Looking to explore the city? You name it, it’s here. Art galleries, museums, gardens, river adventures and more are here for you to discover.

Museums

Museums

American Civil War Museum

Located at 1201 E. Clay St., adjacent to the restored historic White House of the Confederacy, this modern facility holds the world’s most comprehensive collection of military, political and domestic artifacts and art associated with the period of the Confederacy, 1861-1865.

Beth Ahabah Museum and Archives

Located in Richmond’s beautiful Fan district, this museum has a collection of artifacts representing Jewish history and life. As the oldest and largest synagogue in Richmond, Beth Ahabah offers a wide range of programming—from interest-based study to a modern vision for Jewish education, to family practice at home to thought-provoking discussions.

Black History Museum & Cultural Center

Through visual, oral and written records and artifacts, the Museum seeks to become a permanent repository commemorating the lives and accomplishments of Blacks in Virginia. The Museum collects documents, limited editions, prints, art and photographs for use in its Black History Archives Program. The collection has materials that date back to 1619.

Children’s Museum of Richmond

You can’t miss the Children’s Museum of Richmond! Literally, you can’t miss it, there is a HUGE red puzzle piece right in front of this fun museum at its Broad Street location. This amazingly interactive museum is a great way for children to move through exhibitions that help them learn more about their world. In addition to its location on Broad Street (blocks from VCU’s campus), other locations can be found in Short Pump (the West End), Chesterfield (the South Side) and up in Fredericksburg.

Edgar Allen Poe Museum

Once upon a midnight dreary…would be a scary time to go visit Richmond’s Poe Museum, which boasts the world’s finest collection of Edgar Allan Poe’s manuscripts, letters, first editions, memorabilia and personal belongings.

Maggie L. Walker House National Historic Site

This site commemorates the life of a progressive and talented African American woman who achieved great success, specifically in the world of finance. Maggie Walker was the first woman in the United States to found and serve as president of  the oldest surviving banks in the United States. At this historic site you can see what was once her home and check out information about her life and the surrounding neighborhood.

Richmond National Battlefield Park

The Richmond National Battlefield Park commemorates several sites associated with the campaigns made by the Union to capture Richmond from the Confederacy. It also protects hundreds of acres of historic land. Tours of the grounds are available.

Richmond Railroad Museum

The Richmond Railway Museum seeks to tell the story of railroads in the central Virginia area over the past 150 years through artifacts, equipment, paper memorabilia, maps and photographs displayed in the freight room and the station master’s office. The story of Richmond’s rail history is also told with restored railroad rolling stock on track adjacent to the museum building.

Science Museum of Virginia

It’s okay to touch the exhibits at the Science Museum of Virginia. Channel your inner child in this fun, interactive museum has lots of opportunities for hands-on learning. The dome theater at the museum is an awesome venue for checking out films that will take your breath away!

Valentine Museum

Through its changing exhibitions, the Valentine Museum features artifacts that detail Richmond’s 400 year history and life. The museum concentrates on urban and social history and the decorative arts. Exhibitions, tours, special events, research opportunities, school programs and other public programs engage the broadest audience in an ongoing dialogue about the significance and relevance of the city’s history.

Virginia Historical Society

Full of rarely seen Virginian artifacts and learning opportunities. To learn more about Virginia’s history you can visit for an event, to peruse the library, or just to explore one of their many exhibitions

Virginia Holocaust Museum

Through its permanent exhibitions, the Virginia Holocaust Museum is a powerful reminder of the atrocities of the Shoah, the sacrifices of its victims, the bravery of its heroes and the courage of the survivors. The Museum’s commitment to Tolerance Through Education, encapsulates its goal to combat intolerance, anti-Semitism, racism, prejudice, fear and hatred with knowledge, understanding, compassion and acceptance.

Virginia Museum of Fine Arts

As one of the top ten art museums in the country, the VMFA showcases artwork from around the world, highlighting pieces from ancient Egypt all the way up to modern day America. In addition to its permanent and traveling exhibitions, VCUarts’ Fashion department has its annual show at the VMFA, one of the hottest tickets around. There are always special collections and events to see, so if you are an art lover, you don’t want to miss visiting this museum.

Galleries

Galleries

1708

1708 Gallery is a non-profit space that was created by a group of artists who were passionate about creating an environment that allowed for innovation and artistic appreciation. One of those artists who served as a driving force behind the inception of 1708 was former VCUarts Dean, Joe Seipel. 1708 Gallery is one of the oldest artist-run galleries in the nation and continues to serve as a mainstay in the Richmond arts community.

 

ADA

ADA Gallery exhibits the work of exceptional, emerging and mid-career artists from across the country, with a particular focus on contemporary artists from the Mid-Atlantic region. 

Gallery Five

This firehouse-turned-gallery and music venue is an RVA staple. There is always a band, show, performance, exhibition or dance party happening here. Gallery5 showcases cutting-edge contemporary art exhibitions that are designed to further innovation and encourage dialogue among artists and audiences. Gallery5′s exhibitions range from themed solo or group shows, international notables, local favorites and emerging unknowns whose works deserve more public exposure. Be sure to check out their calendar of events when you are planning your night out in Richmond.

Glave Kocen Gallery

Owned and co-director by husband and wive team Jennifer Glave and BJ Kocen, the glave kocen gallery features contemporary artists in 3,200 square feet of exhibition space. The gallery, which opened in 2007, is located just a few blocks from VCUarts and is home to over 30 exclusive artists.

Page Bond Gallery

The Page Bond Gallery exhibits a broad range of contemporary art in a variety of media, including painting, sculpture, photography, printmaking and ceramics. The gallery’s exhibitions and artists address a wide range of stylistic and contextual concerns, through the work of artists with regional, national and international reputations.

Quirk Gallery

Quirk Gallery, a long standing Richmond staple, recently expanded to become Quirk Hotel + Gallery. The gallery is adjacent to the glamorous new design-driven hotel and has a boutique shop with tons of local and handmade goods, fun books, jewelry and toys, as well as a beautiful gallery space dedicated to exhibitions of new work every six weeks.

Reynolds Gallery

This Main street gallery exhibits contemporary work from artists from all over the country. Be sure to check them out when planning your First Fridays route.

Sediment Gallery

A new artist run space, store, and occasional music venue, Sediment Gallery features an awesome cassette collection, many rare zines and printed items, as well as a catalog of all past exhibitions and performances. This gallery is a few blocks off the beaten “First Fridays” path, but is a great place to get a sense of the local Richmond arts community.

Studio Two Three

Started by a group of VCUarts alumni, Studio Two Three is a non-profit, shared studio space for printmaking, photography, and more. Studio Two Three has printmaking shows in its gallery space and hosts workshops on printmaking, photography, graphic design, bookmaking, textiles, and shooting super 8 films. The Studio hosts many events, special classes and field trips, and community forums as well!

The Anderson

The Anderson is an exhibition and program space for VCUarts students. It supports experimentation, professionalism and work across disciplines. The Anderson is home to the annual VCUarts Juried Undergraduate Arts + Design Exhibitions, and MFA Thesis Exhibitions.

Visual Arts Center

Offering the largest selection of non-university arts courses in Richmond, as well as exhibitions, community outreach programs and film screening events, the Visual Arts Center is an important part of Richmond’s art centric atmosphere. And it’s located near VCU!

Shopping

Shopping

Ashby

Ashby has a huge selection of gently used name brand clothes and shoes, handmade jewelry and unique vintage items. True to their slogan, “Almost Everything is Under $30,” Ashby offers great deals on high quality clothing items!

Bygones Vintage Clothing

Repeatedly named “Richmond’s Best Vintage Store” by several publications, Bygones is a high quality vintage shop that has amazing pieces from several eras. They carry a large selection of men’s and women’s clothing and accessories from 1900 to 1970. Gowns to gloves, tuxedos to tiaras, fishnets to fedora hats, if you are interested in all things vintage you cannot miss Bygones!

Chop Suey Books

While the adorable store cat Wonton will probably draw you in, you will want to stay for the extensive selection of books at Chop Suey. It may look small from the outside, but inside you’ll find so many books from virtually every genre imaginable. The huge art book and graphic novel sections are a must see. Chop Suey also sells books written and published by local Richmond authors!

Diversity Thrift

“Richmond’s Progressive Bargain Store,” Diversity Thrift was opened in 2000 as a way for the Richmond Gay Community Foundation to raise money for direct grants to be awarded to non-profits working to better the community for LGBTQ folks. Diversity Thrift is for the truly committed bargain hunter. The main location (with a rainbow painted side that can be spotted from I-95) is comprised of rooms both big and small, that are dedicated to different items: books, clothes, housewares, furniture, etc. You can be sure that you will find a deal here, just treat your visit like a treasure hunt and you will not be disappointed! There is also a large community center next to the store. Various community events, including Richmond Zine Fest, are held here throughout the year!

Rest in Pieces

This is Richmond’s only true oddities shop. Rest in Pieces specializes in “affordable curiosities” and the ethical sourcing of animal specimens, bones, taxidermy and more. These licensed taxidermists take custom orders and are constantly acquiring new collectibles. Their online shop represents only a fraction of the weirdness they have in store for the interested (some would say morbidly curious) customer.

Rumors Boutique

This super hip consignment boutique was started by VCUarts alumni. The crew at Rumors are buying, selling and trading clothing daily and are handpicking each item for sale to ensure a wide selection of high quality clothing. Don’t miss this place if you love fashion and the RVA style! $-$$$

Velocity Comics

Whether you’re a Marvel fan, a DC fan, or just a comix fan comic lovers can come to Velocity Comics to find what they’re looking for. Velocity has a wide variety of graphic novels and zines for you to choose from (or can order it for you). New inventory ships to the store every Wednesdays, so be sure to mark that in your calendar to grab the latest copies of your favorite comics.

World of Mirth

World of Mirth is an amazing shop offering unique toys for kids of all ages. This shop has been described as Pee Wee’s House meets Dr. Seuss. You can find wooden baby toys, soft plush animals, games, crafts, books, tees for babies and toddlers, collectible vinyl toys, Mexican folk art and so much more. From giant stuffed Totoro dolls to Dr. Who figurines, this is the perfect place to get a child’s birthday or holiday gift (even if that kid is actually and adult). $-$$$

Outdoor Fun

Outdoor Fun

Belle Isle

Belle Isle is one of the most popular spots for Richmonders to go to enjoy the James River. Once you cross a suspended footbridge over the river, enjoy hiking, bike trails, rocks for lounging on and plenty of areas to swim in.

Brown’s Island Park

This park is home to countless annual festivals as well as the Friday Cheers summer music concert series. This downtown park is also a great place to see the urban stretch of the James River.

Hollywood Cemetery

Hollywood Cemetery is a beautiful place to visit the grave of a loved-one or a historic figure, go on a long relaxing walk or take in the James River from the cemetery’s amazing view. This expansive cemetery’s steel and stone construction can be explored through carefully designed winding paths. Take in the beautiful hand-crafted statuesque headstones and family mausoleums as you stroll though the cemetery and you will feel like you have journeyed back in time!

Lewis Ginter Botanical Gardens

One of the most-visited attractions in the Richmond area, Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden offers year-round beauty on a historic property with more than 50 acres of spectacular gardens, dining and shopping. If you have kids, there’s a children’s garden complete with a ground fountain – perfect for cooling off on a hot, summer day.

Manchester Climbing Wall

This 60-foot granite wall is a remnant of a railroad bridge that was utilized during much of the 19th century. Here you can find climbing opportunities for climbers of all skill levels.

Maymont

The former estate of James Henry and Sallie Dooley who lived there from 1893 through 1925, Maymont is a special place where the man-made elegance of art and architecture is surrounded by the natural beauty of plants, animals, water and paths. Whether strolling through the gardens, touring the mansion, watching river otters play, petting a goat or picnicking on the lawn, Maymont is a gift of 100 acres given for all to enjoy.

North Bank Trail and Texas Beach

A long thin trail provides swimmers and sunbathers with access to several private rocks and sandy beaches. It is also a beautiful area for walking and a fun challenge for mountain bikers. Be sure to have good shoes, because this trail has lots of twists and turns, but it’s a hidden gem in the city!

Pipeline Rapids Walkway

This river spot can be accessed from the Canal Walk at South 12th and Byrd streets or from the east end of Brown’s Island. There is a raised pathway that runs above a huge Richmond pipeline and along the pipeline rapids. This is a great area of the river for seasonal bird watching, beautiful overlooks and swimming (when the water levels permit). 

Richmond Slave Trail

Richmond Slave Trail is a walking trail that chronicles the history of the trade of enslaved Africans from Africa to Virginia until 1775, and away from Virginia, especially Richmond, to other locations in the Americas until 1865. It begins at Manchester Docks, a major port in the massive downriver Slave Trade that made Richmond the largest source of enslaved Africans on the east coast of America from 1830 to 1860. The trail then follows a route through the slave markets of Richmond, beside the Reconciliation Statue commemorating the international triangular slave trade, past Lumpkin’s Slave Jail and the Negro Burial Ground to First African Baptist Church, a center of African-American life in pre-Civil War Richmond.

Music Venues

Music Venues

Altria Theater

This venue has a long history of hosting famous music acts including Diana Ross and Elvis! Though it has gone through a few name changes (from the Mosque to Landmark) Altria Theatre still shows famous acts in music and culture. Altria is also home to the Broadway in Richmond theatre season. Students are lucky to have this venue in the heart of campus (which is often the home to VCUarts Commencement)!

Brown’s Island Park

This park is home to countless annual festivals as well as the Friday Cheers summer music concert series. This downtown park is also a great place to see the urban stretch of the James River.

Gallery Five

This firehouse-turned-gallery and music venue is an RVA staple. There is always a band, show, performance, exhibition or dance party happening here. Gallery5 showcases cutting-edge contemporary art exhibitions that are designed to further innovation and encourage dialogue among artists and audiences. Gallery5′s exhibitions range from themed solo or group shows, international notables, local favorites and emerging unknowns whose works deserve more public exposure. Be sure to check out their calendar of events when you are planning your night out in Richmond.

Richmond CenterStage

Dedicated to providing a diverse local and world-class performing arts experience, Richmond CenterStage represents a collection of inspirational venues—all to strengthen the cultural and economic vitality of Greater Richmond. Richmond CenterStage hosts a range of resident arts companies and other performing arts groups in a collaborative environment. The venues that make up Richmond CenterStage include: Carpenter Theatre and Dorothy Pauley Square (which houses Rhythm Hall, Showcase Gallery, the Libby S. Gottwald Playhouse and the Genworth BrightLights Education Center) and Altria Theater at Monroe Park.

Strange Matter

Strange Matter is an arcade, music venue, and bar with great food, agreed upon by vegans and meat eaters. $

The Broadberry

This is Richmond’s newest venue and it can hold over 300 people! The venue’s size and convenient location in the city attracts many regional and national bands.

The Firehouse Theatre

Housed in a decommissioned firehouse, this theatre premiers new plays and musicals, creates safe and supportive spaces for new work and hosts established artists from many disciplines. Firehouse is also home to The Listening Room which hosts local and regional bands a few times each season.