Relishing Richmond

By Hannah Wallace October 31, 2008

A thriving arts scene, glorious scenery, serious Southern cuisine, charm and hospitality—and did we mention 400 years of history? Virginia’s capital city of Richmond (  has it all for a weekend getaway. Y’all come!

SEE: The arts are big in Richmond, which has its own resident symphony and ballet. Don’t miss the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts—with the largest Faberge collection outside of Russia—and catch a movie at the Byrd Theater, one of the last great movie palaces of the 1920s still in operation. Get your history fix at St. John’s Church, where Patrick Henry gave his “Give me liberty or give me death” speech, the Museum of the Confederacy and its White House of the Confederacy (home of Jefferson Davis during the Civil War), and Monument Avenue, the only avenue in the U.S. designated a National Historic Landmark.

STAY: Presidents and dignitaries stay at The Jefferson Hotel, so why shouldn’t you? This historic hostelry, opened in 1895, is gracious, grand, centrally located and one of the nation’s best hotels. Don’t miss the Sunday champagne brunch in the Rotunda, a local tradition.

DINE: Richmond takes its eats seriously. Enjoy Julep’s New Southern Cuisine, housed in a charming 1817 building. Davis & Main features award-winning American cuisine, homemade desserts and Tuesday night jazz; the lively Can Can Brasserie has French fare with a Southern twist.

SHOP: Seek the buzzing Carytown neighborhood for unique buys. Here the upscale—Chasen Galleries of Fine Art, with more than 100 artists, sculptors and glass artists represented—happily co-exists with the fun and funk of fashion boutiques Lex’s of Carytown and Pink. Take home a piece of history from the cozy, jam-packed Sheppard Street Antiques.

INSIDER’S TIP: The new American Civil War Center shouldn’t be missed—it’s the first museum to weave the Union, Confederate and African-American experiences together in a national context, with power and perspective.
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