As one of the oldest cities in the United States, Richmond offers visitors a huge array of museums and historic sights, as well as plenty of family-friendly activities.
Many significant moments in America’s history were played out in the Virginia State Capitol building, so it is a great place to start your visit. The building itself was designed by Thomas Jefferson in the 1780s and is still home to the Virginia General Assembly.
Take a tour of the Old House and Senate chambers, which are open to the public as a museum. There’s plenty to learn about the Civil War here, but if you want to know even more, head to the Museum of Confederacy a few blocks north.
For history of a different kind, head west to Hollywood Cemetery for a mix of history and recreation. The sprawling cemetery has a monument to the 18,000 Confederate soldiers and 25 generals buried there. Take a guided tour or pick up a map and see the mausoleums of two U.S. presidents – John Tyler and James Monroe – who are buried alongside artists, writers and millionaires.
For a taste of Richmond’s historic grandeur, head further west and arrive at Maymont, a 19th-century mansion and grounds covering 100 acres (40 hectares). As well as the beautiful architecture of the opulent house, which has been maintained as a museum, families can enjoy a petting zoo and wildlife exhibits.
A great way to escape Richmond’s notoriously hot and humid summers is at the city’s museums. For families, there’s the Science Center of Virginia and the Children’s Museum of Richmond right next door. The nearby Museum District has art spanning 5,000 years at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts. See Russian jewels, and ancient sculptures and paintings by Monet and John Singer Sargent.
Hire a car to navigate the city with ease. Free parking is plentiful. Richmond’s landscape is hilly, and the attractions spread out, which makes walking or biking difficult. Public Transport is limited to a bus service. Buy a Go Card from a grocery store or newsagent and top-up to ride.