I went to Richmond not too long ago to visit a friend who had moved there recently. I hadn’t spent much (if any) time in Richmond before, and I really enjoyed my visit! My favorite spot to visit in the South had always been Charleston, South Carolina. My family used to go down to Charleston every year in April for years. Richmond had some of the southern charm of Charleston, but it definitely had some of the artsy and cultural vibes of Rochester. It was a pretty cool combination! (For more comparisons of faraway places to Rochester, NY, check out my post about Christchurch, New Zealand).
When I arrived, one of the first things we did was bop down to the VMFA (from which I had previously received many Friday night snapchats from my BFF!). The VMFA, or Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, is actually a pretty hoppin’ place to be on a Friday night. It seems like all the young professionals in Richmond head over there to start off their evenings. The museum even sells their own branded wine! Tons of millennials were enjoying a pleasant night on the patio with wine and sculptures. It was pretty cool!
Best part about that museum? Admission is FREE! Love it.
One thing I love about the South is the history- it feels like it’s everywhere around you. So of course, my friend took me to a cemetery so I could explore. Hollywood Cemetery has tons of historical figures buried there, including two U.S. presidents (and a confederate president!), a monument to the confederate dead, and an iron statue of a Newfoundland dog. I loved exploring- it was so beautiful! I could have wandered for hours. Kind of like Mt. Hope!
Regardless of where I am traveling, I always want to get outside! Museums and art are great, but nature is even better. We had some lovely views in several spots in the city. Perhaps my favorite activity, though, was walking the pipeline. You descend an old, slippery ladder and then are able to walk a really neat metal path over a big ol’ pipe and under some traintracks. You’re right on top of the water and can watch kayakers play in the river! Best of all, it’s not that crowded, so it makes for a really fun and interesting walk. Definitely worth a visit if you’re in RVA!
Last but not least, if I’m gonna love a city, it’s gotta have great food. And Richmond sure did! My fave meal while I was there was at a little place called Stella’s (Yelp review here). We arrived early and had a delectable brunch. The environment was very cute and quaint and the food was phenomenal (glorious salmon. glorious lamb. glorious mimosas). We also had incredible desserts at a spot called Shyndigz (seriously, can you make your restaurant name any harder to spell?). Apparently going to Shyndigz is quite an event- they even have a separate space in a separate building where you can just sit and wait to go to Shyndigz. My bread pudding was outstanding. Most of their cake slices are the size of your head. Such decadence! Hardywood Brewery was also a must- especially because their famous gingerbread stout had just been released. Great beer (that stout legit tasted just like gingerbread) and tons of cool people hanging out outside. What more can you ask for?
All in all, I’d highly recommend a trip to Richmond! There’s lots to do, whether you’re into history, art, eating, or just being outside.