The Richmond Tour Guys
The Richmond Tour Guys was founded in 2014 to display Richmond in all of its glory.
The best way to experience the sights and sounds of a city is on foot. You get so much more as you stroll at foot speed, instead of speeding by in a vehicle, stopping long enough to get a brief glimpse through window glass.
Locals who have lived here for years and think they know all about the City always see something new, or they see something that they’ve driven by a hundred times in a whole new context when there is a story behind it.
There are those who choose to go it alone, without a guide, and see Victorian Gothic buildings and Egyptian Buildings not knowing anything about what they are, were, and why they are there. Why not get the story behind the sight?
Because we believe that it shouldn’t cost an arm and a leg to get the story of a city. That is why we provide the tours at no charge. While tips for the guides are customary (and appreciated), there is no pressure to tip.
History, architecture, restaurants, murals, art galleries, and all of the in between make Richmond the best kept secret the the country. In 2014, Fodor’s said “While you weren’t looking, Richmond got cool,” and that couldn’t be more true. Experience that with us and you will have a much better appreciation for RVA.
Matthew learned the art of guiding tours in Granada, Spain. He followed his heart to Richmond and also fell in love with the city. With a love of story telling, history, and historic buildings, Richmond was the perfect place to found a free walking tour on the belief that the best way to experience a city is on foot- and the best price to pay for it is whatever the attendee thinks it’s worth.
He is originally from Richmond…California near San Francisco. After a 6 year stopover in Reno, Nevada to get a BS from University of Nevada Reno and a year of travel has made a cozy life RVA with his incredible wife.
Michael came on with us in 2015 and hasn’t looked back. Michael is probably the most qualified of our guides. Our Civil War specialist, he has been reenacting the Civil War since he was 14, was a guide for 5 years at the White House of the Confederacy, and has also worked as a tour guide at St. John’s Church.
Michael grew up in coal country… of early 19th Century Richmond in Chesterfield, VA. He studied History at Roanoke College and then returned to Richmond to work at the White House of the Confederacy.
He’s our most experienced guide, who comes to us with a wealth of tours and guide experiences from years of creating and giving tours across the country. He’s created and delivered coastal cruises, harbor tours and the first publicly presented whale watching tours in Southern California. On moving to Richmond over seven years ago, he learned a number of Richmond-based tours and delivered them for public tours, private tours and for groups either walking or aboard buses as a step-on guide. Ray said, “I don’t think there’s any more historic or interesting city in the country. Between downtown’s VCU campus and Church Hill’s Libby Overlook, there are 100’s of interesting stories to be found, waiting to be told. For me, storytelling on the move is what it’s about.” And there will be no tests, though one learns more than they could have imagined.
William Byrd II,
Founder of the City of Richmond
William Byrd II, a prominent Virginia land owner and aristocrat who laid out the City of Richmond in 1732 and saw it incorporated in 1742.
Byrd notes in his 1735 diary entry “It is my deepest hope that, one day, a visionary company will start a free walking tour company to show my brand new city off.”
We think you’d be proud, Willie.