Summer Day Trips from the RVA


Summer Day Trips from Richmond

I don’t know about you, but all this sunshine and warm weather we’ve been having has got me itching to get out and explore. One of the things that I love the most is to take spontaneous day trips. Richmond is so close to the mountains, beach, and several adorable towns, so there are so many options for travel.

If you’re searching for some fun ways to spend the summer days, look no further! Here are some of the best day trips near Richmond!


Located only an hour from Richmond, Charlottesville has something for everyone. This beautiful city is rich with history and is home to Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello as well as James Monroe’s Highland. If you’re not a history buff, I would highly recommend exploring the downtown mall with its large variety of delicious places to eat and adorable shops or my personal favorite: Carter Mountain Orchard. Head up the mountain for peaches in the summer and apple picking during the fall. Don’t forget to pick up some of their famous apple cider doughnuts while you’re there!

Lake Sherando

Lake Sherando Recreation Area Family Campground is truly one of the most beautiful spots in Virginia, in my mind at least. Although many choose to camp here, it is also a great spot to spend the day. Visitors can go for a swim in the lake, enjoy a picnic on the beach, or hike the trail next to the lake. Another great bonus? The scenic drive through the Blue Ridge Mountains!


This quaint town is another must for my summer day trip list! Like Charlottesville, Staunton boasts many activities that will appeal to everyone. For some educational fun, visit the Frontier Culture Museum and experience life-sized structures from different 1700s farms from around the world (and more). Another must-do activity, especially for foodies, is a visit to Polyface Farms (which was featured in the popular documentary Food Inc.) for a farm tour. End your visit to Staunton by exploring the beautiful downtown or by taking in a show at Blackfriars Playhouse. 

Virginia Beach

If you’ve lived in Richmond for a while, you’ve almost definitely ventured to Virginia Beach at some point. I’ve grown up going there, but after going recently, I’ve discovered some new favorite activities here. A new outdoor fitness park (on the beach!!) opened last summer. This park, located on 36th street, has parallel bars, ropes, balance beams, and more. If you prefer to relax over channeling your inner American ninja warrior, simply enjoy a day at the beach and take advantage of the many local eateries nearby (I highly recommend a sandwich shop called Taste).

Washington, DC

A day in DC is another must for Richmonders. The “staple” DC activities such as the National Mall, Lincoln Memorial, and the museums are certainly great ways to spend your time here. The fun doesn’t end there. Venture to Georgetown for an afternoon of shopping or head to Union Station for lunch. 


History, good eats, and shopping steals are just three things that Williamsburg has to offer. Start your day here with a visit to Colonial Williamsburg and explore the historical buildings and sites. Make sure you come with an empty belly so you can fully enjoy the yummy cheese shop and candy store. After a history-filled morning, hop in the car for a short drive to the Williamsburg Outlets for an afternoon of shopping that will not break the bank. If these activities don’t appeal, spend the day riding some of the best roller coasters around and taking in the European vibes at Busch Gardens.

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Emma Fitch Harrison is a Richmond native. She and her husband, Davis, have been friends since childhood, eventually fell in love, and tied the knot in the fall of 2016. Emma is mom to Ava (2) and is expecting her first child with Davis this summer! Although her favorite job is being a mom, Emma is currently a student at Regent University, studying communications. When she graduates in May, she plans to continue blogging, while pursuing a career working to promote local businesses. Emma is also very passionate about health and fitness and is a certified Personal Trainer. In her free time she can be found lifting weights in the gym or going on adventures with her husband and daughter.