Historic Richmond, Virginia
Historic Richmond is the perfect place for a romantic weekend, a fun family getaway, or a long-term stay. With its thrilling Civil War re-enactments, lively sports scene, and many fascinating museums, you'll find plenty to do and see. Be sure not to miss the NASCAR races, rafting on the James River, and all the animals at the Richmond zoo!
With the nearby James River offering fishing, hiking, and Class IV rapids for river rafters, Richmond has plenty of outdoor fun. The city boasts over 20 local golf courses as well as a climbing wall and all kinds of sports. You can go bird watching in one of the city's many parks, paddle down the James, or hit the tennis courts for a quick game.
For heart-pumping fun on the racecourse, just pay a visit to the Richmond International Raceway and take in the Richmond NASCAR Sprint Cup and Nationwide Series. In June, the Indy Racing League heats up the track while the Southside Speedway has great stock-car action. Between March and November, every weekend is a drag racing weekend at the Richmond Dragway, home of the International Hot Rod Association championship. Maybe you're hoping to do your own driving? Then just head to G-Force Karts and take their Belgian go-karts for a spin on the professionally designed track.
Richmond offers a number of great places for wildlife viewing, including the Three Lakes Nature Center and the Metro Richmond Zoo. The zoo has over 600 animals in natural settings, so you can see everything from giraffes and kangaroos to chimpanzees and elephants. Don't miss the goats and other farmyard critters in the petting zoo!
At the Dutch Gap Conservation Area, set along the banks of the James River, you can hike through 810 acres of woods, watching for wildlife. Head to the freshwater marsh to look for beavers, muskrats, and great blue herons, then visit the river for a view of eagles hunting near the tidal lagoon. Fishing is also allowed at Dutch Gap.
You can watch Civil War battles played out by costumed re-enactors, see plays depicting pivotal events in the nation's founding, and much more. Richmond has a colorful 400-year history and a lively events calendar.
From a tour of Edgar Allen Poe's childhood home to Henricus Historical Park, where Patrick Henry delivered his famous "Give me liberty or give me death" speech at St. John's Episcopal Church, Richmond is steeped in history. You can tour Tuckahoe Plantation, Thomas Jefferson's boyhood home, or take a walk along Monument Avenue, a street that was the site of so many historic events, it's now a National Historic Landmark.
The newly-renovated Hanover Tavern is a historic building that also serves as a restaurant and theater. Across the street at the courthouse, you can watch a historic re-enactment of Parson’s Cause, an important event leading up to the American Revolution. Admire the architecture of 1822 Magnolia Grange or visit the Meadow Farm Museum for a trip back in time to the turbulent 1860s.
Arts and Entertainment
From world-famous theater to ballet, dance performances, and musicals, Richmond's arts scene is truly on the move. This city boasts the superb Richmond Ballet, Richmond Symphony, and Virginia Opera, as well as Theater IV's family plays and shows. Every year Richmond hosts the Richmond Shakespeare Festival with its outdoor performances of the Bard's greatest works, plus a special “Broadway in Richmond” series at the Landmark and Carpenter Theatre.
It only stands to reason that a city with such a grand past would have a wide range of museums documenting that history. Richmond's museums include the Confederate War Memorial Chapel, the 15th-century Agecroft Hall, and the Edgar Allan Poe Museum. Be sure not to miss the Black History Museum and Cultural Center of Virginia, the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, the Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden (with more than 40 acres of spectacular gardens), Hanover Tavern, Chesterfield Museum Complex, and the Library of Virginia (where you can see an original copy of the Bill of Rights).