Several weeks ago, a friend who recently moved from DC to Richmond invited us for an Oktoberfest party. We made sure to carve out some time in our visit for sightseeing.
Our expectations were incorrectly low: we had visited Richmond for the first time about a year before (during the winter) and definitely missed – just – about – everything!
Our Top Picks for Richmond
Not only is Hollywood Cemetery the only cemetery home to 2 former US Presidents (James Monroe, John Tyler) and Confederate States President Jefferson Davis, but it also has some of the most incredible views of the James River. Aim to visit on a cooler day, there’s lots of hilly walking here, but trust us, it’s worth it!
Rent a Bike and Hit the River
Richmond is very bike friendly! Find a RVA bike share station near the T. Tyler Potterfield Memorial Bridge and start your cycling journey by crossing this very impressive pedestrian + bike bridge. Use code rva2018 for two free rides!
As you ride across the bridge, you’ll hear the roar of the water below you cascading across rapids. You may even be lucky enough to see some whitewater kayakers or rafters going over the more substantial rapids located on the riverbank closer to downtown.
See Richmond Main Street Train Station
The Richmond Train Station is incredibly impressive. The historic building has recently been transformed into what can only be described as an epic event space. After marveling at the beauty of the train station, head out and take a left and walk up East Main Street.
This area, called Shockoe Bottom, was formerly home to tobacco factories and warehouses that have long since been converted into apartments and restaurants, while still keeping many of the historical signs and architectural elements of the buildings.
At the end of East Main street, turn right and head down the hill to Great Shiplock Park. Here lies some of Richmond’s significant boat building history.
The great lock here connected the James River with the Richmond Dock, completing the James River and Kanawha Canal system that bypassed seven miles of falls and continued 197 miles through Virginia’s western mountain ranges (https://www.rvariverfront.com/trails/shiplock.html).
We loved this park because it’s quiet and offers great views of the river and the Tobacco Lofts, like the one above.
We’d highly recommend visiting Richmond in the Fall or Spring, before it gets too hot! We really enjoyed our trip and found Richmond to be so much more than we originally thought when we visited in the Winter.
Richmond is the perfect balance of city and outdoors. The ample trails and riverfront make this city a dream home for active cyclers, runners, and walkers!
If you’re traveling, why wouldn’t you travel with Airbnb? We absolutely love it and haven’t stayed in a hotel in over 3 years!
Get $55 on us by using this link to book your next trip.