Photo Courtesy of Richmond Region TourismThe UCI Road World Championships Race Into Richmond in SeptemberRichmond Region Tacky LightsMaymont in the fallKayaking on the James RiverChurch in the Fan Area of Richmond, VALewis Ginter Botanical GardenFalls of the JamesSkyline of Richmond downtown

Families will love:

  • Beautiful city full of U.S. history
  • Upscale, kid-friendly dining, shopping and hotels
  • Outdoor activities and water sports

Rolling down Interstate 95 from, say, the DC direction to a southern state? Hit the brakes and stay a day -- or longer -- to get to know a seemingly small city with huge family fun.

Layered in glorious seasons (two which assure gob smacking beauty from every angle), a river parkway delivering miles of H20 excitement, incredible dining (tired of the competition, many ... more
Rolling down Interstate 95 from, say, the DC direction to a southern state? Hit the brakes and stay a day -- or longer -- to get to know a seemingly small city with huge family fun.

Layered in glorious seasons (two which assure gob smacking beauty from every angle), a river parkway delivering miles of H20 excitement, incredible dining (tired of the competition, many chefs have poured out of DC into Richmond) and, of course, history around every crook in the road, Richmond, Virginia is a perfect travel spot for families.

This trendy Southern capital - called RVA by the locals -- is no longer just the torn up, reduced-to-rubble Confederate Capital that she was when the north won (1865 to be precise). Today she's, of course, super proud of her history. Way back when, Pocahontas lived with her husband, John Wolfe, in Henrico County -- where the upscale suburb, Short Pump, sits today.

In 1775, Patrick Henry delivered his famous "Give me Liberty or Give Me Death" speech in St. John's Church that has been beautifully preserved and gives daily tours. History buffs (or those hoping the kids will become history geeks) will be astounded at the many museums and spots to learn about our country's past, including the Richmond Slave Trail, Richmond National Battlefield Park and the American Civil War Center at Historic Tredegar.

Richimond, Virginia also brims in unique neighborhoods. Shockoe Slip was the happening headquarters long ago of tobacco and cotton barons. Today, Shockoe Slip is a hip spot for canal cruises, ritzy and casual dining, and luxury hotels.

The Fan District and Carytown in Richmond, Virginia are packed with exquisite shopping (casual and chic), dining, and people watching. An Arts District is springing up with many galleries just outside of the Fan and the upscale outdoor Short Pump Mall boasts Nordstrom, Crate & Barrel, a chic hotel, fountains everywhere, great restaurants, and beautiful greens for the kids to run.

The West End is the region that locals loosely consider Short Pump and Glen Allen -- both sit about 15 minutes from Richmond proper.

While Richmond doesn't sit on the Atlantic, there's a ton of water fun to be found, in fact, Richmond, Virginia is the only place in the country where extensive class III (class IV with above average river levels) whitewater conditions exist within sight of skyscrapers. Kayaking and whitewater rafting through town, anyone? For more water, King's Dominion delivers wild coasters for thrill seekers and an immense water park for the hot and cranky. (Dip for the day in water and they come out sweet.)

Kids will also thrill to a host of Richmond activities built just for them including the Children's Museum of Richmond (with three locations), the Science Museum of Virginia and a section in the world class Virginia Museum of Fine Arts just for the cute set.

Written by Wendy Irvine less

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