Things to Do in Richmond, VA

February 4, 2022
Food & Drink
jason wolfe

Richmond, Virginia, is one of America’s oldest major cities. As the capital of Virginia, this city is known for its history, museums, and beautiful outdoor scenery. There are also some great nightlife and eating options in this city! 

Whether you’re traveling to Richmond for the first time, or you’re looking to expand your weekend activity list, we’ve compiled a list of some of the best things to do in Richmond. From outdoor hiking trails to shopping spots, there’s something for everyone on this list. 

Richmond has a wide variety of activities available, but it can feel overwhelming to create your travel agenda. This list will help you to narrow down your options, whether you’re looking for kid-friendly, free, outdoor, or other activities. If you’ve got a trip to Richmond on your calendar, now is a great time to start planning! 

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  1. Kings Dominion

The whole family can join in on the fun at this amusement park!

With 60 rides to choose from, everyone will find entertainment at Kings Dominion. You can also check out Soak City to cool off on a hot day, or their new Jungle X-pedition! Image courtesy of Richmond Region Tourism.

1600 Theme Park Way | Doswell | kingsdominion.com

If you research Richmond, one of the most popular search results revolves around Kings Dominion, the city’s amusement park. One of the main selling points of Kings Dominion is the fact that it hosts the east coast’s largest collection of roller coasters — 12 in total! But if roller coasters aren’t your thing, don’t worry — there are 60 rides in total at KD, and definitely something for everyone.

KD recently unveiled their new Jungle X-pedition, an “immersive” experience where you can explore ancient jungle civilization. It’s definitely something to check out! 

On hot days, you can visit Soak City, the 20-acre water park, which boasts plenty of water slides, and even wave pools. Whether you have small kids who want to hang out at Planet Snoopy, or you’re just a thrill-seeker looking for an adrenaline rush, there’s something at KD for everyone. 

“This is a perfect park for all ages. There is Snoopy’s Planet dedicated for kids, thrill rides for “ride warriors,” and everything else in between.” -Yelp Review 

  1. Richmond Garden Trail
For lovers of the outdoors, the Richmond Garden Trail is a great option while visiting Richmond! Image courtesy of Garden Destinations.

Richmond | visitrichmondva.com

Richmond is a great place to visit if you’re craving greenery and beautiful scenery. All the options can feel overwhelming, but luckily the Richmond Garden Trail has it all mapped out for you.

This trail will take you to some of the best gardens in the country. The eight gardens are less than 10 miles from each other, and you can start (and end) wherever you please. One thing’s for sure — if you find yourself on the Richmond Garden Trail, you won’t be disappointed by the flowers and plants that you see along the way. Plus, there are some “garden secrets'' that you can stumble upon. 

Even in cold weather, the Richmond Garden Trail is open with holiday displays and other activities. Many of the sites also have dining and other amenities available! 

“Everything was breathtaking and spectacular!” -Yelp Review

  1. Belle Isle

For a day in the sun, check out this park in Richmond! 

Whether you want a relaxing day in the sun, or a day biking on the trails, you’ll definitely enjoy yourself at Belle Isle, Richmond’s preserved park island. Image courtesy of Go Hike Virginia. 

300 Tredegar St | Richmond | jamesriverpark.org

You might not expect to find something like Belle Isle in a place like Virginia, but you’ll definitely want to check it out. This preserved park island has trails, historical sites, fishing, and even rock-climbing for everyone to enjoy. Or, if you’d rather lay out in the sun, you’ll see plenty of people doing that, too. The water surrounding the island isn’t suitable for swimming, but don’t worry, there’s still plenty to do. 

Belle Isle also offers a great view of Richmond’s other landmarks, like Hollywood Cemetery and downtown Richmond. The island also has a rich history, told in its landmarks and marked historical sites.

“Belle Isle is such a cool, unique place to visit no matter what your ideal outdoor activity is.” -Yelp Review  

  1. Canal Walk

The Canal Walk is a great place for some fresh air and great views.

The canal walk stretches for 1.25 miles and has lots of things to do. Image courtesy of Venture Richmond.

14th and Dock Streets | Richmond | alltrails.com

For some fresh air and history, try the Canal Walk. The canal today stretches across 1.25 miles of promenades, scattered with historic sights and other markers. The canal also hosts 40-minute historical tours via boat. 

Whether you want to walk or bike along the canal, you will get to enjoy the great views of downtown’s riverfront. The Canal Walk also has many incredible restaurants to choose from in case you get hungry during your journey! 

“This spot has some breathtaking views, cozy restaurants, and even offers tours. I enjoyed my visit there and sure that you will too.” -Yelp Review 

  1. Short Pump Town Center

In the mood to shop? Check out this open-air shopping center in Richmond!

If you’re in the mood for some shopping, check out Short Pump Town Center, an open-air shopping mall. With two floors of retail stores and restaurants, SPTC is known for being one of the best shopping districts in Richmond. Image courtesy of Yelp.

11800 W Broad St | Richmond | shortpumptowncenter.com

With the variety of stores and eateries at Short Pump Town Center, there is plenty of time to shop till you drop and finish the day with a good meal at any of its advertised restaurants. From American Eagle to Pottery Barn, there’s a wide range of shops to choose from. 

“It has everything you need in a stylish outdoor mall with some high-end stores. The beauty of the place is it’s like being in a separate town.” -Yelp Review

  1. Pony Pasture Rapids

A great option in Richmond for anyone who loves the outdoors!

There’s plenty to do at Pony Pasture Rapids! Image courtesy of Yelp

7200 Riverside Dr | Richmond | jamesriverpark.org

There are a plethora of options for those who love the outdoors in Richmond, and Pony Pasture Rapids is one of them. Get out into nature and enjoy any of the many activities available here. Each year, almost a quarter of a million people visit Pony Pasture Rapids, and you’ll definitely want to be one of them! 

Swimming, kayaking, fishing, snorkeling, or hiking are a few of the many things you can do at Pony Pasture Rapids. If you’d rather have a more relaxing day in the outdoors, picnicking and sunbathing are also common activities. 

“This is my favorite hiking spot nearby as it boasts some beautiful views of the river and there are a lot of options to do either a shorter, 30 min loop or go deeper into the wetlands.” -Yelp Review

  1. Altria Theater

In the mood for live entertainment? Check out this theater in Richmond!  

The Altria Theater was founded more than 90 years ago — their opening night occurred on October 28, 1927. From comedians to broadway performances, there are events appealing to anyone hosted here. Image courtesy of Altria Theater.

6 N Laurel St | Richmond | altriatheater.com

For some great live performances, check out the Altria Theater. The shows offered range from comedy, broadway, musicals, concerts, and even movie screenings. With talented actors, comedians, and other performers, you will surely enjoy your time at this theater.

“The Altria is a beautiful theater that hosts some world-class shows, from stand up comedy and ballet to Shakespeare and opera.” -Yelp review

As you can see, there is such a wide variety of things to do in Richmond. Whether you love the outdoors or want to peruse some museums, there is no shortage of activities here. 

Now that you have some ideas, it’s time to start planning your trip. Hopefully this list gave you a good starting point, and enjoy your stay in Richmond!

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