Frommer’s Travel Guides said it best when they declared Richmond one of the top places to visit in 2014: “While you weren’t looking, Richmond got cool.”
Richmond has historical significance, an emerging hipster and arts scene, and evolving foodie trends all wrapped into one southern capital city. Just in case you needed more reasons why Richmond is awesome, here are 14 more:
1. It’s the center of wine country. Virginia is a modern winemaking destination, but Richmond is great for sampling some of the state’s best grape products. Head to River City Cellars in Carytown for a diverse selection.
2. Art is everywhere. You can go to the Virginia Museum of Fine arts for a taste of classical and modern art, but to really get a feel for Richmond you only need to walk around downtown. Murals and sculptures by talented artists are all around.
3. Tours are actually interesting. You can take the Downtown Public Art Tour to see the street art, you can explore Richmond’s Slave Trail tour to learn about the historical slave trade, or get the local scoop on what’s good to eat in any neighbourhood on the Real Richmond Food Tour.
4. But you don’t need to go on one to learn about the city. You can follow the Canal Walk – a 1.25 mile self-guided tour of 400 years of Richmond’s history.
5. They live farm-to-table. From cheese to fresh fish, Richmond loves their local eats. For the best the city has to offer, head to Pasture where head chef Jason Alley takes great care to get the freshest food from local providers.
6. Locals hang out at the river. Trade in the sea salty beach for a refreshing dip in our freshwater river systems. Pony Pasture is a great place for swimming and sunbathing in the summer.
7. The outdoors can be wild. There’s the James River Park system, where mountain biking and hiking are common, but there’s also the renowned white water rafting right through the city center.
8. You can find a tamed outdoors too. A visit to the Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden is nature in a controlled setting where you can stroll along the paths, visit ponds, and see the wide variety of plants from around the world.
9. Richmond is home to one of the biggest folk festivals in the US. Every October, the Richmond Folk Festival attracts more than 200,000 people to enjoy folk music and traditions.
10. They‘ve got our own island. Cross the city’s suspension bridge for a jaunt around Belle Isle for fishing, picnicking, or walking in an area surrounded by water.
11. You can eat your way around the world without leaving the city. All around the city you can try international cuisine. Head to Kuba Kuba for delicious Cuban food or try a hipster twist on sushi at Sticky Rice in The Fan neighborhood.
12. Speaking of neighborhoods… They all have their own character – for major nightlife head to Schockoe Bottom, if you love to shop try Carytown, for history you want the River District.
13. Richmond is home to the Byrd Theater. You can’t go wrong with $2 movies in a historical theatre that’s been running since 1928.
14. They‘re up on the coffee scene. For a good cup of Joe check out the Lamplighter Roasting Company – they roast their own beans and have a commercial size kitchen for healthy salads and sandwiches.
About the Writer
Alyssa is a freelance writer, perpetual traveler, and lover of all things related to cheese, chocolate and wine – though never at the same time. She’s based in London and blogs at Alyssa Writes. She’s working with Hipmunk on their #CityLove campaign.