Looking for an exciting way to explore Virginia? We recommend visiting Richmond, the lively capital city of that beautiful state. In fact, Richmond has become a must-see destination for wanderlusts, renowned for an abundance of internationally-recognized craft beer, prominent American heritage sites, and, of course, the spectacular James River that runs through the downtown area. All these amazing places and much more await you here, so you are definitely in for a great time. One day in Richmond simply has to be awesome!
What’s The Best Time To Visit Richmond, Virginia?
In spring, during March, April and May, you will experience Richmond at its best. The sun is shining, daylight hours are getting longer, and everywhere you turn, from annual festivals that attract thousands of visitors to the vibrant art, the city truly has something spectacular to offer. But don’t let that hinder you from touring Richmond in any other season.
Springs in Richmond are full of concerts, rooftop cocktails, and outdoor brunches, thanks to the extending daylight hours, and average temperatures stay quietly in the high 60s or even above 70 degrees F. Summer days do not have the temperature of 100 degrees or more experienced by some Southern states, but the humidity may feel intense.
There is no rain or snowstorms to dampen your plans since there is not much precipitation here, and even the tail end of fall will still see fairly warm temperatures. Hire a limo service to make your stay in Richmond even more memorable.
There are plenty of chances to enjoy the river at Belle Isle or hop from brewery to brewery in Scott’s Addition for those who want to soak up the heat. Fall has a similar feeling to spring days, although slightly colder, reaching an occasional high of 70 degrees F. With December and January receiving just 1.5 inches of snow per month, you can’t really hope for very white holidays.
A Few Facts About Richmond VA
Richmond’s rich history dates back several hundred years. It is essential to the lives of all Americans today because it was settled by Native Americans, burned by the British, defended by Patriots, attacked by Civil War armies, and the scene of unparalleled struggles for African-American independence. Established in 1737 at the James River Falls, when the capital was relocated from Williamsburg, Richmond became the center of Virginia’s government during the American Revolution.
At the start of the American Civil War, Richmond was a heavily industrialized area. The city had huge tobacco and cotton factories used to exchange arms and ammunition with foreign nations.
The capture of Richmond soon became a priority for the Abraham Lincoln administration, just 100 miles from the U.S. capital in Washington, D.C., and the “On to Richmond” movements were initiated by the Federals. Richmond was soon transformed into a medical center by continuous operations. Over 30 hospitals were operating within the city limits.
While modern invasions have affected battlefields in the Richmond area and some have been lost to construction, much of this sacred ground can still be visited today. Places and structures related to the city’s Civil War history have been preserved by the Richmond National Battlefield Park and county and private organizations. 3,100 acres around Richmond have been saved by the American Battlefield Trust.
One Day In Richmond Itinerary
If you’re traveling through Virginia, you definitely need to check out Richmond, the state’s cultural and historical hub. This town is big enough to keep you occupied with lots of things to do but small enough to give it a comfortable atmosphere. Why do locals here enjoy it? Because you can fully enjoy the city life, but for a fraction of the price.
Let yourself driven into the Virginia Science Museum
This museum is an excellent place to start your day in the city! You will play with over 100 immersive exhibits at this museum, learning about animals, the Amazon, space, planets, etc.! There are several fun challenges for children to face, such as tightrope walking, souvenir games, and food cooking inside the kitchen. The Dome Theater is Virginia’s biggest film projector. It wraps around you and simply makes you feel like you are in the film itself. The Grand Kugel, a 29-ton granite ball spinning and touching on the water, stands outside the museum.
Stop For a Fantastic Brunch
It’s quite possible that you’ll start getting hungry at this point, and sitting down for a brunch is certainly a great idea. Garnett’s Cafe is an excellent spot for that, especially if you feel you could go for a sandwich. Joe’s Inn serves some great dishes too, with an emphasis on Italian food, whereas Kuba-Kuba will hit the spot if you’re craving something like Huevos Rancheros or a nice Cuban Sandwich.
Take a Stroll Through The Maymont Park
The next thing on your one-day itinerary should be spending some time in the picturesque Maymont Park. This great place for a walk is also one of the largest public parks in Virginia and houses the Japanese Garden, Italian Garden, and Arboretum.
There is a petting farm, too, making this an ideal place for children! It’s a beautiful place to visit, mainly when the flowers are in bloom during the spring.
Explore the Outdoors At Belle Isle and Brown’s Island
We’re not done with wonderful nature and soothing places. Brown’s Island is another amazing destination in Richmond, and you can enjoy their weekly Friday Cheers concert series by the river for just $5-$10. With nature and its running trails, you can continue over to Belle Isle to enjoy the outdoors. You can also find these vast, smooth rocks, or islands, scattered all over the James River. In the pockets of water created by these rocks, individuals can be found sunbathing or lounging. Here you can add a bit of fun to your one day in Richmond.
Dive into the Rich History of the City
Next, head to the Museum of the American Civil War. Once there, you can start by taking the short walk to the Virginia War Memorial from there and paying your respects if you want to. There is also an intriguing show featuring more than 5,000 toy soldiers from various nations and ages.
As your long day in Richmond comes to an end, it is now time to take a stroll around the Hollywood Cemetery. The famous graveyard is the resting place of U.S. Presidents John Tyler and James Monroe and other historical figures, including General J.E.B. Stuart and thousands of soldiers from the Confederation era.
End Your Day With a Nice Dinner
Your one day in Richmond deserves a special ending, which is why you should head to L’Opossum for dinner. It’s a great way to enjoy French cuisine, in an elegant restaurant with some very capable staff. And if you’re in town on a romantic trip with your significant other, this is without a doubt the perfect choice for an evening meal.
Where to Stay in Richmond VA?
901 Bank Street, Richmond, VA 23219
If you want an utmost royal stay in Richmond VA, The Commonwealth is the place to stay. The Commonwealth will astonish and enchant you at every turn, from the decorated entrance doors of the suites to furniture and art handcrafted by some of the most talented artisans in the area to java from Richmond’s own Carytown Coffee.
Linden Row Inn
100 East Franklin Street, Richmond, VA 23219
The Linden Row Inn is an award-winning historic boutique hotel in downtown Richmond’s heart. The hotel is made up of seven-row houses designed in the mid-1800s and restored over the years extensively. Many of the hotel’s luxury suites are decorated with memorabilia from the middle to the late 1800s. It is indeed an utterly beautiful hotel on the outskirts of the city.
The Berkeley Hotel
1200 East Cary Street, Richmond, VA 23219
The Berkeley Hotel is a great choice when it comes to luxury in this area. In perhaps the best location in Richmond, the Berkeley Hotel provides uncompromising service and convenient, gracious accommodation. With its cobblestone streets and several dining and entertainment options, Berkeley is a great place to stay.
HI Richmond Hostel
7 N. 2nd Street, Richmond, 23219
An excellent hostel for everyone looking for affordable accommodation, HI Richmond Hostel will offer you complimentary breakfast and excellent service. It is also fairly close to the city center, and a lot of attractions are fairly close by, so it’s an excellent base of operations if you want to explore the city, too.
Day Trips from Richmond VA
The city is slowly waking from his post-Civil War sleep, mostly off the raider for voyagers. Richmond is proud to retain its classical feel while welcoming the new age, staying true to its traditional self. There are various beautiful spots scattered around the town. For one-day trips from Richmond VA, consider the following amazing sites.
Culpeper is a popular day-trip destination offering a range of activities, situated about 90 minutes northwest of Richmond. The town is home to many historical sites that lovers of history and architecture would like to visit, including the Culpeper National Cemetery, the Crooked Run Baptist Church, and the 1870 Culpeper Country Courthouse.
Located less than two hours south of Richmond, Kerr Lake provides a perfect place for day trips to get back to nature. The lake is a favorite fishing spot, and from one of many boat ramps you can bring along your boat to launch. Boating, sailing, canoeing, and kayaking are other fun activities you can enjoy on the lake.
You should load up all the kids (and their friends) for a wonderful family day trip from Richmond and head to Staunton, where you can discover so much about the life and legacy of the early settlers of Virginia at the Frontier Culture Museum. On a self-guided tour along the foot trails and paths, you can explore the museum. When the little ones’ legs get tired, shuttles are available.
Extra Tips for Visiting Richmond VA
– You can rent a limo service to drive through the city, enjoying some incredible places.
– History lovers would also wish to visit the Confederacy’s White House. It served as the residence of the only Confederate United States president, Jefferson Davis.
– By visiting one of the Richmond farmers’ markets, load your picnic basket with the freshest local foods.
– Once again, the humidity in summer can be intense, so dress accordingly!
– If you want to buy local artifacts, it is highly recommended to go to local shops instead of minimarts.
Pin for later!
If you have any other propositions for this One Day in Richmond Itinerary, feel free to share it in the comments below!
Make sure you have everything you need
What to pack for your next trip?
Make your next trip as simple and as enjoyable as possible by packing smart. It’s amazing how much stress top travel items can save you, so choose carefully.
Things like lightweight travel backpacks, for example, are ideal for short trips and allow you to move around with ease, and a passport holder will make sure you keep your documents safe at all times.
Check our travel checklist guide for 2021 to make sure you haven’t missed anything, and travel to your next destination in style and with maximum comfort.