When planning an all-adults visit to Richmond, Virginia you'll find a wide range of activities and attractions that are ideal for couples rather than for family outings. Couples can find some spots where they can enjoy each other's company when they pursue the arts, museums, better restaurants, Richmond's outdoor garden, and riverfront attractions. These favorite places for couples to experience in Richmond include shopping, museums, and a few surprises.
The Virginia Museum of Fine Arts is a real treat for art lovers. You can spend the day perusing its ancient Indian art collection, priceless Fabergé eggs and jewelry, and British sporting paintings. You'll also find noteworthy examples of modern art, sculpture, and photography as well as the Robert and Nancy Nooter collection of Native American art from over 50 tribes. The collections inside this marble-clad museum are first-rate and if you want to bring home a souvenir of your trip to Richmond, the museum shop has an excellent selection of gifts, prints, and books.
The James River cuts through Richmond has been revitalized. Today, it's a place where couples can stroll the mile-long corridor that's home to shops and restaurants, attend a concert or other event on Brown’s Island and the Turning Basin on the Canal Walk, or ply the waters on a Richmond Canal Cruise. The Riverfront Canal Cruises feature historically-narrated tours of the James River and Kanawha Canal which was designed by George Washington.
The Richmond Riverfront is also where a Richmond National Battlefield Park Civil War Visitor Center is located. There are three floors of exhibits and artifacts on display and orientation films are shown throughout the day.
Thanks to enlightened curators, historians, and the public, the Museum of the Confederacy has taken a back seat to a more balanced perspective on the Civil War. The mission of this Richmond attraction "is to be the preeminent center for the exploration of the American Civil War and its legacies from multiple perspectives: Union and Confederate, enslaved and free African Americans, soldiers and civilians."
One of three locations that are part of the museum, the White House and Museum of the Confederacy has been restored to how it looked mid-19th century when the South came close to seceding. A 40-minute guided tour explains its history.
Richmond Magazine dubbed Julep's, located in the historic Shockoe Bottom district, one of the “top seven sensations of Richmond.” Even if you start your meal with one of the eatery's Southern Delight Mint Juleps, you may be tempted to order from the inspired wine list, which features vintages from Virginia along with other domestic and international choices. Try dishes like fried green tomatoes and shrimp and grits, but don't skip dessert: Banana Foster cheesecake with caramel topping, anyone?
Tour Scenic Monument Avenue
Richmond can be a bit warm in the summer for those not accustomed to Southern climes, so relax in the air-conditioning during a drive down the scenic and beautifully landscaped Monument Avenue. As the name implies, the avenue is punctuated with monuments of Confederate and other southern heroes set alongside some distinguished Beaux-Arts, Tudor Revival, Georgian, Roman Revival, and even Mediterranean-villa style architecture.
Built in England in the late 15th century then disassembled, crated, sent across the Atlantic Ocean, and reassembled on the banks of the James River, Agecroft Hall welcomes visitors to tour the Elizabethan house and gardens. Pause for a romantic walk among the elaborately pruned shrubs of the knot garden—you'll feel as if you're strolling back in time.
Despite being born in Boston, Edgar Allen Poe's real home was Richmond, and so his namesake museum is housed here. It was in Richmond where he came to maturity, married, and attracted a literary following. The Poe Museum provides insights into the Richmond where Poe resided and worked in the early 19th century and documents the life and career of the poet with images, poems, and artifacts. On the last Thursday of every month from April through October, the museum stays open until 8 p.m., and there's music, hors-d'oeuvres, and a cash bar. Couples can also rent the museum's Enchanted Garden for a wedding ceremony.
Richmond has a selection of great malls with a wide variety of stores. Those seeking luxury will find the latest trends in upscale goods at Stony Point Fashion Park, which has Saks Fifth Avenue as its flagship. Look for special events such as a brew fest, fun run, and Halloween fun for the whole family. Regency Square has a more approachable selection of stores, including JCPenney.
If Edgar Allen Poe's museum didn't spook you, you might be ready for a visit to Hollywood Cemetery in Richmond. Although two U.S. presidents (James Monroe and John Tyler) are buried here, the real draw is the setting itself. Walkers can stroll past fascinating monuments and read interesting epitaphs in this garden-like environment. Scenic paths wind over hills and beneath mature trees. The cemetery is open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily and until 6 p.m. during Daylight Savings Time.
This lavish, historic hotel, which opened in 1895 and reflects the sensibilities of the age, is an antique-fulled treasure. For instance, there were once separate parlors for men and women. While guest rooms have been modernized, public spaces are decorated with historic tapestries, reproduction paintings, antique replica furniture, and faux-marble columns.
You can dine in this elegant setting at Lemaire and TJ’s and take in their special afternoon tea, and Sunday Champagne brunch. Each menu features locally-sourced, sustainable ingredients and is influenced by traditional recipes typical of Richmond’s food culture.
Richmond's unique Pipeline Park is only accessible from a small catwalk, hovering over the James River right in the middle of downtown. There's a wooden staircase up to the catwalk and from there, you can access a small island where Great Blue Herons raise their chicks. At the end of the park, there's a nice wide swath of beach, perfect for picnicking or just relaxing.
When water levels are up, watching the river rage is exciting and when levels are low, giant granite boulders are exposed. Bring your binoculars because, from this area, you can also see Bailey’s Island and Devil’s Kitchen Island in the center of the river where different species of birds nest.
Beat Richmond's seemingly unavoidable heat by going out on a date for a sweet, frozen treat. Bev’s Homemade, considered by many to be Richmond's best ice cream, is a must-visit. While Bev's offers your usual array of chocolate, vanilla, and strawberry flavors, you can also try their unique daily flavors, like basil or avocado.