First Impressions Of Richmond, Virginia

Monday, August 22, 2016

I wanted to love Richmond, Virginia. Before visiting, I read numerous stories raving about the city and J and I even considered it as a potential place to live when/if we move back to the US. So, we counted this visit to Richmond as a reconnaissance visit. A visit to a city we've never been to to see if we could picture ourselves living there. And we did like it, we really did. But honestly, I'm not sure it is still on our "we could live there" list -- in fact, we are being quite picky and feel so excited that we are able to do this.

Over the next few posts, I'm going to share more details about our trip (including one of the highlights -- the amazing restaurants), but in this post, I thought I'd write more about my first impressions of this capital city.

Where is everyone?

The number one thing that J and I kept asking each other about Richmond was where is everyone. Sure it was HOT outside and we visited during the week, but still expected to see people walking around. The park in the Riverfront district was deserted, nobody was walking around downtown, and we only spotted a few people near Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) and they were clearly playing Pokemon Go.

The food is great


As I mentioned above (and will write more about later), the food in Richmond was excellent and was one of the highlights of our visit. Everywhere we ate was simply delicious.

Wow, it is spread out


So, maybe Richmond isn't as walkable as I first thought (and really hoped). Though not huge, the neighborhoods all seemed very spread out, so much so that it felt as though we walked for hours to get from one place to another.

Awesome real estate


One of the things we are looking for in a place is real estate that is much more affordable than CT, NY, and MA. From what we saw online, you really get some bang for your buck in Richmond. And the many houses that we strolled by were very cute.

The first decent cappuccino I've had in the US


This is me being a coffee snob and completely spoiled by the awesome coffee scene in Europe. From what I've sampled, many cafes in the US have not quite learned the art of heating/frothing the milk to the right temperature. I was super pleased to find a cafe in Richmond that had not only a nice cappuccino, but a delicious espresso.

No playgrounds?


We searched and searched for a playground to bring Baby ISO to, but were completely unsuccessful. I'm guessing we weren't looking in the right places. Any suggestions for next time?

The VCU campus is awesome! 


We stayed in an Airbnb near the VCU campus, so we had ample time to explore some of the grounds and surrounding restaurants. It was a really nice (and spread out) campus with some gorgeous buildings. I would have loved to sneak into the science buildings to check out the facilities. Had I planned ahead enough, I should have emailed a professor!

Have you been to Richmond? Where have I gone completely wrong with this list?

I'm linking up with Wander Mum for City Tripping.


  1. It does look cute but I am always so suspicious when you do not see people out and about!

    1. It is a nice city, but I completely agree. I love to see people out and about.

  2. A pretty good first impression! Weird that it was so quiet there - although not a bad thing. Good cappacino is essential! Look forward to hearing more about your trip. Thanks for linking #citytripping

    1. Thanks! I'll certainly be sharing a ton on here in the coming few posts.

  3. It does look a lovely city - such gorgeous houses although how strange that there's no-one around during your visit! I know I didn't discover most of the child-friendly things to do near my home until my daughter came along even though I had lived there for years. #citytripping

    1. I also learned more about child-friendly things to do in Vilnius after having a kid. I did know some, but now I always seem to be findings things. It is awesome! I'm sure the same will happen no matter where we move to next!

  4. I'm from the east end of Richmond, welcome to the city! This is the weird two week period in Richmond when all the VCU kids have just started back (still going to classes) but the week before all the other children go back to school so many people are on vacation. This is also the week that all the beach vacation rentals drop their prices, that coupled with this heat that hasn't stopped for a month has people getting out of the city or just staying inside. If you are still here Libby Hill has a wonderful view of the James River, Monument Avenue has beautiful homes and statues, murals are everywhere, Hollywood Cemetery is gorgeous, and The Capitol building is neat free and has A.C.

    1. Thanks for letting me know about the strange time with no one around! That must have been the case when we were there, especially since we stayed near VCU. Next time I visit, I'll have to visit Libby Hill and Hollywood Cemetery. We didn't get there on this trip!