Romantic Dates in Richmond, VA
A beautiful, clear view of Richmond is visible at all hours here, and hailed by some as the best view in town -- especially at sunset. The James River, lush woodlands, and bustling Shockoe Bottom are all visible from this perch in a quiet corner of historic Church Hill. It was from this spot in 1737 that wealthy landowner William Byrd named Richmond, after the city in England it closely resembles. Lounge on a bench with coffee from nearby Captain Buzzy's Beanery, bring a picnic and spread out on the grass, or take a stroll down one of the park's cobblestone lanes.
A classic date always includes great Italian food, but Mamma Zu provides both great Italian food and a totally unique experience. Though it's tucked away in what can only be described as a foreboding little brick hovel, all the locals know this is the best Italian in town. Order broccoletti or spaghetti a la crab from the chalkboard menu that changes constantly, and make yourself comfortable at a cozy but no-frills wooden table. The candelight is flickering, the pasta is fresh, and the garlic and olive oil are flowing. Make sure to get there early -- this place is so popular, you may not get a seat!
The word "ornate" doesn't even begin to describe the Byrd Theatre's decadent, velvety decor. Built in 1928, the Byrd makes you feel like you've stepped back into the Roaring Twenties with its unaltered finery. A massive chandelier made up of 5,000 crystals and 500 lights hangs from the beautifully-painted ceiling. On Saturday nights, organist Bob Gulledge entertains the crowd before the movie, playing on the organ's moving platform as it rises from a compartment below the stage level. If you're lucky you'll get to see the Byrd's own campy public service announcement about litter, which, as you'll hear, generations of Richmonders can recite word for word. With its opulent surroundings and low lights, this movie palace is sure to impress any date.
There’s a reason why Maymont is one of Richmond’s favorite dates: it’s in the city but makes you feel like you’re on a rural getaway, and it has something to please everyone. Choose between a Victorian mansion, wildlife, long walks, internationally-inspired gardens, a petting zoo, huge expanses of comfortable grass, and dozens of large shade trees, or just do everything. Don't miss their seasonal events like garden fairs, concerts, and historical talks. Even just finding a quiet spot and relaxing in silence is a satisfying experience, as the park’s 100 acres are gorgeous year-round.
One of Richmond's defining characteristics is Monument Avenue, a street that runs the length of the city and includes some of the most beautiful houses and imposing statues in the South. Known primarily for the massive iron monuments of Civil War heroes that appear at its intersections, Monument Avenue is the only street in the United States listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The smorgasbord of homes along Monument range from the early Victorian period through the 1920s and make up a sort of yearbook of the finest examples of old Richmond style. A walk down Monument Avenue with some hot chocolate in hand is the perfect wintertime date.