Richmond, Virginia is a lively, exciting city, with plenty of activities for people with all interests. Whether you're an outdoors enthusiast, a craft beer or food lover, or a sports fanatic, there is something for you in Virginia's capital.
For our episode of Baseball Across the Commonwealth in Richmond, we spoke with Richmond Flying Squirrels play-by-play broadcast Trey Wilson, Center of the Universe Brewing founder Chris Ray and Richmond Tourism Director of Sports Relations J.C. Poma. Each guest provided us with some valuable insight on what makes Richmond such a great place to visit and how to make the most of your trip to the River City.
No matter what you're interests are, there is something for you to do on a weekend day in Richmond. If you have an adventurous spirit, maybe you want to start your day with a trip down the James River with Riverside Outfitters, as recommended by J.C. Or if you're not into the water scene, perhaps a hike will suffice. Check out Belle Isle, Forest Hill Park or anywhere along the James River Park System.
If you're more in the mood for a leisurely stroll, you could head over to Maymont, a large estate that was once home to James and Sallie Dooley, a wealthy couple who left their home to the city after their passing. Today, Maymont is home to the Dooley's mansion, Italian and Japanese Gardens, and a nature center. Trey recommends visiting Maymont on a nice day in Richmond.
If you're a big history buff, the options are endless. You could head to the aptly-named Museum District and check out the Virginia Museum of History and Culture and check out their signature exhibition, The Story of Virginia. Downtown, there's the American Civil War Museum, housed in the Tredegar Iron Works building. Venture a little further downtown and you'll come across the Canal Walk, featuring signage and landmarks along the way that will illustrate Richmond's industrial history and how the canals came to be.
Food and Drink
So you've spent your morning doing some activities, and you've worked up quite the appetite. No matter where you are in the city, you can find great food, but here are some of the recommendations from our resident experts.
If you're down near the Canal Walk or Civil War Museum, consider walking across the river on the T. Tyler Potterfield Bridge. Enjoy the great views of downtown and historic quotes from the Civil War along the way. Once you reach the other side, head over the Legend Brewing (the oldest brewery in the city) for some great beer and equally as great food. Try the Brown Ale, or whatever seasonal beer is on tap at the time.
If you're further west of downtown, head over to the Scott's Addition neighborhood and go to Lunch. Yes, that's the name of the restaurant. Both Trey and J.C. recommended Lunch, which is known for its take on traditional Southern food.
After you've taken in a meal, you're ready to hit the breweries. While there are good breweries all across the city, the highest concentration of them is in Scott's Addition. If you had lunch at Lunch, you're right next to at least 10 different breweries. I would recommend checking out Ardent, The Veil and Bingo Beer Co. If you're a cider fan, you have Buskey and Blue Bee nearby.
If you want to venture outside of the city, you can head a few minutes north to Center of the Universe, which brews the official beer of the Richmond Flying Squirrels. You can't go wrong with any of the options at their taproom.
Try heading east to check out Triple Crossing in Fulton Hill, or make a stop at the east coast facility of California-based Stone Brewing.
Take in a Game at The Diamond
It's been a full day so far, but you didn't think we were going to let you end it without a ballgame did you? End your night with a game at The Diamond, home of the Richmond Flying Squirrels. The Squirrels are the AA affiliate of the San Francisco Giants.
The team is famous for the fun atmosphere at their games, with their slogan "Have FUNN, Go Nuts!" You'll be entertained in between each inning with on-field games and contest, and there is no shortage of good food. Plus, with the stadium being so close to Scott's Addition, there are plenty of beer options throughout the ballpark. And, as Trey pointed out to us on the podcast, there is a wine offering from nearby New Kent Winery, but be careful - one can of wine does not equal just one glass of wine.
So there you go, all of the activities you'll need to spend a weekend in Richmond, Virginia. Of course, make sure to check each museum, brewery and restaurant's websites or social media pages for their current COVID-19 operating policies, and stay safe and have fun visiting the state capital!
Matthew Atkins, Journalist and Baseball fan.