What are the five best things to see and do in Richmond?

As the original capital of the Confederacy and the current capital of Virginia, Richmond boasts a rich history with plenty of sites for the seeing. Home to many beautiful and historic landmarks, the city doesn’t make it easy on you when planning an itinerary; but that’s what we’re here for. Here are our top five things to see and do in Richmond:

1. Maymont Park. Donated by James and Sallie Dooley — wealthy, early 20th century landowners — Maymont Park sprawls across 100 acres of must-see parkland. Take a stroll through the garden or have a picnic by the river; either way, you’ll find yourself smack in the middle of some of the areas most idyllic pastures.

2. Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden. Open year-round, this site showcases over a dozen different themed gardens, including Victorian and Healing gardens. You can even work on your green thumb with occasional gardening classes. Be sure to check out the glass conservatory, the only of its kind in the Mid-Atlantic.

3. The Museum of the Confederacy. This museum contains the largest record of Confederacy artifacts and even has guided tours of the White House of the Confederacy, the restored headquarters of Jefferson Davis during the Civil War. Whether a yank or a reb, you’re bound to revel in the history housed inside these walls.

4. Hollywood Cemetery. Located atop a bluff overlooking the James River, Hollywood Cemetery is the Tinseltown of Confederate resting places, holding the graves of former Confederate generals, local authors and former presidents Tyler and Monroe.

5. The James River. Running through Richmond, the lower section of the James River features rapids sure to thrill anyone brave enough to try to tame them. The river winds around downtown and passes through two local parks — perfect for a mid-day picnic or leisurely stroll.

  • On September 5, 2012
    Jeanita Harris answered the question: Jeanita Harris

    What is Richmond’s restaurant scene like?

    Richmond’s restaurant scene can best be described as diverse and dynamic. The city offers more than 900 restaurants with a large concentration of locally owned establishments in the neighborhoods of downtown Richmond. The cuisine ranges from traditional and contemporary Southern to upscale French to burgers and BBQ. A diverse range of international cuisines, from African to Vietnamese, can also be found in the emerging community of ethnic restaurants.
     
    For visitors who prefer more familiar chain restaurants, such well-known chains as Morton’s, Ruth’s Chris, Fleming’s and P.F. Chang’s are available, along with a host of other fast food and quick-service options.
     
    Two of Richmond’s favorite restaurants — Lemaire at The Jefferson Hotel and Acacia Midtown — have received national acclaim. Lemaire was named a Best New Restaurant by Esquire following the restaurant’s 2009 reopening, while Chef Dale Reitzer of Acacia is a recent James Beard Award nominee.
  • On September 5, 2012
    Jeanita Harris answered the question: Jeanita Harris

    What are the five best Richmond food experiences?

    The five best Richmond food experiences are:
     
    1. Lemaire at The Jefferson Hotel is a New American restaurant featuring a Southern-inspired, farm-to-table menu with unique presentations and combinations.
     
    2. Tarrant’s offers a varied menu of Italian and American classics with an impressive list of daily specials.
     
    3. Comfort offers true Southern comfort food in a casual and bustling environment.
     
    4. Sensi offers an elegant, contemporary atmosphere and authentic Italian cuisine.
     
    5. Bistro Bobette offers understated French cuisine presented with contemporary twists.
  • On September 5, 2012
    Jeanita Harris answered the question: Jeanita Harris

    Which five Richmond restaurants are best for brunch?

    The five best Richmond restaurants for brunch are:
     
    1. The Jefferson Hotel offers a feast, including breakfast items, omelet station, carved items, charcuterie, salads, luncheon entrees and an elaborate desserts display. A Richmond tradition.
     
    2. Water Grill offers an extensive menu of breakfast items, sandwiches and raw bar items.
     
    3. Can Can Brasserie provides a lively atmosphere with a simple French menu and famous frites.
     
    4. Bistro 27 is a European bistro conveniently located in downtown with a small but varied menu with an international flair.
     
    5. Millie’s is a Richmond favorite for their chalkboard menu, close seating and clever brunch items, including their “devil’s mess”.
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  • On September 5, 2012
    Jeanita Harris answered the question: Jeanita Harris

    What are the five best romantic restaurants in Richmond?

    The five best romantic restaurants in Richmond are:
     
    1. Lemaire at The Jefferson Hotel is a New American restaurant serving farm-to-table, Southern-inspired cuisine with an excellent wine list, white tablecloths and exceptional service.
     
    2. Bistro Bobette is classically French with a delightful atmosphere and excellent food and service. In a word — quaint.
     
    3. Julep’s is located in a historic building in Shockoe Slip with a comfortable bar, cozy upstairs seating with a fireplace and a Southern menu.
     
    4. Acacia is home to James Beard nominee Chef Dale Reitzer and features creative presentations of seafood and regional favorites.
     
    5. Old Original Bookbinders offers a relaxing, quiet atmosphere in a refurbished warehouse with steaks, seafood and lobster on the menu.
  • On September 5, 2012
    Jeanita Harris answered the question: Jeanita Harris

    What are the best kid-friendly restaurants in Richmond?

    The five best kid-friendly restaurants in Richmond are:
     
    1. Bottoms Up Pizza is considered by many to be Richmond’s best pizza, serving gigantic pieces and unique topping combinations the whole family will enjoy.
     
    2. Carytown Burgers and Fries offers great burgers and fries in kids’ baskets, milkshakes and interesting burgers, hot dogs and sandwiches for the grown-ups.
     
    3. Strawberry Street Café is a Fan tradition and home of the famous bathtub salad bar.
     
    4. Nacho Mama’s offers Mexican cuisine for the whole family in a fun environment.
     
    5. Joe’s Inn serves subs, pasta and pizzas in a causal atmosphere in the Fan.
  • On September 5, 2012
    Jeanita Harris answered the question: Jeanita Harris

    Where can you go to watch sports in Richmond?

    Three minor league sports teams call Richmond home. The Richmond Flying Squirrels are a member of the Eastern League and are a Double-A affiliate of the San Francisco Giants major league team. The Squirrels play at The Diamond, which is just minutes from downtown Richmond.
     
    The Richmond Raiders are members of the Southern Indoor Football League and play at the Richmond Coliseum in downtown Richmond. The Raiders’ season runs from mid-March to mid-June.
     
    The Richmond Kickers are an American Professional Soccer team. They play at City Stadium (formerly known as University of Richmond Stadium) located off the Downtown Expressway. Their season begins in April and runs through early August.
     
    Richmond is also home to Richmond International Speedway, the site of two NASCAR races each season, including the “last race to make the chase” held in September.
     
    For horse racing fans, Colonial Downs is just 30 minutes east of downtown Richmond and offers thoroughbred racing during the summer months, fall harness horse racing and a variety of other special events throughout the year, including the iconic Strawberry Hill Races held each spring.
  • On September 5, 2012
    Jeanita Harris answered the question: Jeanita Harris

    Where are the best places to hear live music in Richmond?

    Richmond is a great city for finding live music, across a wide range of genres. The National, The Camel and The Hat Factory are all terrific medium-sized downtown venues. During the spring, summer and fall, visitors can find live outdoor concerts at the area’s museums and parks almost any night of the week, including the popular Groovin’ in the Garden, After Hours at Innsbrook and Friday Cheers concert series.
     
    Larger national acts can be seen at The Richmond Coliseum, The Landmark Theater and The Carpenter Center.
  • On September 5, 2012
    Jeanita Harris answered the question: Jeanita Harris

    What is the best Richmond nightlife?

    The best Richmond nightlife can be found in the neighborhoods of the downtown area. The Tobacco Company in Shockoe Bottom is perhaps one of the more well-known night spots while Black Finn and Off the Hookah (at the Hat Factory) are in the newly developing warehouse district. Bogart’s In The Fan is a favorite in Richmond’s most eclectic neighborhood — The Fan — and Republic is a popular new spot on Broad Street.
     
    For those wishing to enjoy a variety of spots in a given evening, Shockoe Bottom, Shockoe Slip and Carytown are filled with restaurants, bars and clubs in great concentrations.
  • On September 5, 2012
    Jeanita Harris answered the question: Jeanita Harris

    What are the best places to stay in Richmond?

    The best place to stay in Richmond is The Jefferson Hotel. Since 1895, The Jefferson has played an integral part of social and business life in the community. Today, The Jefferson is the region’s only Forbes Travel Guide Five-Star hotel and is known for its impeccable service, grand public spaces, luxurious guest rooms and exceptional dining.
     
    Conveniently located in the heart of downtown Richmond, The Jefferson is just blocks from the State Capitol, historic Shockoe Slip and the financial district. All of Richmond’s most popular shopping, performing arts and entertainment venues, museums and restaurants can be reached using the hotel’s complimentary transportation.
     
    Guests of The Jefferson enjoy a variety of amenities and services, unmatched by any other Richmond hotel. Two hundred and sixty-two pristine guest rooms and suites feature such amenities as plush bathrobes, 42-inch flat-screen televisions and Molton Brown bath products. Guests enjoy complimentary services such as evening turndown, morning coffee, afternoon sparkling cider and cookies, newspaper delivery and wireless high-speed Internet. The hotel also offers a full-service fitness facility, indoor pool with sun deck, a full-service salon and florist and charming shops.
     
    Two of Richmond’s favorite restaurants can be found at The Jefferson. Lemaire is a New American restaurant offering a Southern-inspired, farm-to-table menu. Lemaire’s bar and lounge feature this same philosophy of fresh and local in their hand-crafted cocktail list and small-plates menu. The wine program at Lemaire includes over 200 bottles of wine, with many available by the glass, quartino or half bottle; the more than 30 wines on their “Discoveries” list are under $30. Twenty-four-hour room service is also available.
     
    The Jefferson is recognized as the premier venue for elegant weddings, flawless meetings and the city’s most well-attended charity and social functions. The hotel is also a Virginia Green–certified hotel, a National Historic Landmark and a member of Preferred Hotels and Resorts and Historic Hotels of America. Whether visiting Richmond for business or pleasure, The Jefferson provides a uniquely Richmond luxury hotel experience.
  • On September 5, 2012
    Jeanita Harris answered the question: Jeanita Harris

    What should I pack for a trip to Richmond?

    Every visitor to Richmond should pack a camera, great walking shoes and an extra bag for gifts! The city is very photogenic and your visit will be well worth documenting. Be sure to take a few shots along picturesque Monument Avenue, a few at Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden and plenty of The Jefferson Hotel, the region’s only Forbes Travel Guide Five-Star hotel and a National Historic Landmark. The Grand Staircase is legendary.
     
    Great walking shoes will allow you to explore as much as you’d like in comfort. Many of the city’s neighborhoods have their original cobblestone streets and you won’t want to be wearing dress shoes for the downtown Segway tour or the walk through the gardens at Maymont or Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden.
     
    Those comfortable shoes will also come in handy for filling your extra bag with gifts. Carytown, with 10 blocks of unique boutiques, is the perfect destination for shopping. 
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