Weekend Trip to #RVA

Visit Friday, February 14 – Monday, February 17, 2020

We take advantage of every long weekend the military offers us and we love the opportunity to explore the areas we live. Being on the east coast, we enjoy a quick day’s drive to America’s historic locations.

We had both been to the Williamsburg area as kids but wanted to visit again now that we could fully comprehend where we were visiting. We had heard fun things about Richmond, Virginia and decided that’s where we were going to stay!

A 3.5 hour drive from the Fort Bragg area to RVA put us at our Airbnb in the Jackson Ward area. We had an awful experience here so we aren’t linking it. It was actually the third Airbnb that we had to book last minute since the other two canceled on us. Crazy!

Fun Fact: Jackson Ward is where the Bojangles founder is from!


Friday night was Valentine’s Day so we only wanted a quick dinner. Wong Gonzalez was still open and we were very happy they had no wait…it was delicious! A fun take on an Asian/Mexican food joint, you have to get their wings and the burrito.

Saturday morning we took an Uber to the Church Hill neighborhood. The streets are more than confusing so if you can catch a ride instead of drive, I would recommend it! We ate breakfast at the highly recommended WPA Bakery which offered delicious coffee, desserts, cakes and breakfast sandwiches at low prices. There were numerous locals in and out all morning and I’m not sure you’d be disappointed with anything to order.

Other breakfast/brunch options are the Proper Pie Co.and the Sub Rosa Bakery.

All pictures, videos and real time events are saved on my Instagram highlights. Check it out here! 

A few blocks away you’ll want to stop by the historic St. John’s Church 2401 E Broad St, Richmond, VA 23223. This is the site of prominent meetings and decision-making including the 1775 Virginia Convention where Patrick Henry, George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Peyton Randolph and other prominent Virginians were delegates. Patrick Henry also gave his “Give me liberty…or give me death!” speech at the time at this location. Several historical figures are buried here.

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If you’re sticking around Church Hill looking for something to do:

  • Patrick Henry Park
  • Take note of the old “Uneeda Biscuit” advertisement mural on the corner of 25th and Broad. You’re going to see a lot of great ghost murals and new murals all over walls in the RVA.

Another 10 min walk to The Edgar Allen Poe Museum $6-8 tickets (free for military and several other discounts available!) This was a small walk through museum of one of Poe’s childhood homes and his preettttyyy weirdddd life. Like, he married his cousin and his death remains a mystery weird.

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Also nearby is Libby Hill Park. Libby Hill Park and see the vista that gave Richmond its name for a striking resemblance to Richmond Upon Thames in England. You’ll want to join the many, many folks who Instagram this view (hashtags #RVA and #VisitRichmond will get you lots of likes). Libby Hill Park and see the vista that gave Richmond its name for a striking resemblance to Richmond Upon Thames in England. You’ll want to join the many, many folks who Instagram this view (hashtags #RVA and #VisitRichmond will get you lots of likes).

If you’re in a walking mood and ready to see the city on foot, walk up Bank past the Main Street station. There isn’t much inside but it’s a fun sight seeing location on your way to the Capital.


The Jefferson Hotel (where we obviously were not guetss) is a must-do for at least walking through. Since 1895 this hotel has provided a luxurious stay for guests featuring live alligators for a while.

The Jefferson Hotel, a Spanish baroque stunner built in 1895, should be your next stop. Have a drink at the bar at Lemaire restaurant in the hotel, or outside if the weather’s nice.

Our visits to Richmond always include a visit here and a stay in the historic Linden Row Inn downtown, housed in seven row houses dating back to the mid-1800s. Edgar Allen Poe played in the garden here, now a courtyard.

On a future visit, I hope to stay in The Jefferson Hotel. Opened in 1895 by Richmond’s wealthiest citizen, Lewis Ginter, the hotel has survived two fires and hosted 13 presidents.

You can grab a drink, a meal or join them in a large tea area for a special occasion. You can imagine the celebrities, public figures and presidents this hotel would host after 125 years of service. A small corner of the lower lobby features the history of the hotel and a running list of famous guests (the picture of the three white sheets in the slides below).

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One of the most fun things on this trip, and unique from anything we’ve done, was found randomly while walking around. The Hotel Greene serves fun cocktails and ‘hipster food’ in my words. It’s not a hotel at all but an indoor putt putt golf course that winds around a creatively fun hotel themed course.

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There are a few peepholes where you can see miniature displays and a fun staff that gets you in on the scheme. This would be great for any age as mom and dad can carry their drinks around while playing! 😉


Penny Lane Pub was catty (kitty-whatever-diagnol) corner for drinks and apps. If you’re going during a soccer/football game prepare for the house to be PACKED. It’s charming Liverpool decor and menu was a great pit stop with friendly staff. One of the areas to find some drinks, great food and haunts is Shockoe Bottom.
There’s a small pub called Rosie Connolly’s which we had read was one of the most haunted. While we only grabbed drinks here, it looked like that’s what a majority of the crowd was doing and the portions/menu was also popular.
I wouldn’t judge the name….too much. Down the street is Lickinghole Creek Brewing and which features their own craft brews, some including their CBD, and they have a CBD counter.
There are several seafood options around the corner but we opted for a walk-in bar spot at Carmelas for pizza. This, like many spots, was a small and narrow restaurant with quaint decor. The bartender was sassy but his co-workers were excellent and the freshest, wood-fired menu of Italian food.
One of the places back near our Airbnb that we had planned on eating was Mama J’s Kitchen for “the best fried catfish and corn muffins we’d ever had.” but the line was out the door! Plan on a second option or get there early.
Our apartment was above a health food/yoga studio with a smoothie/lavender coffee/acai bowl selection. Something healthy and fairly easy to eat in the car on our drive out to Williamsburg.
Since we were visiting over Presidents’ Day weekend they hosted a very cool event with the presidents and band.
There’s plenty of information online but I will say that if you don’t want to go in to the homes, go on tours or watch demonstrations you could just walk around the streets for free.

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There were plenty of runners and dog-walking families doing this and I think it’s a great option for those who have been before to save some money. It was fun to see what we did remember or remembered differently from when we were kids.
The walk to Williamsburg to the visitor’s center also isn’t terrible, maybe a quarter mile?, in case you’re tired of waiting for the buses or they stopped running.
*During a tour of the governor’s mansion, the guide asked if I wanted to learn the dance so, of course, I said yes to volunteering.*

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The drive to and from Richmond is just an hour but on a Sunday so most places closed or closing soon. This was the night for us to visit Scott’s Addition so that made it a little tricky but it’s still an awesome neighborhood. Ardent Craft Ales had indoor and outdoor seating with a very laid back vibe.
They were recommended by many people and the beers were just weird enough but still interesting and drinkable. You want to talk weird? A few steps away is Strangeways Brewing.  Their decor is strange but they organized their beer by candy-like flavors and the tables had board games. The entire location could be the nephew/niece of the PNW, basketball and cool stuff.
Across the street ia an arcade and Pour Taphouse style bar called Circuit. Many of the games were broken or out of order and it wasn’t the best experience since food was closed down and the tokens were pricey, plus the beer wall was shutting down but it would be a fun visit or place to host a birthday party with friends.
Other places in Scott’s Addition
  • The Veil Brewing Co.
  • Vasen Brewing
  • Isley Brewing Company
  • Three Notch’d
  • Castleburg Brewery (next door to Hardywood)
  • Hardywood Park Craft Brewery. (30 mins from Ardent/SA area).

SA is center of brewing, arts and loft living. Richmond has more than 30 craft breweries and it had actually been called the #1 beer destination in the world which I believe is a little extreme but it’s for sure the party area in the city.

Before the Fine Arts Museum opens up, walk around the Fan District to view the monuments, row houses and university built in to the city. What is this area all about?
It’s lined with historical homes and dotted with humongous statues. Park the car somewhere around the intersection of Monument & Boulevard and walk about eight blocks down to Lombardy Circle before heading back. You’ll stroll past monuments to historical figures, such as Jefferson Davis and Stonewall Jackson, both important in Richmond’s history.
An easy thing to do on your way out is the Fine Arts Museum. No, we’re not artsy museum people but this is a free museum unless you want to view their traveling feature exhibit (which is free for military). The only thing you’ll have to pay for is the parking garage which is $6…and that was busted the day we got there so triple win! This had an entire section of historical artifacts which made it like a history museum so everyone gets a bit of everything.
Fun Fact: If you’re visiting on a holiday, like President’s Day, you get free street parking! It’s worth a visit to the Secret Sandwich Society. You’ll probably have a wait but the historically-named, made-to-order sandwiches and homemade chips are 5-star quality.
We hope you have a great visit our first visit in #RVA gives you some ideas for your trip!

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