How to Fall in love With Richmond

Richmond Virginia

For a city first discovered in 1607, Richmond looks really good for its age. Victorian gothic architecture, federalist mansions, and hallowed Civil War battlefields mingle alongside more than half a dozen Fortune 500 companies and a fresh-faced collegiate crowd. Richmond is the capital of the Commonwealth of Virginia and is one of our country’s old cities, but despite being a metropolitan epicenter, there’s no paving over the remnants of its revolutionary past. Richmond is as intellectual as it is adventurous, so whether you’re a scholar, a foodie, or an outdoor maven, it’s hard not to fall for this kind of Southern charm.

Become an Art Aficionado – Who needs the Louvre when you have the Virginia Museum of Fine Art? Not only does this vast institution house more than 33,000 works of art, but visitors can also tour the exhibits 365 days a year, and never have to pay admission fees. Richmond’s deep-rooted art scene extends beyond the gallery and to the great outdoors where everything from the Romanesque columns of the State Capitol Building, and iconic sculptures along Monument Avenue, to the horticultural wonders of Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden breathe life into the city’s rich artistic tapestry.

Make Friends With the Outdoors – Whitewater rafting gets an urban view as you paddle along the scenic banks of the James River – stretching 348 miles along the city’s panoramic skyline. Hop on a bike or lace up your hiking shoes and head out onto the Virginia Capital Trail that connects Richmond to Jamestown for a 52-mile trek past historic sites, and lush greenery. For a taste of Venice with a splash of romance, Richmond travels across the pond to the River District with narrated canal cruises guiding you through the historic sites of this picturesque location.

Bring Your Appetite – From soul-soothing comfort food to cocktails and oysters, Richmond is the ultimate foodie paradise. Home to more than 900 restaurants, ranging from breakfast joints to haute cuisine, locals would agree the best start to any day is with a steaming espresso from Lamplighter Coffee, and a pillowy donut from Sugar Shack or Dixie. With over 30 breweries -and a craft beer trail – it’s safe to say ale in this town is serious business. Whether you like a malty Porter or a robust Guinness, places like Center of the Universe, and Ardent Craft Ales will have you covered.

Get Serious About Shopping – Farmer’s markets to antiques, to high-end couture, Richmond has it all. Popular spots include the whimsical, old-world charm of Carytown which offers everything from trendy boutiques and spas to locally owned eateries. Restored in the ’70s, Richmond’s former war-torn trading center Shockoe Slip is now a cobblestone-lined tourist hub filled with a variety of shops, restaurants, and museums. For mainstream retail therapy, Richmond has a myriad of options from Short Pump, and Chesterfield Town Center, to The Shoppes at Belgrade, all featuring an array of big-name designers, home decor, and specialty food stores.

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