Growing up in Richmond, Virginia I often wondered if people ever came to the city on vacation. Richmond certainly couldn’t compare to major cities in the United States, like NYC or LA, and we didn’t have any particularly noteworthy tourist attractions.
As I continued to grow and explore the city, I realized that Richmond, VA has a unique charm that is hard to find in most other places. It’s a city big enough that you’ll always find something to do, but humble enough to not have lost any of its old-school charm.
Richmond is full of life and you can always find a friendly face in this city. They don’t say “Virginia is for Lovers” for nothing!
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Top 5 Richmond Breweries (Booze Cruise!)
There are so many breweries in Richmond it’s hard to choose only five! Richmond is the perfect city for large scale brewing because of the many warehouse spaces available for sale.
A little more than 10 years ago, the Scott’s Addition area of the city was full of empty, dilapidated, unused warehouses.
Today, it’s a bustling metropolis of craft beer breweries all within a few blocks of each other.
The Answer is a wildly popular brewery that opened in 2014. They have 56 taps and specialize in fruit infused brews, IPAs, and everything in between.
They offer beer flights of their signature brews and you can purchase some of your favorites to take home.
The Answer has an almost cult-like following of beer enthusiasts who will often be lined up around the corner of the building for limited edition glassware and specialty beer releases.
This brewery encourages you to “think strange, drink strange” with their unique concoctions of craft beer. The owner has travelled the world learning about beer in an effort to bring something new to the table.
Strangeways is always cooking up something new, but my favorites will always be their sour beers.
Community events are often held in their spacious parking lot, so keep an eye on their calendar to see what’s coming up next.
The Veil is a modern, industrial style taproom most well known for their IPAs. This brewery features double and triple IPA beers and weekly rotating taps.
They have plenty of indoor and outdoor seating and they host a different food truck each night of the week.
This brewery is family-friendly, so you’re welcome to bring the kids along for the afternoon.
Hardywood opened in 2011 and was one of the first breweries to call the Scott’s Addition neighborhood home.
This warehouse turned brewery has a 20 barrel taphouse and they have converted the paved parking area into their very own beer garden.
They offer a rotating variety of food truck service, live music, events, and a dog-friendly policy!
Triple Crossing has two locations in the city, but their Fulton location is by far my favorite craft brewery. This warehouse turned brewery is located just past the busy streets of downtown RVA and has ample outdoor seating with a view of the city.
They offer small plate options for food, with the most popular being their thin crust pizzas.
Triple Crossing is dog-friendly and their laid back atmosphere makes it a welcoming place to enjoy the afternoon with friends.
Get Outside at the Top 5 Parks in Richmond
In the summer months, you can always find Richmonders soaking up the sun throughout the city.
Whether it’s taking a walk in the park, playing cornhole in the median on Monument Ave, or relaxing out by the river, Richmond has plenty of spots to soak up that vitamin D!
This hilltop park was one of the earliest recognized parks in the city. Libby Hill Park is located in the Church Hill district and it offers some of, if not THE best views of the city.
Make sure you bring your camera to catch some great shots of the city skyline at sunset and see if you can spot the old Richmond Braves baseball team mascot, Connecticut the Indian, on top of one of the buildings nearby.
Maymont Park has been a Richmond highlight for many generations. This 100 acre historic estate and park has so much to see, so plan on spending the whole day here and make sure you bring your walking shoes!
Inside the park you will find flower gardens, farm and wildlife habitats, the historic Maymont mansion, and a nature center.
The Robins Nature center requires paid admission, but the rest of the park is free to the public with a suggested $5 donation.
Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden
Lewis Ginter is a family-friendly botanical garden that is home to more than 50 acres of beautiful flowers and plants, located just minutes from downtown Richmond.
The gardens are open daily from 10am-5pm, but tickets must be purchased in order to gain entry.
During the warmer months you’re always guaranteed to see beautiful flowers at this award winning botanical garden, but one of their winter highlights is their holiday light show!
During the holidays in Richmond, the gardens are decorated with hundreds of twinkling light displays and sculptures.
Annual memberships are available to enjoy the gardens year round.
Forest Hill Park
Forest Hill Park is my favorite place to have a picnic with friends. This large park has plenty of lush, green grass to spread out in and the shade of the old oak trees makes it the perfect spot to spend an afternoon.
During the height of 2020, my friends and I spent almost every weekend in this park having a few drinks and ordering food from DoorDash (yes, they delivered to the park!). It’s a great place to get some fresh air and sunshine with your family, friends, and dogs!
Between the months of May and October, you can find the South of the James Farmers Market set up at the park every Saturday morning. I highly recommend checking out this popular market for an amazing selection of fruits, veggies, homemade foods, and unique items.
Joseph Bryan Park
Bryan Park is the perfect place to get outside and get some exercise! The park is open daily from sunrise to sunset and entry is free for the general public.
Inside the park, you will find a number of walking/biking trails, a soccer field, playground, disc golf course, azalea gardens, and a small lake for fishing.
This park is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and was originally the site of a planned slavery insurrection known as Gabriel’s Rebellion.
Let’s Do Dinner – Top 5 Cuisines in Richmond
You might not believe that Richmond is a food lover’s paradise, but there are plenty of options when it comes to cuisine in RVA! We have everything from the American classics like burgers and fries to traditional Ethiopian cuisine.
There are easily 101 places just to EAT in Richmond, but here are some of the top options for dining out if you’re looking to try something new.
Thai Restaurants in Richmond
My favorite spot for Thai food in Richmond is Ginger Thai. This local spot is located in Carytown and they have a reputation for having some of the spiciest meals around.
The owners and chefs attended culinary school in Thailand, so you can be sure you’re always getting authentically prepared meals.
It’s a small space, but I recommend grabbing a spot on their newly renovated patio for great food and great people watching.
Vietnamese Restaurants in Richmond
Vietnamese food may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but it would be a huge disservice not to mention Mekong Restaurant.
Mekong is a very popular Vietnamese restaurant about 5-10 minutes outside of downtown Richmond. The inside of the restaurant is spacious, but not too fancy.
They offer delicious traditional Vietnamese meals with a huge selection of beers from their in-house brewery, The Answer.
Cuban Restaurants in Richmond
If you’re looking for the best spot in town for paella, you’re going to want to make a stop at Kuba Kuba. This small bodega-inspired restaurant is the hottest place in town for authentic Cuban paella and vegetarian paella.
The portions are generous, and the price is too!
Make sure you pair your meal with one of their popular side dishes like the coconut risotto cakes or a piece of café con leche cake for dessert.
Chinese Restaurants in Richmond
I’m sure the mention of Chinese food on this list seems a little strange because most people associate it with the same greasy options you find at most places, but that’s not the case at Fat Dragon.
Fat Dragon is a modern eatery with creative new options for traditional Chinese dishes. Make sure you bring your appetite, because their serving sizes are enough for two or three meals!
Even though the portions are more than enough to satisfy a small army, you have to leave room for an order of the pork dumplings or beer battered mushroom appetizers.
Their food can be a little on the spicy side, but there are options for everyone if you prefer something more mild.
Vegan Restaurants in Richmond
There are numerous vegan restaurants to choose from, but one of my all time favorites is Hang Space. Hang Space is a locally-owned vegan restaurant serving up vegan comfort foods like meat-free burgers and vegan chicken sandwiches.
Their most popular dish is their Not So Pad Thai Fries! These loaded fries are covered in onions, sprouts, scallions, cilantro, hoisin sauce, and they’re housemade gogo sauce.
These fries are definitely worth a try – you won’t find anything else like it in the city!
Top 5 Movie Theaters in Richmond
Movies are the classic rainy day or date night activity and Richmond is home to a variety of movie going experiences.
Whether it’s dinner and a movie, or dinner AT the movie, these viewing experiences are sure to be crowd pleasers for everyone.
The Byrd Theatre
This is one of my favorite Richmond activities to check out! The Byrd Theatre is a historic landmark that was originally built in 1928 and has been in operation as a movie theatre ever since it’s conception.
Movie tickets are always only $5 and concessions are equally reasonably priced.
There are two feature movies every night, but make sure you pick the early movie on a Saturday to catch Bob Gulledge performing a live organ show before the movie – you don’t want to miss it!
Bowtie used to be an old train station, but it has now been renovated into a modern movie complex.
The main building (Movieland) features today’s box office hits and the smaller building (Criterion Cinema) features independent films.
The main theater has a vast array of food options as well as a full-service bar. Check out their specials like Sunday morning Movie & Mimosas or Friday and Saturday insomnia theater.
This bistro-style movie theater offers comfortable reclined seating with food and beverage service throughout the showing of the movie.
Their chef-curated menu offers full meal options, handcrafted cocktails, desserts, and of course popcorn.
Tickets can be purchased ahead of time with the option to choose your seats to get that perfect view of the screen.
Goochland Drive In Theater
Although this drive-in movie theater is not technically within the city limits, it’s definitely worth a visit. Goochland Drive-in Theater is an outdoor movie theater about 40 minutes west of Richmond.
This family friendly theater features a snack bar with cheap eats, a playground for the kids, and a pet-friendly policy.
Their double feature schedule is always posted on their Facebook page and website, and you can purchase tickets in advance. Make sure you bring pillows and blankets for those chilly nights!
This 76-foot screen is the largest in the state and can be found at the Science Museum of Virginia. Aptly named The Dome, this rounded viewing complex features nature documentaries and planetarium shows daily.
Tickets to The Dome can be added to your museum ticket purchase for only $5 more.
5 Favorite Stores in RVA to Shop ‘til You Drop
If you’re into shopping at the big retail stores, you’ll have to head outside the city because you won’t find any Walmarts in the city of Richmond!
Richmond is home to a plethora of small, locally owned shops with an emphasis on shopping small.
Each November, you’ll find specials and discounts during Small Business Saturday in an effort to support local businesses. Check out some of these locally owned shops to find something new and unique.
The historic Carytown shopping district is one of the most popular spots in Richmond. This nine block strip of town consists of specialty stores, clothing stores, thrift shops, restaurants, bars, coffee shops, and more.
Take an afternoon to explore all the shops and stores along this street and see what you can find! It’s a great active daytime activity, even if you’re just window shopping.
This funky gift shop is located in the heart of Carytown and they have an amazing selection of gifts, housewares, cookbooks, greeting cards, and all things RVA.
If you’re looking for the perfect souvenir or something for yourself, you’re sure to find it here!
At Bygones you can find one of the largest, most unique collections of certified vintage items for sale. This consignment shop buys and sells vintage clothing, shoes, and accessories from the Victorian era all the way up to the 1970s!
In addition to their certified vintage items, they also carry newly made clothing replicas from previous eras.
The only thing more impressive than their collection is their ever-changing window display. The mannequins in the window are always displaying some of their best vintage looks and the shop uses the display to support platforms like BLM, women’s rights, etc.
Even if vintage clothing is not your style, it’s worth checking out the shop to experience something new!
Despite this shop’s food-themed name, Chop Suey is not a restaurant, but actually a used book store.
Chop Suey’s building is small, but you can spend hours browsing the crowded shelves of books.
The book store buys and sells used books, but also carries new best sellers and highlights books written by local authors, black authors, and LGBTQ+ authors. You can always find something new at Chop Suey!
Ten Thousand Villages
Ten Thousand Villages is a fair-trade craft, accessories, and housewares store located in Carytown. They partner with artisans from all over the world who receive fair wages for their work and provide handmade, one of a kind pieces to consumers.
The shop is managed by volunteers and you can feel good about shopping here knowing that each purchase gives back to the artist who made it.
Best 5 Exercise Classes (no membership required)
If you’re looking to try out something different to work up a sweat, check out one of these 5 exercise classes to get your heart pumping. These exercise classes offer you a break from just walking on the treadmill and they’re a great way to try something new.
No membership is required for these studios, but most classes do require a fee.
This cycling studio offers hour-long indoor cycling classes. Instructors pedal along with you directing you on when to speed up, slow down, or change resistance on the bike.
Classes start at $23 for drop in classes and cycling shoes can be rented on site.
3S Yoga is by far one of my favorite yoga studios in RVA! Their small studio is located in the Church Hill district of the city and they offer intimate classes in a judegment free zone.
You can sign up for their classes on the MindBody app and prices range from $5-$20 for drop in classes. If you’re lucky enough to book a class with Nadeya, tell her I sent you!
Dogtown Dance Theatre
Participating in a class at Dogtown Dance Theatre is one of the most fun ways to get your blood flowing! They offer beginner, intermediate, and advanced level classes in all types of dance including hip hop, bachata, bellydancing, and more!
Classes range from free or donation based up to $55 for more advanced classes.
Fighting Gravity Fitness
Fighting Gravity is an inclusive aerial yoga and aerial fitness studio located in The Fan district on Cary Street.
Three beginner classes are required to learn the basics before moving onto their aerial yoga classes.
These classes have a lot of safety regulations, so make sure you check out their policies online before signing up.
This cardio dance and barre studio is sure to get your heartrate up! Their classes are open to all levels, but some classes feature advanced moves.
You can purchase individual class tickets, class packages, or an unlimited monthly membership package.
Check out their newest class featuring an exercise trampoline for a unique workout experience! If you need to cool down after your class, head next door to Little Mexico for one of their frozen margaritas.
5 Richmond Dive Bars to Grab a Pint
This is by far one of my favorite topics of discussion when talking about my hometown of RVA. Before there were the busy breweries and renovated neighborhoods, there were these five dive bars.
If you’re looking for that dimly lit hole in the wall to grab a few beers and get to know the people of the city, these places are for you.
There’s something magical about the atmosphere of a dive bar that can only be recognized after long, late night conversations with strangers over a few drinks.
This is hand’s down my favorite bar in Richmond. If you’re familiar with heavy metal music, you might recognize the namesake for this bar. GWAR is a heavy metal band from Richmond, VA that have been around probably longer than I’ve been alive.
The bar is tucked away on a quiet corner of the city and the inside is decorated with fake blood, skulls, and GWAR memorabilia.
Don’t let the aesthetic fool you, GWAR Bar is one of the most friendly places I have ever been!
They have cheap beer, delicious food, and a judgement free zone. You are allowed to come as you are and you’re never treated as anything less – that’s the magic of GWAR Bar.
The Locker Room
The Locker Room is your quintessential dive bar! You can find a mixture of people from all walks of life in this dimly lit, smokey bar.
This is one of the few bars in Richmond where you can still smoke inside and they have a pool table, darts, and karaoke on certain nights.
This place is filled with all kinds of characters, and you’re sure to make a new friend or two before the night is over.
This horror-themed bar is a small space in Shockoe Bottom with a pool table and plenty of tallboy PBR cans to go around. T
here’s not much information online from this bar, which should tell you that it’s a true dive bar where you can always find locals hanging out. You’ll just have to see it for yourself!
This bar and restaurant is one of the newer establishments that opened in 2018, but quickly became a hipster hangout and popular dive bar.
Cobra Cabana is the “sketchy, but in a good way” bar tucked away on the corner of a street in the Carver neighborhood of the city. Their small space has closely packed tables inside with a spacious patio out back and they serve a variety of food with a huge selection of vegan items.
Penny Lane Pub
One of my favorite places to go is a cozy English pub called Penny Lane Pub. The pub is owned by a man who moved to Richmond from England and he brought every bit of English charm with him to the pub.
The pub is dimly lit with decorations covering every surface of the walls inside.
The menu consists of favorites like fish and chips, sausage rolls, and curry fries.
On the second story of the bar you can party until the wee hours of the morning playing pool with friends or singing karaoke on Monday nights. It’s the perfect place for a cozy dinner with close friends, especially during the winter months.
Get Cultured at these 5 Richmond Museums
As I’ve grown older, I’ve realized that museums aren’t always the boring field trip type that you remember from middle school! Museums play an important role in preserving history, displaying art, and teaching the community new information.
These five are some of the best museums in Richmond and provide a fun, interactive, and educational experience to patrons.
Virginia Museum of Fine Arts
The Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, or VMFA as locals call it, is a fine art museum located in the heart of Richmond city. The museum has three stories of permanent art exhibits as well as rotating special exhibitions.
The permanent exhibits are always free to the general public with a suggested donation, but the special events require a paid ticket. There is so much to see and do at the VMFA, so make sure you plan ahead to spend plenty of time exploring the exhibits.
Don’t forget to check out the museum’s outdoor sculpture garden and grab a cocktail at the museum’s fine dining restaurant, Amuse, located on the top floor overlooking the garden.
Science Museum of Virginia
The Science Museum of Virginia is a three story museum that offers hundreds of interactive science exhibits and planetarium. Plan to spend the whole day battling your friends in the Boost! exhibit that features hands-on challenges and puzzles.
Tickets start at $15.50 for adults and can be purchased online or at the door.
Edgar Allan Poe Museum
Did you know that Richmond, Virginia was the hometown of the late author and poet, Edgar Allen Poe? The Poe museum was first established in 1906 as a monument to the poet and is the world’s most comprehensive collection of Poe memorabilia.
The museum is located in Richmond’s downtown area where the city’s cobblestone streets bring a sense of what it may have been like to live there during Poe’s time in the city. The museum itself is a small building, made out of salvaged materials from the building where Poe first began his career, and outside there is a “secret garden” inspired by one of his poems.
Don’t plan on spending your whole day here, because the entire museum can be explored in about an hour. Luckily there are plenty of other activities within walking distance.
Virginia Holocaust Museum
While the Virginia Holocaust Museum is much smaller than the National Holocaust Museum located just a few hours north of Richmond, it’s definitely still worth a visit.
This public history museum features exhibits that chronicle the history of the Holocaust and seeks to honor survivors and Jewish cultural traditions.
The museum is free to the general public with a suggested donation.
Black History Museum and Cultural Center
This museum is located right in the heart of the Virginia Commonwealth University campus and is open Thursday-Saturday.
Tickets are $10 for adults and $8 for students with a valid ID.
The museum exhibits aim to dive deeper into the rich traditions and cultures of the black community to expand on history not taught in schools.
5 Game Spots Not to Skip
These top five game spots are the perfect place for a night out with friends, family, or your significant other.
If you’re looking for something other than the regular old dinner and a movie, why not check out one of these adult gaming spots? There’s always something new and exciting to try in Richmond!
If you’re looking for something different, this mini golf course in the heart of downtown Richmond is the perfect spot for a group of friends or date night with your significant other.
Hotel Greene is a themed mini golf course located on the basement level of the John Marhshall hotel. The front desk is designed to replicate a 1905 hotel lobby and as you play through the course, you’ll find different rooms of the “hotel.”
There are small bars set up throughout the course and you can stop for drinks along the way.
If you’re bringing the kids, make sure you get there early because the course is only open to adults 21 years and older after 5pm.
Top Golf Richmond
Top Golf, a nationwide driving range is the perfect place for fun with a group of your friends! Not only is the three-story building a driving range, but it’s also a party venue, sports bar, and restaurant all in one.
The driving range is designed with multiple lighted targets and you can choose from a number of different scoring games to compete with your friends. The computer system keeps track of your score for you, and each bay has its own dining table and lounge area where waitstaff serves food and beverages.
This place is always packed, so make sure you call ahead to reserve your spot!
Tang and Biscuit
Tang and Biscuit is a renovated warehouse located in Scott’s Addition that features indoor shuffleboard, bar games, food/drinks, trivia, and live music. Their 50 foot bar features Tang-inspired cocktails and their rotating food menu always has something unique to try.
If you’re a true shuffleboard fan, you can join one of their weekly leagues that meet every Tuesday to compete with other teams for a chance to be the league champions.
River City Roll
River City Roll is Richmond’s premiere bowling alley featuring boutique bowling and HyperBowling!
If bowling isn’t really your thing, check out their dog-friendly patio named Tommie’s Patio in an honor of a local hero dog.
Circuit is an arcade bar located in the Scott’s Addition district of RVA. They have everything from the classic games like Galaga and Dig Dug all the way to Guitar Hero and Dance Dance Revolution.
Of course they have fan favorites like basketball, air hockey, and skeeball too!
Like most other arcades, their machines require game tokens which can be purchased with cash or credit card. One of the most unique aspects of this bar is their self-serve beer taps.
If you’re looking to try something new, you’re free to use your prepaid card to fill your own glass with any of their beer, wine, and cider options.
The 5 Most Unique Experiences in RVA
If you’re like me, you love trying new things and experiencing something a little out of the ordinary. These top five spots in Richmond are some of the most unique experiences in the city, but they might not be for everyone.
Keep reading to see if any of these strike your fancy!
Escape Room RVA
If you’re looking for a good way to keep those neurons firing, why not try your hand at one of Richmond’s themed escape rooms at Escape Room RVA? You and your team will have exactly one hour to work together solving puzzles and riddles to free yourselves from the room.
Don’t worry, they don’t actually lock you inside (think of the fire hazard that would be!) and you can always ask for a clue if you get stuck.
It’s a great event for a birthday party, gathering your group of friends, or a family event.
It may seem like pop-up bars and restaurants only happen in big cities, so you might be surprised to find one in Richmond, VA.
In the heart of the city is a small themed restaurant/bar called Switch. The theme of the restaurant changes every few months so there is always something new to explore.
Some of the more popular themes have been Alice in Wonderland, Halloween, and Winter Wonderland.
The food and drinks are more on the expensive side, but if you’re looking for a taste of something different, it’s definitely worth checking out this bar.
Grandstaff & Stein
If you’re looking for an exciting twist on dining out, you will love Grandstaff & Stein in the heart of Richmond, VA. The restaurant is designed like a 1920s speakeasy and you’ll need the password to get in!
Don’t worry about going on a covert mission to find the password though, you can find it listed on their Facebook page, so you just have to look it up before entering.
Most of the signature drinks are similar to what you would find at a real speakeasy and consist of things like rye, bourbon, brandy, and mezcal. Their old-fashioned cocktails and relaxed atmosphere make this a great spot for a date night.
I’m not really sure what category this one falls into, but it’s a little bit of history, a little bit of nature, and definitely something different all wrapped into one! Hollywood Cemetery is a 135-acre cemetery that was first established in 1847 and a number of notable people are buried here.
There’s a plethora of options available for self-guided tours and guided tours of the cemetery and you can walk, ride a Segway, or even take a tuk tuk tour.
Of course you’re free to use the map to make your own tour of the cemetery any day between 8am-5pm (or 6pm during daylight savings).
The cemetery is actually a registered arboretum so even if history isn’t your thing, it’s a great outdoor activity with a spectacular view of the James River.
Rest in Pieces
This unique shop might not be everyone’s cup of tea, but if you’re into taxidermy or witchcraft, this place is a must see!
Rest in Pieces started back in 2014 and has evolved to become the largest oddities shop in the city. They carry a huge selection of taxidermy and preserved animals from their certified sources as well items such as tarot cards, candles, and other similar items.
Because of the authenticity of their animal pieces, the majority of their items come with a pretty hefty price tag. But if you’re looking for that hard to find preserved cow leg, this might just be the shop for you!
Don’t forget to check out the taxidermy giraffe on display at the shop.
5 Best Things to do in Richmond with Kids
If you’re looking for family-friendly activities, there’s no shortage of fun and exciting places in Richmond. These kid-friendly options provide history and culture, plus a fun and engaging atmosphere without being too hard on your wallet!
Check out these top five family-friendly attractions to spend some time with the kids.
Flying Squirrels baseball
If you’re a big sports fanatic, you might be disappointed to know that there are no major league sports teams that call Richmond home.
However, if you’re just looking for a fun night out with friends or family, why not grab some tickets to the Flying Squirrels game at the baseball diamond?
The staff at the baseball diamond keep the crowd engaged with trivia, giveaways, and guest competitions between each inning.
Tickets to the game range are always below $20 and it’s a fun outing for the whole family.
Richmond Children’s Museum
The Children’s Museum is an indoor museum filled with tons of interactive children’s exhibits.
The museum provides an interactive learning experience where kids can be introduced to all kinds of new sights, sounds, and experiences while playing. There are obstacle courses, slides, and even a carousel.
Tickets start at just $9 for the day.
Metro Richmond Zoo
Located just 30 minutes outside of downtown Richmond, this zoo is home to over 2,000 animals. When you’re done visiting the animals, head over to their adventure course where you can go climbing and ziplining through their rope course.
Tickets are $18.75 for adults and $12.75 for kid with free parking. Pack a lunch and plan to spend the day with the family!
This theme park is about a 30-40 minute drive north of Richmond, but it’s worth the drive to have the kids out of your hair for an afternoon.
The park features a children’s section with rides and shows for the younger kids, but they also have plenty of roller coasters and thrill rides for the bigger kids and adults!
Their water park is open in the summer months and access to the water park can be added to the cost of the daily ticket.
Daily tickets start at $39.99, so make sure you get there early to enjoy all the attractions. If you come after 3pm, tickets are only $32.
World of Mirth
This local toy store is fun for kids of all ages! They have thousands of toys, puzzles, books, games, and more to choose from.
Their collection of children’s books features progressive topics such as gay marriage, black history, body positivity, and cultural acceptance.
They have a small table in the shop where you can try your hand at some of the puzzle games and it’s a great place to find the perfect birthday present.
5 Clubs to Go Dancing in Richmond
If you’re looking for a night out on the town, Richmond has some great spots for dancing throughout the city.
Check out these top five spots for dancing and get ready to dance the night away with your friends or significant other.
Babe’s of Carytown
This LGBTQ+ friendly establishment is the number one spot for dancing in Richmond. During the day Babe’s is a great little spot to grab a simple sandwich or burger, but it’s after dark that Babe’s really comes alive.
The bar is one of the most popular places for drinks and dancing on Friday and Saturday nights.
You will have to pay a $10 cover charge to get in and they only accept cash. Luckily, there is an ATM right across the street.
Make sure you arrive early, because the later the night gets, the longer the line gets too.
Tobacco and Company
If you’re looking for a night out on the town after dinner, head to Tobacco and Company for a fun night of dancing. Their basement bar and dance floor is a popular location for nightly dancing.
The DJ plays the greatest hits from the past three decades, so there’s something for everyone to groove to. Weekends get pretty crowded at this bar, so make sure you get a spot in line before it’s too late.
New York Deli
New York Deli is one of my favorite spots in the city. This restaurant and bar is located in the heart of Carytown and they have a delicious selection of food, large selection of craft beers and cocktails, karaoke, trivia, and dancing.
Dancing at this bar is reserved for Friday and Saturday nights and there’s no cover charge.
The dance floor is always packed wall to wall with people ready to get down and boogie, so bring your dancing shoes and all your friends!
This cuban restaurant has two locations that offer dancing every Wednesday and Thursday night from 8pm-12am.
An instructor will teach a 1 hour introductory lesson in different styles of Latin dance before turning everyone loose on the dance floor to test out their new moves.
You don’t need to worry about bringing a partner with you and for a cover charge of only $5 it’s a great way to try something new!
Southern Railway Taphouse
In the heart of Shockoe Bottom, you can find Southern Railway Taphouse, or just “Taphouse” as the regulars call it.
Taphouse is a huge warehouse turned bar with a giant selection of craft beer and a large indoor-outdoor dance floor. The DJ plays remixes of today’s hits with popular dance hits from the 90s and 2000s, so you won’t be surprised to find a younger crowd here.
If you have two left feet, don’t worry, you can head upstairs to their arcade to have drinks and play games with friends.
Top 5 Creative Activities
Richmond is full of all kinds of art, after all we do have one of the best art schools in the country right in our hometown!
Whether you’re a professional artist or just looking to try your hand at something new, these art classes may be just the thing you’re looking for to get those creative juices flowing.
Wine & Design
Wine & Design is a paint studio where you can bring your own adult beverages to sip on while you try your hand at painting your own masterpiece. Their website shows all the upcoming designs to choose from.
Once you’ve chosen your piece, just register for a class and the instructor will walk you through the steps of painting. Don’t worry if you don’t have an eye for art, they make it easy for everyone!
Classes start at $25 and all supplies are provided for you.
This specialty plant store carries a huge variety of indoor plants and their knowledgeable staff has all the tools and tips to help you care for them.
I would recommend signing up for one of their terrarium workshops to make your own one of a kind centerpiece. You can choose your own.
If you’re a true plant parent, they take order requests for hard to find plants and will keep you updated on when/if they have them in stock.
Follow them on social media to make sure you stay up to date on any special events like their morning meditation or yoga classes located in the shop!
Visual Arts Center of Richmond
The Visual Arts Center of Richmond offers all types of unique art classes for adults. They offer a variety of beginner to advanced classes 7 days a week focusing on things like photography, glass fusing, drawing, and so much more.
Their classes are a bit pricey, but if you’re committed to learning something new, it’s worth it!
Studio Two Three
This non-profit art space community features such a communal art space, dark room, and print presses 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. They offer classes and workshops like screenprinting, sewing, and journal making.
Prices for classes vary depending on the type of art and supplies needed and you can register online at their website.
This is a safe space for everyone and they encourage art that strengthens and empowers the community.
The Studio School at the VMFA
The Virginia Museum of Fine Arts offers paid classes in drawing, painting, photography, pottery, and much more. They offer classes for children, teens, and adults and advanced registration is required.
The majority of classes have multiple sessions, so make sure your schedule is free before signing up. Some classes provide supplies while others require the registrant to purchase or bring their own.
Check out their program catalog for upcoming class schedules and enrollment tips.
5 Richmond Dessert Places to Satisfy Your Sweet Tooth
Looking for that sweet treat for an afternoon pick-me-up? Or maybe you’re looking for a dessert night with your special someone?
Whatever your fancy, Richmond has plenty of dessert shops to satisfy your sweet tooth! These top five dessert shops are sure to give you the sugary treat you’ve been waiting for.
This locally owned ice cream shop is the perfect place to stop in for a scoop. They offer a large selection of classic and unique flavors that are all made in-house using locally sourced ingredients.
Charm School has a number of vegan flavors to choose from and you can pick your own toppings. Their waffle cones are made fresh daily, so don’t be surprised if they sell out.
More Ice Cream in Virginia
Shyndigz is a locally-owned Richmond dessert shop whose speciality is multi-layered cakes. They have an everyday menu of cakes as well as a rotating “cake calendar” featuring daily specials.
You can order by the slice and pair it with any of their wine or cocktails for the perfect date night idea! If you prefer to have your cake at home, you can pick up from their market or have it delivered.
Pearl’s Bake Shoppe
If you’re looking for a decadent dessert, Pearl’s Bake Shoppe has the best cupcakes in the city! Their cupcakes are made fresh daily and topped with a generous layer of homemade frosting.
The shop offers offer multiple vegan and gluten free options each day, and their secret family recipes make these desserts stand out above the rest.
Their pastry chefs specialize in making cakes and other confections for weddings and other special events, but you have to order 2 weeks in advance.
If you’re looking for specialty doughnuts like maple bacon or cookies and cream, you have to check out Sugar Shack. Their doughnuts are made fresh daily, so make sure you go early if you want to get your hands on the popular flavors.
They also offer vegan and/or gluten free options, so there’s something for everyone
Proper Pie Company
Proper Pie is a New Zealand-inspired pie shop located in the Church Hill district. Their sweet pies are made fresh daily and sold by the slice. My favorite is the strawberry rhubarb!
If you’re not in the mood for something sweet, try out one of their handheld savory pot pies.
Second Hand Shops – Top 5 Thrift Stores
Thrift stores have come a long way since their inception and they are now a coveted space to find one of a kind pieces and vintage items while promoting sustainable consumerism.
Whether you’re looking for antique furniture, vintage clothing, or something unique Richmond has plenty of options for thrift store aficionados.
Boho to Go
Boho to Go, a vintage thrift store specializes in mid century modern pieces. The owner really knows her stuff and is meticulous about refurbishing pieces that need a little TLC.
Their selection is always changing and if you’re looking to get your hands on that one of a kind antique, you have to act fast. Make sure you follow them on Instagram to see their latest finds.
Even if you’re just window shopping, make sure you bring Fido along. This shop is pet-friendly and actually encourages people to bring their pets in!
This large warehouse thrift store is always packed to the brim with furniture, clothing, housewares, and all kinds of unique knick knacks! You may have to search through piles of clothing and cluttered shelves to find some unique items, but that’s all part of the fun; and you know you’ll be getting a great price on their deeply discounted items.
Proceeds from the sale of items goes to Diversity Richmond and is then filtered to other organizations to cover costs for services relating to healthcare, supporting LGBTQ+ youth, transgender services, and much more.
If you are looking to donate items, you can drop them off any day between 9am-5pm.
Rumors is a popular clothing consignment shop that carries some of the latest fashion. It might sound strange that a thrift store has today’s fashion pieces, but with clothing from previous decades coming back into style, it makes total sense!
Some of their most popular items are their vintage, “pre-loved” T-shirts and “mom jeans.”
Class & Trash
If you’re looking for unique, one of a kind furniture or architectural pieces, check out Class & Trash in Scott’s Addition. This large warehouse thrift store has some very unique items, but they can come with a hefty price tag so make sure you bring your wallet.
Even if you’re not interested in purchasing the items, it’s a fun shop to check out before heading to one of the nearby breweries to grab a drink with friends.
You wouldn’t even know Ashby is a consignment shop just by walking into the store. This contemporary shop has a well-organized layout and carries clothing and accessories from some of the top clothing brands.
Their pieces are always in excellent condition and their prices are reasonable. They also carry some local, handmade jewelry and other items.
5 Best Tacos in Richmond for Your Next Taco Tuesday
There are more taco shops in Richmond than I can count on my two hands! If you’re looking for bottomless chips and salsa, tangy margaritas, or even something a little different Richmond has the spot just for you.
Check out these top five spots for your next Taco Tuesday!
Don’t Look Back
Don’t Look Back is hands down my favorite taco shop. The tacos are delicious and reasonably priced and they have plenty of vegan and gluten free options.
They have two locations, but if you’re looking for a fun night out with friends, Don’t Look Back – Triple is the location you’re looking for.
This location is in a building that used to be a bustling hipster hangout/biker bar about 15 years ago. It’s busy, but spacious and they have pool tables and table shuffleboard to stay and play after dinner with friends.
Little Mexico is the quintessential Mexican food spot with never ending chips and salsa and daily happy hour specials.
The restaurant is located just near the Virginia Commonwealth University campus, so don’t be surprised if it’s overrun with college kids trying to get their hands on $5 nachos. Y
ou may have to wait a few minutes for a table, but this busy restaurant has great food and cheap prices.
En Su Boca
En Su Boca is one of the most popular taco shops in Richmond. Although the restaurant is on the smaller side, their central location and outdoor patio make it a great place to grab dinner with a few friends.
Some of their most popular items are the ceviche, chips and salsa or guacamole, and their jalapeno margarita.
Boka Tako started in 2010 as a mobile food truck and they have grown to incorporate a stand alone restaurant called Boka Grill. The taco truck can be found throughout the city at breweries, festivals, and near the office buildings downtown during weekday lunch hours.
You can check out their routes on their website and social media pages so you don’t miss an opportunity to try some of their tacos, like the bulgogi beef or shoyu tofu.
Soul Taco is a local, black owned business in downtown RVA. The modern shop has a surprising twist on tacos and all of their dishes are inspired by southern comfort foods.
Make sure you check out their Cornmeal Crusted Catfish tacos or the Hush Puppy Nachos for something new!
5 Awesome Live Music Venues in Rochmond
Living in Richmond has its perks when it comes to live music. Home to the Virginia state capitol, there are numerous concert venues where most major artists and bands stop on tour.
If you’re looking to see your favorite artist perform live, there’s a good chance they’ll come to Richmond for a show. Make sure you follow the schedules for these top five live music venues to see if your band is on their list!
The National is Richmond’s premiere concert venue. This historic theater was originally built in 1923 and has been hosting live music performances for years.
The venue is general admission, standing room only, unless you are lucky enough to know someone who can get you balcony seating! There are three bars located inside the venue, so you never have to miss a song while you’re waiting for a drink.
There is no food inside the venue, so make sure you eat before your show. Tickets can be purchased online or at the box office.
This small concert venue is located right on Broad Street and they host mostly local or up and coming bands with small followings.
They have a full bar and a few spots of table seating where you can order pub grub before the show. Check out their website for the full schedule of shows and to purchase tickets.
Innsbrook After Hours
Innsbrook After Hours is an outdoor concert venue about a 20 minute drive from the city, but it brings in some great headliners.
You can check the schedule online and purchase tickets ahead of time, but make sure you get there early to beat the crowds. Ticket holders are welcome to bring a picnic blanket, chairs, and an umbrella if they’re calling for rain.
During the summer months, Brown’s Island hosts local and nationally recognized artists at their outdoor pavilion in downtown RVA.
Brown’s Island is a small island located in the heart of downtown Richmond and you can cross any one of the multiple pedestrian bridges to get there.
There are plenty of beer and food tents set up on the island for live concerts and a large grassy space to spread out, so bring your picnic blanket and chairs.
The Camel is a small live music venue that features local artists and up-and-coming musicians. Tickets can range anywhere from $8-$60 depending on the band and weekend shows are only for adults 18 years and up.
They serve late-night food and beverages at the venue, so you’ll never go hungry.
5 Richmond Instagram-Worthy Art Walls
Okay, so this category might seem a little obscure, but Richmond is full of great art murals and it would be a shame to miss some of these precious gems.
If you’re looking for some eye-catching art to capture on film or even just a backdrop for your latest Instagram post, these art murals and street art are a must see!
Riverfront Canal Walk Murals
The Riverfront Canal stretch of wall art located along the canal is one of the largest art installments sponsored by the Richmond Mural Project. This organization’s passion for street art has been adopted by the community and some of the artists have been commissioned to paint pieces for private homeowners and businesses throughout the Richmond area.
The project aims to beautify Richmond and help the city become a premiere art destination.
Former Robert E. Lee Monument
During the Black Lives Matter protests last year, the former confederate monuments on Monument Avenue were painted in protest to raise awareness of systemic racism and police violence. Since the protests, many of the monuments have been removed and only the platforms remain. However, one monument in particular has become the centerpiece for activism.
The former Robert E. Lee Monument (soon to be removed) has now become the unofficial “People’s Monument.” The monument has become a community art piece and the grassy median surrounding the base has become a community center where people have picnics, grow vegetables, play basketball, and discuss current events.
It’s definitely worth stopping to get a picture of this historic art piece.
Charm School mural
This mural is located on the side of Charm School ice cream shop. The “Welcome to Richmond” mural is designed like an old postcard and depicts some of the top attractions in the city.
Make sure to snap a photo in front of this art piece to make all your friends jealous.
The Richmond insta-famous angel wings are located on the wall at LIFT coffee shop. They are part of a project started by artist Colette Miller called “The Global Angel Wings Project,” a national art initiative aimed at reminding “humanity that we are the angels of this earth.”
The wings are designed to encourage people to interact with the art and become a part of it.
Face Their Names mural
This mural supports the Black Lives Matter movement by paying homage to victims of systemic racism and police violence. The piece is part of an initiative called “Mending Walls RVA” whose goal is to “fuel connections through storytelling.”
The mural depicts Radio Blitz, a local hip hop artist, with his hands up and the names of victims surrounding the image. This mural is located on the wall of the Commonwealth Law Group building on Broad Street.
5 Festivals in Richmond VA to Plan a Trip Around
Depending on what time of year you’re visiting the city, you might just stumble across one of these five annual festivals and events. Richmonders love a good festival and you can find us celebrating almost anything with food, music, and craft beer!
Check out these top five festivals for a weekend full of fun.
Richmond Folk Festival
The Folk Festival is an annual festival is held every October and is a celebration of cultures from around the world featuring music, dance, and crafts from different countries. This weekend-long festival takes place on Brown’s Island and the surrounding areas, and each day is jam packed with events.
There are hundreds of craft vendors and artisans, food vendors, and craft beer selections available at the festival.
The Richmond Folk Festival is free of charge, but donations are suggested. Make sure you bring a blanket to sit in the grass and enjoy the live music on the main stage.
Richmond Vegetarian Festival
The Richmond Vegetarian festival is an annual festival celebrating vegetarian and vegan lifestyles and food. You can find all of your favorite vegan comfort foods, healthcare products, and information on the positive impacts of a vegetarian diet at this weekend-long festival.
The festival is free to the general public, which means you’ll have more money to spend on all the delicious food once you’re inside!
Every August, the Carytown shopping district is taken over by hundreds of thousands of people lining the streets for the Carytown Watermelon Festival.
The festival spans the entire nine block section of Carytown and shop owners set up tents in the street to sell watermelon-inspired food and drink, clothing, and more. You can enjoy live music and a bowl of sliced watermelon for just $1.
The heat of the summer month’s combined with the hot pavement and minimal shady areas can sometimes make this festival unbearably hot, so make sure you bring plenty of water, slap on sunscreen and leave your dog at home!
This annual festival occurs each May on Brown’s Island and is the nation’s premier outdoor sports and music festival. The Dominion Riverrock festival features events like rock climbing, kayaking, biking and their hugely popular dog jumping contest.
If you’re not into participating in the activities, it’s still fun to go as a spectator to watch the competition participants. Admission is free to this family and pet-friendly weekend festival.
Arts in the Park
Arts in the Park is a weekend-long festival held every spring in Byrd Park. Artists from around the country come to showcase and sell their work.
You can find watercolor paintings, sculptures, jewelry, and so much more at this art festival! Make sure you bring your wallet, because some of these pieces can carry a hefty price tag.
5 Richmond Patios Where You Can Enjoy the View
When dining out, I will almost always choose outdoor seating when it’s available. Who doesn’t love a patio during the summer months to hear the crickets chirp and the cicadas sing or enjoying a pumpkin beer on a crisp fall day?
These top five patio restaurants in Richmond are a can’t miss when visiting the city.
The Lilly Pad
I absolutely love The Lilly Pad! Until recently, this bar and restaurant was a small, local spot with just a few plastic tables and chairs outside and $10 buckets of Bud Light.
In 2020, The Lilly Pad had an extreme makeover and they now have a huge 6,000 square foot patio right along the river’s edge!
The Lilly Pad gained popularity almost overnight with this new patio installation and is now one of the most popular spots for seafood, beer, and music.
Legend Brewing is one of Richmond’s very first breweries and they have the prime real estate to prove it!
Their restaurant and brewery is located just across the bridge from downtown RVA. Here you can kick back and relax with one of their refreshing brews while enjoying one of the best views of the city skyline.
They offer a full menu paired with any of their house brews or seasonal beer pairings.
This seafood restaurant has one of the most spectacular waterfront patios in the city. Their Key West inspired atmosphere is complete with an open air patio and tiki bar serving fresh cocktails.
Make sure you dress nicely and bring your wallet, because this restaurant tends to be a little on the expensive side.
Siné Irish Pub
There might not be much to look at on this patio, but it’s a great spot to enjoy the evening breeze over a pint with friends.
Siné’ is located in the Shockoe Bottom district and their spacious patio opens up to the cobblestone streets behind the building.
Even if you don’t go for a spot on the patio, check out this Irish pub for the fried pickles or fish and chips, or corned beef and cabbage.
Union Market is a small corner market and deli located in the Church Hill district of the city. The market is nestled into a little neighborhood spot and has a quaint, little patio where you can enjoy a quiet meal alone or with a few friends.
Their market sells a large variety of local craft beers and health food items that you can purchase for consumption onsite.
This brings us to our number one thing to do in Richmond – The James River!
The James River runs directly through the city of Richmond and you can get there in just minutes from almost any part of the city.
The James River Park System operates multiple parks around the river that are used for walking, biking, running, kayaking, rafting, tubing, and much more. Some of the top spots for rock hopping with friends and taking a dip in the water are Belle Isle, Pony Pasture, and Texas Beach.
Richmond isn’t nicknamed “The River City” for nothing!