Over New Years Eve we visited Richmond, Virginia for the first time with our two boys. We had such a great trip, and are really looking forward to visiting again. We decided on RVA because it was a fairly easy drive from Cleveland, Ohio and it was also warmer. We ended up having weather in the low 60’s which was perfect because we were able to do a lot of outside dining. Covid ended up changing a lot of our plans (a lot of my dining options were closed, but we still found plenty to do!)
Our travel style: We are relaxed travelers who like to feel as though we live there. We seek out playgrounds, outside activities, museums, breweries, local food favorites, coffee, and thrifting. So, if you like those things this post will be for you! ** I also don’t really have much of a structure for my traveling so you won’t find a timeline broken down by hour here. This is just a overall look at the things, and places we visited.
WHERE WE STAYED
Hilton Richmond Downtown- Because this was a last minute trip, I didn’t get to really dive into different hotels, and also because of the time of the year, I was limited on my options. Hilton was a great spot, though. Very easy to get to, great valet, nice sized rooms, and a pool for our kids. This is a downtown hotel which I was worried about because of traffic. It was so easy to get around, and we never had more than a 10 minute drive to where we needed to go.
WHAT WE DID
Children’s Museum of Richmond- We always have to make a museum stop, and a children’s museum usually tops the list. We love to compare it to the other cities we have been to. This would be great IF you have younger children. My boys are 7 & 8 , and they were done, and ready to leave within an hour. It seems (in our opinion) it’s meant for kids more near age 6 and under.
Virginia Museum Fine Art– It’s very hard to impress me with an art museum because I’m very lucky to have the Cleveland Museum of Art within 15 minutes of me. VMFA was gorgeous though, and my boys enjoyed it as well. My younger loves art so we brought along his supplies so he could make his own piece of art. BONUS: Around the museum there were BIRD scooters which my oldest loves. Usually we will have their scooters in the car and Matt and I will use the BIRD.
Belle Isle- This was the highlight for my boys! We had a gorgeous day, and had to spend as much time outside as we could. We covered mainly 5% of what we could do. There are trails, abandoned structures, huge rocks to sunbathe on (I took in all the sun, my kids enjoyed hopping around), suspension bridge, kayaking, swimming! Seriously, a must stop, and we will be back!
Playgrounds– PARK365 was definitely worth a stop to burn off some energy. This was my boys favorite playground, but we also visited Mary Munford which is a great playground at Mary Munford Elementary.
WHAT WE ATE– More like what did we not eat!
Ironclad- Gorgeous coffee shop in an old firehouse. Their breakfast sandwich was a favorite.
Sugar & Twine – Great spot to grab a coffee and pastry while walking around Carytown.
This is the fewest coffee shops we’ve ever visited on vacation but so many were closed due to Omicron 🙁
Here are a few I would have liked to check out: LampLighter Coffee Rosters | Brewer’s Cafe
I read a lot of reviews on places that would be more kid friendly, have some type of food menu, and outside space. We usually will bring some type of board or card game, or notebooks/art stuff for the boys.
Scotts Addition has to be my top brew destination of all the cities we have ever traveled to. You can park and walk to many breweries, restaurants, and coffee shops.
Strangeways Brewing– Our favorite spot for the beer (lucky charms sour beer, omg!) They also have board games, pinball machines, and indoor and outdoor seating. Everyone working here was also so friendly!
Ardent Brewing- Another Great outdoor space with a nice food menu as well.
Hardywood- Awesome outdoor space! We loved sitting around the fire pits. They also have a nice pizza menu, though we did not get any food here.
Blue Bee Cider- YOU MUST GO. This was hands down my favorite spot, and my kids LOVED IT. We grabbed a picnic table outside that had our own little table fire pit. On one side of this historic building is the cider- the other side, CHEESE. Cheesemongers is next door and SO GOOD. Seriously, we had to order several boards because our kids were devouring it.
Bingo Beer– ARCADE GAMES! This is such a fun place, and our kids loved it! They have a really great selection of games, pool, ping pong, air hockey, etc. I believe we went on an evening where the games were also 50% off (couldn’t confirm the day by the website, so call and check) They also have a nice outdoor seating area and a good kid-friendly food selection. TIP: Visit on off hours. We went around 3pm on a weekday and it was more families with kids.
I wish I could say my kids were adventurous eaters, but they are most definitely not. Chicken fingers all day. This list will showcase that 😉
GALAXY DINER- If you’ve been walking around Carytown all day and need something to eat, this is your stop. VERY kid friendly! Just read the reviews of this place and you’ll see lots of comments like, “nostalgic! I remember coming here with my dad as a kid all the time!” We really loved the shakes here!
New York Deli- Another Carytown option for you and Richmond’s oldest restaurant! Great drinks, service and menu options. Another kid friendly pick. Try the Sailor sandwich. This place is about to get even cooler as they open their rooftop dining space with an outdoor theatre!
Citizen Burger Bar– I’m never really excited about a burger place, but this was good. That’s all the excitement I have over a burger. ha!
Tazza Kitchen Scott’s Addition: Mainly indoor dining, but we were able to grab a seat on their covered patio, which is a great spot. Everything we had was so good, probably one of my favorite meals. The tacos with the rice were amazing! I am still dreaming about that rice. No kids menu here, but we found plenty for them, so don’t let that deter you! Chips and guac, app mac and cheese, and a caesar salad with chicken were my kids favs.
JOES INN- THE FAN: My kind of place! That neighborhood restaurant that’s been around forever that just makes me feel good going there. This is it! Take a walk around this gorgeous neighborhood when you’re done!
THRIFTING AND SHOPPING
Richmond has some great thrifting spots that are definitely worth checking out. Clover Kids was a favorite spot for picking up some nicer pieces of boys clothing. I scored a Boden hoodie I had been eyeing up for awhile. Diversity Thrift was HUGE! Luxor Vintage was a favorite, though. It’s small, but it was packed with so many great clothing pieces (adults) and small household decor pieces.
That will sum up our very eventful 4 days in the city of Richmond, Virginia. This was on the list for a long time and it did not disappoint. We cannot wait to go back when it’s a bit warmer to explore even more new places!