Richmond, Virginia is the quintessential quirky destination. With its mix of neighborhoods, dozens of museums, and a vibrant restaurant scene, the city offers everything from the old-fashioned charm of cobblestones to Hatch Local, a high-tech food hall.
The stylish Quirk Hotel is the place to stay. Fill your Instagram up with photos of the on-site art gallery, rooftop bar, soaring arched lobby, and trellised garden outdoor space. Shop near the hotel at Jolene for artistic home décor, Ledbury for the guys, and Mod & Soul for fashionable sundresses, then indulge in hand-made ice cream at Charm School.
The Carytown neighborhood offers unique boutiques, eateries, coffee shops and the very French restaurant Can Can Brasserie, where the Salad Niçoise is outstanding.
Uber through the tree-lined, historic district called “the Fan.” Richmond has squarely faced its unpleasant past, and the Confederate monuments once prominent, have been removed and now belong to The Black History Museum and Cultural Center of Virginia. Arrive at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts to check out the Faberge exhibit, the largest collection in any American museum. Other top-notch museums to choose from are the Valentine Museum/1812 Wickham House, the Institute of Contemporary Art and the 100-year-old Poe Museum, housed in the oldest home in Richmond, circa 1730. Virginia has played an important part in this country’s history, with four out of the first five presidents coming from the state – the Virginia Museum of History & Culture offers numerous educational exhibits and explanations.
Colorful street art is everywhere, peeking out of alleyways and decorating side streets. The Mending Walls mural project inspires conversations about social justice and has a self-guided tour. Also informative is the “Walking the Ward” tour with historian Gary Flowers or check out Discover Richmond Tours.
Grab some barbeque and sides at ZZQ, some oysters at Birdie’s, some buttermilk fried chicken or a crabcake patty melt at Hatch Local, and a custom lager at Benchtop Brewing. Renowned Richmond chef Mike Lindsey is creating a stir at his high-end diner, Jubilee. History fans will enjoy afternoon tea at the Jefferson Hotel, serving travelers since 1895. And, the Hotel Greene is not a hotel, but a cool bar with mini-golf in the kooky Wes Anderson-like basement.
The James River runs through town and the Brown’s Island waterway is the ideal urban park for a picnic, a walk, a bike or a kayak ride. Save a few hours for the spectacular Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden, just a 15-minute drive away. Whether it’s a girlfriend getaway, a family vacation, or a solo trip, Richmond offers it all.
Photos courtesy of Visit Richmond, ZZQ, and Ruta Fox.
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