Things to Do in Richmond, Virginia — Canal Cruises to the Capitol Building

As the capital of the Confederacy during the American Civil War, Richmond, Virgina, is one of the oldest cities in the United States. Steeped in rich history, it’s got plenty of museums and historic markers for anyone interested in taking a trip back in time. In recent years, Richmond has also become known for its modern attractions. With so many great things to do in Richmond, it’s the ideal place for a fun city break.

To make the most of your stay in Richmond, consider booking one of the budget-friendly hotels near the Virginia State Capitol, the oldest continuously operating legislature in the nation. For something a little different, you can take a Segway tour of the grounds to learn more about the many exciting events that have occurred at this National Historic Landmark throughout history.

Historical Sites
Things to do in Richmond
Image via Flickr by Ron Cogswell

History buffs will want to stop by Monument Avenue to pay tribute to some of the greatest Civil War heroes, including Robert E. Lee and Jefferson Davis. Next up, visit the Confederate White House to take a tour of the official residence of Jefferson Davis during the Civil War. Then, head next door to the Museum of the Confederacy to view some of the best-preserved artifacts of the war, including several flags.

Afterward, make a stop at Historic Tredegar, a private museum dedicated to Civil War history. The museum shares its grounds with Richmond National Battlefield Park, the site of many Civil War battles. Encompassing 80 square miles of land, the park includes 13 battle sites, several original fortifications, the Confederacy’s largest hospital, and four visitor centers. You can take a tour of the park, watch a living history demonstration, or attend one of the many special events that take place here each year.

Outdoor Activities
Things to do in Richmond
Image via Flickr by Ron Cogswell

Anyone who enjoys taking a walk through nature will want to check out Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden. With 50 acres of gardens, dining, and shopping, it’s one of the most-visited attractions in Richmond and the ideal place to enjoy flower displays, learn about plants, or take a gardening class.

If you love a little adventure in the outdoors, be sure to check out the James River. Try rafting, swimming, kayaking, or tubing in Virginia’s largest river. Spanning 1.25 miles along the James River and the Kanawha and Haxall Canals, Richmond’s Canal Walk is one of the city’s top outdoor attractions. Stroll or bike along the walkway to enjoy the many natural and historical sites found here. For a memorable afternoon, you can take an informative 40-minute cruise along the Canal Walk.

Food, Shopping, and Entertainment
Things to do in Richmond
Image via Flickr by Gamma Man

Richmond is known for its more than 25 breweries. One of the most popular, Hardywood Craft Brewery, offers tours and the opportunity to sample some of its brews. The brewery often hosts festivals, food trucks, and musical events. For a little retail therapy, make your way to Short Pump Town Center, which is home to more than 140 shops, restaurants, and more. From high-end brand names to local boutiques, this outdoor mall has something for everyone.

If you’re planning to take a trip to Virginia, there are many exciting things to do in Richmond. Whether you’re looking to learn more about American history or you simply want to spend some time outdoors, you’ll find it here.

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10 thoughts on “Things to Do in Richmond, Virginia — Canal Cruises to the Capitol Building

  1. I’m more into outdoor activities so really like the outdoor options. Kayaking, white water rafting and the like sounds fabulous

  2. Wow, I had no idea that Richmond was the capitol of the Confederacy during the civil war – such a hub of history! I grew up in Australia, though my husband is American, so I’m really trying to make an effort to learn about his nation’s history. Richmond sounds like a great place to visit for an insight into past periods of time / events which really shaped America’s history. Love that there’s also a lot of food and entertainment as well as beautiful spots to enjoy nature too – has it all!

  3. I love the fact that the city is steeped in rich history. The stories of the Civil war seem to resound from the historic buildings. I would love to visit the museums which are a window to the past. Definitely a must visit place is Richmond, Virginia.

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