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Discover Richmond: 6 Must-see Places in Virginia’s Capital

By: Kate Talley



If you’re a JMU student thinking about taking a weekend trip, look no further. Just a two-hour drive away from Harrisonburg lies Richmond, Virginia, where just about anyone can find something to love. I’ve spent my whole life in Richmond, so I’ve seen almost every scenic spot, unique attraction, or tucked-away spot Richmond has to offer. Now, I’m here to share some of my favorites with you.


1: Virginia Museum of Fine Arts

I have personally spent endless hours wandering exhibits and taking classes here, so I speak from experience. Although it’s not one of the most well known art museums in the world, the VMFA boasts some seriously impressive collections, as well as rotating exhibits featuring some of the world’s most famous artists from the past and present. Also, the lawn is a perfect spot for a scenic picnic on a nice day.


2: Libbie Hill Park

This is another place for a picnic, especially at sunset. This park is small compared to many of the others in Richmond, but the views make it worth the visit, even on a busy day. Although it’s tucked away in a neighborhood in Church Hill, you will find panoramic views of the busy downtown streets. I recommend visiting at dinnertime to watch the city come alive as night falls.


3: Brown’s Island & Belle Isle

While these are technically two different Richmond attractions, they’re so close to each other that I’ll count them as one. If you’re looking for a nice walk along the river or a place to hang out on the rocks by the water line, head over the bridge to Belle Isle. During the summer, I come here all the time to hang out on the rocks and swim in the James River with friends. Speaking of summer, Brown’s Island has “Friday Cheers” concerts during the summer months. Food and drink vendors come from all over the city, so you can grab a bite to eat or a drink during a concert.


4: The Pony Pasture

Although this one’s technically outside of Richmond City, it offers beautiful walking trails a bit further down the James River. Like Belle Isle, you can come here to take a swim in the James or sit on the rocks, but in a much calmer atmosphere. Since the Pony Pasture isn’t in Downtown Richmond, it’s a much more peaceful experience.


5: Carytown

On one of the city’s busiest streets lies a section lined with eclectic shops and restaurants. This area can be a full day’s worth of fun, as there’s an endless supply of good food and great shopping. Whether you’re looking for high-end fashion, antique shops, or thrift stores, Carytown has it all, as well as expansive dining and bar options. There’s truly something for everyone here.


6: Scott’s Addition

Scott's Addition is the place to be if you’re looking for some nightlife with other young people. The area boasts some of the most unique bars and restaurants Richmond has to offer. Easily walkable and tucked away from the busy streets, this area is the perfect place for a nice meal, as well as an endless array of post-dinner festivities.



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