Exploring state capitals are always a great thing as we get to see the best of what a state has to offer in a confined space. We’ve been through many state capitals already but one trip we can’t help but forget is our trip to the capital of the Commonwealth of Virginia. We’re talking about The River City, better known as the city of Richmond located in the Richmond Metropolitan Statistical Area at the heart of Virginia.
Richmond’s economy is driven primarily by the law, finance, and the government sector. However, that isn’t to say that The River City doesn’t have much to offer when it comes to tourism and entertainment. In fact, it is easily the city in Virginia with the most things to do so you better not count it out when it comes to tourism.
There are several large museums and monuments located in Richmond and most of them are in an area called Boulevard. There’s the Virginia Historical Society, Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, Virginia Center of Architecture and the Old Dominion Railway Museum just to name a few.
Of course, these are just a taste of what Richmond has to offer. In fact, there are countless other attractions to visit in the city but what you should visit it for is its rich arts and culture scene. Before we get to what those things are, let’s guide you first on some of the essential things you should know before visiting Richmond.
- 1 How to Get to Richmond
- 2 Getting Around Richmond
- 3 Best Time to Visit Richmond
- 4 Things to Do in Richmond VA for Couples
- 4.1 Eat together at Richmond top dining places
- 4.2 Explore the city on wheels
- 4.3 Play together
- 4.4 Race together
- 4.5 Escape together
- 4.6 Drink Together
- 4.7 Laugh together
- 4.8 Appreciate some art
- 4.9 Take in some gorgeous natural views
- 4.10 Visit Agecroft Hall’s gardens
- 4.11 Go on an ice cream date
How to Get to Richmond
As it is the capital of Virginia, getting to Richmond is made easier as the city has been developed as the top tourist destination in the state. This is made possible thanks to the Richmond International Airport. The airport is located around 30 minutes away from the downtown area in Richmond which you can get to via taxi, bus, or a rented car.
The Richmond International Airport makes it possible to get to the city from various parts of the world. The airlines it handles include Allegiant Air, American Airlines, American Eagle, Delta Airlines, Delta Connection, JetBlue, Southwest Airlines, Spirit Airlines, United Airlines, and United Express.
If you are already in Virginia and you want to hop on a car to get to Richmond, it would be relatively easy as well. All you need to do is get on I-95. You can reach Richmond from both the northern and southern roads. From the east and west, you can get to Richmond via the I-64. However, we suggest taking the I-95 as this tends to be less congested especially during rush hour.
Another option you can take is via train through Amtrak. Amtrak’s trains will pass by Staples Mill Road and the historic Main Street Station. If you want to save up on money, you can take a Greyhound Bus from the north or south and drop off at the Main Street Station as well.
Getting Around Richmond
One thing you should keep in mind is that Richmond’s attractions are concentrated within the city itself. That being said, it’s better to rent a car ahead of the trip so that you can get around the city easier. Be sure to book ahead of your flight so that you can reach the downtown area from the airport immediately. Alternatively, you can take a taxi, Uber or Lyft to enjoy everything that the region has to offer.
Keep in mind that Richmond’s streets are well planned. You shouldn’t worry too much about traffic. In fact, traffic is so irrelevant in Richmond that a 5-minute trip will only be 10 minutes long on the days of the worst congestion.
During our trip, one of the most suggested ways to get around Richmond was via biking and that’s probably because the city is touted as being bike-friendly. You can rent a bike via many establishments in Richmond. For your trip, you should bike the Virginia Capital Trai to see the best that the city has to offer.
If you’re biking your way through the city, we also suggest becoming a part of the Richmond Rides bike tour that takes you around the city’s food and history scene. If biking’s not your thing, then you should experience the city on a Segway is a great alternative to the Richmond Rides bike tour is the Segway Tour which is more leisurely.
Best Time to Visit Richmond
If we are basing on temperatures, the best time to visit the city would be from April to June. This is the time when summer is just about set in so the weather is perfectly warm and cool at the same time. This goes perfectly well with the city’s bike and Segway tours as you can explore the city more comfortably.
Another bright side to visiting during this period is that this is not a peak season for tourism in Richmond. Expect low rooms and short lines at the attractions as well. Of course, this makes it a breeze to get from one place to the other regardless of what traveling option you choose. For the best time, visit during late April.
On the other hand, the peak season for tourism at Richmond is during summer. This is the time when the museums in the city are at their liveliest as the kids no longer have classes to worry about. Hotel rates will be higher and the lines at museums will be far longer. However, the thing is that the city’s museums are at their liveliest during this time. This means they’ll have special events and attractions for you to visit.
Now that we’ve got these things covered, let’s now talk about some of the amazing things you can do in The River City.
Things to Do in Richmond VA for Couples
As many of us know, Richmond served as the capital of the confederacy for almost the whole of the American Civil War. It was also a vital source of supplies and weapons during the war. However, this city isn’t all about such force and battles. Today, this place already has a lot to offer more than just that. In fact, it also has more romantic and fun activities waiting for couples that make it one of the best cities to be in if you’re traveling with your partner. In case you’re wondering what kind of things to do in Richmond VA awaits couples, here are some fun activities and cool attractions that we can recommend that we’re sure you and your beau will enjoy a lot.
1Eat together at Richmond top dining places
In the previous years, the broad-ranging dining scene of the city has been rapidly gaining more and more recognition. In fact, it has been called “The next American food city” by magazines such as Departures and Saveur. That said, it is one of the best places for foodies and, of course, couples who are planning a date as the restaurants in this city will not fail you. And you know what they say, “a way to a man’s heart is through his stomach.” In case you’re looking for some good restaurants for a nice date, here are a few of which that we can recommend.
This place is actually a chef-owned restaurant. And with that, you already know that the dishes they serve will not fail you. But what makes it worth considering for a date with your beau is that this restaurant offers a unique menu of French fare with a Southern twist. Some of the dishes that many locals and tourists alike love a lot are its Melange of Manikintowne Mesclun, Skillet-Seared Foie Gras Springs a Leak, and Polyamorous Hippie Three-Way (or toasted poppadums with quinoa tabbouleh, hummus, and babaganoush). Also, it has a quirky décor that will catch your attention.
If you’re up for some snack or light meal, dining at Garnett’s Café is one of the best things to do in Richmond VA for couples. Just a casual date but this place offers some of the best dishes in town including homemade salads, sandwiches, and freshly baked desserts. Garnett’s café also has a nice selection of Virginia and French wines for you and your partner to enjoy. This café is open for lunch and dinner. But what makes it even better is that if you’re planning to go on a picnic for a date instead, they got your back too as they offer picnic baskets for takeaway meals.
Real Richmond Food Tours
The city really has a lot of good restaurants and it can get quite overwhelming. And if you can’t decide, why not go on a Richmond food tour instead for a unique date? Here, you can get to see the several popular eateries in the city and even get to sample some of their dishes. And the best part of it is that you and your partner can also get to learn more about Richmond’s culture and history together. The best part of it is that you can arrange for private and custom-designed tours as well. What date idea could be better than that?
2Explore the city on wheels
This might be a unique date idea as you will not get to tour the city on four wheels. Rather, on a more futuristic mode of two-wheel transportation and we’re talking about a Segway and it’s one of the unique things to do in Richmond VA for couples. With this, you can tour downtown Richmond riding the Segway and learn more about the origins of the city at the same time. On top of that, you can get to see some of the nicest public murals in town, a Hollywood cemetery where, as its name suggests, many deceased Hollywood celebrities were buried, learn more about Abraham Lincoln, and see the city’s most historic sites. It’s going to be a unique date because like going on a food tour, you can have fun and learn at the same time together with your special someone. It’s definitely one of the best things to do in Richmond VA for couples that you shouldn’t miss.
If you and your partner are both competitive, why not play billiards at Greenleaf’s Pool Room? Here, you have 12 full pool table to enjoy. Don’t worry if you don’t know how to play billiards. It’s nice to learn it together, right? Also, if you feel tired after playing for hours, you can head to Greenleaf’s restaurant to fuel yourself up with some good food. Or you can head to Greenleaf’s bar to taste some of their best drinks including their handmade cocktails and craft beers. What makes it even more worth the visit is its stylish throwback décor with high ceilings, terrazzo tile floors, colorful portraits, plus plenty of viewing space around the billiard tables. Also, this place is perfect for some double date or if you’re traveling with both your partner and your friends as there is enough space for everyone. It’s a unique date idea that you shouldn’t pass on as well.
If you and your beau are both active, energetic, and competitive, another one of the best things t do in Richmond VA for couples that we can recommend is to go kart racing at the G-Force. But what makes it even more worth visiting is that it doesn’t just offer kart racing activities. G-Force also offers laser tag, archery tag, and paintball with a few twists: in archery tag, you will use foam-tipped arrows so you can live out your Legolas/Katniss fantasies safer; on the other hand, in paintball, similar to the archery tag, you will use compressed foam balls rather than paint. Also, the best part is that you won’t have to worry about too much sun exposure as you go kart racing as you can get to play it indoors. On top of that, you have guides who can assist you in case you need help. Your date will surely be filled with excitement and fun if you will try this.
Escape rooms are also one of the top casual date ideas that we can recommend. This is because it gives a new and intriguing experience. On top of that, it can also test and even strengthen you and your partner’s teamwork as you will be lead into a themed room where you will need to find clues, guess, investigate, and solve mysteries, puzzles, and other challenges to escape the room. Escape rooms also have different themes and you have a number of options to choose from that will enhance your escape room experience. Fortunately, Richmond is home to two escape rooms namely Real Escape Room, located south of James River in Midlothian Turnpike, and Escape Room RVA located in Tuckahoe. It’s a different but fun and exciting date idea to try out in case you’re not in for some fancy dinners. Plus, it’s much affordable too.
If you and your partner love to drink, Richmond has plenty of bars where you can get some of the best drinks too. But if you want something with a twist, we highly recommend signing up for drinking tours; it’s one of the best things to do in Richmond VA for couples too. One of the tour organizers whom we can recommend is the RVA Trolley Craft Beer Tours. For starters, they will take you to the city’s local breweries where you can also sample some great local brews. But what makes the tours that they offer more different than others is that they will take you on your destinations on Richmond’s original trolley system, which is, by the way, one of the world’s first. On top of that, you can also get to learn more about local history. It’s definitely worth the try.
There’s nothing more fun to do with your significant other than to laugh together. And luckily, Richmond also has a place for couples who want to do such activity – and that is the ComedySportz. It’s not your ordinary comedy bar, though. This is because this place is all about comedy played as a sport. To give you a better idea, two teams of players will compete in an improv match for laughs and points, with a referee who gets suggestions from the audience and calling fouls. The fans are the ones who judge the scene and decide which team wins and loses. Don’t worry, though, it’s a place that you can frequent as each show is different. They have different players who play different games for every show. Plus, since the audience has some control of what they do and who wins and loses, you can expect that the members of the audience have something new to suggest for every show. Some audience members might even make it up on stage. It’s definitely one of the fun things to do in Richmond VA for couples that you shouldn’t miss if you’re looking for some laughs.
8Appreciate some art
There are a number of art museums in Richmond too and seeing even one of it is one of the best things to do in Richmond for couples as you can both get to fill your eyes with some gorgeous artworks, especially if you love art. But among the many museums that the city has, we highly recommend adding the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts to your travel itinerary, as well as your destinations for some date. This is because this place has more than 33,000 works of art that feature cultures around the world, including Art Deco, Modern and Contemporary American Art, and Art Nouveau. There are also Post-Impressionist and French Impressionist arts. The best part of it is that it has a fine dining restaurant that will make your date all the more romantic.
9Take in some gorgeous natural views
A nice view of nature makes dates all the more romantic and relaxing too. Luckily, Richmond also has a place for you to do that as well and that is the Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden. Here, you can get to see an array of spectacular flora, a classic conservatory, and themed gardens (that include Cochrane Rose Garden, Asian Valley, and Cherry Tree Walk to name a few spots for couples) that aren’t just relaxing and nice to fill your eyes with but also makes a nice backdrop for some couple photos. This even makes a good place for some pre-nuptial and wedding photos. And if you need to fuel yourself up with some food after exploring the garden, you don’t have to worry traveling far as they have an in0house café and tea house – the Garden Café and the Robins Tea House – that both talk big of gorgeous settings, as well as fresh seasonal menus. It’s even a perfect place to propose!
10Visit Agecroft Hall’s gardens
Speaking of flora, seeing Agecroft Hall’s garden is also one of the nicest things to do in Richmond VA for couples. Here, you will not just get to see trees and flowers but you can also get to enjoy nice landscapes that will leave you in awe. But what differs this from the Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden is that it’s not as big as the latter. In spite of that, you have more things to see as Agecroft Hall is actually a replica of the original Elizabethan manor house that was located on the banks of the River Irwell in England. Here, aside from its garden, you also get to marvel at the period paintings that it houses, as well as the ornate wood panelings, and opulent furnishings.
11Go on an ice cream date
If you plan to go to Richmond in summer, note that the temperature can get as high as more than 30°C. But don’t let it stop you from exploring the city. Instead, why not beat the scorching heat of the sun with an ice cream date and head to Bev’s Homemade. It’s one of the best things to do in Richmond VA for couples, especially during summer as you will not just get to cool down with their delicious sweet treats but you can also get to taste some unique ice cream flavors such as their MexiCali Chocolate and their award-winning peach sorbet.
Stoplight Gelato is also worth talking about for an ice cream date. This is because they have a wide selection of ice cream flavors for you to choose from. Their wide array of vegan gelatos is also worth noting.