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Hidden Gems in Downtown Richmond

Find the under-the-radar, unique and favorite local spots to explore, eat, shop and enjoy in downtown Richmond!

Hidden Gems: Outdoors in Richmond

Hidden Gems: Outdoors

Manchester Climbing Wall

This area, under the Manchester Bridge, is a unique outdoor climbing venue under a series of abandoned train trestles that have been equipped with bolts and shutts. Here climbers can hone their skills of leading, both trad and sport, rappelling, and self-rescue. Climbers and non-climbers alike will enjoy a visit to this uncommon section of the JRPS.

Pipeline Walk

The Pipeline Rapids walkway may be downtown Richmond’s best kept secret. And it’s a wonderful place to watch nature and escape the city for even just a few minutes. From the parking lot at the end of S. 12th Street, you walk to a metal ladder then descend to the metal catwalk atop the pipeline, which offers views of the Pipeline Rapids.

Bicycle Skills Area

The Belle Isle bicycle skills area is the best place in the James River Park System to polish your technique to master the more than 20 miles of local mountain bike trails. The skills area consists of beginner to intermediate obstacles, such as logs, rock gardens and drop-offs. It also includes a beginner and full-size pump track for improving your rhythm and stamina.

Buttermilk Trail

The Buttermilk Trail is one of the oldest sections of the James River Park System trail and runs about four miles along the contours of the hill below Riverside Drive from just west of the 22nd Street Tower at Belle Isle to the Boulevard Bridge on the south banks of the James River. The trail parallels the southside of the river and is a real challenge and considered the most difficult of the different sections of the James River Park System. Buttermilk combines tight, twisty, fast descents and steep climbs with lots of rocks and roots. Several creek crossings and some bridges and rock gardens add character to one of the most beloved trail systems in the Richmond area.

Floodwall Walk

Unique views of the James River, the city skyline and historic sites can be seen from atop the Floodwall on the southern side. Completed in 1995 to protect areas of downtown and Manchester from devastating flooding, the southbank section comprises Floodwall Park, a popular spot for hikers, runners, fishermen, bird watchers and kayakers.

Virginia Capital Trail

Even if you are a beginner on a bike or just looking to take a stroll, the Virginia Capital Trail offers something for everyone. Beginning downtown in Shockoe Bottom at the floodwall doors at S. 17th Street, the trail parallells the historic James River and Kanawha Canal in a flat, urban landscape, then continues eastward to more rural vistas. The 52-mile mixed-use path connects Richmond’s downtown to Jamestown, for those who decide to enjoy the trail in its entirety.

Explore more of downtown Richmond's outdoors here!
Hidden Gems: Stores & Shops in Richmond

Hidden Gems: Stores & Shops

Trail Hut

114 N. 2nd Street

A gear exchange stop to shop on your way to explore the James River Parks System for all of your outdoor consignment selling and buying needs.

Kismet Studio

202 W. Broad Street

At Kismet, you'll find items curated with the intention to help you find peace and a little magic in your everyday life, art and books to inspire you and a space for makers, artists and authors of Asian heritage to showcase their work.

68 Home

5 W. Broad Street

From wicker chairs and pastel couches to quaint and quirky home decor, this secondhand store offers sustainable options that are timeless.

Whilom Goods

1 N. 2nd Street

This shop is perfect for supporting local makers and smaller creators with thoughtfully sourced goods at affordable prices.


211 W. Broad Street

A pop-up shop featuring tabletop pieces for the kitchen and dining room like handmade vases, candles, serving utensils and more.

Little Nomad

104 W. Broad Street

The shop has options ranging from girls and boys clothing, toys, books, home goods, shoes and even gifts for the parents.

Shockoe Bottom Clay

1714 E. Main Street

At Shockoe Bottom Clay, you'll find handmade ceramics like mugs, decor and more from local and regional artists.

Quirk Gallery Shop

207 W. Broad Street

The gallery's gift shop features a constantly revolving collection of jewelry, ceramics, prints, books, and more that are perfect for any lover of art or design.

Explore more shopping in downtown Richmond here!
Hidden Gems: Restaurants & Bars in Richmond

Hidden Gems: Restaurants & Bars


100 E. Franklin Street

Beignets, Southern comfort food and an enclosed patio perfect for brunch.

Jamaica House

416 W. Broad Street

Authentic, slow-cooked Jamaican cuisine featuring favorites like Curry Goat, Oxtail and more.


217 W. Clay Street

Vegan-friendly options like Fried Cauliflower, happy hour specials and GWAR-approved concoctions.

Capitol Waffle Shop

1110 E. Main Street

An endless assortment of waffles and toppings like chorizo, cereal, fresh fruit and more and $5 mimosas all day.

Charm School

311 W. Broad Street

This ice cream shop features classic sweet flavors, vegan choices and marshmallow fluff toppings.

Sauce & Toss

1711 E. Franklin Street

Seafood you can eat with your hands like buckets, boils and all things fried.

Grandstaff & Stein

2113 E. Main Street

A speakeasy featuring craft cocktails like French 75s, Negronis and Mint Juleps.

Restaurant Adarra

618 N. 1st Street

Seasonal menu offerings and a modern take on Basque dishes like stuffed squid, gnocchi and lamb belly.


325 N. 2nd Street

Korean street eats like bulgogi bowls, kimchi bacon fried rice and spicy pork kimbap.

La Bodega

104 N. 18th Street

A New York-inspired Latin kitchen featuring authentic dishes like rope vieja, el cubano sandwiches and agua frescas.

Europa Crust

1321 1/2 E. Main Street

This bakery specializes in sourdough baking, but offers an assortment of fresh bakes like Finnish sweet bread, rustic Italian and more.

Patio Thai

103 E. Cary Street

A tucked-away patio, pad thai, drunken noodles and fresh mango sticky rice.

Explore more restaurants in downtown Richmond here!
Hidden Gems: Attractions in Richmond

Hidden Gems: Attractions

17th Street Market

100 N. 17th Street

This historic marketplace in Shockoe Bottom features annual festivals, events and markets like Richmond Night Market, RVA Black Farmers Market and more.

Main Street Station

1500 E. Main Street

One of Richmond's most notable landmarks, this 100+ year old, beautifully restored railroad station offers visitors a gorgeous gateway to exploring the city of Richmond.

Virginia Holocaust Museum

2000 E. Cary Street

The Virginia Holocaust Museum preserves and documents the Holocaust in exhibits and its archival collections. Through the permanent exhibit, educational programming, and outreach, the museum employs the history of the Holocaust and other genocides to educate and inspire future generations of Virginians to fight prejudice and indifference.

Poe Museum

1914 E. Main Street

Edgar Allan Poe was one of the most important and influential American writers of the 19th century. The Poe Museum’s collection is the most comprehensive in the world and its programs reach thousands of scholars, students, teachers and literary enthusiasts every year.


601 W. Broad Street

Propelled by VCU's top-ranked School of the Arts, the ICA is an instrument for groundbreaking and innovative exhibitions, film screenings, public lectures and performances that is free to the public and RVA community.

Find more information about attractions in downtown Richmond here!
Hidden Gems: Things to Do in Richmond

Find more things to do in downtown Richmond here!