Welcome to Richmond, VA!
Richmond, the sleepy capital of the Commonwealth of Virginia, has long had a reputation for genteel elegance and a rather old-fashioned atmosphere. However, the last few years have seen the city burst into life, with new, cutting-edge cultural institutions, a booming restaurant scene, and an influx of young, hip and diverse inhabitants.
Most travelers might stick to the tourist trail, but a worldwide local looks for new and interesting destinations with undiscovered, fascinating attractions. This is an insider’s guide of the under-the-radar sights of Richmond.
Begin in Carytown
A great place to start exploring Richmond is the quirky and eccentric neighborhood of Carytown. A lovely district made for getting agreeably lost in, Carytown has a wonderful, eclectic variety of fashion boutiques, charming vintage antique shops, and some excellent cafes, bars, and different Richmont restaurant varieties. It is also known for holding some of the most interesting festivals in the state, including the largest watermelon festival in the USA!
Worldwide Local Tip: For something to really get your taste buds going, stop in at Sen Organic. A gorgeous fusion of Vietnamese and French cooking served up as small sharing plates, this is a real Carytown gem. Everything is organic, and a good deal of the menu is vegetarian or vegan.
Art and Culture in Richmond
The things to do in Richmond vary greatly, and the city’s arts and cultural scene have had a real renaissance in recent years, with some incredible renovations and expansions driving a newfound passion. The Black History Museum and Cultural Center of Virginia recently reopened and is a seriously impressive exploration of African-American historical and cultural milestones. Equally impressive, is the newly expanded Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, which houses some of the best Art Deco and Art Nouveau collections in the country.
Worldwide Local Tip: Richmond’s Edgar Allen Poe Museum, is located just a few blocks from the writer’s first home, and is a wonderful dive into the weird life and works of this most enigmatic American authors. The Old Stone House which houses the museum is also reputed to be the oldest building in Richmond!
Enjoy the Richmond Weather by Getting Outdoors
Richmond has some spectacular scenery and does outdoor green space really rather well. Libby Hill Park, on the heights of Church Hill, was one of the first parks in Richmond and is surrounded by some of Richmond’s architecturally stunning original houses. Similarly, Belle Isle is an oasis of calm on the James River, with magnificent views of the Richmond skyline.
Worldwide Local Tip: The Maymont Estate is an extraordinary place to find in the center of the state capital. Covering 100 acres, this Victorian estate features Japanese and Italian gardens, a gorgeous mansion, and a kids’ farm. It is so unusual to find such a well-kept, extensive and picturesque green space in the heart of a city, which makes Maymont one of Richmond’s unmissable attractions.
Enjoy Your Stay!
The new dynamism and exciting, creative vibe, has infused Richmond making this beautiful riverside city a really worthwhile destination for travelers to the East Coast. While tourists might stick to the big-name cities, a worldwide local will avoid the crowds, and take advantage of the best experiences in town.