Great Museums to Visit in Richmond, VA

February 4, 2022
Food & Drink
jason wolfe
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Some people love to top off their weekend getaway with a few museum visits. If you are one of those people, Richmond is the perfect place for you. There are many, many museums for you to choose from, whether you want to learn about history, art, science, or more.  

If you’re working on planning out your stops for your Richmond trip, consider adding some of these museums to your list. Each of them offer a unique set of history, art, and learning opportunities.  

And if someone you know is planning a trip to Richmond soon, why not make their day by sending them an E-gift card through GiftYa? These virtual gift cards can be sent and received with ease, and your friend or loved one will definitely appreciate you thinking of them! 

  1. Edgar Allan Poe Museum 

For an eerie look at Edgar Allan Poe’s past, check out this creepy museum in Richmond.

The Edgar Allan Poe Museum is a great place to learn about the history of the famous author and his life’s work. Image courtesy of Poe Museum.

1914 E Main St | Richmond | poemuseum.org

If you are a book lover, you’re surely familiar with Edgar Allan Poe, known as the father of the psychological horror story. Richmond is home to the Edgar Allan Poe museum, which includes illustrations of “The Raven” and many other artifacts. The eerie environment of this museum mirrors the writing of the author himself, so anyone familiar with Poe will surely feel his presence. 

“Don’t let the Poe Museum’s small footprint fool you; pound for pound, this is one of the most informative museums I’ve ever been to in my life!” -Yelp Review 

  1. Virginia Museum of History and Culture 

Walk through Virginia’s past in this appealing museum.

There’s much to learn about Virginia’s history at this eye-catching museum in Richmond. Image courtesy of Virginia Historical Society.

428 N Arthur Ashe Blvd | Richmond | virginiahistory.org

History buffs are familiar with the significance of Virginia in America’s past. The Virginia Museum of History and Culture leads visitors through this past and tells the story of this state. This museum hosts award-winning exhibitions that cover different centuries, regions, and topics relating to the history of Virginia. 

If you’re interested in learning more specifically about the history of Virginia, you’ll definitely want to add this to your travel itinerary. 

“Very interesting to visit and see how much has changed (or how little in some cases). You get to see nice, or original, examples of artifacts of back then. Very cool to see. A nice peek on American history.” -Yelp Review

  1. The Science Museum of Virginia 

This museum is a great location for the whole family to enjoy!

For science lovers, this museum is a must-visit during your time in Richmond. Image courtesy of Science Museum of Virginia.

2500 West Broad St | Richmond | smv.org

If you’re less of a history buff and more interested in science, this museum is a must-see during your trip. With over 100 interactive exhibits, kids and adults alike will find themselves entertained here. 

When you first walk in, you’ll immediately be impressed by the Grand Kugel. This granite sphere weighs 29 tons and is balanced over water. When you touch the sphere, it begins to spin, and you will most certainly be mesmerized.

Museums are always more fun when you can interact with the exhibits inside, and this is one of the best places to do so.  

“What a great museum with a lot of history! Formerly the broad street station, the museum still retains much of the old station characteristics.” -Yelp Review

  1. The Branch Museum of Architecture and Design 

If you have any interest in architecture and design, you’ll surely enjoy this museum.

Image courtesy of Fine Art America.

2501 Monument Ave | Richmond | branchmuseum.org

You’ll be immediately encapsulated by this museum just by looking at the outside — this “red brick masterpiece” would fit well in the English countryside, and you’ll certainly find yourself wanting to go inside. 

This museum was designed by John Russell Pope, who also designed the Thomas Jefferson Memorial, the National Gallery of Art, and the National Archives. He’s an extremely impressive architect, and visiting the Branch Museum is a great way to see more of his work. If you are interested in architecture and design, this is a great place for you to check out. 

“Great exhibits and really nice curating. The staff and volunteers do a wonderful job of making everything feel really posh and welcoming at the same time.” -Yelp Review

  1. The Children’s Museum of Richmond 

Enjoy fun for the whole family at this museum!

Children and adults alike are sure to enjoy their visit to this museum. Image courtesy of TripSavvy.

2626 W Broad Street | Richmond | childrensmuseumofrichmond.org

If you’re traveling with children, you’ll definitely want to stop by the Children’s Museum of Richmond. With hands-on learning opportunities, the whole family is able to enjoy the available activities here. 

In the Art Studio, kids can create their own artworks, or they can play in the Little Farm, surrounded by farm animals. Either way, your kids are sure to have a great time here — plus, they’ll be able to learn new things along the way. 

“If you’re ever in Richmond with kiddos I highly recommend stopping by.” -Yelp Review

  1. The Virginia Museum of Fine Arts 

Art lovers will certainly enjoy this museum!

This completely free museum has a fascinating permanent collection by a number of famous artists. Image courtesy of Virginia Tourism Corporation.

200 N Arthur Ashe Blvd | Richmond | vmfa.museum

As one of the largest museums in the United States, VMFA has an amazing collection of artworks by a number of famous artists. The permanent collection at VMFA includes East Asian Art, African Art, British Sporting Art, and more. 

And the best part? The museum is completely free! You’ll get to enjoy the huge collection of art without paying a huge amount for tickets, which is always a great feeling. 

“I love that it’s free AND it’s open every day of the year. Amazing!!” -Yelp Review

  1. Richmond Railroad Museum 

Anyone with an interest in Virginia’s history will enjoy this museum!

Image courtesy of Richmond Times.

102 Hull St | Richmond | richmondrailroadmuseum.com

Aptly located in a restored train station, the Richmond Railroad Museum is great for kids and adults alike. At this museum, you can learn about the role that trains played in American history. Whether you have a child interested in trains or are an adult interested in history, you’ll find something to enjoy about this museum. 

This museum features original fixtures and railroad equipment. You will also be able to see a steam locomotive and track cars, as well as tons of artifacts and photos. There is a one-hour tour available for this museum, so it can be a quick stop on your trip. 

“Excellent time, staff was very friendly and welcoming. They even gave our kid a special tour of the model trains and he loved it!” -Yelp Review 

  1. Institute for Contemporary Art 

Art lovers will feel at home at this wonderful museum!

Image courtesy of The New York Times.

601 W Broad St | Richmond | icavcu.org

The Institute for Contemporary Art is fairly new, having opened in 2018. This museum is unique because of its lack of a permanent collection — rather, the displays of art are rotating.

This museum has four gallery spaces, as well as an outdoor sculpture garden. The outdoor garden is one of the museum’s best parts, as its features heat and cool the museum and even utilize rainwater. If you’re interested in contemporary art, you’ll definitely want to make a stop here. 

“The ICA is such a great addition to the RIchmond art scene. It places a huge spotlight on what is currently happening in the arts” -Yelp Review

Whether you’re into science, history, or art, there are plenty of museums to choose from in the Richmond area. You should definitely consider adding a few of these museums to your travel itinerary to get the most out of your trip to Richmond. 

Virginia, and more specifically Richmond, is well known for its significance in American history, so there is plenty to be learned from the many different museums that you can visit. And if you’re not as much of a history buff, there are plenty of art and science museums to look at as well! Either way, you’re sure to enjoy your visit to Richmond.

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