James River, Virginia: Our most recommended tours and activities

Richmond: Hollywood Cemetery Lore and Civil War Walking Tour

1. Richmond: Hollywood Cemetery Lore and Civil War Walking Tour

Hollywood Cemetery is a 135-acre museum filled with stories of war, disease, heroism, and local legends. Are you ready to hear them? You’ll meet your seasoned local guide by the old stone office before heading to the Confederate Monument — a 90-foot-tall pyramid that’s rumored to be haunted by the restless souls of the Civil War. From there, you’ll wind through 13 additional sites, unlocking a new piece of history at each one. Unearth a surprising secret at the tomb of Jefferson Davis. Hear the story of Titanic survivor Robert Williams Daniel, and uncover the mystery behind the famous cast-iron Newfoundland statue. Relax and let Junket lead you on a two-hour stroll through this beautifully-landscaped arboretum along the James River. By the time you circle back around to the entrance, you’ll have an entirely new perspective on Virginia history.

Richmond: Private City Tour by Tuk Tuk

2. Richmond: Private City Tour by Tuk Tuk

Join a guide on a private city tour of Richmond and be driven around in a Tuk Tuk. Journey through important neighborhoods and learn about this fascinating city as you go. Start your tour as you travel down Monument Avenue and towards the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts. Here, you’ll have a chance to get out and explore the museum’s sculpture garden. Then, drive through Carytown, Richmond’s bohemian shopping district, before heading to the Hollywood Cemetery. Learn interesting facts about the cemetery, like which former United States presidents are buried here. Next, pass by Brown’s Island, a popular festival location, as you head towards the State Capital. From here, make your way up Church Hill, the oldest part of the city. See St. John’s Church and visit the Church Hill overlook. Finally, journey back to your starting location, where your tour will come to an end.

Richmond: Guided Hike in James River Park

3. Richmond: Guided Hike in James River Park

Set out on a 4.5-mile guided hike through the natural beauty nestled within downtown Richmond. Admire the rushing water of James River from pedestrian bridges. Across the river, catch a glimpse of bygone eras with ruins on Belle Isle and see the repurposed Pipeline Walk on Brown’s Island.  Meet your guide and begin your tour by crossing the James River, pausing to admire the Class IV rushing rapids of Richmond’s waterway from one of the city’s unique pedestrian bridges. Next, you’ll explore the Manchester Climbing Wall Park, built on top of 150-year-old train bridge ruins.   Continue your hike along the path on Belle Isle. The trails here lead past ruins that hearken back to the Civil War and the industrial age. Soak up the tranquility of the surrounding nature, then cross a second pedestrian bridge to discover the city’s hidden gem on Brown’s Island, the Pipeline Walk.

Virginia Capital Trail: Nature/History tour via bike w/ wine

4. Virginia Capital Trail: Nature/History tour via bike w/ wine

Visit Charles City County and the beautiful James River, rightly called The River Where America Began. From the geological formations of the river, to the Native Americans of the Algonquin Nation who called this home some 15,000 years before Englishmen arrived, to the Africans who arrived in chains to carry the cotton and tobacco industries, face the inspiring and sometimes uncomfortable truths of history.  Next, reflect on the VCU’s Rice Rivers Center and their work on water quality and preserving the health of all rivers. Then bike on to Historic Westover Parish Church, established in 1613. After your tour along the trail the group will come together at Upper Shirley Vineyard for a glass of wine and an optional lunch. You will have wheeled through 400 years of history to a modern vineyard for wine with new friends.

Blue Ridge Parkway | Self-Guided Audio Driving Tour

5. Blue Ridge Parkway | Self-Guided Audio Driving Tour

Stretching for 469 miles, the incredibly scenic Blue Ridge Parkway winds its way through Virginia and North Carolina, following the pathway of the Appalachian Mountains. Road tourers enjoy a spectacular showcase of panoramic vistas, lush forests, vibrant fall foliage, and even wildlife sightings. Flexible Tour: Follow the suggested itineraries, or divide the commentary and create your own half, full or multi day sightseeing trips. Major Highlights: Asheville Blue Ridge Music Center Cherokee Devil's Courthouse Folk Art Center Grandfather Mountain Humpback Rocks James River Linville Falls Mabry Mill Moses H Cone Memorial Park Mount Mitchell Natural Bridge State Park Peaks of Otter Richland Balsam Roanoke Virginia's Explore Park Waterrock Knob Includes: Blue Ridge Parkway (Between Cherokee, NC and Waynesboro, VA) Whether you are driving the entire journey in one epic trip or dividing into sections as you return over and over, you will be impressed with the natural beauty and the surprisingly rich collection of experiences to be enjoyed. With hundreds of overlooks and hikes to choose from, the tour is designed to help you take the guesswork out of your journey. We'll let you know the best places to stop, and the ones that offer a unique perspective. As well as places of interest along the Parkway itself, many other great adventures lie just off the Parkway - including small cities and towns with big personalities and historical significance. So you'll hear suggestions about some of the best side trips as you go too. Think of the Blue Ridge Parkway as two halves, Virgina which is more rural in nature, complete with orchards and wineries but still mountainous, with long views! And North Carolina, where the towns become a little further apart, and the mountains are even more imposing and rugged. There are so many amazing views, but a few favorites include the Linn Cove Viaduct - photographers can't help but scramble to the perfect vantage point. Mabry Mill is an iconic view into the lives in the mountains from generations ago. Be sure to walk the mile-high supension bridge at Grandfather Mountain. For cultural stops, you'll want to give time to the toe-tapping Blue Ridge Music Center and the Folk Art Center. And also call into Asheville, Roanoke, Blowing Rock and a host of other entertaining towns. You'll guided to all the best places to spend your time - then it's your choice of what you like best.

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What people are saying about James River, Virginia

Overall rating

5.0 / 5

based on 1 reviews

Holly was a fantastic guide! She absolutely enhanced the experience. Would absolutely recommend.