Jun 6, 2022 - Things to Do

How to crush a weekend in Richmond

A sculpture of a girl's profile on the grounds of the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts in Richmond
The grounds of the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts in Richmond. Photo: Kristen Hinman/Axios.

👋🏻 Hey, Kristen here, mid-Atlantic bureau chief for Axios Local and lucky colleague of Team D.C.

I’m just back from visiting our new crew in Richmond, a city I’ve been meaning to check out for oh, maybe a decade? Never could motivate myself for a potentially hellish road trip down I-95, though.

  • Well hello, Amtrak: A ticket to RVA starts at $15. I highly recommend it.

Here’s a quick recap of my trip.

The train ride: After stopping in Alexandria, you cruise alongside the industrial backside of exurbia for a while. But past Quantico, the views open out onto the Potomac. The final hour-ish traverses marshy wetland. Call it a 7 out of 10 overall for scenery.

  • Pro tip: Get off at Staples Mill Road and Uber to your hotel from there. You miss the splendor of the downtown rail station but save 30 minutes.

The food: Food lovers should book ahead for dinner at Brenner Pass or The Roosevelt. Breakfast of Eggs Benedict over latkes at Perly’s will fuel a good long visit downtown.

The drinks: Richmond has a big beer scene; Scott’s Addition, a neighborhood packed with breweries, could fill a whole day if that’s your thing. Cocktail snobs best put a pin in The Jasper; I’d love another round of the Ramble On (rhubarb amaro, rye, blackberry, lemon, pineapple).

The sights: My tour of the Capitol building was exceptional (shout-out to guide Emily McLeod, an Axios superfan!); tours are free, on the hour.

  • For a disorienting but edifying outing, drive down Monument Avenue — a grand boulevard lined by Richmond’s ritziest real estate — to see where the massive Confederate statues used to stand.
  • Also, the river. Scale the top of Hollywood Cemetery for sweeping views of the James. Or ask a local to steer you behind the flood wall downtown for a stroll atop a big drainage pipe that runs right along the muddy shoreline. It’s heron city.

In short … quit putting off a trip to Richmond!

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