Richmond, the capital of Virginia, is a diverse cultural city surrounded by historic neighborhoods, parks and a thriving James River.
Neighborhoods near VCU, such as the Fan District, Carver, Jackson Ward and Oregon Hill, offer historic settings, monuments and a unique history that dates back to the 1800s. Also located in Richmond are numerous vintage and antique shops, eateries and cafés that stretch from the Fan to Church Hill.
The city provides educational and tourist activities, including exhibits and shows at local museums and art galleries. The Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, the Science Museum of Virginia, the Children’s Museum and the Edgar Allan Poe Museum are all within five miles of VCU.
Richmond is home to the 17th Street Farmer’s Market, which is located in Shockoe Bottom. It is the oldest market in the Richmond area and all daily and weekly events are community-based and nonprofit. Other events include the State Fair of Virginia, NASCAR races at Richmond International Raceway and the International Food Festival.
Richmond’s location is convenient to cities of interest for day or weekend trips. Colonial Williamsburg is less than an hour east of Richmond, and Virginia Beach is two hours east. Washington, D.C. and the Shenandoah Valley also are just a short distance from Richmond.
Here are a sampling of the things to do in Richmond.
Built in England in the 15th century, Agecroft Hall is not only a brilliant example of Tudor architecture, but it also has an interesting history. In 1925, after years of neglect, Richmonder Thomas C. Williams Jr. purchased the home and had it carefully dismantled and shipped to Richmond. After years of painstaking and cautious efforts, the house was successfully reassembled to its former glory. Agecroft Hall, accompanied by its Elizabethan Knot Garden, resides in Windsor Farms.
Black History Museum
Located in Richmond’s historic Jackson Ward district, the Black History Museum has a plethora of visual, oral and written information on the history of African-Americans in Virginia.
Edgar Allan Poe Museum
Housing one of the largest collections of Edgar Allan Poe memorabilia in the world, the Edgar Allan Poe Museum sits just a few blocks from where the author and poet resided while in Richmond. The quaint stone building, nestled in historic downtown Richmond, contains pictures, relics and literary works.
Located in historic Oregon Hill, Hollywood Cemetery’s 1847 design is one of calming beauty, with winding roads, grassy hills and trees. The cemetery has attracted tourists from all over who want to view the amazing architecture and the final destinations of important historic figures such as U.S. Presidents James Monroe and John Tyler.
James River and Kanawha Canal Walk
Twisting 1.25 miles along historic downtown’s restaurants, shops and hotels, the revitalized riverfront features pedestrian walkways, canal cruises, scenic murals and the Civil War Visitor Center. Here you can walk along the winding James River and Kanawha Canal Walk or look at the many Civil War artifacts on display at the center.
Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden
Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden is made up of 30 acres of plush gardens. Enjoy the rare and exotic plants featured in the gardens as well as in the new conservatory, which allows visitors to view these beautiful creations even during the winter months.
The Maymont House, dating back to 1893, is the center point of Maymont Park. Boasting 12,000 square feet and 33 rooms, the house is surrounded by plush gardens and 200 exotic species of trees and plants.
Join in the fun at the Richmond International Raceway for some NASCAR action.
Richmond Flying Squirrels
Catch a baseball game at the Diamond, where the AA affiliate of the San Francisco Giants, the Richmond Flying Squirrels, play.
Cheer on the Richmond Kickers at one of their many soccer games.
Science Museum of Virginia
Formerly known as Broad Street Station, a train station completed in 1919, the Science Museum of Virginia is home to hundreds of hands-on exhibits showcasing such scientific elements as aerospace, chemistry, crystals, electricity, life sciences and more.
Virginia Historical Society and Museum
The Virginia Historical Society was founded in 1831 for the purpose of acquiring important historical documents. The Virginia Historical Society and Museum, located on the Boulevard, houses several permanent collections, such as “The Story of Virginia, an American Experience” and “Solving History’s Mysteries: The History Discovery Lab.”
Virginia Museum of Fine Arts
Opened in 1936, the VMFA has become a central part of Virginia’s visual arts and education. From Byzantine and medieval works to 19th and 20th century decorative arts, the VMFA has a host of exhibits to peak anyone’s interest.
VCU Outdoor Adventure Program
Participating in the university’s Outdoor Adventure Program provides VCU students with the opportunity to participate in fun, inexpensive excursions such as whitewater rafting, kayaking, rock climbing, canoeing, caving, hiking, backpacking and skiing.
If the excitement of college sports appeals to you, VCU is the place to be for basketball, baseball, soccer, tennis and more.
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