As part of the 12 trips in 12 months series, Jeff and I flew to Richmond, VA recently and explored the city for a long weekend, in partnership with Uber, a ride request app available in over 500 cities around the world. I had never been to Richmond before and really didn’t know what to expect (other than being excited to visit one of my favorite online store’s brick and mortar location). But it was really, really charming. And I absolutely want to go back again soon.
We managed to hit up pretty much everything we were hoping to (and more) – all without getting heat stroke. It was really hot that weekend. Click through for all of my fave places to eat, drink, shop, stay, etc in Richmond, Virginia. Also known as RVA.
We flew into Richmond from Atlanta (only an hour and a half flight) and arrived at the airport early Friday morning. But with only a couple of days to explore before heading back home, we wanted to hit the ground running. So we took an uberX from the airport and hightailed it to the hotel to put our bags down and change. Then we were out and about for the rest of the day. And it was pretty much go-go-go the entire weekend.
There are tons of old buildings that have been restored / revitalized and there’s plenty to do…I didn’t even touch on all of the outdoorsy stuff. But I’ll save that for another time. This list is long enough as it is. And speaking of which, here’s my (rather lengthy) list of cool spots to eat, shop, and drink in Richmond…
Where to Stay in Richmond
Quirk Hotel: This hotel is probably one of the coolest places we’ve stayed this year. It feels in some ways like it’s straight our of a Wes Anderson movie, but in other ways feels completely unique to itself. If you like art, good design, and the color pink, you’ll def want to stay here. There’s a great rooftop bar and a restaurant downstairs. Plus, it’s connected to Quirk Gallery (which also has a great little shop).
HI Richmond Hostel: We didn’t stay here or visit in person, but I’ve heard good things. If you are interested in going the hostel route, this would probably be your best bet.
Where to Eat and Drink in Richmond
Brenner Pass: We couldn’t get in here because there were no reservations available while we were in town (so book this one ahead if you can), but it looks pretty cool and was recommended by several different locals that we talked to.
Metzger: German-influenced food and cocktails.
Graffiato: An Italian-inspired restaurant with hand-rolled pastas, artisanal pizzas and small plates. I really liked their hand cut spagetti and the American pie pizza.
Maple & Pine: It’s Quirk’s downstairs restaurant and it’s delicious. Really good cocktails too.
Charm School Social Club: So nice, we went twice. This ice cream and coffee shop is cute and delicious. The peanut butter fudge ice cream is my fave.
Whisk: This place is cute. They have sandwiches, pastries, coffee, etc. And they make macaron ice cream sandwiches!
Stella’s: If you like Greek food, this is your spot.
Eleven Months: This Carytown spot is really cool. It’s a home for rotating restaurant bar concepts. I’m not sure how often new concepts rotate in and out, but whenever they do, everything changes – the decor, the menu, the cocktails, etc.
Coffee Shops in Richmond
Lamplighter: There are several locations and we were only able to go to the one across the street from NA NIN (on Addison St), but I’m sure all three locations are good. Coffee, tea, etc. They have a small selection of donuts too – the Boston creme donut is really good!
Sugar & Twine: This coffee and pastries / baked goods spot is in Carytown, right around some of the other places on the list. Try the homemade oreos!
Alchemy Coffee: Coffee and baked goods. Get the potato hand pie – it’s delicious.
Where to Shop in Richmond
Need Supply: Jeff and I shop the Need Supply online store WAY too much. So we were both happy to be able to finally visit the brick and mortar shop. Jeff had to take an uberX back to the hotel after this stop, if that tells you how much we like this place, so we wouldn’t have to carry around bags all day. And I stayed in Carytown to take photos and scope out some other spots. I think I’ve mentioned this before, but whenever Jeff or I are traveling without the other, we always use the ETA sharing feature. It’s kind of the best because you can track the ride and see where the car is in real time.
ANYWAY. One more thing about Need Supply… There’s a good amount of inventory in the store, but it’s no where near what you’ll find online. SO, here’s a tip: Browse the online store ahead of time and call the shop a few days before you’re planning to visit to ask if they can make sure any specific online items you want to see in person are available at the store when you come in. They can bring anything from the online store over to the shop from the warehouse, which I really wish I would have known before we got there. One of the girl’s that works there mentioned that to us while we were checking out, so I wanted to pass it along.
NA NIN: This little shop is so well curated and has a great vibe – brands like Samantha Pleet, Ace & Jig, Nu Swim, and lots more. They have a great online shop too, if you’re not planning a trip to Richmond anytime soon.
NA NIN is right across the street from the Addison Lamplighter location and there are two shops next door that looked interesting too. I didn’t go in (different style), but I think they’d be worth checking out too if you’re already there.
Verdalina: This shop is right down the street from Quirk and is definitely worth checking out. The shop owner, Deborah, is really kind and carries some brands that I really love too…Jesse Kamm, Rachel Comey, Ulla Johnson, etc.
Quirk Gallery: Love this little gallery and shop attached to the Quirk hotel. They do small workshops on the weekends sometimes (it was screen printing while we were there), which is pretty fun. And the shop carries great small housewares, jewelry, etc.
Other Things to Do in Richmond
Maymont Gardens: This one is a fun stop and it’s free (they accept donations though). They have Italian gardens and Japanese gardens. The Italian gardens were were are the flowers were and the Japanese garden has a waterfall. There’s even a petting zoo (which we didn’t get a chance to visit).
Bike Riding: In between Uber rides, we road bikes around to a handful of places in the city one day and it was super fun. I highly recommend renting some if you can, even if it’s just for a few hours. If you stay at the Quirk hotel you can rent their bikes for free.
Virginia Museum of Fine Art: The fine art museum was worth checking out. The mid to late 20th century collection was my fave. In the museum photo, I’m standing between a Rothenberg and a Sultan. I was pretty into the work of Susan Rothenberg when I was in college and I’d never seen a piece of hers that large before.
Galleries: There were a bunch of other little galleries right around the hotel as well, that we passed by. If we had more time, I think we would have explored those more.
Have you ever been to Richmond, VA? Did I get everything on the list of must-visits?
This post is in partnership with Uber. All opinions are my own. Thank you for supporting the brands that help keep Paper & Stitch running.