Top 10 Tourist Attractions in Richmond, Virginia

Richmond, Virginia might not top a lot of travel lists. It’s oft forgotten in lieu of big cities like New York and San Francisco. But take a second look before dismissing it as just another city. Richmond has a rich history as one of America’s oldest cities. It’s home to many historic events that predate the colonial era and extend past the Civil War. Richmond has also seen a recent cultural renaissance and is home to its own unique arts and social scenes. Here are 10 of the most essential tourist attractions to enjoy the old world and the new in Richmond.

1: Canal Walk

Canal Walk
Photo Courtesy: Flickr/Ron Cogswell

Looking to sightsee? Look no further than Richmond’s Canal Walk. The 1.25-mile trail is the best way to take in Richmond’s 400-year history. The Canal Walk is set along the Haxall Canal and the James River and Kanawha Canals. It features history shown through statues, exhibits, and monuments. It’s also home to the first successful electric streetcar system in the world. The canal is open year-round and is frequently a hotspot for large activities and events.

Address: Canal Walk, Richmond, VA 23219

2: Virginia Museum of Fine Arts

Virginia Museum of Fine Arts
Photo Courtesy: Facebook/myVMFA

The Virginia Museum of Fine Arts houses a collection of over 33,000 works of art from cultures around the world. The artworks spans the globe and history, with some pieces of art being nearly 5,000 years old. The museum also holds educational activities, studio classes, and traveling exhibitions throughout the year. Its mission is to encourage the study of the arts and does so by offering free admission year-round.

Address: 200 N Boulevard, Richmond, Virginia, VA 23220

3: Maymont

Photo Courtesy: Flickr/Ron Cogswell

A trip to Maymont is sure to entertain. Maymont was the 19th-century estate of wealthy couple James and Sallie Dooley. At their request, the 100-acre estate was given to the people of Richmond after their deaths. It has since turned into a historic museum, nature center, and garden and one of the top attractions in Richmond. Visitors can walk through the historic mansion, walk the Japanese and Italian gardens, or take a tour of the grounds. Maymont is also home to an extensive collection of wildlife exhibits. Hundreds of animals, including black bears, river otters, and goats, call Maymont home.

Address: 1700 Hampton St, Richmond, VA 23220

4: Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden

Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden
Photo Courtesy: Flickr/Eli Christman

Nature lovers don’t need to head to the woods to enjoy the great outdoors. Instead, they can take a trip to Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden on the north side of Richmond. The botanical garden boasts 50 acres of themed gardens and plant collections. Visitors can also enjoy the domed Conservatory, which includes world-class botanical displays of its own. Lewis Ginter is open year-round and hosts workshops and rotating events.

Address: 1800 Lakeside Ave, Henrico, VA 23228

5: Virginia State Capitol

Virginia State Capitol
Photo Courtesy: Flickr/Ron Cogswell

The Virginia State Capitol has a storied history. Thomas Jefferson and French architect Charles-Louis Clérisseau designed it in the late 18th century. It became a focal point for historic moments following its completion in 1788. Notably, it served as the Capitol of the Confederate States of America during the American Civil War. It’s since gone on to become a natural historic landmark. The building has undergone numerous renovations since its completion, but its still a remarkable symbol of American ingenuity. Tourists can also explore the surrounding Capitol Square. It’s home to many statues of historical figures, including Thomas Jefferson, Patrick Henry, and Edgar Allan Poe.

Address: 1000 Bank St, Richmond, VA 23218

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