The Best Places to Hang in Richmond, VA

Having grown up around Richmond, Virginia, I definitely have my favorite places to visit each time I head home for a holiday. Some of them have become incredibly mainstream over the years, while others are still quite little places for me to enjoy. Regardless, if you ever find yourself in RVA for the day, I strongly encourage you to check out the following places:

Belle Isle

Belle Isle is becoming increasingly more trafficked with the rise of hiking groups, college kids wanting to drink by the river, and people feeling cooped up in the Richmond area. For me, it will always be a special place to get away. While the swaying bridge at the front entrance (with the walk to the main part of the rocks) is something you should definitely do if you have never done it before, I always like to go the back way to Bell Isle- via Riverside Drive. There’s a parking lot and back entrance there where, after just a short walk through some trees and over a bridge, you find yourself at the rocks- just on the other side of the James River from Belle Isle. As long as the water level is manageable, this is the perfect spot to cross the rocks to pick your ideal destination. Belle Isle consists of rocks peppered all across the James River for you to picnic on, sunbath on, and even to use for a home base as you go for a swim. There’s the old abandoned building off to one side, as well, that provides for deeper swimming if you so desire- though most of the water is shallow here. There are even little fish in the water that come up and nip on your toes occasionally- like in those Thai parlors. All in all, this is a must-visit in my opinion. And on a nice, early fall morning, when no one is around, it can be one of the most peaceful places in the world.

A Love of History- Hollywood Cemetery & The Poe Museum

Hollywood Cemetery

This location is a little less mainstream than the rest, but I love walking through old cemeteries. You know the ones- the cemeteries with the big, impressive mausoleums. Hollywood cemetery offers a beautiful stroll by the James River with a nice breeze. And you can find graves of presidents, famous figures, and legends alike. The cemetery offers many haunted stories, including the tale of its own vampire. So, if you’re in the mood for a quite stroll through history and lore, this is the place for you.

The Poe Museum

The Poe Museum, obviously dedicated to Edgar Allan Poe, is a great place to visit every so often. Since he spent a lot of time in Richmond, there are many artifacts and stories to the late poet offered in this museum. It’s beautiful, timeless, and eerie- just like Poe’s work.

Maymont Park

Maymont Park is becoming more and more of a hot location, but for me it will always be the place I loved to visit as a kid. There are breathtaking Italian Gardens, gorgeous Japanese Gardens, an old manor house (the Dooley Mansion- which offers some really cool tours), a barn, and many wild animals. I love to start at the back of Maymont- the end where the Dooley Mansion is. We enter through the gates, walk up to the Italian Gardens and follow the trails down from there. Having a picnic on the rocks by the waterfall in the Japanese Garden is one of the greatest experiences I can recommend to you!

Cary Town

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Lastly, everyone knows and loves Cary Town because of its cute little boutiques and old-fashioned streets. Plus, the Byrd Theatre offering midnight movies was the coolest things to teenagers when I was growing up. But It’s absolutely worth the visit all the same. If nothing else, this should be your stopping point to have lunch at!

I hope I have inspired you to visit some of my favorite places if you ever step foot in Richmond, Virginia. With more and more film and television productions making their way to Richmond, it’s becoming a much cooler place to visit. Be sure to let me know when you visit and which place was your favorite!

Malorie Mackey is an actress, published author, and adventurer. Malorie grew up in Richmond, Virginia where she loved sports, the outdoors, animals, and all forms of art. She took to acting at a young age, so it was no surprise when she decided to go to college for theatre. While in college, Malorie studied body movement with the DAH Theatre in Belgrade, Serbia, voice in Herefordshire, England with Frankie Armstrong, and the business of theatre in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Malorie moved from the East Coast to Los Angeles after receiving her BFA in Theatre Performance from Virginia Commonwealth University. Upon arriving in LA, Malorie participated in the Miss California USA 2011 Pageant where she won the “Friend’s Choice” Award (by popular vote) and received a beautiful award for it.

While living on the West Coast, Malorie accumulated over 40 acting credits working on a variety of television shows, web series, and indie films, such as the sci-fi movie “Dracano,” the Biography Channel show “My Haunted House,” the tv pilot “Model Citizen” with Angie Everhart, and the award-winning indie film “Amelia 2.0.”

Throughout her experiences, Malorie found a love for travel and adventure, having journeyed to over a dozen countries experiencing unique locations. From the lush jungles of the Sierra Madre mountain range to the Arctic Circle in Finnish Lapland, Malorie began adventuring and writing about her unique travels. These travel excerpts can be found on VIVA GLAM Magazine, in Malorie’s Adventure Blog, in Malorie’s adventure show: “Weird World Adventures” and in the works for her full-length travel book.

In 2022, Malorie was thrilled to become a member of the Explorer’s Club through her work on scientific travel. Her experiences volunteering on archaeological and anthropological expeditions as well as with animal conservation allowed her entry into the exclusive club. Since then, Malorie has focused more on scientific travel.

Malorie’s show “Weird World Adventures” releases on Amazon Prime Video in the Spring of 2024! Stay tuned as Malorie brings the strangest wonders of the world to you!

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