Getaway Guide: One-Tank Trip to Richmond, VA

August 25, 2012 6:00 AM

(credit: Thinkstock)

richmondskyline Getaway Guide: One Tank Trip to Richmond, VA

(credit: Thinkstock)

Richmond is more than just the capital of Virginia. It’s a destination to relax in a scenic park, discover Civil War battlefields and explore cutting-edge galleries. The best part is the mere tank of gas the trip takes. Break free from the big-city madness and escape to Richmond for a getaway like none other.

Getting There

Make your way out of the city and toward I-395 south. Travel on 1-395 south for about nine miles, then take the exit for I-95 south. Stay on I-95 south for about 95 miles until you reach exit 74C to US-250 Broad Street. The entire trip is about 110 miles and should take about two hours, depending on the flow of traffic. Stop by Potomac Mills Mall, visit the National Museum of the Marine Corps or have a blast at Kings Dominion along the way.

What To Do

Byrd Theatre
2908 W. Cary St.
Richmond, VA 23221
(804) 358-3056

Price: $1.99 per feature

Experience a movie theater like you’ve never experienced one before. For starters, it won’t cost you half of your weekly salary to purchase a ticket. While the theater may not have state-of-the-art movie screens or seats with moveable armrests, it does feature simply gorgeous architecture. The theater was originally built in the 1920s and features an 18-foot Czechoslovakian crystal chandelier, mohair patterned seats, golden arches, murals and a mezzanine. It’s like walking back in history. In addition to movies, Byrd Theatre also offers a wide variety of educational, cultural and community events.

Related: Getaway Guide: Weekend Road Trip to Virginia Beach, VA

Richmond National Battlefield Park
3215 E. Broad St.
Richmond, VA 23223
(804) 226-1981

Throughout the nation’s history, in Richmond, farms turned to battlefields, diseases claimed thousands of lives and history was made for the entire country. The Richmond National Battlefield Park offers visitors a glimpse into the past with interactive exhibits, four visitor centers and a 13-stop driving tour. The Chimborazo Visitor Center and Museum tells the tale of the largest wartime medical facility during the war while Gaines Mill still hosts the headquarters of Union General Fitz John Porter. Though a driving tour exists, the best way to experience the park is through self-guided walking tours.

botanicalgarden Getaway Guide: One Tank Trip to Richmond, VA

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Lewis Ginter Botanical Gardens
1800 Lakeside Ave.
Richmond, VA 23228
(804) 262-9887

Price: $11 adults/$10 seniors age 55 and older/$7 children age 3 and 12/free children younger than 3

Surround yourself with the sights and smells of blooming flowers, trees and gorgeous architecture. The Lewis Ginter Botanical Gardens features more than a dozen beautiful landscapes, an 11,000-square-foot conservatory, greenhouses and even an interactive children’s area. The gardens feature a wide variety of events and exhibits including wine tasting, live music, and family and holiday programs. Grab lunch at either the Garden Cafe or the Tea House. Don’t forget to swing by the Garden Shop to purchase a souvenir.

Where To Eat

2922 Park Ave.
Richmond, VA 23221
(804) 340-2920

Located near the Museum District, Caliente features delicious Caribbean, Cajun and Thai dishes including jambalaya, jerk chicken and po’ boy sandwiches. In 2010, Caliente was featured on a “Man v. Food” episode in which the show’s host Adam Richman chowed down on a plate of stupid wings, dubbed “the hottest wings you’ll ever eat.” After the challenge, Richman was said to have begged for a glass of milk. Caliente features not-so-caliente dishes as well as brunch on Saturdays and Sundays.

couscousrestaurant Getaway Guide: One Tank Trip to Richmond, VA

(credit: Cous Cous Restaurant/Facebook)

Cous Cous
900 W. Franklin St.
Richmond, VA 23220
(804) 358-0868

The menu at Cous Cous features tons of delicious good-for-you foods including stuffed peppers, sauteed fish over jasmine rice and, of course, cous cous. Try a glass of cucumber lemonade or a tasty cup of hibiscus berry tea. Cous Cous also features a full-service bar and extensive wine list, lunch specials, soups, salads, small dishes and desserts. Enjoy half-priced curry plates and karaoke on Wednesdays. Other special events include music and dancing on Friday and Saturday nights and Jumbo Jenga on Tuesday nights.

Related: Fun For The Road – Car Games For Your Next Road Trip

Susan Diranian is a freelance writer living in Ashburn, VA. She is covering Travel & Outdoors. Her work can be found at

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