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As one of America’s oldest cities and the capital of Virginia, Richmond has long been a hot-spot for history buffs, but it’s now becoming a popular destination for a variety of other reasons. The southern charm, trendy hipster culture and emerging food and beer scene are simply too hard to resist.
If you happen to find yourself in Richmond for a day or two, here’s a quick guide of where to play, eat and stay!
Things to do:
Enjoy the James River: Hike or bike using one of the many trails along the river, catch a few rays from the rocks at Belle Isle, or get adventurous with the help of Riverside Outfitters — where you can take a guided raft trip or rent a kayak, paddleboard or canoe.
Visit a park: One of my favorites is Maymont, a treasured 100-acre park that was a gift to the city from James Henry and Sallie Dooley. Admission is free and strolling the grounds is a lovely activity for all ages. You’ll find beautiful blooming gardens, animals and places to picnic.
Go on a brewery tour: The craft beer scene has exploded in Richmond and you can easily spend a whole day exploring different breweries. A few must-stop places include Hardywood Park Craft Brewery, Triple Crossing Brewing Company and Ardent Craft Ales. A new one to try is The Veil Brewing Company, which opens for tastings on April 16. Wrap up the tour at Mekong (voted the best craft beer bar in America) for a huge selection of craft beer on tap as well as delicious Vietnamese cuisine.
Go shopping in Carytown: Often called The Mile of Style, Carytown offers an eclectic array of boutiques, restaurants, specialty shops and salons. Don’t miss Need Supply Co., AlterNatives and Traveling Chic Boutique.
Places to eat:
Lehja: A classy Indian restaurant featuring outstanding authentic and modern Indian Cuisine. You can’t go wrong with anything on the menu, but I highly recommend the chaat du jour, seafood curry and lamb vindaloo.
Stella’s: A cozy, family-owned restaurant serving up authentic, yet modern Greek cuisine. Their Sunday brunch always delivers a tasty sendoff to the weekend!
The Roosevelt: A neighborhood restaurant in Church Hill, Richmond’s oldest neighborhood. The menu features southern fare, an all-Virginia wine list, regional beers and craft cocktails.
The Daily Kitchen and Bar: Serving breakfast, lunch and dinner, The Daily menu provides fare that is not only delicious, but health conscious with a variety of options for all dietary preferences including vegetarian, vegan, gluten-free and paleo. I highly recommend the seared salmon salad with quinoa tabbouleh, feta, almonds and a chipotle lemon vinaigrette. Oh, and don’t miss the sweet potato fries!
Lamplighter Roasting Company: This hip coffee spot roasts their own beans and has three full coffee bar locations serving up specialty coffee drinks and food. The cold-brew iced coffee is amazingly refreshing on a humid summer day and if you’re in the mood for a breakfast treat, grab one of the house-made sweet potato chai muffins. They’re my husband’s favorite.
Places to stay:
Quirk Hotel: A boutique hotel conveniently located on Broad Street in the heart of the city. This art-driven hotel is one of the newest in Richmond and most certainly the quirkiest.
The Jefferson: Splurge by staying a night or two in this grand historic hotel that dates back to 19th century.
Hi Richmond: The perfect spot for budget conscious travelers, this hostel offers all the latest amenities, including free Wi-Fi and breakfast, in a renovated space that captures the spirit and essence of the city.
This is just a sampling of places to visit while visiting Richmond. If you’re looking for more ideas, check out the Local RVA page on my blog.