Backpacking in the USA: 5 Unusual Sights in Richmond, Virginia

Richmond, Virginia, with just over 200,000 residents, is the state capital. The city’s economy is not renowned for tourism however, with law, finance, and government offices providing the most common and important jobs in the city. However, the tourists who make it here, will find some great hotels in Richmond, some cool sites to check out and some nice bars by night.

But for the wondrous and intrepid tourist, you will want to visit some more rewarding, unusual and quirky places. This list of five slightly less trodden places and unusual sights should make sure you get your fix of non-touristic travel in Richmond, too. Talking to the locals may come handy for locating some of these gems.


Photo by Bzbngme via

1. Urban Farmhouse Market and Cafe
Urban Farmhouse Market and Cafe is well worth a trip. Opened up in 2010 in downtown Richmond, this place aims to bring the farm to the city. Founder Kathleen Richardson maintains that “Richmonders…want good, straight-from-the-earth food where they know where and how it’s been grown.” This café serves up excellent coffee and tea, and has a brilliant market with a range of freshly grown organic and healthy products. It’s the locals’ favourite and a traveler’s secret.


Photo by Eric Mondres via

2. Richmond’s Wall Murals
In some neighbourhoods of Richmond, you will find all sorts of interesting wall murals. Of note is the “Idlewood and Laurel” (treehouse on a camel) and “Grace and Harrison” (a girl in a bath in a jar of strawberries). Richmond Wall Mural Project is a really cool project that aims to inject light, colour, and amusement to the city while also showcasing Richmond’s talented artists.

Idlewood and Laurel

Photo by Mumeume via

3. Brown’s Island
Imagine an artificial island custom-built on a river in the middle of a city! That’s exactly what Brown’s Island is. It offers sport, history, and great views of the city, especially for sunset. Concerts and events are also held here.

Brown's Island

Photo by Brian Beard via

4. Milk Bottle Apartments
If you are into truly bizarre art and architecture, you will love the fact that in the Jackson neighbourhood of Richmond, there is a four-storey milk bottle which is now a complex of 113 apartments. A truly wacky place to live and who knows, if one of the residents is on Couchsurfing, you may even be able to stay here for a night!

The Milk bottle apartments in Richmond, VA

The Milk bottle apartments in Richmond, VA

Photo by Richmond Dairy via Flickr

5. The Waltons Set
Do you remember the TV series the Waltons? Well, the last tip on this list is to escape Richmond city for a day and head to Schuyler to visit the set ofthe Waltons. You can visit John Boy’s room and enjoy a magnificent view of the mountains. Hiring a car is your best bet to get out there as it’s about 100 miles away, but well worth it if you are a fan.

Hopefully these five unusual places away from the touristic sights and the business hub will keep you excited on your trip to Richmond,  Virginia, USA.

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