If Richmond isn’t on your summer to-do list yet, get ready to add it. A capital city packed with history, nature, and a dash of Southern charm, Richmond blooms with markets, art, and outdoor fun. From the Fan District to Shockoe Bottom, Richmond is a great city to visit in the summer.
1. Hot Spots
Start with a stroll through Richmond’s Fan District, where many of the late 19th and early 20th-century homes are immaculately preserved and boast features like turrets and shady porches. Embark on a self-guided tour so you don’t miss a thing.
Richmond’s Fan District
Nearby is the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, which entices residents and visitors with over 30,000 art objects representing nearly every major culture. Make your visit extra special by visiting in August, when Richmond Jazz Festival kicks off.
2. Cool Spots
Cool off with a visit to the James River, which runs right through downtown Richmond and offers easy access to visitors and residents alike. Grab your kayak, take a guided boat tour, or stay on dry land and catch the sunset from Belle Isle.
For a serious thrill, head 30 minutes north of the city to King’s Dominion. This theme park will get your heart racing with rides like Shockwave and will cool you off with plenty of water slides and water park rides.
James River Park
3. Nature Spots
Enjoy Richmond’s natural wonder with a visit to Maymont, an early 20th-century estate. With 100 acres of walking trails, ponds, gardens, and an original Gilded Age mansion, there is so much to explore.
Summer brings thousands of blooms to the Lewis Ginter Botanical Gardens. Check out everything from the Fountain Garden to the Meditation Garden, and don’t miss your chance to meet the butterflies in the conservatory.
4. Historic Spots
Visit the Virginia State Capitol, where the Western Hemisphere’s oldest legislative body convenes today. Take a tour to truly appreciate this building, which was modeled after an ancient Roman temple.
Known as the spot where the Revolutionary War was ignited, Church Hill is a compelling part of town. Take in a modern view of the city from Chimborazo Park, and admire the preserved rowhouses from the charming brick roads.
Don’t miss the Jefferson Hotel, a lavish 19th-century hotel that once hosted live alligators in its pool. Pause on the staircase to reenact scenes from Gone with the Wind, which is widely speculated to have been filmed here.
5. Night Spots
Enjoy unique shopping in Carytown, and stay until things really get going in the evening. Indulge in people-watching and an impressive wine list at Can Can Brasserie, or grab some late night food at one of this neighborhood’s many diners.
For Richmond’s best nightlife, don’t miss Shockoe Bottom. Dance into the night at the Canal Club or sip a cocktail under the chandeliers at Tobacco Company Club.
Day or night, Virginia’s capital city shines in the summer. Visit the hot spots and cool off in style in Richmond.
View from Libby Hill