Top Attractions for First-Time Visitors

With limited time, it’s best to focus on Richmond’s can’t-miss attractions and landmarks, especially if it’s your first time in town. Here are some of the top sites and activities to add to your Richmond itinerary:

History: Virginia State Capitol

No trip to Richmond is complete without touring the grand neoclassical Virginia State Capitol building. Completed in 1788, it’s the oldest active legislative building in the country and was even designed by Thomas Jefferson. Go inside to see the iconic Capitol rotunda, the replication of famous Houdon statue of George Washington, and the Virginia Senate and House of Delegates chambers. Guided tours are offered daily.

Arts: Virginia Museum of Fine Arts

Art lovers will be awestruck at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, one of the largest comprehensive art museums in the nation. Wander through 33,000 works of art spanning over 6,000 years. Some of the most popular collections include Fabergé eggs, Art Nouveau, Art Deco, and English silver as well as works from renowned European and American artists.

History: St. John’s Church

St. John’s Episcopal Church is known as the site where Patrick Henry gave his legendary “Give me liberty or give me death” speech in 1775, which ignited American patriotism during the Revolutionary era. Step back in time with a tour of the church and lean about its pivotal role during the Colonial period.

Outdoors: James River Park System

Richmond’s location at the fall line of the James River makes it a great outdoor playground. The James River Park System is a 550+ acre urban park with Class III and IV rapids for rafting and kayaking along with scenic nature trails perfect for biking, running, and walking. Rent a tube and relax while floating down the river in the summer.

History: Hollywood Cemetery

This tranquil cemetery may seem like an odd attraction, but it’s both architecturally stunning and historically fascinating. In addition to its Egyptian Revival entrance and stunningConfederate memorials and monuments, Hollywood is the final resting place for two United States Presidents, James Monroe and John Tyler, as well as Civil War legend J.E.B. Stuart.

Food & Drink: Scott’s Addition Brewery District

Beer lovers, rejoice! Scott’s Addition is Richmond’s booming brewery district with nearly 20 craft breweries within a walkable 1-square mile area. Spend an afternoon sampling flights of IPAs, stouts, sours, ciders, and more at top-rated brewhouses like Ardent Craft Ales, Väsen Brewing, and Triple Crossing Beer. Many also serve tasty pub grub to pair with your pint.

Family Fun: Science Museum of Virginia

If you’re traveling with kids, the Science Museum of Virginia is one of the best attractions in town. This massive, interactive museum features 3 floors of hands-on exhibits like the Tinkering Studio, DinoLab, and E-Sports Lab. Kids can also walk through a replica of the human heart, see live animals and reptiles, and catch an IMAX or planetarium show.

Sports: Richmond Raceway

It’s easy to see why Richmond is nicknamed “The Action City.” Motorsports fans won’t want to miss Richmond Raceway, home to NASCAR Cup Series racing along with weekly racing series. Get your speed fix watching races from the stands or upgrade to a Pre-Race Pit Pass for the VIP treatment right along pit road.

Music: Friday Cheers Concert Series

One of the best ways to spend a Richmond summer evening is at Friday Cheers, a free outdoor concert series at Browns Island in the James River Park System. Running on Friday nights from May through October, you’ll hear national acts across genres from rock to country, reggae, indie, and more. Arrive early to claim a good spot!

How to Get Around Richmond

As a mid-sized city, Richmond offers several transportation options for getting around. Here’s a breakdown of your choices for navigating Richmond:

Public Transportation

The GRTC is Richmond’s public bus system with over 30 routes across the metro area. The free CARE on-demand van is also available in certain neighborhoods. While the bus system is fairly reliable, routes are limited on evenings and weekends. Have your hotel’s address on hand in case you need a taxi or rideshare as a backup plan to get home.

Taxis and Rideshares

Taxis are readily available at hotels, airports, train stations, and popular tourist spots around Richmond. Avoid prime rush hour times to keep your fare low. Download the apps and set your location ahead of time for easy airport pickup.

Charter Buses

For group transportation, renting a charter bus is the most efficient way to travel in Richmond. Our modern buses accommodate any group size and offer amenities like free WiFi, AV systems, and restrooms for comfort on longer itineraries. Plus, our professional team knows the best routes to avoid traffic when visiting multiple attractions in one day. Give us a call at (757) 975-8487 to get a custom quote for your group’s charter bus rental in Richmond. We’ll handle all the driving so you can relax and focus on exploring this wonderful city!

Ready to Get Started?

We hope this first timer’s guide gets you excited about planning your upcoming Richmond getaway! With amazing historical sites, a vibrant arts scene, outdoor recreation, fantastic food and drink, and much more, you’ll quickly fall in love with Virginia’s capital. Renting a charter bus through Richmond Party Bus Company simplifies transportation for groups of any size. Our team has extensive knowledge of the Richmond area and will provide door-to-door service to all the attractions on your custom itinerary. Contact us today at (757) 975-8487 to get started planning your Richmond group trip! We look forward to helping you craft an unforgettable experience.