Thanks to its central location in the mid-Atlantic region of the United States, Richmond, Virginia, enjoys a satisfying sampling of every season. From the bloom-filled springtime and sultry Southern summers to the vibrant fall and white winters, there’s never a bad season to visit this city.
So when is the best time to visit Richmond? It really just depends on the experience you’re seeking.
Shoulder Season: March, April and November
Best time to enjoy mild weather
In early spring and late fall, Richmond’s weather can be unpredictable, but visitors can bet on getting a fair share of mild, sunny days. If you’re hoping to witness Richmond’s many gardens at their peak, early spring is the best time to visit. Starting in late March, the city explodes with color as cherry blossoms, dogwoods, azaleas, rhododendrons, lilacs and peony blooms make their appearance. Maymont, Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden and Agecroft Hall are just a few of the gardens that shine brightest this time of year.
Low Season: December to February
Best time for cultural explorations
The holiday season sparkles in Richmond, with bright decorations throughout the city, bustling shops and festive markets. But for the rest of the winter, the city slows down. It can get quite cold in January and February, and snow is not uncommon, making many residents go into hibernation mode until the return of spring. The winter season is a good time to stay indoors and visit the city’s museums, galleries and theaters. Every now and then, the region does enjoy those mild winter days when temperatures can get up to 60°F, and then you’ll see Richmond’s parks, gardens and outdoor breweries flooded with locals seeking a dose of Vitamin D.
High Season: May to October
Best time for festivals and photo ops
Summer and fall are a great time to visit Richmond thanks to a full schedule of festivals, concerts and events. The days are long, and the nights often cool off just enough to enjoy outdoor dining and concerts under the stars. In summer, people flock to the James River to cool off on the hottest days, whether swimming, tubing or kayaking on the rapids. And although it might not get as hot and humid as some places further south, Richmond can still get pretty sticky in the summer months.
But once autumn arrives, Richmond enjoys some epic fall foliage. While the season can take some time to settle in – early September is still quite summery – October tends to see perfect weather paired with extremely photogenic fall colors. The city celebrates the cooler temperatures with several major music festivals and concert series. If you’re into Halloween, you’ll fit right in in the Fan District. From elaborate decorations to a huge trick-or-treating event, this historical neighborhood goes all out for spooky season.
After a festive holiday season, January in Richmond is a quiet and subdued month. Temperatures often dip below freezing, and talks turn to the possibility of snow days. It’s a good time to stay indoors and visit local museums, galleries and restaurants.
Key events: Richmond Remodeling Expo, Downtown Richmond Boat Show
While it starts out frigid, Richmond might begin to see the early signs of spring by the end of February. Keep warm by touring local breweries, cideries and distilleries.
Key events: Virginia Wine Expo
Spring arrives in Richmond in March, bringing with it plenty of blooms – and pollen. The brewery-rich Scott's Addition neighborhood is ground zero for local St. Patrick’s Day celebrations.
Key events: St. Patrick’s Day Parade, Shamrock the Block, French Film Festival
As the days get longer and the weather heats up, Richmonders spend more time outdoors soaking up the sun. The annual Easter Parade sees pastel-wearing crowds descend on Monument Avenue to celebrate spring. The Richmond Kickers’ soccer season begins.
Key events: Richmond Restaurant Week, Easter On Parade
Some of Richmond’s best weather happens in May, and the landscape starts to look lush and green. Baseball season kicks off at the Flying Squirrels stadium.
Key events: Strawberry Street Festival, Dominion Energy RiverRock, Lebanese Food Festival, Greek Festival
The vibe of the city shifts slightly as thousands of college students head home and local schools let out for the summer. The summer season starts to ramp up at Kings Dominion theme park.
Key events: Broad Appetit
With summer’s official arrival, locals cool off by spending lazy days by the river or hiking in the shady parks and forests. Schedules fill up with summer concert series, festivals and farmers’ markets.
Key events: Hanover Tomato Festival
In Richmond’s hottest month, many locals escape to the coast or the mountains for a summer getaway. For those who stay in town, the James River and local pools provide much-needed relief from the heat and humidity.
Key events: Carytown Watermelon Festival
College students return to Richmond in droves, and the leaves begin to turn toward the end of September. The city enjoys a sigh of relief after the long, hot summer.
Key events: Richmond International Film Festival, James River Week, State Fair of Virginia, Armenian Food Festival
Richmond leans into the fall season with pumpkin patches, Halloween celebrations and breathtaking fall foliage. The weather is about as close to perfect as you can get, and the calendar is filled with outdoor music festivals and events.
Key events: 2nd Street Festival, Richmond Folk Festival, St. Benedict Oktoberfest, Scott’s Addition Pumpkin Festival, Richmond Restaurant Week, Fire, Flour & Fork
The fall foliage typically hangs on through Thanksgiving before fading into early winter. Fall festivals and events continue throughout November.
Key events: Inlight Richmond, Craft + Design Fair, Virginia Cider Week
Holiday festivities take place throughout December in Richmond. From tacky light tours and tree-lighting ceremonies to holiday-themed bars and craft fairs, there’s plenty to put you in the holiday spirit.
Key events: GardenFest of Lights, Dominion Energy Christmas Parade, Fan Holiday Home Tour, Kings Dominion Winterfest, RVA Illuminates