RICHMOND // City Guide

I admit, before I lived here, I didn't know anything about Richmond, VA. I didn't know it's called the River City, but that locals call it RVA and plaster the bumper stickers on their cars. I also didn't know it was such an amazing, vibrant, diverse city.

Here's what I think are the hits and highlights of Richmond:

Coffee to drink:

Richmond is a HUGE coffee city. There are roasters and cafes and coffee shops on every corner it seems, but here are the ones you MUST visit. The ambience, the coffee, the baked goodies...all heavenly. Plus, these are all in different areas of town, so if you came to Richmond and just visited these four spots, you would get a great little tour of our town.

Things to eat:

Okay, so maybe Richmond is a foodie city instead. Or maybe it's a coffee city AND a foodie city. Yeah, that's it! These places are all affordable, super cool, great for meat-eaters or vegans or gluten-free folks alike, and all different kinds of food. Come hungry.

  • The Daily Kitchen and Bar // My recommendation: BBQ tofu sandwich with chickpea salad (pictured)
  • Don't Look Back // My recommendation: tofu tacos, traditional style (pictured)
  • Sticky Rice // My recommendation: tofu lettuce wraps (pictured)
  • Fresca on Addison // My recommendation: vegan chicken salad wrap with potato salad (pictured)
  • Postbellum // My recommendation: ask for their specials!

Things to do:

  • Explore the VMFA. This museum is free (win!) and amazing. Wander around all the exhibits inside, explore the beautiful grounds outside, grab a snack at the cafe, or dine at their swanky restaurant. It's my favorite place.
  • Wander around Belle Isle/James River. The river is our claim to fame (they don't call us the River City for nothing) and it's a great place to spend a sunny afternoon. Bring a towel and snacks, and camp out on your choice of massive boulder. Be careful though, our river has rapids that might sweep you away if you aren't careful! Also, kayaking on the river or taking a white water rafting trip are popular options!
  • See a Richmond Flying Squirrels baseball game. You can't beat minor league baseball games when tickets are less than $15 and you can get massive drinks for just a few bucks more. These games are so much fun and such a quintessential spring/summer activity.
  • Wander a farmer's market (South of the James - pictured above - is my favorite!) There are few things I love more than fresh produce straight from a farmer's truck into my bag, and this place is the best for it. I never leave without a bundle of stunning wildflowers, a great cup of coffee, and more than I had on my list. There's great produce, awesome art/crafts to purchase, and always a food truck or two!
  • Find some new reads at Chop Suey. This bookstore is basically heaven. There's a good variety of new books and bestsellers, but the best part is the upstairs full of used books galore. You're sure to leave with some new treasures! Also, they've been known to have books wrapped up in brown paper so you can go on a blind date with a new book... how fun is that?!

Places to see:

  • Libby Hill overlookThis spot has my favorite views of Richmond from the high point of Church Hlll looking toward downtown. Bring a blanket and just sit and watch the city go by.
  • Murals. Our city has been making murals a huge priority lately, and I am such a fan. It's revitalized places that were rundown and brought art all over in a massive way. They're so cool! Everywhere you drive downtown, you're sure to see murals on the sides of buildings, but the Canal Walk has a bunch of great ones all in one place. Plus, it's fun to walk along the canal!
  • Maymont Park