Omni Richmond Hotel
100 SOUTH 12TH STREET
Richmond, Virginia 23219

48 Hour Weekend in Richmond Itinerary

When settlers reached Virginia in the early 1600s, Richmond was one of the first settlements that popped up, giving the city a long and storied history. Through its rich past and ties with its Southern roots, the area is becoming known for other reasons as well: its flourishing culinary scene, its countless outdoor adventures and its booming artist community.

Situated on the banks of the James River, the upscale Omni Richmond Hotel makes the perfect base from which to bring this two-day itinerary to life.

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Day One

Morning

Only a block away from the hotel, Citizen is a great place to grab a quick breakfast on your first morning in Richmond. The cozy restaurant offers a wonderful selection of dishes, including a scrambled egg and cheese slider, huevos rancheros, a breakfast burrito and an egg and cheddar torta.

A little further away, in the museum district, sits a restaurant named Lunch. Supper! Stop by to enjoy a surprise brunch menu, featuring build-your-own breakfast sandwiches, house omelets and special plates like the A.M. quesadilla, Belgian waffles and the Flying Shrimp breakfast bowl.

While in the area, take advantage of how many museums are located nearby. Start your adventures at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, where you’ll see everything from ancient Greek pottery to early 20th-century European paintings to Russian Fabergé eggs.

Those with kids will also want to make a trip to the Science Museum of Virginia, where exhibits, artifacts and technologies work hand-in-hand to reveal glimpses of science. Permanent exhibits include those on space, electricity and health, and there is a dome-shaped theater as well. Younger children may prefer the Children's Museum of Richmond, which is next door.

Photo courtesy of Richmond Region Tourism

Afternoon

Head back to the hotel for lunch at Trevi’s Grille. The on-site trattoria within the hotel’s atrium offers soups, salads, sandwiches and pastas, like the pappardelle Bolognese and the minestrone soup, as well as a selection of savory flatbreads.

A lunchtime alternative is Rappahannock, a chic, airy seafood spot with an oyster bar. Sip specialty cocktails while dining on Hamachi crudo, pan-seared fish with black garlic marinade, seafood paella, baked escargot, wood-grilled octopus, oysters, clams and more.

Next up, soak up some of Richmond’s history with a trip to The Valentine. This downtown mansion museum offers a look into the area’s 400-year history, from art and jazz music to everyday life. Another spot worth visiting is the John Marshall House, a historic landmark and the former home of the former Chief Justice.

After taking in some newfound knowledge, pay a visit to the James River Park System, a public park along the riverfront that offers endless activities: canoeing, kayaking, wildlife viewing and bird watching, cycling, fishing, stand-up paddleboarding, rock climbing, swimming and more.

Photo courtesy of Richmond Region Tourism

Evening

For dinner, make yourself at home at Comfort, a Southern-themed restaurant with cozy brick walls and a great selection of whiskeys and wines. After enjoying a salad as an appetizer, dine on roasted chicken, meatloaf, fried catfish, pulled pork or even rabbit.
 
Another option is to enjoy a meal at L’Opposum, a popular restaurant that may require a reservation due to local enthusiasm. Try it for yourself; you’ll find an eclectic menu of French-inspire cuisine like French onion dup with pecan-currant rye bread, bouillabaisse, jumbo crab cakes, beef wellington and more.

When dinner is finished, hit the Richmond Beer Trail in search of the best brews the city has to offer. There are numerous breweries throughout the city limits, but the best are concentrated along this path, including the Champion Brewing Co. and Triple Crossing Brewing.

Afterward, head out in search of live music. Local spots like The Broadberry, The National and The Canal Club are great bets to find varying styles and keep you entertained throughout the evening.

Photo courtesy of Richmond Region Tourism

Day Two

Morning

Those seeking a light meal in the morning will love Shockoe Espresso & Roastery, just on the other side of the hotel. The focus here is on the artisan coffee but the thoughtful menu includes oatmeal, French toast, biscuits and gravy, breakfast sandwiches and tortilla wraps.

Or visit Perly's Restaurant & Delicatessen, a retro yet innovative Jewish deli serving up corned beef hash, potato latkes, breakfast bagels, cinnamon French toast, frittatas, schnitzel and more.

Next, head over to Maymont Park for the morning. This public space, which also includes a 100-acre Victorian estate, offers so many experiences and activities for those of any age. From the farm to the nature center to VIP animal encounters, there is plenty of wildlife to spot, with various gardens and plants as well.

The sprawling Hollywood Cemetery is located near the park as well, in the Oregon Hill neighborhood. Visit this garden cemetery, which offers scenic views of the river, to locate former President James Monroe’s tomb as well as a monument dedicated to former President John Tyler.

Photo courtesy of Richmond Region Tourism

Afternoon

After wandering the Maymont Park area, head to Carytown for a casual lunch at Carytown Burgers & Fries. The eatery blends chuck and top sirloin to create their burger patties for specialty burgers like the Dude, which is served with bacon and barbecue sauce on Texas Toast, and the Flying Squirrel, which features peanut butter as a main ingredient.

Another option is Stella’s, a modern Greek restaurant with a communal table that facilitates new friendships by encouraging conversation between strangers. Try the hummus and tabbouleh with pita bread, lamb frites, lentil soup, moussaka or tzatziki.

Stick close to Carytown for the afternoon, as it’s a great place for shopping. There are more than 230 shops in this area, comprising everything from home décor and fashion to health and beauty. You’ll also find specialty spots focusing on things like bicycles, crafts, kids, baked goods, beer and wine, costumes, electronics and more.

Couple shopping

Evening

Head out for a night on the town, beginning with dinner at Brenner Pass, which serves up a seasonal European-inspired menu, bringing flavors of the alps to the plate. Enjoy cheese and charcuterie or family-style dishes and fondue before the main event. Whether dining on wild boar shank, leek risotto, quail or citrus salad, the flavors are certainly unique.

The Roosevelt is also a popular choice with savvy diners. This restaurant, housed in a turn-of-the-last-century building in Church Hill, Richmond's oldest neighborhood, serves up an nontraditional interpretation of Southern food. The Southern poutine is a cult favorite and a must try. An equal attraction is the selection of craft cocktails.

On your last night in town, attend a show by the Virginia Repertory Theatre. A typical season for the group includes five limited-run stage shows, like “Mary Poppins,” “Shakespeare in Love” and “West Side Story.”

Wind down the evening back at the hotel at Trevi’s Lounge. Relax in the plush leathers and reminisce about your time in Richmond while sipping on an specialty martini or Manhattan.

Photo courtesy of The Roosevelt

If you have more time...

Stick around to enjoy even more museums, from the American Civil War Museum to museums dedicated to everything from the poet Edgar Allan Poe (The Poe Museum) to the holocaust (Virginia Holocaust Museum). The state capitol building is also worth a visit.

Or, step back in time and catch a movie at The Byrd. Built in 1928, this theater (only 3 miles from the hotel) is a State and National Historic landmark. The architectural gem is one of the most impressive movie palaces in the country, with marble walls, golf-leaf arches and patterned, mohair-covered seats.

The Omni Richmond Hotel concierge team contributed to this article.

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