Travel Guide: 8 Hours to Explore Richmond, Virginia
Alright, welcome to round two of this post! Blogging lesson #1: type posts in Word first. I was almost finished writing this, when WordPress timed out on me and to my extreme frustration, did not save a single word. Not a single one. So, I pouted for a while, made dinner, and here I am, sitting down for a second attempt. If you’re reading this, I guess it went smoother 😊
Labor Day Weekend, Jarrett and I decided to explore Richmond, Virginia! I always research travel destinations ahead of time, whether it will just be a daytrip, a weekend adventure, or a prolonged vacation! It’s just the planner in me. I knew we wanted to cram as much as possible into the day, we so got an early start and made our way approximately 2 hours from Virginia Beach, to our first spot: Sugar Shack Donuts.
The Sugar Shack Experience
Upon walking in the door, we were hit with the aroma of fresh-baked goodies and slightly overwhelmed by the number of flavors. We decided to split 6 donuts, because there were two of us, and that’s a socially acceptable amount, right? Jarrett finished the entire chocolate coconut donut before I could try even a teensy bite, but here are the rest ranked best to worst: glazed blueberry cake, mud pie, samoas, cookie dough, and cherry pie.
One of my go-to donut flavors is blueberry, so I was not at all surprised it was my favorite. Mud pie was literally a dirt cup in donut form. Did you guys love eating the gummy worms from dirt cups as kids? As adults? No judgement here. Samoas and cookie dough were a little too sweet, and cherry pie was just not good. I really wanted to like it, because it had bits of real pie crust, but it just tasted like cherry cough syrup.
Maymont and Brews
Next, we took our full bellies over the Maymont, a large public park about a mile from Sugar Shack. The park was gorgeous, with a small zoo and Japanese gardens, and we had no difficulty exploring for a little over an hour. The sunshine, while much appreciated, made us thirsty, so we packed up and drove to a different section of Richmond.
Jarrett was most excited about visiting the east coast location of Stone Brewing, which is headquartered in California. Stone Brewing is known for producing India Pale Ales, Jarrett’s favorite style of beer, and unfortunately, one of my least favorite. But, he was very excited to grab a flight and found a beer he loved well enough to bring home! One thing to note about this location- when you drive up, it honestly looks like a large warehouse, that may or may not be abandoned. But don’t let that scare you away! Once you walk over a bridge to the main entrance, it becomes more apparent that you’re in the right spot to enjoy a few craft beers.
Eating Brunch at “Supper”
By this time, it was mid-afternoon and our stomachs were ready for some real food! We made our way over toward the neighborhood known as “Scott’s Addition,” which is an up-and coming area with lots of restaurants and craft breweries. We swung by Supper, a well-reviewed southern style restaurant, and were pleased to find out we could still order off the brunch menu! I chose my go-to: eggs benedict, but spiced it up and had it on top of a crab cake. It was beyond delicious.
Deliriously happy from our meal, we moved our car just a block or two over to visit The Veil Brewing Co, and then later drove to Hardywood Park Craft Brewery. We sampled a few beers from each and the basic white girl in me loved the Farmhouse Pumpkin from Hardywood! Both were unique, with great outdoor areas. If you love visiting breweries when you travel, they were both great options! If you are like me though, and enjoy sharing to try a bunch of beer styles, I will tell you that The Veil only serves full and half pours, not flights.
Neighborhood Spotlight: Carytown
Carytown was our final area to explore in Richmond. It is a very walkable shopping district, with numerous clothing/home décor spots, and so many restaurants! Because our sweet tooth never seems to disappear, Jarrett and I made our way to Carytown Cupcakes for a pre-dinner treat. And let me tell you, the cupcake I had may honestly be the best cupcake I have ever had. EVER. I chose the “hummingbird” flavor, which was a “banana, pineapple, cinnamon cupcake, topped with cream cheese icing and toasted coconut.” This cupcake was perfection, and I am usually more of a chocolate fan. It was just that good.
We ate dinner at The Daily Kitchen & Bar, a restaurant that focuses on farm-to-table and local eats. I ordered a pizza with fig, prosciutto, arugula, and balsamic glaze. It was good in the way that all pizza is good, but not outstanding. I had it for leftovers the next day and thought it was improved by some red chili flakes. It needed some spice to balance the sweetness from the figs and balsamic.
From there, we made our trek home! It was a whirlwind of a day, attempting to see much of the food/beer side of the city in about 8 hours. Richmond is close enough to Virginia Beach, that we will travel back that way soon. There is a dessert restaurant that was closed the day we went that I’m dying to visit…
**If you know of any great day trips, weekend travels, or donut shops in the Mid-Atlantic region of the US, let me know in the comments! I am always looking for new spots to try!