Steeped in history and charm, Church Hill is Richmond’s oldest neighborhood, replete with picturesque cobblestone streets, stately Queen Anne homes, and historic churches and sites. Locally-owned shops, galleries, and restaurants offer locals and visitors alike unique experiences reminiscent of spending a day in a small town. Continue reading for tips on how to spend a day in this charming neighborhood perched on Richmond’s East End.
Sub Rosa Bakery
Rise and Shine
Take a leisurely stroll through Church Hill’s charming streets to grab a cup of coffee at Riverbend Roastery, green juice from North End Juice Co., or a pastry at Sub Rosa Bakery. Grab your food to go and enjoy it at Libby Hill Park, overlooking the Richmond skyline. Check out the view of the James River that’s known as “the view that named Richmond,” named such because it resembles a similar view in Richmond Upon Thames in England.
Travel Through History
As the oldest neighborhood in Richmond, Church Hill is brimming with history. Stop by St. John’s Church to see where Patrick Henry made his famous speech saying, “Give me liberty or give me death,” in 1775. Head over to Chimborazo Park, a National Historic Landmark with stunning views and home to Chimborazo Hospital. During the Civil War, this hospital served 75,000 soldiers, and today it serves as a medical museum showcasing medical history from the 1860s. Make sure you keep an eye out for the miniature Statue of Liberty, which overlooks the skyline. The statue was installed as part of the “Strengthen the Arm of Liberty” campaign in 1951. Afterward, stop by the site of former Union spy Elizabeth Van Lew’s home, where Bellevue School sits today, before grabbing lunch at The Hill Café, a longtime neighborhood favorite for casual eats and drinks.
After lunch, take time to stroll through some of Church Hill’s delightful local shops. Pop into Dear Neighbor for fashion and accessories, pick up a gift at Outside the Box, peruse vintage vinyl at Records & Relics, and then enjoy a wine tasting at Second Bottle.
Dinner & Drinks
Church Hill is at the center of Richmond’s thriving food scene. For dinner and drinks, check out one of the many celebrated culinary destinations, including Alewife, Grisette, The Roosevelt, or for something more casual, grab a pizza from 8 ½. And don’t forget dessert from Spotty Dog.