The city of Richmond, Virginia has played a significant role in the birth of the United States. During the Civil War, it was the capital of the Confederate side. Today, it is one of the largest cities in the state of Virginia, with more than one million people living in the metro area of the city. These are some of the best tourist attractions in Richmond.
10. Oyster and Wine Tour
This tour, offered by bioRide, takes guests to three local wineries and one oyster farm. The company will pick you up at the location of your choice, before heading to the first winery. After you’ve visited all three wineries, you’ll head to one of four oyster farms. The tour is priced by the hour, and tours usually last nine to ten hours. The price includes transportation costs, snacks, some non-alcoholic beverages, and one dozen oysters per guest. You’ll receive a lesson in oyster shucking as part of the experience. For a romantic date or a fun day out with friends, the Oyster and Wine Tour will be unforgettable.
9. Kings Dominion
If you’d like a change of pace from the multitude of historical sites and venues around the city, you could take your family to this amusement park for a weekend of fun. The park opens around the beginning of April each year on the weekends. It is open daily in the summer, and select days in the fall. Visitors can watch live entertainment, cool off at Soak City, visit Planet Snoopy, and go on rides like the Intimidator 305, or the Grand Carousel. There are over 60 attractions at the 400 acre park. Tickets can be purchased and printed online.
8. Metro Richmond Zoo
This 70 acre zoo is located at 8300 Beaver Bridge Rd., in Moseley, which is seven miles from Richmond. The zoo is home to 2000 animals from 180 species. Attractions include a large primate area, an aviary, and many more. Visitors can ride the Safari Skyride, the Safari Train, and the Jungle Carousel for a fee. The zoo is open Monday through Saturday 9:30 am to 5:00 pm year round. It is closed on Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, and New Year’s Day. It occasionally closes for inclement weather. Tickets can be purchased at the website.
7. Maggie L. Walker National Historical Site
Maggie L. Walker, 1864-1934, was an African-American bank president, newspaper editor, and fraternal leader. She was also a wife and mother, an educator, and a champion of women, African-Americans, and disabled people. The Maggie L. Walker National Historical Site is located at 600 N. Second St., which had been her home. The home, which has been restored and still has her furnishings, has 28 rooms and an elevator which Walker used with her wheelchair. Tours of the home, which is now owned by the National Park Service, are free, and offered on a first come, first serve basis.
6. Hanover Tavern
This historical tavern was built in 1791 on the site of a still older tavern that had burned down. Today, it is still a functioning tavern, as well as a restaurant and theatre. Visitors can learn about the history of the place while they are there. The tavern stages classes, performances, and events, like the four-session “By the Glass: A Crash Course in Beer 101.” Tickets can be purchased at their website. The tavern’s regular hours are Tuesday through Thursday 9:00 am to 11:00 pm, Friday and Saturday 11:00 am to 10:00 pm, Sunday 11:00 am to 8:00 pm. The Hanover Tavern is located at 13181 Hanover Courthouse Rd.
5. Science Museum of Virginia
The Science Museum of Virginia has lots of fun, interactive exhibits for adults and kids about math, the human body, space, small animals, and much more. It also has a 76 foot dome theater showing films about animals, space, and other science related topics. Hundreds of thousands of people visit the museum at 2500 West Broad Street each year. The center is open Tuesday through Saturday from 9:30 am to 5:00 pm, Sunday 11:30 am to 5:00 pm. The center will be closed on Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve, and Christmas Day, and is occasionally open on Mondays. Tickets can be purchased at the website, and kids three and under get in free.
4. Virginia Museum of Fine Arts
This fine arts museum is located at 200 N. Boulevard. It is open every day, including holidays, from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm, and stays open until 9:00 pm on Thursdays and Fridays. The VMFA was built in 1936, and has more than 33,000 pieces in its collection. Visitors can participate in a walk-in tour, offered two to three times each day, for free. Friday nights the museum hosts Art & Wine tours, which are free to attend, with happy hour pricing on beverages. Examples of exhibitions include “Japanese Tattoo: Perseverance, Art, and Tradition,” and “Early 20th-Century European Art.” There is no admission fee.
3. Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden
This botanical garden, located at 1800 Lakeside Avenue, has been one of the most popular places to visit in Richmond since it first opened in 1984. The 50 acre park has a domed Conservatory which houses a live butterfly display, among other things. There’s also shopping, dining, and more than a dozen themed gardens. The Children’s Garden has play areas. The Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden is open every day except Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve, and Christmas Day. Hours are 9:00 am to 5:00 pm. The park is open until 9:00 pm on Thursdays during the summer. Admission can be paid at the gate. Prices vary for events and classes that are sometimes offered.
2. Pamplin Historical Park & The National Museum of the Civil War Soldier
This historical park and Civil War museum is on the site of the 1865 battle that ended the Petersburg Campaign. The Confederates evacuated their capital city, Richmond, and the war was over within days. The park is open every day from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm. It has a number of buildings and sites to explore, including Tudor Hall Plantation, The Civil War Adventure Camp, and Breakthrough Trail. The award-winning museum has interactive displays and audio exhibits, allowing visitors to hear the words of the soldiers. There is an admission fee for everyone over age 6. Wheelchairs and motorized scooters are available for those who need them.
1. Henricus Historical Park
Henricus Historical Park is a recreation of the Henricus Fort and Indian Village as it was in 1611. Visitors interact with interpreters in period costumes who will engage them to assist with blacksmithing, plant harvesting, cooking, and others chores that were part of daily life 400 years ago. Recreated structures include a Native Americans living structure, Soldier’s House, Tobacco Barn & Planter’s House, Church Meeting Hall, Animals Pens, and several more. Henricus Historical Park is open Tuesday through Sunday from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm. It is located 13 miles south of Richmond at 251 Henricus Park Rd. in the town of Chester. The park is part of the Dutch Gap Conservation Area. Admission fees can be different on special event days.
There are hundreds of things to do in Richmond. If you get the chance to visit this historically important city, you won’t be disappointed by these attractions. The summers are moderately hot. Average temperatures in the winter are in the 30s. The city gets a little bit of snow in the winter months, so you’ll want to pack accordingly.