DC may be the Capital City, but it’s not the only one worth visiting. Richmond, Va., is the capital of Virginia and the perfect distance for a weekend getaway and a break from routine! Trails, Ales, Bites and Roller Coasters are just a few activities on my weekend agenda and that can be exciting any time of year!
Our #FrayLife guide to discovering Richmond is bound to leave you with some ideas on how to soak up a little bit of history and a whole bunch of fun on your first, or next, weekend there.
Richmond is a quick two hours by car, but upon arrival, I was still ready to stretch my legs. First stop was the Riverfront Canal Walk– one of the city’s several urban trails that is helping convert a previously industrial area into a functional and scenic space. Bridges weave back and forth across the James River and offer views of both natural green space and stunning city skyline. The Canal Walk is accessible via almost every block between 5th and 17th streets downtown. If you love history this walk comes with a bonus: there are many exhibits, statues and learning opportunities along the way.
From the waterfront, I made my way to City Center, where one can stumble upon museums and governmental buildings; the Virginia State Capital is a stunning sister to the White House and sits on an accessible lush green lawn.
Ready for a Break? I was. Around 1 p.m., I was famished and headed to local lunch spot Secret Sandwich Society. I forked over an extra $3 for pimento cheese fries and have no regrets. The pork sandwiches were generous, delicious and named after our nation’s favorite Virginian presidents.
The rest of the day called for some dessert and shopping, so off to the Fan District and Cary Street I went. Bev’s Homemade Ice-Cream offered an array of unique flavors and did not disappoint. Hello, Mocha Oreo, I am very pleased to meet you. Cary Street was an opportunity afterward to meander in and out of vinyl shops, vintage stores, and tattoo galleries.
There’s no doubt that Richmond has a great nightlife offering. With bars and clubs lining the streets, there’s really not a bad option for making your Saturday night one for the books. However, as the warmer weather is slowly starting to creep in, Q Rooftop Bar might be something to keep on your radar. This rooftop bar is perfect for a more casual night out and offers one of the best views in Richmond.
Richmond is home to some great southern eateries, and The Fancy Biscuit was no exception. If the line out the door makes you think twice, don’t. This Biscuit haven earns this southern girl’s seal of approval. There is ample seating inside and the biscuits are second to none. I tried the Black Dog Biscuit which is smothered with shrimp, grits and tasso ham gravy.
There was one more tourist sight I wanted to check off my list: Hollywood Cemetery. The resting place of two former presidents as well as Confederate President Jefferson Davis, it is an American Landmark, and the size and layout make it an easy place to get lost in some history.
After checking off my tourist list, it was time to get down to business. Richmond is not the #1 beer destination for no reason – it has one of the highest ‘beer to human’ ratios in the country. I visited four breweries and jotted down a list of many more to tackle next time. As a gose fan, The Veil Brewing Co. was a must-visit. Strangeways Brewing was another favorite that had a wide selection of sours and featured over 36 drafts. Champion Brewing Company and Stone Brewing rounded out my list with delicious beers and knowledgeable barkeep. All four are part of the Richmond Beer Trail and if you have a full weekend available to you, give all 25 a try!
Before it was time to hit the road, lunch was a necessity. I stopped at Buz and Ned’s Real Barbecue and devoured one of the best pulled pork sandwiches of my life, alongside old-bay coated fried okra and some 10/10 baked beans. This place has been cooking up barbecue “the right way” since 1992 and, as far as I can tell, will be around for years to come.
My time in Richmond came and went very quickly, but I know I will be back to tackle some more trails and several more beverages. If you have a favorite thing to do in this great city- share it with us! Tag your social posts with #FrayLife so we can follow along.
If you’re looking to go north instead of south, we’ve got you covered! Check out our Weekend Getaway to NYC.
View More Articles By Brittney Miles