Richmond

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Richmond is the capital of Virginia, a state in the American South. Richmond has a population of 200,000 and the adjacent counties of Henrico and Chesterfield combine to create a local population of more than 1,250,000 people.

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  • Metropolis over 100 hotels
  • Big city 50-100 hotels
  • Medium city 20-50 hotels
  • Small city 5-20 hotels
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Points of Interest

  • Beach Beach
  • Business object Business object
  • Casino Casino
  • Civic property Civic property
  • Education Education
  • Entertainment Entertainment
  • Golf course Golf course
  • Green space Green space
  • Harbor Harbor
  • Historic site Historic site
  • Interesting place Interesting place
  • Medical Medical
  • Monument Monument
  • Museum Museum
  • Shopping Shopping
  • Skiing Skiing
  • Sports facility Sports facility
  • Theater Theater
  • Winery Winery

Points of Interest in Richmond

  • Belle Isle. In the middle of the James River, this island includes a mountain-biking trail. Fans of the movies Cold Mountain, Hannibal, and The Jackal may recognize the area. It offers great views of the falls and the river, but be wary of copperheads, which abound on the island. Also many teenagers enjoy swimming and laying out on the rocks. There are even rope swings set up on the bridges nearby. It is a great hangout for teenagers and young adults. The rocks can get overcrowded during the warmer months on the weekend, so plan accordingly. Also, in mainly July and August when the James River water levels are low, the water can get bath-water hot. You can check the regional water level here: [3]
  • The Historic Downtown. The cobblestoned Shockoe Bottom area is rich in history, and well-worth the trip, if only to see one of the many Edgar Allan Poe houses in the Northeast. Though much of the area was washed out during Hurricane Isabel and Tropical Storm Gaston, the rebuilding continues.
  • Maymont Park. A wealthy landowner donated his estate to the city, and Richmond turned it into one of the most beautiful urban parks in the nation. Fountains, Italianate gardens, and a Japanese tea garden are a pleasure to walk through. The nature center here is all-encompassing and free, and its exhibits on Virginia Wildlife include two otters who are glad to show off for visitors. Gray foxes, red-tailed hawks, and other exhibits are located outside. Kids like the farm area, where sheep, lambs, chickens, and other sundry animals are exhibited.
  • Monument Avenue This grand avenue stretches from downtown Richmond at Lombardy St out into Henrico's West End at Horsepen Dr. Along the avenue in the city are statues to Confederate heroes J.E.B. Start at Lomabardy St., Robert E. Lee at Allen St., Jefferson Davis at Davis Ave.,and Stonewall Jackson at the Boulevard. Matthew Fountaine Muarry, who served in the Confederate Navy, but who is memorialized for his contributions to oceanic navigation and his invention of the torpedo is located at Belmont St. Tennis star and humanitarian Arther Ashe is located at Roseneath St.
  • Byrd Park. There's some fishing lakes, seasonal paddle boats, a fitness trail and the Dogwood Dell ampitheater, home to the Summer Festival of Arts. The park abuts Maymount at the end of the Boulevard.
  • Gallery 5, 200 W. Marshall St. This art gallery used to be an old fire station. In addition to art, they have an antique steam engine, a library, and a craft shop, [4]
  • Virginia Fine Arts Museum, 200 North Boulevard,  +1 804-340-1400.
  • Science Museum of Virginia, 2500 West Broad Street,  +1 804-864-1400.
  • The Children's Museum of Richmond, 2626 W Broad Street,  +1 804-474-7000.
  • The American Civil War Center and Richmond National Battlefield Headquarters at Tredegar, 490 Tredegar Street, 804-788-6480, [5]. Daily 9AM-5PM. The site of a Civil War era iron foundery which supplied ordinance to the Confederate Army. The site has long been the NPS headquarters and Museum of the Richmond/Petersburg Battlefield area and just recently ground was broken on the American Civil War Center, which aims to be the definitive museum on interpretation of the conflaguration from all perspectives. Also on the grounds are a statue of Abraham Lincoln and his son Todd.
  • Museum of the Confederacy, 1201 E. Clay Street,  +1 804-649-1861. at 12th Street. The Museum is looking to expand into a statewide system of museums,while maintaining its headquarters in Richmond. The museum contains the largest collections of Confederate records, artifacts and other treasures from the period. The Museum also maintains and gives tours of the White House of the Confederacy.
  • The White House of the Confederacy +1 804-649-1861. E.Clay and 12th Street. The White House of the Confederacy has been restored reflect its use as the executive mansion of Confederate President Jefferson Davis during the Civil War. Open to the public with regularly scheduled guided tours that are arranged and given by the Museum of the Confederacy.
  • Black History Museum, 00 Clay Street,  +1 804-780-9093.
  • Edgar Allan Poe Museum, 11 North 18th Street.
  • The Landmark Theatre (formerly The Mosque), 6 North Laurel St,  +1 804-646-4213. {at Main St.). Regularly features off-Broadway plays in addition to hosting comedians from around the nation.
  • State Capitol, Bank St. The structure was designed by Thomas Jefferson and is is the current home of the Virginia General Assembly. From 1861-1865 it also served as the home of the Confederate States Congress.
  • Egyptian Building, East Broad Street. This was the first building and home of the Medical College of Virginia, which now surrounds the structure.
  • Lucky Strike Factory, "Tobacco Row" in Shockoe Bottom. The Lucky Strike Factory has recently been renovated into stylish loft apartments and condos. A good view of the painted smoke stack can be seen from nearby Libby Hill park, where the Confederate Soldiers and Sailors monument is located.
  • Hollywood Cemetery, 412 S. Cherry Street. Located between the neighborhoods of Oregon Hill and Randolph on a bluff overlooking the James, Presidents Tyler and Monroe have their final resting places here. So does the locally renowned Jefferson Davis, and it's worth the trip through winding roads to see reverent Southerns laying flags on his grave. Also in the cemetery are Confederate Generals George Pickett and J.E.B. Stuart and local authors James Branch Cabell and Ellen Glasgow. The lines of small headstones marking the mass graves of Confederate dead is truly an eerie and powerful sight.
  • Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden, 1800 Lakeside Avenue,  +1 804-262-9887. The Garden is open daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. The Garden is closed on Thanksgiving Day, Dec. 24 and Dec. 25.. An oasis of year-round beauty and interest, the Garden has more than a dozen themed areas including a Rose Garden, a Healing Garden, Asian Valley, Historic Bloemendaal House and a Victorian-style garden, and a Children’s Garden – complete with wheelchair accessible Tree House and WaterPlay. The glass Conservatory is the only one of its kind in the mid-Atlantic. The Garden Shop offers distinctive items; dining is available in the Garden Café and Tea House. Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden is a place to learn about plants, to marvel at nature, to relax, to take gardening classes, or to have a wedding or a business meeting. A wide variety of experiences are offered through its diverse gardens and facilities. Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden is consistently one of the most-visited attractions in the Richmond, Va., area. Members are free; Adults $10, Children (3-12) $6, Children under 3 are free.

Virginia State Capitol

Library of Virginia

Richmond Old City Hall

Monumental Church

Richmond City Hall

Egyptian Building

John Marshall House

St. Paul\'s Episcopal Church

Virginia Commonwealth University

Virginia Commonwealth University Medical Center

Greater Richmond Convention Center

Museum of the Confederacy

American Civil War Center at Historic Tredegar

Altria Theater

St. John\'s Episcopal Church

Valentine Richmond History Center

Cathedral of the Sacred Heart

Edgar Allan Poe Museum

Maymont Park

Virginia Holocaust Museum

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Popular events in Richmond in the near future

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About Richmond

Background

Richmond is the capital of the Commonwealth of Virginia. It was settled in 1607 by an English settler named Capt. Christopher Newport and Capt. John Smith. The site was previously inhabited by the Powhatan Indians. It was named Richmond after the London suburb of Richmond-upon-Thames by its founder William Byrd II. The settlement did not become a city until 1742, and in the 135 years in between served as little more than a trading post for furs, hides, and tobacco. In 1782 Richmond became the state capital of Virginia.

Richmond is one of the oldest American cities. The Shockoe Bottom entertainment area is where slave rebellion leader Gabriel had his head hung from a pike. During the Civil War, it served as the capital of the Confederacy. When the Northern Army invaded Richmond, the fleeing Confederate government set fires to the city's munitions stores and government records they were unable to take with them. The fire grew out of control when winds picked up, and most of the city burned. The soldiers from the Union helped to put out the fires upon their arrival. The day after the city fell, Abraham Lincoln made a visit to the city. Though much of its colonial past has disappeared, it is rich in Civil War history and lore. There are, among other things, a Civil War prison site on Belle Isle, the house Robert E. Lee lived in, the state Capitol (which Thomas Jefferson designed and said was inspired by the Maison Carrée at Nimes, France) which served as the Confederate Capitol during the war, a museum of the Confederacy, the original Confederate White House, and Hollywood Cemetery in the heart of the city where more than 18,000 Confederate soldiers are laid to rest. Richmond has the most forged iron outside of New Orleans, and one of the first African American neighborhoods (Jackson Ward).

Visitor information

  • Richmond Visitor Center, 405 N 3rd St (at Marshall),  +1 804 783-7450. 9AM-5PM daily.
  • Airport Visitor Center, 1 Richard E. Byrd Terminal Dr., Ste. A

Lower Level - Baggage Claim Area Sandston, VA 23250,  +1 804 236-3260. Mon. - Fri. 9:30am-4:30pm, Sat. & Sun. noon-5pm.

  • Bass Pro Shops (11550 Lakeridge Parkway

Ashland, VA 23005),  +1 804 615-5412. Thursday-Monday 10am-6pm.

Activities

The James River

The section of the James River running through Richmond offers many opportunities for a day out. Due to Richmond's location at the fall line, the James River has many rapids right downtown which are great for white water rafting. The rapids are class III but may become class IV in the right weather conditions. The ones closest to downtown can be quite dangerous without an experienced guide. However, there are many smaller rapids just slightly upstream which can safely be run in a raft or innertube. One can travel at a lazy pace, stopping to repeat rapids or swim through quickly. In order to run the rapids in this way, one must have two cars, parking the first at the bottom exit point and the second at the entry point.

There are parks on both sides of the James River above downtown, but the Pony Pasture section of the James River park is an excellent place to begin a few hours on the rapids. Just make sure to pull out when you see a sign on the right side of the river with an arrow directing you to do so; otherwise you will have great difficulty on the larger rapids. The river is quite clean and mostly surrounded by woods for this section. Make sure to try the rope swing under one of the railroad bridges. Many people simply swim around in between the smooth rocks at Pony Pasture without leaving that section. There are excellent trails through the woods on both sides and this section is used for the XTERRA Triathalon in June.

IMPORTANT SAFETY NOTE - due to the river's currents, sudden drop-offs and large (and sometimes hidden) rocks, it has been known to get the best of even those with years of experience. As serene as it may look in places within the city, many locals have stories about someone they know who got in trouble with the river due to not taking the proper precautions, even just a few feet from the river bank. Do not risk it: when rafting or tubing, always wear a life jacket. Do not wade or swim outside of areas known to be safe by locals, such as between the rocks at Pony Pasture. In addition, be aware of weather conditions, as the river is prone to severe flash flooding during rainstorms, which changes conditions very rapidly and without much warning.

Live Music

Despite churning out a good number of internationally known rock, indie, metal, punk and R&B acts, many outsiders don't think of the former capital of the Confederacy as being a hotbed of diverse musical arts. However, largely thanks to the thriving arts scene associated with and around Virginia Commonweath University, Richmond has quite the music scene. Clubs offer a diverse selection of genres from rock, indie, metal, punk, hardcore, alternative, blues, jazz, jam, country and bluegrass. In addition to international and national acts that come through town, there is a vibrant (and often fiercely independent) local music scene which has spawned a good number of internationally renowned acts in recent years.

  • The Camel, 1621 West Broad Street. The Fan Hosts Jazz, jam, indie acts.
  • The Canal Club, 1545 East Cary Street. Shockoe Bottom 500 capacity club, featuring large stage upstairs and smaller stage downstairs. Hosts internationally known mainstream acts as well as local acts, mostly rock.
  • Carpenter Theater at Richmond Center Stage, 600 East Grace Street. The Fan Theater venue, hosting larger mainstream acts.
  • Cary Street Cafe, 2631 West Cary Street. Carytown A self-described "hippie bar" in the heart of Carytown, the Cary Street Cafe features local and touring jam bands, reggae, bluegrass, indie rock and weekly jam-sessions.
  • Gallery 5, 200 West Marshall Street. Downtown Art gallery and performing arts center that hosts touring and local indie rock.
  • Hat Factory, 140 Virginia Street. Shockoe Bottom Located in a converted factory building, hosts national, regional and local rock acts.
  • The National 708 East Broad Street, Downtown [6] One of the newest venues on the scene, The National filled the much-needed absence of a large club venue in Richmond, and hasn't slowed down since. With a general admission capacity of 1,500, it hosts larger touring and local acts. Features seven full bars, 300 padded stadium seats with cup holders in the balcony, and a state of the art sound system. Attached is Gibson's Grill [7], which generally allows patrons to enter shows 15 minutes early with the purchace of an entree beforehand.
  • Strange Matter, 929 West Grace Street. The Fan 300 capacity dive bar venue that has had much history in the RVA music scene. Formely known as Twisters, 929 Cafe and Nanci Raygun, it recently re-opened as Strange Matter.

Food

Many of Richmond's fine restaurants may be found in the historic district downtown called Shockoe Bottom.

Budget

  • Bottoms Up Pizza, 1700 Dock Street,  +1 804-644-4400. Located in Shockoe Bottom, and known for having the best, and largest variety of pizza in the city.
  • Sticky Rice, 2232 W Main St,  +1 804-358-7870. This Fan restaurant serves unusual sushi (including many vegan and vegetarian options) and a range of Asian-inspired dishes.
  • Galaxy Diner,, 309 W. Cary St,  +1 804-213-0510. Located in the heart of Carytown, it's a throwback to the 50's with a funky Richmond twist. The theme is "B SciFi", but the food is "A-", that is, not great, but pretty good for the price. Burgers, shakes, and fries of course, but also some good veggie offerings (my favorite is the Portabella Burger) and their unique fried pickle. A fun place for the family, and convenient to the eclectic Carytown shopping district.
  • Vito's, 904 W. Grace Street,  +1 804-353-5533. near VCU. Vito's is the place to go if you want subs, pizza burgers, calzones/srombolis etc. The food is great and the prices are cheap. Their full menu is online at www.vitosatvcu.com. Free Delivery!
  • Sidewalk Cafe,, 2101 West Main Street. just east of the Boulevard, 804-358-0645. Serves the best food in Richmond at a very reasonable price. The menu has a great deal of variety and daily specials are inventive. Because of its reputation, Sidewalk stays packed and a short wait may be necessary. Don't feel railroaded into taking an uncomfortable table as the waitstaff will understand those who prefer a booth (trust me, you want a booth). For the ideal Richmond experience or simply for those who want to get their money's worth, Sidewalk is a must.
  • 821 Cafe,, 821 W. Cary St,  +1 804-649-1042. 821caferva.com This little restaurant offers great food at bargin prices. Serving breakfast till 5PM, it offers wonderful meat, vegetarian, and vegan options including biscuits with pork or veggie gravy, tofu scramble and breakfast burritos. If not in the mood for breakfast they have sandwiches, subs, nachos and pasta. The restaurant is full of young professionals, college kids, professors, and neighborhood regulars. The tattooed waitstaff is friendly and always ready to poke fun at the customer. The restaurant fills up fast on the weekends, so get there early and make sure you order their famous $3 mimosas; Champagne in a pint glass with just a hint of orange juice.
  • Mojos,, 733 W Cary St (The Fan, near VCU). Mojotogo.com A self-described "Philadeli," the items to try are the cheesesteaks, the wings, and whatever the special happens to be. Also have good breakfast and reasonably-priced drinks. They deliver.
  • Baja Bean Co., 1520 West Main Street (The Fan, near VCU),  +1 804-257-5445. Www.bajabean.com. So Cal Mexican food in a relaxed setting. Largest Patio in the Fan, pool tables, games, music on weekends. Many daily specials will help you keep your budget in check. Self proclaimed #1 Tecate Bar in America
  • Pho So 1, 6403 Rigsby Rd. Richmond, VA 23226-2916 (Near West End) 804-673-9940. Hands down the best beef phở in Richmond, and, according to many, rivals what you get in Saigon. Complete with packed crowds on the weekends and hurried servers, but still worth the wait. Order a durian bubble tea (off-menu) for dessert, and you'll feel like you're in Southeast Asia.

Mid-range

  • Edo's Squid, 411 N. Harrison St,  +1 804-864-5488. Located on the second floor, above Stuffy's Subs, in the VCU area. Delicious Italian and seafood dishes. Moderate to expensive.
  • The Roosevelt, 623 N.25th Street, (804)658-1935. In historic Church Hill. Modern Southern and southern-inspired, with an all-Virginia wine list, regional beers, craft cocktails. [8]
  • Strawberry Street Cafe, 421 N. Strawberry St. Wonderful.
  • Panda Garden, 948 W. Grace St. Located in "The Fan". Used to be just vegan Asian cuisine.
  • Harrison St. Coffee Shop, 402 N. Harrison St. Located in "The Fan". A good place to get fair trade coffee, and vegan sandwiches.
  • Captain Buzzy's Beanery, 2623 E. Broad St. in the "Church Hill" district. Quiche, Baked Goods, Sandwiches, Salad, and Coffee.
  • Peking Chinese Restaurant. 1302 B Cary St. Fresh, delicious Chinese food in a pleasant atmosphere.
  • Penny Lane Pub, 421 E. Franklin St., [9]. Authentic British Pub. Come for "Football" and Rugby matches. Enjoy a pint.
  • Mekong Vietnamese Restaurant, 6004 W. Broad St. Great Vietnamese food, and an excellent beer selection.
  • Capital Ale House, 623 East Main St. Over 40 beers on tap and over 200 beers available bottled. On Tuesdays, Capital Ale House does a special promotion called "Steal the Beer Glass Night" where they feature a different beer each week, and you get to keep the glass it comes in.
  • Bistro Twenty-Seven, 27 West Broad St. Fantastic Mediterranean cuisine prepared by local favorite, Chef Carlos Silva. Dinner entrees range from Italian-sausage-stuffed quail to black-truffle marsala filet mignon to breaded flounded with shaved almonds.
  • Gibson's Grill, 700 East Broad Street,  +1 804-644-2637. Attached to the live music venue The National, Gibson's Grill offers a variety of American and Italian fare in a rock-themed atmosphere. If attending a show at The National, you can get in to the show 15 minutes early with the purchace of an entree beforehand at Gibson's.

Splurge

  • The Tobacco Company, 1201 East Cary Street,  +1 804-782-9555.

Drinks

  • Cary St. Cafe. "Bohemian cafe, with the tunes to match". a dirty hippy bar.
  • Have A Nice Day Cafe, Nice atmosphere, but only for those 21 and older. bros everywhere. Bad area of town at night and is home to a lower quality crowd.
  • Capital Ale House, 623 East Main St. Over 40 beers on tap, over 200 different beers bottled. Has a game room that is available to patrons 21 and over. Great atmosphere.
  • Three Monkeys Bar and Grill, 2525 West Main Street,  +1 804-204-2525.
  • Barcode, 6 East Grace Street (near Foushee St.),  +1 804-648-2040. Popular gay bar and restaurant. Karaoke on Sunday.
  • F.W. Sullivan's, 2401 W. Main Street. Great food and good times at this Fan District favorite
  • Sin e' Irish Pub, 1327 E Cary St (Shockhoe Slip),  +1 804 649 7767. Even our Irish regulars call this pub "authentic!" Located in a restored tobacco warehouse with architecture imported directly from the Emerald Isle. Delicious fish n' chips, shepard's pie. Live rock music on Fri & Sat.
  • Empire, 727 W Broad St (The Fan near VCU). A small but comfortable dive that has a reasonable selection of beers and liquors and a punk atmosphere with a touch of scene. The bathrooms are thoroughly tagged, the bartenders are all pierced and tattooed, the food is a bit better than standard bar fare, most people there are friendly and the prices are fairly low.
  • Rare Olde Times Irish Pub, 10602 Patterson Avenue, Richmond, VA 23229,  +1 804 750-1346. Having a long tradition as a centerpiece in people's lives, public houses have acted as hardware stores, "spirit groceries", undertakers, and in many other capacities. But as a place for friends and community to gather in an informal setting, pubs have become less well known. Rare Olde Times is distinctly a Public House. You can find casual and regular acquaintances, friendly staff, a homely setting, and the personal touch that family ownership brings. Andy is a native of Dublin, Ireland and named the pub after a favorite song of his father’s.

Shopping

  • Carytown. If you like to shop, Carytown's a must. The prices are high, but the high-end clothing, art, and antiques are worth it. Check out the restaurants while you're there - some of the best eateries in Richmond, from the low-end Galaxy Diner to the Thai restaurants, make their homes in Carytown.

This article is based on Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike 3.0 Licensed text from the article Richmond on Wikivoyage.

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