BLK RVA ITINERARIES

Your guides to cultural immersion

Black culture is woven into the fabric of this entire region. World-renowned food. Thriving Black-owned shops. Stories of struggle, and amazing African Americans who made history right here. Make sure you see it all. These itineraries can guide you on your way.

The BLK Foodie Tour - Day One

Food is central to Black culture, which is infused in the flavor of this whole region. Try these local restaurants for a two-day tour of the BLK RVA culinary experience.

  • Breakfast: Grab a table at 521 Biscuit & Waffles on Main Street (our fave: the “Cherish the Day” platter.) Or head to Brewer’s Café on the Southside for a breakfast sandwich or burrito, and what could be your new favorite coffee.

  • Lunch: Go for a classic, heaped-high sandwich at Charlotte’s Southern Deli & Tapas in the heart of downtown. Or head to Pig & Brew in Manchester for classic barbeque and other great southern favorites such as ribs, brisket and wings.

  • Dinner: Get cozy along Richmond’s Canal Walk and enjoy an elegant dinner at Bateau while indulging in their one-of-a-kind coffee and wine selections sourced from growers and vintners around the world. Or combine dinner, whiskey and cigars at Brun Experience. And if you’re looking to relax and unwind with a little comfort food, be sure to visit Mama J’s, the region’s premier soul food restaurant.

  • Dessert:  Your reward for being you: the Sweet Spot in Shockoe Bottom has at least 48 flavors of premium ice cream ready to scoop at all times.

The BLK Foodie Tour - Day Two

  • Breakfast:  Drop in Urban Hang Suite for community, connections and culture, served with good vibes, great coffee and all-day breakfast.

  • Lunch:  Venture to Northside and find out #whatsinthedelicase at Nomad Deli. Or, go for clean and green goodness at Ms. Bee’s Juice Bar – a juicing gem in North Highland Park with healthy smoothies and cold pressed juices. Downtown, pop into Pop’s Market on Grace and people watch while enjoying one of their signature sandwiches and delicious desserts.

  • Dinner:  Enjoy a view of the Shockoe Bottom Farmer’s Market and an incredible Ethiopian meal at Addis, where you’re invited to “taste the cuisine, and experience the culture.” Or head downtown to Lillie Pearl, where West Africa meets North Carolina influences for an inventive take on New American cuisine.

  • Dessert:  Head to Ruby Scoops, and taste for yourself why owner Rabia Kamara got first prize on the Food Network’s “Clash of the Cones.” 

The Stories of Heroism Tour

Walk the streets of Richmond, and you’ll find a rich history of African American achievement.

  • Visit the Maggie Walker National Historic Site, and learn how this trailblazing Black woman entrepreneur started a bank, a newspaper and a store, and left an enduring legacy in the face of racism, years before American women even had the right to vote.

  • Spend a few hours in the Black History Museum & Cultural Center of Virginia, a dynamic multi-dimensional experience that both teaches and inspires conversation.

  • Walk the streets of Jackson Ward, the “Birthplace of Black Entrepreneurship” and one of the country’s first recognized historic Black urban neighborhoods, and see the names of Black leaders memorialized as part of the JXN Project’s “Unveiling the Vanguard: Rested and Ready.

  • Stop by the Bill Bojangles Robinson monument in Jackson Ward, the childhood home of the famed actor and dancer.

  • Walk through Capitol Square to the Virginia Civil Rights Memorial, in honor of activist Barbara Rose Johns.

  • Head to Monument Avenue to see the Arthur Ashe monument, which honors the Wimbledon champion and Medal of Freedom award winner.

The Long Trail to Freedom Tour

The story of Africans in America begins here. Walk in the steps of those who suffered, persevered and overcame, in a region that celebrates the unstoppable strength of our people.

  • Stand in awe of the resilience of our ancestors as you walk the historic Richmond Slave Trail, which chronicles the story of enslaved Africans in Virginia. The trail starts at Manchester Docks, then follows a route through the former slave markets of Richmond, beside the Reconciliation Statue commemorating the international triangular slave trade, past Lumpkin's Slave Jail and the Negro Burial Ground to First African Baptist Church, a center of African-American life in pre-Civil War Richmond.

  • Visit the Library of Virginia to research African American genealogy through the collection, Virginia Untold: the African American narrative. Librarians and archivists can also guide you to digital collections and databases that preserve the stories of African America from its earliest days to present.

  • Contact Free Bangura’s Untold RVA to retrace the past through tours like the Shockoe Underground walking tour, the Beloved Unseen ancestral elevation tour, and the Reconstructed Richmond celebration of Black excellence.

  • Visit Brown’s Island to take in the new Emancipation and Freedom Monument, which honors Virginians who fought against slavery.

  • Experience the power of the empty pedestals on Monument Avenue, where monuments to Confederate soldiers have been removed.

  • Feel the power of the VMFA’s Rumors of War, Kehinde Wiley’s bold and inspiring response to the Confederate statues that once lined Monument Avenue, displayed as a bronze monument featuring a young Black man with tattered jeans and dreadlocks. 

The BLKRVA Shoppers’ Tour

This is a one-of-a-kind place with one-of-a-kind shops. Check out these unique shopping experiences that celebrate the spirit of Black entrepreneurship.

  • Head downtown on Broad Street to Little Nomad. This Black-owned children’s store is filled with high quality, independently produced items, in a space that features local talents and makers.

  • Cross Broad Street to check out The Spot, a retail/community space curated by seven Black  creatives, showcasing the talents of Virginia makers.

  • While you’re on Broad Street, stop into the Black-owned shop Rotate for high-end vintage streetwear.

  • Go one block down Broad Street to the Elegba Folklore Society. It’s home to African diasporic cultural experiences – and its shop is filled with art, books, fashion and other items that celebrate the African culture.

  • Stop by Seven Stones Crystals, in the historic Jackson Ward district – it’s known as the best place in the region to find crystals. 

  • Treat yourself and stop by Adiva Naturals, where nature is beauty and shop for all natural and sustainable skin and hair care products

  • Drop into the Virginia Shop at the Library of Virginia, where you’ll find locally made and inspired jewelry and crafts, as well as classic Virginia mementos.

  • After touring the Valentine museum, stop in the Valentine Store for unique Richmond souvenirs, books and home items. 

The Wellness BLK RVA Tour

Connect with community through health, wellness and healing. Reclaiming outdoor spaces, committing to self-care, and nurturing your spirt are all part of planning your personal RVA wellness retreat.

  • Start with a bike ride on the Virginia Capital Trail – or spend the whole day on it, riding from Richmond to Williamsburg and back.

  • Walk or jog the Canal Walk, a 1.25 mile stretch along the James River, Kanawha and Haxall Canals – it’s lined with public art, statues and exhibits.

  • Visit the Well Collective in Shockoe Bottom for an immersive health and whole-body experience, from intergenerational wellness to educational workshops and an apothecary.

  • Do a drop-in session at Hour Cycle, an inclusive and body positive fitness studio where indoor cycling is remixed with Black music and culture. 

  • Refresh your soul at community grown and Black-owned Beet Box juice bar – right before you take a nice long walk through Carytown.