Gem Of The South: The Virginia Museum Of Fine Arts

Gem Of The South: The Virginia Museum Of Fine Arts
| 2 min read

There’s no better way to get immersed in the culture of a new town than to visit its local museums. The Virginia Museum of Fine Arts (VMFA), rightfully located in Richmond’s historic Museum District, is as much an architectural gem as it is an art-lover’s sanctuary. Get ready to fall in love with the city’s rich history and artistic culture through the VMFA’s timeless permanent displays and can’t-miss traveling exhibits. While you’re at it, grab lunch at their award winning cafe, or relax by the meditation pond.

Visiting the museum

gem of the south: the virginia museum of fine arts | visiting the museum

The museum gallery and gift shop are open 365 days a year from 10 am to 5 pm. On Thursdays and Fridays, they host a lively and enjoyable happy hour from 5 pm to 9 pm, where you can enjoy specials on beverages and free 30 minutes tours of the museum. Admission to the museum is free for children and adults of all ages when visiting the main gallery. Tickets for special exhibits can be purchased at the museum for about 10 USD depending on the exhibit. As a year-round participant of the Blue Star Museums program, the VMFA provides free admission to all exhibits for all active duty military personnel and their families. Anyone can become an annual member of the museum and receive free admission to most traveling exhibits. Students can purchase an unlimited yearly membership for only 10 USD.


gem of the south: the virginia museum of fine arts | tours

The VMFA offers a variety of personalized tours from interactive learning-based tours and programs for students to guided tours for adults and large travel groups. Visitors can learn at their own pace through on-site audio tours, and even follow along on their mobile device through a special VMFA guided tour app. The museum also has daily walk-in tours, subject to the availability of tour guides, that require no reservation and highlight the most popular galleries in the building. If you’re not a fan of guided tours, worry not, the museum is very easily navigable, and museum staff is readily available to help with identifying pieces and artists.

Dining and entertainment

Beeldentuin - Virginia Museum of Fine Arts - Richmond VA
Source: Photo by Flickr user Esther Westerveld used under CC BY 2.0

To compliment its unique collection of art, the VMFA offers first-class dining experiences through their award winning restaurant, Amuse, and popular cafe, Best Cafe. Visitors can enjoy lunch or dinner with a view by dining on the exclusive patio, overlooking the museum’s beautiful gardens and water fixtures. The environment is perfect for unwinding after a long day of sightseeing.

Visit on Thursday or Friday evenings for a special treat during their happy hour in the courtyard. Eat, drink and be merry as locals and tourists gather at one of Richmond’s most popular destinations. In addition to its award winning restaurants, the VMFA has countless activities happening all year including unique and eclectic art classes to yoga and guided meditation on the museum grounds.

Permanent exhibits you don’t want to miss

gem of the south: the virginia museum of fine arts | permanent exhibits you don’t want to miss

Exhibits from every corner of the globe, from virtually every era, open to visitors free of charge 365 days a year! A few standout exhibits that prove their brilliance time and time again are the The McGlothlin Collection of American Art, the The Robert and Nancy Nooter Native American Art Collection and E. S. Lumsden’s Visions of India gallery. Also available year-round is the museum’s comprehensive library of artifacts, which includes periodicals dating all the way back to the 1920s.

Don’t miss the VMFA on your visit to Richmond

Having featured the works of world-famous artists like Van Gogh, Manet, Matisse and many others, you never know what to expect from your visit to this artistic gem. The VMFA announces new exhibits and features on their website 4–6 months in advance, giving travelers plenty of time to plan their trip down south accordingly. The museum’s staff will also recommend excellent choices for accommodations for those new to the area and provide visitors with concierge-type service in discovering other hidden treasures around town. This is one museum you will definitely want to visit.

Disclosure: Trip101 selects the listings in our articles independently. Some of the listings in this article contain affiliate links.


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A self-proclaimed pop culture expert with passion for writing, music and television. I have recently also discovered my love for traveling. Whether it be across town, across the country or across...Read more

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