The Best Day Trips from Richmond, Virginia

Williamsburg, VA
Williamsburg, VA | © Ron Cogswell/Flickr
Aparna Krishnamoorthy

Richmond, the capital of Virginia, is a city that has a number of museums and galleries, and is always buzzing with activities and things to do. There is also plenty to see and do outside the city, but within easy access so you can be back from a day of exploring and in Richmond again for the night. Here are some of the best day trips to take.

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In addition to the home of Thomas Jefferson, Monticello, Charlottesville boasts a beautiful historic downtown area. Just about 70 miles from Richmond, a day trip to Charlottesville should include a tour of Monticello, a walk through the quaint, brick-lined row of shops downtown, and plenty of good food!

Downtown Charlottesville

Colonial Williamsburg

Travel back in time at Williamsburg and see what life in the 18th century was like. Walk around the recreated town, interact with the costumed actors, sip coffee served by an old world server, and fall in love with history all over again. Plus, it’s a quick 50-mile drive away from Richmond.

Colonial Williamsburg

Monticello Wine Trail

If you love a good glass of wine and scenic views, the Monticello Wine Trail is what you need. Just outside of Charlottesville, the area has over 30 wineries in beautiful countryside settings. An easy day trip to see some vineyards and enjoy a few tastings or glasses, but make sure to have a designated driver.

Veritas Winery

Tappahannock cruise to Tangier Island

Head to the small town of Tappahannock, about 45 miles from Richmond and get on a relaxing cruise up the bay to the small island of Tangier. Explore the island on foot or rent a bike, and enjoy some of the best crab cakes in Virginia before heading back.

Tangier Island

Whitewater rafting

Escape the bustle of the city by rafting down the James River rapids and stop at a deserted island to enjoy some snacks and refreshments. You won’t be far from the city, but it sure will feel like you are miles away!


Lake Anna

Just 60 miles away from Richmond, Lake Anna is an expansive and beautiful 13,000-acre lake. Head here for a day on the water, or fishing, swimming and hiking.

Lake Anna
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