasts rotating exhibitions, educational tours, art installations and so much more. The best way to enjoy a day here is to spend it touring the gardens and learning about local Virginia plants and flowers.
1700 Hampton St, Richmond, VA 23220
Maymont is a special place in Richmond. This historical home and cultural center offers year-round events and programming for both children and adults alike. The mansion was built in the late 19th century by a wealthy couple who then dedicated the property as a cultural and wildlife institution after their deaths. Take a tour the spectacular home or check out the farm and animal habitats on this 100-acre property.
200 N Arthur Ashe Blvd, Richmond, VA 23220
Dürer, Degas, Picasso—the Virginia Museum of Fine Art boasts one of the most impressive catalogs of art in the South. From Tibetan tangkas to Native American pottery, the museum’s permanent collections and numerous exhibitions highlight both old and modern works by masters. Free and open to the public every day of the week, this cultural institution is not to be missed.
16 W Broad St, Richmond, VA 23220
If you want to shop but aren’t sure what to buy, Rosewood Clothing Co. is the perfect place to browse. The fashion and accessories are both vintage and new, and the home goods and apothecary items make special souvenirs. With so many unique and hard-to-come by items, this curated store is the ultimate experience in laid-back Richmond style.
321 Brook Rd, Richmond, VA 23220
No visit to Richmond would be complete without a stop at Na Nin. This Richmond-based fashion line, vintage house, and hand-blended fragrance store is a one-of-a-kind place to shop. Inspired by her teaching abroad experience in South Korea, owner Kate Jennings named the shop after the phonetic spelling of the Korean phrase meaning “I am.” Score one of her flirty tops and dresses, a vintage jumpsuit, or a delicious smelling candle.