From Civil War battlegrounds to beautiful parks and nature reserves, Chester is a fantastic introduction to Old Dominion. Shop, dine and admire historic architecture in the lively downtown district and venture into the countryside to visit boutique wineries and craft breweries.
Things to do in Chester
Downtown Chester has all the charm you’d expect from a small town in Virginia. Stroll along Main Street, browse mom-and-pop shops and enjoy lunch on a sunny patio. Handsome red-brick colonial buildings create a postcard-perfect backdrop.
The James River flows through the Dutch Gap Conservation Area and supports a unique ecosystem of woodlands and wetlands. Follow the boardwalk through the park to explore the tidal lagoon and spot bald eagles, blue-winged teals, red-shouldered hawks and barred owls. Listen to the chorus of green tree frogs and keep an eye out for mammals like beavers and muskrats.
Step back in time at Henricus Historical Park. The living history museum is located on the site of one of the first colonial towns in Virginia, where you can walk around the 16th-century fort and learn about its role in the Civil War. Don’t miss Arrohateck, a recreated American Indian village where you can peer into traditional “yehakin” houses with bentwood frames and bark roofs.
Whether you prefer wine, beer or artisan chocolate, you’ll find it in Chester. The countryside is peppered with independent businesses where you can get a taste of Old Dominion. The food is fantastic and ranges from southern-style BBQ to freshly-caught mountain trout.
Hike, fish and paddle in Pocahontas State Park. The park is named after the famous Native American woman and protects a patchwork of pine forests, lakes and wetlands. Pack a picnic and enjoy concerts and family-friendly events in the outdoor amphitheatre.
Getting around Chester
Downtown Chester is compact and easy to get around on foot. Rental cars offer the freedom to explore Chesterfield County at your own pace. The town is a 20-minute drive from Richmond and 2.5 hours from Washington Dulles International Airport.