Richmond is a nice place to visit for a week, but you don't want to live here. I've been here 6 years now, so maybe I can give you a bit of a handle on what to do and where to eat and things along those lines. I've been a lot of places and Richmond doesn't have the best of anything, but it's not the worst either...by far.
~~Places To Visit~~
Poe Museum - Edgar A. wasn't born here, but most Richmonders say he claimed it was home. This is a small house where he lived dedicated mostly to his childhood. The Poe Museum is in the heart of Richmond's Historic Shockoe Bottom district located at 1914-16 E. Main St
Science Museum - located in mid-town Richmond, Virginia, at 2500 West Broad Street in the historic Broad Street Station designed by renowned architect John Russell Pope. The Science Museum of Virginia is easily reached via Interstate 95 and Interstate 64. This houses numerous things such as the Children's Museum, Imax Theater, Aerospace, Crystal World, Electriworks, Reynolds Aluminaut: Exploring Deep Ocean Space..it's just huge with lots of interactive exhibits. About $11 for adults, children are free.
Civil War Monuments - You can't go two feet without passing one! Seriously, Richmond is the site of some historical Civil War battles and there are numerous monuments to such. I can't possibly name them all, but your Hotel is likely to have a list.
Tobacco Row - Downtown Richmond's historic district, this is where it all started, the ghost of Richmond's glory days. All the buildings are still there with their signs from a past era. Most are now abandoned, but some have been recently converted into loft apartments and one is the home of La Difference, a trendy furniture store. Nice to look at just to say you've been there.
Colonial Downs - If you're in the mood for a bit of racetrack gambling, this is your spot! Not comparable to Aksarben, but you can feed your habit and have quite a bit of fun here. South of Richmond on I-64 just a short bit.
~~Where To Eat~~
Young Bin Kwan - Do go read my full review of this fantastic Korean BBQ place. Just outstanding in every respect. The staff is awsome, the food to die for, and you get to cook it yourself! A definite 'don't miss' spot in Richmond. 7437 Midlothian Tpke # B,
Richmond, VA 23225
A Passage To India - The absolute best Indian food in Richmond. We have many, but this is by far my favorite. Try their Shrimp Malai, it's to die for! Big generous portions, and a wonderfully friendly family own/operate the place. Will run you about $20 per person with drinks. Located on Midlothian just off of Chippenham Parkway in a little shopping center. Well behaved children would be ok.. grin.
Havana 59 - Upscale Cuban-themed bar/restaurant with great food, very nice presentation too. It can get a bit loud in here at times, but it's worth it. Last time we ate here I think it ran about $160 for 4 adults. NOT kid friendly. Located at 16 N 17th St, across from Farmers Market. Warning to non-smokers: This is also a cigar bar.
Extra Billy's BBQ - Located on Broad street about midway between downtown and the West End, this is the best BBQ in town. Huge portions, friendly staff, and very affordable at about $10-$15 per plate. Kid friendly too!
Dena's - If you are in the mood for Greek or Italian, this is where you want to go. This is across the side street from Chesterfield Towne Center at 11314 Midlothian Tpke. Great atmosphere, wonderful service, and good food. Although I've never been to Greece, I suspect this is very close to authentic given how very different it tastes from American food. Under $20 per person.
The Tobacco Company - This place is rich in history. Located in Richmond's Shockoe Bottom district, it is two old tobacco warehouses converted into elegant dining. Pastas. steaks, and seafood. Around $40 per person with drinks and dessert. Cigar smoking is encouraged.
Grey Wolf Grill - Best Mongolian Barbeque around. $14.95 for all you can eat, and you mix your own ingrediants then hand your bowl to the chef who will cook it perfectly. 1601 Willow Lawn Drive
Richmond, VA 23224
Pasta Luna - Exceptional Italian dining in the West End. Located at 8902 W. Broad St. Do order one appetizer and pasta dish for two of you. Their portions are huge!
~~Where To Stay~~
Jefferson - A national historic landmark, the Jefferson has been in business since 1895. Rooms run from $285 up to $1800 per night. Even you don't stay here, you must visit just to see the grand staircase!
101 W. Franklin St
Omni - Very nice Hotel in downtown Richmond by the James River and plenty of shops right outside the front door. Lavish rooms with anything you'll ever need, including a treadmill if you request one. These rooms run about $179/night and up.
100 South 12th Street
Richmond, Virginia 23219
Phone: (804) 344-7000
Fax: (804) 648-6704
Holiday Inn - Newly renovated and extremely clean for families on a budget. This one will run about 70 & up depending on demand and room type. They have an indoor pool and an excerise facility, along with a very nice restaurant.
6531 W. Broad St.
Richmond, VA 23230
CAT - Chamberlayne Actors Theatre. A very small theatre group that puts on fantastic plays for about $10 per person. We've been twice and loved it. Located at 319 North Wilkinson Road, (804)262-9760.
Brown's Island - Downtown bordering the James River...this is the joke of Richmond. It is supposed to become a mega tourist attraction complete with Riverwalk.. (relax San Antonio, they have no clue what they are doing..) Currently they do hold concerts during the summer and the occasional carnival. Not too bad in the summer.
The Shops at Willow Lawn ~ Richmond's oldest mall, it's just 5 minutes or so up Broad Street from Downtown. Lot's of uniques shops here along with the Barksdale Theater for plays, and the Grey Wolf Grill I just told you about.
Chesterfield Towne Centre - On the corner of Midlothian Parkway & Hugenaught Rd in south Richmond, this is by far the best Mall here. If you are visiting from a small town, you will love this one...if you are visiting from So. Cal..well.. it ain't Torrance or the Galeria. heh.
Regency Square - Upscale Mall with shops such as Crabtree & Evelyns and Ann Taylor. Two floors, but it looks bigger than it really is. I don't shop here too often as I prefer the variety of Chesterfield. Located at Parham and Quioccasin Roads in the west end of Richmond
Southpark Mall - Located in Colonial Heights, this is a mid-level Mall in a shopping district. Pretty nice but not near as good as Chesterfield Towne Centre.
Cary Street - This is really the best suggestion if you want a feel for Richmond culture. Park anywhere and stroll along Cary Street for a myriad of unique shops and restaurants. Don't miss taking in a dollar movie while here at the Historic Byrd Theater.
~~Area Amusement Parks~~
Busch Gardens - Located about an hour south in colonial Williamsburg, this is the best of the closest parks by far. Busch Gardens is broken up into 'countries' and each has it's own separate feel to it, complete with regional food and crafts. The coasters are not the best in the country, but Apollo's Chariot is up there with Six Flags' Superman, and Alpengeist is the best themed coaster I've seen. I've encountered long waits only one time here, and we are season pass holders.
King's Dominion - Located about 20 minutes north of Richmond is not well maintained, but this one actually has the best coaster. Hypersonic XLC is an average 4 hour wait for the most intense 20 seconds of your life. The wait is worth it. Kings Dominion also has a complete water park inside the Amusement Park, rather than down the road or across the street.
Obviously I cannot go over absolutely everything in town, but this should give you a good basis..and keep ya busy for about a week. Along Monument Avenue are many statues dedicated to war heroes if you feel like a scenic drive. Amongst the war heroes is one of Arthur Ash too. This caused quite the silly controversy, which I won't go into, but it is worth seeing. Once you get bored here, do head on south an hour to Williamsburg and Jamestown. There is a lot more to do there. *grin*
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Best Suited For: Families
Best Time to Travel Here: Jun - Aug