Looking for a chic city getaway? We suggest exploring Richmond, Virginia’s vibrant capital city. Known for a lively art scene, notable American history sites, award-winning culinary, and, of course, the stunning James River that runs through the downtown area, Richmond has become a must-see destination. Read on for a quick look at some of what this charming capital city has to offer for your next holiday.
Stay at The Jefferson Hotel
Since 1895, The Jefferson Hotel (above) has been recognized by discerning travelers as Richmond’s grandest hotel and one of the finest in America. Known for its genuinely friendly service, luxurious guestrooms, breathtaking architecture and elegant décor, The Jefferson is reminiscent of a more gracious era.
The James River runs through it
A trip to Libby Hill Park, perched above the city, allows you to take in “The View That Named Richmond.” In 1737, local politician and noted founder of the city, William Byrd, II, stood upon the hill overlooking the river and noticed a striking comparison the unique landscape held with the view of Richmond on the Thames in England. Byrd named the city, Richmond, as a dedication to the comparable scenery. Today the James River (above) makes for an ideal outdoor playground offering both calm and white water at various points, for a variety of water sports and incomparable views of the skyline.
Take in the Art Scene
Infuse your day with a little culture at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts on the Boulevard. The museum houses a permanent collection of more than 40,000 works of art that span over 6,000 years and additionally draws special exhibitions from all over the world. One of their most popular and rare permanent collections is the museum’s collection of Faberge & Russian Decorative Art. With about 200 pieces crafted by the Faberge artisans, the VMFA has the largest public Faberge collection outside of Russia. Or take a self-guided tour of the hundreds of colorful murals found throughout the city. Street art events bring new additions every year, so there are always new colorful murals on view!
Explore the history through the architecture
Visit Maymont (above), a Victorian estate surrounded by lush Italian and Japanese gardens and home to stately trees. The mansion is furnished with rare antiques, silver, porcelain and tapestries. Or head to Agecroft Hall, a 15th-century English Tudor-style home rebuilt in Richmond in 1925. The grounds and gardens reflect the beautiful style of England’s Tudor and early Stuart periods.
A visit to Richmond is incomplete without a walk or drive down Monument Avenue, a broad, residential tree-lined National Historic Landmark. Developed in 1890, it is accentuated with enormous mansions from the end of the Gilded Age and is nationally significant for its architecture.
A short drive down scenic Route 5 from Richmond are eight beautiful plantation homes known as the James River Plantations. Belle Air, Berkeley, Edgewood, North Bend, Piney Grove at Southall’s Plantation, Shirley, Sherwood Forest and Westover are open to the public, some regularly and some by appointment.
Journey to the Broad Street Arts District to check out an eclectic shopping district. For premium men’s clothing, Ledbury (above) is a must. This Richmond-based business makes tailored men’s dress shirts, pants, and coats, in addition to a variety of luxury accessories. You’ll be hard-pressed to beat their level of quality and detail when it comes to men’s clothing. A few blocks away, Rider Boot Shop has the perfect dress shoes to pair with your Ledbury purchases (they also sell women’s shoes!).
Or check out nine blocks of locally owned restaurants, spas and one-of-a-kind boutique shops in Carytown, Richmond’s beloved “Mile of Style” shopping district.
Drink and dine in style
Richmond’s culinary scene is one of the most impressive in Virginia, with dozens of nationally recognized restaurants that serve every type of cuisine imaginable and multiple James Beard award-winning chefs bringing unique dishes to the table.
Enjoy a nice lunch paired with fine Virginia wine at Upper Shirley Vineyards. Or, if you’re a craft beer fan, you shouldn’t miss a visit to the Scott’s Addition neighborhood. With ten breweries, three cideries, four distilleries, one meadery, and a winery, this popular Richmond neighborhood is a must for craft drink enthusiasts. If a cocktail is more your style, grab a spot at the The Jasper, one of the city’s most popular and creative bars.
Celebrate the evening with a reservation at one of Richmond’s most beloved and luxurious restaurants, like The Jefferson Hotel’s Lemaire, the quirky yet decadent L’Opossum (above), or the Alpine-inspired Brenner Pass, helmed by superstar Chef Brittany Anderson, who has appeared on Food Network’s “Chopped” and “Iron Chef America”, and starred in Bravo’s season 18 of “Top Chef”.
Plan your getaway to Richmond to discover all the above and so much more at virginia.org/united