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If you’re trying to see all Richmond has to offer in two days, we recommend starting your first day in the historic downtown, where you can glimpse history through the vantages of American landmarks such as Edgar Allen Poe’s house. A mid-morning visit the American Civil War Center and Richmond National Battlefield Park can set an eerie tone for any trip, and if fog settles on these historic sites, you’ll feel an almost ghostly vibe about you. If the weather permits, we’d recommend going to Maymont Park, the city’s urban park full of fountains, gardens and exhibits of Virginian wildlife that was once a private estate.
Make the most of the weather on your second day at the Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden; if time allows, take one of the classes on gardening to get your thumb green, and be sure to check out the glass conservatory. To embrace more of the city’s history, stop by the Museum of the Confederacy and take a tour of the White House of the Confederacy, the restored headquarters of Jefferson Davis during the Civil War; if history’s not your thing, you might have a tough time in Richmond, as it’s hard to avoid. To cap off your trip, take a few hours to view the final resting places of Presidents Tyler and Monroe at the Hollywood Cemetery — again, more history — and you’ll feel closer to what America was like, hundreds of years ago, and to a few of the men that made this country great.
The best way to see Richmond in two days is to start with a Segway tour of the city. These organized tours last about two-and-one-quarter hours and touch upon the historical, cultural and quirky aspects of the downtown area. Grab lunch in Shockoe Bottom at one of the restored warehouses-turned-restaurants. The American Civil War Center at Historic Tredegar is just down the street and offers a unique glimpse of the Civil War from the Confederate, Union and African-American perspectives. Purchase an American Civil War Pass while you are there and add the Museum of the Confederacy and the White House of the Confederacy to your tour.
Be sure to stop by the Virginia State Capitol, designed by Thomas Jefferson, on your way from the Civil War Center to the Museum of the Confederacy. If Civil War history is not your interest, then visit Maymont and stroll the gardens, tour the Victorian mansion and see the animal exhibits.
Check in at The Jefferson Hotel, which is an attraction in itself. Enjoy dinner at Lemaire, the hotel’s Four-Star restaurant and a Richmond favorite. Enjoy a traditional Southern breakfast in TJ’s Restaurant at The Jefferson the next morning before heading down scenic Monument Avenue to the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts. Spend the morning viewing the 22,000 pieces of work in their permanent collections, including a Fabergé exhibit. They often have world-class traveling exhibits in residence as well.
Carytown is the perfect spot to enjoy a great lunch; many of the restaurants offer outside dining during the warmer months. Spend the afternoon shopping along the 10 blocks of one-of-a-kind boutiques.
Tickets to a show are a great way to spend the evening. The concierge at The Jefferson can assist with tickets and a schedule of the evening’s performances. Or, pick your favorite neighborhood and revisit it for dinner. Richmond enjoys a robust culinary scene of more than 900 restaurants.
All of the destinations on this itinerary can be reached using The Jefferson Hotel’s complimentary downtown transportation.
On your way out of town, visit Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden to see the gardens and enjoy lunch in the tearoom or café.