Whether you want to meander from one historic landmark to the next, stroll the boutique shops downtown, or follow your adventurous spirit to the banks of the gorgeous James River, Richmond has something for every season.
Because most of the activities in and around the city take place outdoors, it's best to visit during the high season, which is generally May through October. Although temperatures typically reach the low 90s during June and July, the heat deters some tourists and makes activities in and around the city more accessible.
January through March is considered Richmond’s low season. Temperatures fall to the low 30s and the chance for snow becomes an imminent promise. Hotel prices during low season tend to mimic the drop in climate, freeing up funds to spend at one of the nearby ski resorts. Richmond experiences a colorful fall complete with pleasant temperatures and changing leaves. As a result, hotel prices are higher in October and November.
The Richmond International Airport is less than 10 miles away from the downtown area, making transportation to and from the city easy. The airport has rental car and taxi services, and many of the local hotels have complimentary airport shuttles.
As for transportation from one activity to the next, Richmond has an extensive public bus system with low fares and stops all over the metro area. For something a little different, enjoy the RVA Trolley, which takes sightseers on historic landmark tours of the city.
Richmond has an active pedestrian bicycle and trails commission, making it one of the more walker and cyclist-friendly cities in the country. The metro area has sidewalks and crosswalks on every street corner, so you can lace up and see the city on foot. There are also bike lanes on most streets and avenues as well as many bike rental shops in the area.
Richmond offers plenty of cheap hotel options both in the heart of the city and the outskirts. If you’re looking for low-cost accommodations close to the city center, the DoubleTree by Hilton and the Holiday Inn Express are in the middle of it all.
If you’re looking for an affordable room with a view of the spectacular James River, the Omni Hotel and unique Berkley Hotel are within sight and walking distance of the river’s banks. For a view of Richmond’s historic Virginia State Capitol, the Commonwealth Park Suites Hotel is another great place to call home on your visit.
For inexpensive accommodations in the Richmond area, the Motel 6 Richmond and the Comfort Inn Conference Center are only two miles from downtown. There are also cheap hotels in Richmond with an indoor pool like the Hampton Inn & Suites, which is a great stay just a short drive away from the city.
Richmond was founded in the late 1700s, and the city’s historical significance lends itself to quaint, affordable bed and breakfasts from the bygone days. The Museum District B&B on Grove Avenue was built in 1922 and is steps away from the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts and the Virginia Historical Society.
There’s also The William Catlin House, which is in the heart of the Church Hill neighborhood in east Richmond. This inexpensive bed and breakfast is a walk away from beautiful parks, the banks of the James River, and The Museum of Edgar Allan Poe.
For a little slice of history closer to the city's center, The William Miller House Bed and Breakfast and the West Bocock House were both built in the early 1900’ and offer guests serene, unique accommodations that won’t break the travel budget. Two blocks away from these iconic B&Bs is Monroe Park, which offers strollers the perfect shady afternoon walk.
A growing trend in travel lodging is Airbnb, and Richmond has plenty of affordable Airbnb rooms, apartments, and homes to choose from. Because homeowners who use Airbnb don’t typically compete with other hotels in the area, their rates are lower from season to season.
Whether you’re looking for a quiet room in a cottage home in Richmond’s historic Fan District or an upscale loft in the downtown area, the Airbnb options in the city are plentiful. And, with rates consistently less than $100, going the houseguest route is a pretty cheap way to travel.
Luxury and affordability don’t usually go hand-in-hand, but Richmond does have luxury accommodations at lower prices. At the top of the cost list is The Jefferson*, an elegant and stately hotel that first opened its doors in 1895. Rates for this historic hotel fluctuate with the lowest prices coinciding with the January to March months.
The Linden Row Inn, located in west Richmond, offers all the elegance and history of the luxurious Jefferson, but at affordable hotel prices. Finally, off the beaten path and a bit closer to the Blue Ridge Mountains is The Hilton Richmond Hotel and Spa, which has lower rates that fall inline with the city’s high and low months.
There's something for everyone in Richmond, from Civil War battlefield sites to rafting the exciting James River. The Kings Dominion theme park offers thrill seekers a chance to ride daring roller coasters while the Lewis Ginter Botanical Gardens will satisfy your green thumb with more than 40 acres of diverse perennials.
Richmond is a nature lover’s paradise with tons of outdoor activities that are free of charge. If you like walking trails, then Pony Pasture Park, Windsor Farms, and Forest Hill Park are all great options for enjoying the great outdoors. In addition, the rapids of the James River run right through the city, which makes guided rafting tours a great afternoon excursion during the summer months.
Remnants of the past speckle Richmond’s streets and parks, giving visitors glimpses of history at every turn. The Canal Walk, which stretches 1.25 miles along the James River, gives visitors a timeline of Richmond’s history from its Civil War roots to the present day. In addition, the Richmond area also has multiple battlefield sites including Cold Harbor and Beaver Dam Creek.
If you’re looking for fun without all the sun, then Richmond has you covered. The Virginia Museum of Fine Art, the American Civil War Center, and the Valentine Richmond History Center are all great options for visitors interested in the city’s rich and storied past.
For visitors who love to shop, the historic Carytown neighborhood has nine blocks of boutique shops and specialty stores. The Chesterfield Towne Center and The Shops at Willow Lawn provide more mainstream shopping options with national retailers and eateries.
The Richmond area has more than 900 restaurants that range in taste from traditional Southern cuisine to exotic, international fare. Locally owned restaurants are found throughout the city and include farm-to-table eateries as well as classic soul food cafés and one-of-a-kind gastropubs.
Downtown Richmond is known for its nightlife, so make sure you leave room for some drinks. Main Street, 6th Street, and Cary Street are lined with friendly bars, great craft breweries, and plenty of live music. There’s also a growing wine culture on the cobblestone streets of downtown, which means you’ll have plenty of wine bars and bistros to choose from.
Richmond hosts the annual Virginia Wine Expo at the Greater Richmond Convention Center each February, which brings some of the greatest winemakers from all across the country to the historic city. In addition, the Carytown Food and Wine Festival in October combines the best wine and most delicious treats the city has to offer in one mouth-watering event.
There’s so much to see and do in Richmond that chances are you might miss out on an event or activity during your stay. Luckily, the Visit Richmond VA website has plenty of to-do lists for visitors of all varieties.
The Visitor Center in the Richmond International Airport is also a great resource for finding your way to the different attractions and activities in and around the city. There’s also Richmond’s main Visitor Center, which is located on the first floor of the Convention Center on downtown 3rd Street. This particular center has a more extensive listing of local activities as well as free maps of the city and destinations within.
From historic sites and Civil War landmarks to cheap hotels, Richmond really is a one-stop spot for the ultimate vacation. No matter what you’re looking for in a great getaway to Richmond, HipMunk can help you find the best travel and hotel accommodations in and around the city.
* The Jefferson is NOT included on HipMunk
© 2015 Hipmunk, Inc. Hipmunk is a trademark of Hipmunk, Inc.
© 2015 Hipmunk, Inc. Hipmunk is a trademark of Hipmunk, Inc.