Richmond Museums Tour, Richmond

Richmond is one of the best places in the state of Virginia to find fascinating museums. The Science Museum of Virginia is based here, as well as the Virginia Historical Society, the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts and the Museum of the Confederacy. Take this tour to learn all about the history of the city and see some excellent exhibitions.
You can follow this self-guided walking tour to explore the attractions listed below. How it works: download the app "GPSmyCity: Walks in 1K+ Cities" from iTunes App Store or Google Play to your mobile phone or tablet. The app turns your mobile device into a personal tour guide and its built-in GPS navigation functions guide you from one tour stop to next. The app works offline, so no data plan is needed when traveling abroad.

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Richmond Museums Tour Map

Guide Name: Richmond Museums Tour
Guide Location: USA » Richmond (See other walking tours in Richmond)
Guide Type: Self-guided Walking Tour (Sightseeing)
# of Attractions: 9
Tour Duration: 3 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 8.2 km
Author: damon
Virginia Museum of Fine Arts

1) Virginia Museum of Fine Arts (must see)

The Virginia Museum of Fine arts, or VMFA, is owned and operated by the Commonwealth of Virginia, while private donations, endowments, and funds are used for the support of specific programs and all acquisition of artwork, as well as additional general support. Admission itself is free. It is one of the first museums in the American South to be operated by state funds.

The Virginia Museum of Fine Arts has its origins in a 1919 donation of 50 paintings to the Commonwealth of Virginia by Judge and prominent Virginian John Barton Payne. Payne, in collaboration with Virginia Governor John Garland Pollard and the Federal Works Projects Administration, secured federal funding to augment state funding for the museum in 1932. Eventually, a site was chosen on Richmond's Boulevard. The site was toward the corner of a contiguous six-block tract of land which was then being used as an American Civil War veterans' home, with additional services for their wives and daughters.

The main building was designed by Peebles and Ferguson Architects of Norfolk, and has been alternately described as Georgian Revival and English Renaissance, deliberately taking cues from Inigo Jones and Christopher Wren. Construction began in 1934. Two wings were originally planned, yet only the central portion was actually built. The museum opened on January 16, 1936.

Operation hours: Saturday – Wednesday: 10 am – 5 pm; Thursday - Friday: 10 am – 9 pm.

"(The above description is based on Wikipedia under Creative Common License)"
Sight description based on wikipedia
Virginia Historical Society

2) Virginia Historical Society (must see)

The Virginia Historical Society (VHS), founded in 1831 as the Virginia Historical and Philosophical Society and headquartered in Richmond, is a major repository, research, and teaching center for Virginia history. It is a private non-profit organization, supported almost entirely by private contributions, and is the Official State Historical Society of Virginia.

The Virginia Historical Society features award-winning exhibitions and programming that are entertaining and educational for visitors of all ages. One of the largest historical societies in the country, the VHS has thirteen exhibition galleries occupying more than 25,000 square feet and has the largest display of Virginia artifacts on permanent view. The VHS is the only museum with all of Virginia’s history under one roof — all centuries, all regions, and all topics are covered.

In its early years, the VHS gathered an eclectic collection of natural history specimens, historical artifacts, and printed and written material. The Society was reconstituted after the Civil War and was renamed the Virginia Historical Society in 1870 to reflect a primarily historical focus as it became more active in publishing historical material. The Society gained its first permanent headquarters building in Richmond in 1893. Over the next several decades the Society's collections grew. The publications program also increased as the Society gained a significant role in the academic community.

"(The above description is based on Wikipedia under Creative Common License)"
Sight description based on wikipedia
Richmond's Children Museum

3) Richmond's Children Museum (must see)

Opened in 1977 at the Navy Hill School building in downtown Richmond, The Richmond Children’s Museum has been based at its current site on Broad Street since 2000. It’s a great place to bring the whole family for a memorable day out. Look out for the 40-foot replica of a Virginia limestone cave, the Tour de Tummy - a replica of the digestive tract that children can climb through – and the fun water features of the Learning Garden.

Operation hours: From Memorial Day to Labor Day: Monday - Sunday: 9:30 am - 7 pm; From Labor Day to Memorial Day: Monday - Sunday: 9:30 am - 5 pm
Sight description based on wikipedia
Science Museum of Virginia

4) Science Museum of Virginia (must see)

In 1906, the Virginia General Assembly approved funds for the construction of a simple "exhibits center" to display mineral and timber exhibits. The "State Museum", as it came to be known, opened in 1910 and over the years displays of natural history specimens from a variety of State agencies were added to its collection.Today the museum’s collection includes natural history specimens and other artifacts from a variety of State agencies.

Operation hours: Tuesday – Saturday: 9:30 am – 5 pm; Sunday: 11:30 am – 5 pm.
Sight description based on wikipedia
Beth Ahabah Museum and Archives

5) Beth Ahabah Museum and Archives

Situated at West Franklin Street, this Jewish museum was founded in 1977 to store the artifacts and records of the Congregation Beth Ahabah and Kahal Kadosh Beth Shalome. Spread across three galleries of rotating displays, this museum’s exhibits tell the visitor a lot about the Jewish community in the city and its role in shaping Richmond today.

Operation hours: Sunday - Thursday: 10 am - 3 pm
Black History Museum and Cultural Center of Virginia

6) Black History Museum and Cultural Center of Virginia

Editor's note: The museum is closed due to renovation until late 2015.

Founded by Carroll Anderson Sr in 1981, the Black History Museum and Cultural Center of Virginia is located in the city’s historic district of Jackson Ward. This prominent museum serves as a statewide source of records on various aspects of the black community's past and its many achievements.
Valentine Richmond History Center

7) Valentine Richmond History Center

The Valentine Richmond History Center, VRHC, is a museum which opened on November 21, 1898 dedicated to collecting, preserving, and interpreting the history of Richmond. The History Center offers major changing exhibitions which focus on American urban and social history, costumes and textiles, decorative arts and architecture. The History Center also includes the stately 1812 Wickham House, a National Historical Landmark and outstanding example of neoclassical architecture. The History Center is the only institution in the city committed solely to Richmond history.

In August 2011, the History Center learned of its continuing accreditation by the American Association of Museums, the professional organization for museums nationwide. Accreditation is a widely acknowledged seal of approval that recognizes a museum for its commitment to excellence, accountability, high professional standards, and continued institutional improvement. The museum has been continuously accredited since 1972, just one year after the accreditation program’s inception. The History Center is one of just five accredited institutions in the Richmond region. Only 779 museums in the United States are accredited, and only 22 percent are history museums.

"(The above description is based on Wikipedia under Creative Common License)"
Sight description based on wikipedia
Museum of the Confederacy

8) Museum of the Confederacy (must see)

The White House of the Confederacy was built in 1818 as a neoclassical mansion for a local bank president. This elegant gray stucco residence in Richmond’s Court End district (then known as Shockoe Hill) is just two blocks from the Virginia State Capitol. The museum was founded here by a group of influential Richmond society ladies in 1896.

Operation hours: Monday - Sunday: 10 am - 5 pm
Sight description based on wikipedia
Edgar Allan Poe Museum

9) Edgar Allan Poe Museum

The Edgar Allan Poe Museum is a museum located in Richmond, dedicated to American writer Edgar Allan Poe. Though Poe never lived in the building, it serves to commemorate his time living in Richmond. The museum holds one of the world's largest collections of original manuscripts, letters, first editions, memorabilia and personal belongings. The museum also provides an overview of early 19th century Richmond, where Poe lived and worked. The museum features the life and career of Edgar Allan Poe by documenting his accomplishments with pictures, relics, and verse, and focusing on his many years in Richmond.

Amidst Poe's centennial in 1909, a group of Richmond residents campaigned for the city to better recognize the writer. Citizens asked the city council to erect a statue of Poe on Monument Avenue but were turned down because he was deemed a disreputable character. The same group went on to begin the Poe Museum. In 1911, Preservation Virginia saved the house and opened it in 1922 as the Old Stone House. The Poe Museum's four buildings contain exhibits focusing on different aspects of the author's life and legacy. The parlor of the Old Stone House is used for the display of furniture from the homes in which Edgar Poe and his sister Rosalie Mackenzie Poe lived. Also displayed in this gallery are Poe's boyhood bed and furnishings from his boyhood home.

Operation hours: Tuesday – Saturday: 10 am – 5 pm; Sunday: 11 am – 5 pm.

"(The above description is based on Wikipedia under Creative Common License)"
Sight description based on wikipedia

Walking Tours in Richmond, Virginia

Create Your Own Walk in Richmond

Create Your Own Walk in Richmond

Creating your own self-guided walk in Richmond is easy and fun. Choose the city attractions that you want to see and a walk route map will be created just for you. You can even set your hotel as the start point of the walk.
Richmond Places of Worship Tour Part 2

Richmond Places of Worship Tour Part 2

Due to its past as an English colony, Richmond has a number of notable Anglican and Episcopal churches dotted around the city. Take our two-part tour to discover these beautiful buildings as well as many other places of worship in Richmond.

Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.6 km
Richmond City Orientation Tour

Richmond City Orientation Tour

As one of the oldest cities in the United States, Richmond boasts a great cultural and historical heritage. In fact, it helped to shape American history. Take our City Orientation Tour to get a sense of the main institutions of Richmond and see some of its top sights.

Tour Duration: 3 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 5.8 km
Richmond Specialty Shopping Tour

Richmond Specialty Shopping Tour

The historic district of Carytown is Richmond’s premier shopping area. Here you can find many different high-quality specialty shops as well as top restaurants. Take our Carytown Shopping Tour to find the best shopping spots in this part of town.

Tour Duration: 1 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 0.9 km
Richmond Art Galleries Tour Part 2

Richmond Art Galleries Tour Part 2

Richmond is one of best cities in this part of the United States for art, with a large number of quality galleries in the city. You can see fascinating artworks by nationally and internationally famous artists here, as well as browse paintings for purchase at commercial galleries. Take our two-part tour to see the best art galleries in the city.

Tour Duration: 1 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 1.2 km
Richmond Civil War Trail

Richmond Civil War Trail

One of the most fascinating aspects of Richmond is its glorious past as the Confederacy's capital. If you are a history buff you’ll love taking this unique tour, which includes all the main sites in the city associated with the American Civil War.

Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.3 km
Richmond Cultural Tour

Richmond Cultural Tour

Richmond is famous for its many architectural and historical landmarks, but it is also a vibrant center for the arts. Take our Cultural Tour to discover the wide variety of theaters, opera houses and other cultural venues that make up the Richmond arts landscape.

Tour Duration: 1 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 1.8 km

Tips for Exploring City on Foot at Your Own Pace

Whether you are in Richmond for a quick stopover or have a few days to see the city in more detail, exploring it on foot, at your own pace, is definitely the way to go. Here are some tips for you to save money, see the best Richmond has to offer, take good care of your feet while walking, and keep your mobile device – your ultimate "work horse" on this trip - well fed and safe.

Taking Care of Your Feet

To ensure ultimate satisfaction from a day of walking around the city as big as Richmond, it is imperative to take good care of your feet so as to avoid unpleasant things like blisters, cold or overheated soles, itchy, irritated or otherwise damaged (cracked) skin, etc. Luckily, these days there is no shortage of remedies to address (and, ideally, to prevent) these and other potential problems with feet. Among them: Compression Socks, Rechargeable Battery-Powered Thermo Socks for Cold Weather, Foot Repair Cream, Deodorant Powder, Shoes UV Sterilizer, and many more that you may wish to find a place in your travel kit for.

Travel Gadgets for Your Mobile Device

Your mobile phone or tablet will be your work horse on a self-guided walk. They offer tour map, guide you from one attraction to another, and provide informative background for the sights you wish to visit. Therefore it is absolutely essential to plan against unexpected power outages in the wrong place at the wrong time, much as to ensure the safety of your device.

For these and other contingencies, here's the list of useful appliances: Portable Charger/External Battery Pack, Worldwide Travel Charger Adapter, Power Converter for International Travel Adapter, and Mobile Device Leash.