Whether you’re passionate about history, arts, gardens, antiques, fine dining, outdoor recreation, theme parks or NASCAR, there's something for every taste in the historic Richmond, Virginia, region – all within easy reach of each other. Fun, affordable and accessible, Richmond offers the benefits of a big city and the warmth of a small town. It’s easy to get around by car (the best mode of travel to tour the area), the downtown area is rarely congested outside of the peak travel hours and there’s plenty of parking near sites of interest.
Located on the James River fall line, Richmond was founded in 1607 by Captains Christopher Newport and John Smith of Jamestown fame. Patrick Henry lit the fires of revolution when he delivered his “Give me liberty or give me death” speech at historic St. John’s Church in 1775. You can still visit St. John’s and enjoy re-enactments of Henry’s famous speech. Richmond replaced Williamsburg as capital of the Commonwealth of Virginia in 1780. The Virginia Capitol was designed by Thomas Jefferson and is one of the most visited sites in the city.
Civil War buffs, will want to head to Richmond National Battlefield Park Civil War Visitor Center. The rangers there can direct you to surrounding battlefields as well as familiarize you with the impact the war had on Richmond. Just next door you’ll find the American Civil War Center at Historic Tredegar. One of Richmond’s many other Civil War attractions is the Museum of the Confederacy, which houses the most comprehensive collection of Confederate artifacts in the world. Adjacent to the museum is the White House of the Confederacy, fully restored to its Victorian splendor. Chimborazo Medical Museum, run by the National Park Service and located in historic Church Hill, focuses on the medical aspect of the Civil War.
The Richmond region is rich in historic homes and famous folk, among them Henricus Historical Park, which re-creates the New World’s second successful English settlement, the 1611 Citie of Henricus; as well as the John Marshall House; Edgar Allan Poe Museum; Maggie L. Walker National Historic Site; Meadow Farm Museum, and Scotchtown. Among its many treasures, the recently expanded Virginia Museum of Fine Arts has the largest public collection of Fabergé Russian Imperial eggs outside of Russia. The Science Museum of Virginia presents hands-on exhibits on aerospace, electricity, biological timing and more – complete with an IMAX Theater.
Any time of year is a good time to visit Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden, which features more than 40 acres of gardens, winding paths, wetland environment and a 63-foot-tall domed conservatory. Maymont, a 100-acre oasis, includes Italian and Japanese gardens, the Maymont House Museum, a carriage collection, 700 animals in wildlife exhibits, the Children’s Farm and Nature Center.
Nightlife and performing arts are vibrant throughout the Region. The Cultural Arts Center at Glen Allen is home to the Latin Ballet of Virginia. The Richmond Symphony, Richmond Ballet and Virginia Opera make their home in the Richmond Region, continuously captivating audiences. Theaters such as the Landmark Theater and the Carpenter Center for Performing Arts, both gorgeous historic buildings, draw high-profile concerts, off-Broadway shows, comedians and other outstanding performances.
The cuisine at Richmond’s vast array of restaurants ranges from down-home southern barbecue and uptown haute cuisine to award-winning wineries. For an atmospheric neighborhood spot, you won't have to search far. Nearly every corner of the Fan, Shockoe Slip and Cary Street is packed with choices that are as enjoyable for their ambience as their fine food.
Richmond International Airport (RIC), also called Byrd Field, is served by nearly every major airline in the country.
Summers in Richmond are hot and humid, and June, July and August are the hottest months of the year, when temperatures can reach 90°. Spring and autumn in Richmond are pleasant seasons with warm days and cool evenings.