Welcome To My City!
Whenever I travel somewhere new, I like to document the things I saw, the things I love, the places I recommend going, etc. This spring, someone recommended to me that I should document those same things about the city I call home, Richmond, VA. What a great idea?! So today I’m sharing my 48 hours in Richmond guide. Get ready for a weekend of all of my favorite things in this amazing city.
Where To Stay
I recommend staying at the loveliest hotel in RVA, the Quirk Hotel. It’s located downtown & has a beautiful aesthetic with pink as their primary color. The lobby has incredible high arched ceilings & beautiful furnishings including their iconic pink velvet couch.
Grab A Quick Snack
After arriving in Richmond after your trip, I would stop by Lift Coffee Shop & Cafe for a quick bite to eat. They have great coffee & sandwiches, but my favorite thing to order is their peanut butter & banana smoothie. I typically don’t go for this kind of smoothie, but their’s is just so good. Richmond is also know for it’s many murals & Lift has a very fitting mural of a pair of wings right outside, perfect for a good photo opt.
Check Out The Neighborhood
Next, you might want to stretch your legs a bit & take a stroll around the neighborhood. Right down the street from the hotel, are a few really cute shops you could visit. Mod & Soul has some really cool, very Richmond style pieces including clothes, candles, little bits & bobs all at affordable prices. Then right next door is the dreamiest little store called Verdalina, which has stunning garments, accessories, & beauty products that are super high quality at a more luxury price. Perfect to find a great keepsake to remember your trip by.
If these shops are a bit too feminine if you’re traveling with mixed company, there is a great little bookstore across the street, a men’s store called Ledbury, & a great ice cream shop called Charm School.
In The Evening
Richmond is such a foodie city, & there are countless amazing restaurants available for you to try. (see my full favorites list below) One of my very favorite restaurants downtown would have to be Wong Gonzalez. This is an Asian/Mexican fusion restaurant that just gets it so right. For appetizers, I love the tequila shrimp & the fiesta bites & my go-to entree is the Gonzi’s Stir Fry Skillet. Ben also really loves the Asian BBQ Pork Tacos. Fun fact: there is a special events room upstairs called Beauty & Grace, & there is a life-size picture of me on the wall!
Don’t let the fun stop after dinner! Grab a fun cocktail either at Quirk’s scenic rooftop bar or head over to Switch, Richmond’s newest pop-up bar. This place is so cool because it completely changes themes every 6-8 weeks. When I went recently, the top floor was Alice & Wonderland themed & then once you “go down the rabbit hole”, the downstairs took you back in time to the 90s. They have delicious specialty cocktails that carry out the theme of the room you’re in. A super cool spot & you never know what you’re gonna walk into.
Time For Breakfast
My all time favorite spot for breakfast in this city is Can Can Brasserie. When our families come into town, they cannot go home without a visit to Can Can because of it’s authentic Parisian atmosphere. When you walk inside, you truly feel like you could be in Paris! I love going during their coffee house hours for delicious pastries & amazing coffee.
After breakfast, I recommend taking a stroll down Carytown. This is a favorite spot to visit in Richmond because of it’s cute shops & restaurants. Some of my favorite shops in Carytown include, Mongrel – the perfect place to find a gift for ANYONE!, Bygones – a vintage store with fabulous dresses & accessories (you’ll want everything!), Sugar + Twine – a great spot for a mid-day coffee pick me up (don’t leave without trying their cheddar biscuits!), Creme de la Creme – they have beautiful dishes, candles, party goods, & home decor that are all swoon worthy, & Ginger Thai – my favorite Thai food in the city.
Next, Choose An Afternoon Activity
Head over to the Museum District & check out the Virginia Museum Of Fine Arts. This museum is really top notch with incredible exhibits inside, a great cafe, & stunning gardens outside. One of my favorite spots to come to get inspired & feel that sense of awe when looking at truly magnificent art.
After going through the museum, take a bit of time to stroll down the streets in the Fan District. The houses are so quaint & colorful & each have their own unique personality.
Head over to the Lewis Ginter Botanical Gardens & prepare yourself for jaw dropping blooms! I recently posted about my latest visit where I finally got to see their butterflies LIVE! exhibit. Truly a magical experience. See that post here.
Visit Maymont Park! This is one of my favorite locations for photoshoots because you truly feel like you are not in the city anymore. The gardens & the landscaping are just incredible. Walk through the Italian gardens, then through the Japanese gardens & find yourself perfectly at peace in this tranquil space. If the weather is nice, pack a lunch & have a picnic under the huge trees or inside one of the many gazebos on site.
Eat dinner in The Fan tonight. Try Kuba Kuba for amazing Cuban style food (Everyone here loves that place! Don’t forget to try their fried plantains!), or Beauvine Burger Concept for a fun atmosphere, great burgers, & I highly recommend their frosé which has elderflower liquor in it.
If you are a cake lover, or even a wine lover, you should go to Shyndigz. This place sells the best cake in the city & you can order it by the slice! Such a cute spot & very Instagram worthy.
Let’s head in a different direction this time & go to Hot Diggity Donuts. This place is small but the service is great & the donuts are made right in front of you when you order them. They are served hot & every single flavor is a win! I recommend trying their cappuccinos as well. They are perfectly petite as they should be.
One Last Thing
Before heading back home, you cannot leave the River City without visiting the James River! I suggest heading towards Brown’s Island & explore the area by this majestic river. There is also a bridge you can walk across the entire river, or at least half-way to get a great photo.
Other Favorite RVA Spots
- Scoop or Gelati Celesti for great ice cream
- Other breakfast spots: Early Bird Biscuit (just YUM), Urban Farmhouse (cosy atmosphere), Lamplighter (classic RVA hipster vibe), The Daily (very fresh, vegan friendly spot)
- Ginger Juice or North End Juice Co. for smoothies & smoothie bowls
- The Circuit Barcade (fun arcade style games & pay by the once beer or wine that is self-serve)
- Other places to stay: The Jefferson (splurge worthy, luxury feel), The Graduate (modern vibe, rooftop pool), Lindon Row Inn (cute & quaint local boutique inn)
- Blue Bee Cider (delicious variety of local ciders with a fun atmosphere, can sit outside)
- Home Sweet Home (specialty grilled cheese sandwiches for a bit of comfort food)
- Jack Brown’s Beer & Burger Joint (my favorite burgers in the city)
- River City Roll (boutique bowling alley complete with food, cocktails, & corn hole)
- Churchill Coffee Shops: Whisk & Ironclad Coffee Roasters
- Drive or walk down Monument Avenue! These houses are all so historic & just plain gorgeous!
- Don’t Look Back (our very favorite taco spot…amazing carnitas!)
- Legend Brewery (sit outside for a great view of the city skyline from across the river)
- Bolt Scooters (Ben & I LOVE renting these scooters to ride around the city on! Just get the app! Great price!)