Three days in historic Richmond gives you enough time to tour the city’s most important historic sites, explore Civil War battlefields and antebellum plantations farther afield, and pursue your own interests—from art to food to family fun—in this city on the James River. Read on for tips on how to make the most of three days in Richmond.
Day 1: City Sightseeing
Get oriented this morning with a tour of Richmond’s landmarks, including the State Capitol, Monument Avenue, and St. John’s Church, by classic trolley car or Segway tour. Alternatively, hear stories of Richmond’s past on a walking or cycling tour through the historic city center, or head out on an app-guided scavenger hunt through town. Make your way this afternoon to Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden—among the best botanical gardens in the country—to wander the 40-acre (16-hectare) grounds and have afternoon tea in the garden café. Finish off your day with drinks at Blue Bee Cider, Virginia’s first urban cidery.
Day 2: Explore Your Interests
Spend today following your own interests. Foodies can take a tasting tour of Church Hill or Carytown, while art lovers might take a walking tour of the Museum District or a street-art Segway tour. Other options include a day at Kings Dominion amusement park or a tour of Hollywood Cemetery, the serene final resting place of past presidents and fallen soldiers. In the evening, take a walk on Richmond’s paranormal side with an after-dark ghost tour to supposedly haunted neighborhoods such as Capitol Hill or Shockoe Bottom.
Day 3: Battlefields & Plantations
Start your day with a morning tour to one of the area’s many Civil War battlefields to learn more about Richmond’s key role as a capital of the Confederacy. Step back into the siege of 1864 at Petersburg National Battlefield Park, or learn about the soldiers who experienced it at the Richmond National Battlefield Park Visitor Center. Continue your historical explorations in the afternoon by visiting one or more of the area’s historic mansions and plantations. Tour President John Tyler’s home at Sherwood Forest, walk the grounds of Shirley Plantation (Virginia’s oldest), or learn about the secret passages and impressive gardens of Westover Plantation. For an active afternoon, take an electric-bike ride through the Virginia countryside along the Virginia Capital Trail to historic Berkeley Plantation.