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“A great investment of time!”

RVA Historic Tour -Day Tours
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Richmond's Historic Landmark Trolley Tour
Ranked #11 of 25 Tours in Richmond
Attraction details
Level Contributor
17 reviews
6 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“A great investment of time!”
Reviewed 15 July 2014

We took the RVA Tour almost on a whim since we knew we would have some time to kill the day we arrived in Richmond. Boy, are we glad we did! We got a picture of the city that we would never have gotten otherwise. This is not your typical "see all the sights in a couple hours" bus or trolley tour. Our tour guide was extremely knowledgeable of the area, and she gave us a capsule of Richmond's history, geography, and sights that we would never have known to visit on our own. It was truly fascinating. After the tour, we returned to some of the places noted on the tour for a closer look; the insights we gained from the tour guide helped us enjoy them much more. If you travel to Richmond and want a quick but thorough overview of the city, the RVA Historic Tour is a must. It is unquestionably money and time well spent.

Visited June 2014
1 Thank SailOnSailor73
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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41 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Richmond, Virginia
Level Contributor
109 reviews
12 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 52 helpful votes
“You'll learn a lot!”
Reviewed 22 June 2014

Our 2 hour trolley tour of Richmond was packed with historic information that we didn't know even though we've lived here for 7 years. If you want to learn where Dogtown is, how Henrico was almost wiped out, and more about Jackson Ward, this is the tour for you.

Our tour guide was very knowledgeable about Richmond history. I thought that he had been a history professor but instead he used to work in the banking industry. Our guide helped you try to envision how Richmond used to look based on some existing homes and other buildings. His enthusiasm for Richmond's history was very engaging.

Please note that if you start the tour at the Cary Street headquarters, you may be picking up/dropping off other tour members at the Convention Center or hotels. Also note that as this is an old trolley, the seats are not that big. If you're on the heavier side, you're likely not going to be that comfortable.

Visited May 2014
Thank Macybear
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Everett, Washington
Level Contributor
182 reviews
65 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 54 helpful votes
“Savvy Tour Company”
Reviewed 22 May 2014

I did two all day tours with RVA and was very impressed by the tour guides which really knew and loved the history of their city. Unlike many tour guides that memorize a script, these people had done a lot of reading and study on their own. The tours were well-organized and overall a delight!

Visited May 2014
Thank GraceofGod
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Newnan, Georgia
Level Contributor
26 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
“Such a Waste of Money, Deeply Dissapointed”
Reviewed 9 December 2013

This was the biggest waste of time/money/patience I have seen in a long time.
When I saw the ad for it on Groupon it said that they served hot chocolate and had hot cider on
the tour. When I called to ask them if they provided bathroom breaks bc we
would be drinking they very sternly said, "No drinking! No beer or alcohol!"
When I explained I was talking about the hot chocolate and hot cider they were like,
"Oh, yeah, we'll stop for breaks." That was kind of an odd start but I bought
the tickets anyway. When we showed up things started off fine. There were 2
trolleys to choose from (niether of which were "open-air trolleys like the ad
had said they were, which was fine because it was cold out, of course). We got on the green one and sat down in the front row and I immediately looked at my husband and said, "Are there any other seats with more leg room?" The seats were so jam packed into the trolley that it was worse than a coach airline chair! My knees were literally pressing into the wood in front of me and it was extremely uncomfortable. As he looked around the two elderly women we had sitting behind us said, "No, they are all that small," and gave us a look of sympathy. I couldn't imagine having to sit with my legs propped up for 3 hours, and for the next 10 minutes before the tour began my husband and I tried various positions to make ourselves somewhat comfortable, but there really weren't any. The driver and tour guide boarded the trolley and the tour began right on time, but I was very surprised by how long it actually took for the tour to get started. I say this because we rode for 20 minutes in the dark before pulling into a gas station where we were told we could take a bathroom break. Well, because we were at a gas station you can imagine how long it took for 2 trolley loads of people to wait in line for one individual bathroom. While waiting in line about 70% of the guests bought bottles of wine and beer to chug on the tour. (Really? What had happened to the strict person on the phone who had scolded me just for asking about the hot chocolate?) After the bathroom break we re-boarded the trolley for another 15 minutes of riding through the dark while listening to our fellow passengers get drunk. While this was happening, since we were in the front row, I was pretty intrigued with watching our male tour guide flirt with a girl who was sitting on a sideways seat in front of the door. Occasionally he would get on the intercom and make a silly joke or ask if anybody wanted candy, but that was about it. When we finally got to the first house it was on the left side of the road. Because my husband and I were sitting on the right side of the trolley, we saw nothing. We then were told we would be heading to a different neighborhood to see another house. The next neighborhood was 10 minutes away. And thus we realized this was not, in fact, a tour. This was driving through the dark for 10-15 minutes at a time to get to one single house, 90% of which were on the left side, and each house seemed to be further and further from the others. In the 3 1/2 hours we were on the tour (yes, the tour ended 30 minutes late, which had us terrified our car was going to be towed because of where the parking is located) we saw a grand total of 8 hourse. Eight??? On a 3 1/2 hour tour??? That is HORRIBLE! But here's what's worse. As the "tour" progressed, our tour guide seemed to be getting drunk himself. Did we see him drinking beer or wine? No. He did have a clear liquid he was drinking, and I have no proof that it wasn't water, but let me just say this; no normal human being reacts the way he did to water. The girl he had been flirting with he eventually ended up SITTING ON while he groped her! Now, I'm 31 years young and this at least gave me something to watch since we obviously weren't seeing many Christmas lights, but the poor elderly couple behind us as well as the poor elderly couple on the other side of our aisle were so uncomfortable that my husband and I just felt awkward during the whole event. I'm not even kidding. The tour guide completely stopped making announcements so that he could sit on top of a girl, feel her up, kiss her neck, whisper sweet nothings in her ear, and he did all of this in front of about 20 or so passengers. Worse, at one point we got out of the trolley to walk around a decorated house. The tour guide and his female friend were walking in front of my husband and myself and the tour guide screamed, "It's God Damned cold out here!" Excuse me? Did he really just say that? Yeah, he did. Even if I wasn't a Christian I wouldn't want to hear language like that, but to hear the Lords name taken in vain while on a Christmas tour? That's pretty bad. When we got back on the trolley (which they kept saying was heated but we were all freezing even with the blankets and hats that we had brought) I asked the driver where the hot chocolate and hot cider was that had been offered in the ad. I was told that if we had wanted it we should have asked the receptionist for it when we checked in. (Are you kidding me?) Even the elderly women sitting behind us were griping to each other about how things were going, and they seemed like the sweetest little old ladies you could ever meet. All in all, my description of what we went through last night is pretty rough. I woke up this morning and actually had tiny bruises on my knee caps from the hard wood they'd been shoved into all night. Do NOT go on this tour! It takes a lot to make me mad, but the fact that we paid $65 to see 8 houses, a free peep show and hear foul language is not cool in my book. This company ought to be ashamed of itself. The only reason that I gave this review 2 stars instead on 1 is because some of the houses (once we got to them) were pretty and the driver was nice and seemed to genuinely feel bad.

Visited December 2013
Thank Julie A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Milford, Delaware
Level Contributor
241 reviews
88 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 104 helpful votes
“relax and enjoy”
Reviewed 25 September 2013

Sit back and relax on the trolly and see the sites of Richmond with a guide that is both fun and knowledgeable. The tour takes you through some very interesting and historic areas and may vary from time to time due to road construction and traffic. We not only got to see many historic buildings and sites, but were told the stories behind scenes.Her knowledge along with the bus drivers' skill navigating some congested and narrow streets made for a very enjoyable few hours.Good for the history buff and young and old alike.

Visited September 2013
Thank GaryG668
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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