If you’re new to RVA or maybe just haven’t gotten out to explore much. I have created this post to show you some sweet pics and to help you visit some of my favorite places to catch a sunset in Richmond VA.
The CSX A-Line Bridge is one sunset spot I regrettably can’t include here since I haven’t actually taken pictures there. I know how to get there, but just haven’t ventured out there for pictures. Guess that’s due soon.
Beautiful Richmond VA Sunsets
I will start with the most obvious first to get it out of the way. This spot is beautiful, easy to get to, and can’t be beaten when wanting to catch a Richmond sunset.
Libby Hill Park
Parking is super close in the neighborhood surrounding Libby Hill Park. The park itself has plenty of space for a family picnic, tossing around a frisbee, or having your engagement photos taken there.
There’s at least one photographer there every clear eventing setup with their tripod, snapping away. The edge can get crowded at times but I’ve found some most of the crowd disappears as soon as the sun does. They totally miss the beautiful purples above the cityscape once the sun goes out of sight so I recommend staying a little while longer.
There are a few other spots to check out closer to the Confederate Soldiers and Sailors Monument. A few benches to relax and a cool fountain that glistens in the sunset colors.
But it’s hard to beat the classic Libby Hill Park view.
Another favorite place to catch the sunset is at or near the James River. I normally park at the Starbucks and walk onto the bridge. Getting past the tree line/riverbank yields some pretty good views. Composure may be a little tough, but the colors are beautiful.
A favorite image of mine from this spot came as I was leaving dissatisfied with my shots from the evening and happened to catch the train tracks creating leading lines right into the sunset. Perfect!
If you are feeling a little more adventurous drive down into the nearby neighborhood. The entrance is a little further from the bridge but across the street from Starbucks.
Drive down like you trying to get to the river, there’s a private driveway that goes across the train tracks. There are plenty of No Trespassing signs telling you not to cross but there’s no need. You can actually get a pretty good shot toward the sunset without getting close to those signs.
This time, the waterway beside the train tracks creates the leading lines to the sunset.
Belle Isle Rocks
With RVA being a River City there are a ton of sweet swimming spots. And one of these popular spots doubles as a sweet location to catch the sunset as well.
It can be pretty crowded at times so don’t expect a nice quiet evening. But the views are well worth it. And if you’re a wildlife photographer, there’s always a ton of geese or ducks hanging around as well.
To get there you just park at the Belle Island parking lot underneath the train tracks near Tredegar and walk across the huge pedestrian bridge. Once on Belle Island, turn right following the walking path.
There are a handful of spots to post up along this stretch, but just make sure you stay facing the north bank for the best sunset views. Once the walking path wraps around it gets a little harder to see the sun.
Here’s one of my favorite shots taken from that area. Yes, that’s snow & ice.
The last spot on this list is catching the sunset from the Manchester Bridge/Flood Wall area of Richmond, VA. You don’t really get to catch the sun itself going down, but on good nights you’re treated to both sunset colors in the sky and reflecting in the James. This combined with a fantastic view of the city puts it on the list.
One can access this area from a few spots if you don’t mind walking.
- Park in the flood wall parking lot on Hull St near the Mayo Bridge and walk on the flood wall until it puts you out under the Manchester Bridge.
- Park along Railroad Ave on the south side of the James between the SunTrust buildings and the river. Walk across a covered walkway, then zig-zag down under the Manchester Bridge and get closer to the river. You’ll see the flood wall.
- Park in the Belle Isle parking lot then walk across the Tyler Potterfield Memorial Bridge and follow the walkway around the bend. The path around the bend runs along some train tracks. Continue on that until you get under the Manchester Bridge, then walk towards the river. You’ll see the flood wall.
Don’t Leave the Flood Wall though after Sunset
Another reason to watch from the Manchester Bridge/Flood Wall area is to witness this classic view of Richmond once night falls. Check out the following 2 images to see what I’m talking about.
PS: This is a must-visit during the holiday season. Richmond VA is covered in Christmas lights. It’s breathtaking.
Hope everyone gets out to catch some Richmond sunsets here soon and finds this helpful.
What are your favorite spots? Have you been to any of these?