In continuous efforts to promote Richmond, VA for those who are not in the know on what we have to offer, I offer you my last and final blog on the subject.
In two prior posts I talk about the Foodie/Beer culture and the Outdoor Adventures for those people who love the river life. As promise, today I bring you a slice of advice and some culture of Richmond, VA.
Part 3. Let’s Get Some Culture!
Yes, Richmond is full of museums. I could ramble on about all but really I know the real deal in travelling is knowing what the locals know about each venue. So here are a few great secrets from a local.
The Virginia Museum of Fine Art is an internationally renown museum. But the real deal is on Friday afternoons, they have happy hours with jazz trios, tango and sometimes free yoga sessions in the sculpture gardens. Always a very popular scene with adults of all ages.
Beside it you will see the Virginia Historical Society and the Museum of the Confederacy. Yes, we have a museum dedicated to the Rebel side of the the Civil War. More people died in the Civil War than in the War of Independence, WW I, WW II and Vietnam- COMBINED. Don’t believe me look it up. Anyway, it happened in our backyard so we deal with it.
Another really cool museum is the Valentine Museum. It is the attic of all things specifically Richmond. Lots to see and learn there, a very fun place that doesn’t get the press it deserves.
Definitely a good stop if you want to learn about Richmond.
Another small museum, about a 30 minute stop is the Maggie Walker House. She was the first woman to own a bank. Not only that, she was the first African American to establish a bank for African Americans in the US. Her house, while nice but not overly grandiose, has been restored and opened to the public. What a lady!
You can’t drive around Richmond without going down Monument Ave. This was the avenue that the wealthy Richmonders, most were built after the Civil War but they are all really cool mini-mansions by today’s standards. It is also home to a great 10K run every spring. About 40,000 runners/joggers/sloggers/ walkers trek down on the fairly flat avenue, with bands playing, people having parties and cheering squads- definitely one of the most friendly runs you’ll ever have the pleasure of doing.
Did I mention the costume contest? lol
If you go down any of the side streets, the townhouses are just an amazing collection of architectural styles. If you are into that, park the car and go for a walk.
The original cobblestones pave the street and there are roundabouts featuring many of the generals of the Civil War.
On the farther west side of the avenue is a sculpture of Arthur Ashe. Don’t mean to be mean, but this is really a bad statue. He is holding up a tennis racket and a book with children looking up to him…..looks like he is going to beat them up! hahahaha
Other cultural notables:
Sounds crazy, but you must go to Hollywood Cemetery. Two American presidents are buried there along with Jefferson Davis, president of the confederacy, and his family. The place was designed as a park overlooking the James River and it is really beautiful. The statues are incredible works of art. And we even have our own pyramid, a memorial to the Civil War dead.
Don’t believe me? take a segway tour of the park, you’ll love it, just don’t fall off!
Finally, for those looking to be part of the scene, this is really fun…..First Fridays.
First Fridays is a year-round art walk, featuring the shops, galleries, restaurants, and organizations in the Arts District of Richmond, VA. On the first Friday, especially in the summer, you will see people going to galleries, cafe’s, live musicians in a very social setting. I’ve bought too much artwork from artists showings so, I am not allowed to go back until the house is purged.
So welcome to Richmond! I hope you enjoy your visit and yall come now!