Richmond boasts several interesting and beautiful historical sites that are worth checking out. The capital city was prominent during both Revolutionary and Civil War periods, so there are tons of noteworthy monuments, estates, and government buildings to discover. Whether you’re an American history buff or just a curious traveler, you’re going to love touring Richmond. Here are some of the significant landmarks you simply can’t miss.
Belle Isle was a prisoners-of-war camp during the Civil War. Present day, it serves as a lovely city park for nature enthusiasts. With hiking trails, swimming areas, kayaking, and rock jumping, it’s Richmond’s warm-weather destination for locals and tourists alike.
Overlooking James River stands Agecroft Hall, a Tudor estate that was originally built in England in the late 15th century. In 1925, Thomas C. Williams bought it at auction and had the home dismantled, shipped across the Atlantic Ocean, and reassembled. Take a tour of the home and spot some authentic pieces like the original leaded glass window. The gorgeous gardens that surround the estate are worth walking through too.
The Executive Mansion
The oldest occupied governor’s mansion in the United States is the Executive Mansion, which is located on Richmond’s Capitol Square. The mansion is a national historic landmark and has housed Virginia governors since 1813. You can take a tour of the mansion on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays.
The prized Monument Avenue plays host to some of the state’s biggest events. It’s also lined with statues of famous Virginians such as Robert E. Lee, Jefferson Davis, and Stonewall Jackson. While you’re there, be sure to take a stroll by the old mansions, which make for an awe-worthy site.
Image by Jim via Flickr
Edgar Allan Poe Museum
The Poe Museum occupies The Old Stone House and is only a few blocks away from Poe’s first home. The notably dark literary genius is celebrated here with original manuscripts, letters, personal belongings, photographs, and so much more. If you’re into American literature, then this museum should definitely be at the top of your list.
Built during the Gilded Age by rich Virginians James Henry and Sallie May Dooley, the 100-acre estate is a perfect destination for the family. You can tour the Romanesque style mansion that was built in 1893, walk through the elaborate gardens, and even have some fun at the children’s farm, filled with sheep, goats, pigs, and donkeys.
Virginia State Capitol
The Virginia State Capitol provides amazing views of Richmond. It has been in use since 1788 and the state government still uses it today. It’s a national historic landmark and is known for its design, which many credit to Thomas Jefferson and French architect, Charles-Louis Clérisseau. Plan your 30-minute tour anytime Monday through Saturday.
These are only a handful of the cool historic sites in Richmond. If you’ve checked all of seven sites off the list, then plan on visiting the Battlefield Parks, Museum of the Confederacy, and Shockoe Slip while you’re in town, too.