Whether you’re traveling to Richmond for a wedding or event, or entertaining guests for the weekend, sometimes, you just don’t have a lot of time to explore all that the River City has to offer. So, if you’re short on time, here’s how we’d see downtown Richmond in 48 hours.
If you’re not local and are visiting for a weekend, you’re going to need a home base and Richmond has three great options that are packed with their own charm and character:
- The Jefferson Hotel: The matriarch of the Richmond hospitality scene, The Jefferson is a historic hotel bursting with old-school glamour and elegance.
- Linden Row Inn: Linden Row Inn offers a historic yet intimate experience. The inn is comprised of a series of row houses united by a charming courtyard and restaurant.
- Quirk Hotel: Unlike The Jefferson Hotel and Linden Row Inn, Quirk offers travelers a more contemporary lodging experience while still nestled in a historic building.
Once you’re settled into your accommodations or are ready to kick off the weekend if you’re local, there’s nothing like a great dinner to set the tone. Walk over to Rappahannock where you’ll find the freshest local seafood flavors, or Lillie Pearl for delicious fare with a southern slant.
After dinner, check in to Hotel Greene, a cheeky “highfalutin’” miniature golf experience reimagined with a chic twist and lobby bar.
Saturday morning, start things off with breakfast at Perly’s, a creative take on the old-school Jewish deli before heading to Shockoe Slip to join a Segway tour at RVA on Wheels. The Richmond Landmark Tour is a city highlights tour that’s equally as interesting for locals and tourists alike, stopping at landmarks including the Virginia Capitol, the Canal Walk, and checking out some of Richmond’s celebrated public murals.
After your tour, head up to Church Hill to check out St. John’s Church, the historic church founded in the 1700s where Patrick Henry famously said, “Give me liberty or Give me Death,” catch a reenactment or just meander the historic property. While in Church Hill, check out the “view that named Richmond” in Libby Hill Park overlooking the James River, and grab lunch at Union Market before making your way back down to the city center to check out The Valentine, the only museum dedicated to the history of Richmond.
When it’s time for dinner, head back up to Church Hill and try one of the many acclaimed restaurants nestled in this historic neighborhood. We’d recommend Alewife by James Beard nominated chef Lee Gregory, Grisette, with an emphasis on cheese, house-made charcuterie, and wine, or The Roosevelt, which offers an untraditional celebration of the food of the South.
On your final day, cap off the weekend with brunch at Lulu’s, perched along Richmond’s historic 17th Street Market in Shockoe Bottom. After brunch, head over to the Poe Museum, a small museum situated in Richmond’s oldest house, the Old Stone House, that pays homage to one of America’s best-known poets who grew up in the city. Finish off the day with a narrated canal boat tour along Richmond’s historic canal.
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