ABOUT THE CITY
The Richmond Region is located at the head of the navigable waters of the James River. Richmond is approximately 100 miles south of Washington, D.C., and midway between Atlanta and Boston. The Region boasts more than 400 years of history including the second successful English settlement, the site of Patrick Henry’s famous “Give me liberty or give me death” speech and the former White House of the Confederacy. But the area isn’t just about history. You will enjoy discovering upscale shopping, fabulous restaurants, heart-pounding sporting events, world-renowned museums, vibrant culture, elegant homes and gardens and family fun for everyone. For the really adventuresome, check out the only Class IV rapids in an urban U.S. setting!
From its beginnings as a trading post for early settlers to the thriving economic center it is today, Richmond has grown into a city with a rich history, diverse culture and gracious hospitality. Tree-lined streets and quaint bricked walkways invite locals and visitors to explore this easily manageable city. Stroll along the river that brought Captain John Smith to this area, walk in the footsteps of patriots like Patrick Henry and Thomas Jefferson and see the Capitol building which once flew the flag of the Confederate States of America.
Richmond, center of controversy and commerce, capital of Virginia and of the Confederate States of America, has a rich and vivid history. Its strategic location, both militarily and commercially, brought two major wars – the American Revolution and the Civil War – to its doorstep. Both left their mark on the city but through all it has endured, Richmond has retained the trademarks of a classic southern city – hospitality, charm and fortitude.
City Population: 996,512
Median Age: 35.8
African American: 30.2%
Native American: 0.40%
Housing Units: 410,394
Where To Stay
With its long history and political and economic prominence, Richmond has always been a city with much to offer in the way of accommodation. Grand Old South hotels in the downtown area have made room for newer modern lodgings that fit every price range. Charming bed-and-breakfast inns offer the comforts of home with genteel southern hospitality.
The epitome of gracious accommodations is found at the Jefferson Hotel. Its clientele has included several US presidents and notable personalities such as Charles Lindbergh and Henry Ford. The 1895 Beaux Arts hotel is adorned with Persian carpets, Tiffany glass windows and a sweeping grand staircase. Equally regal, although much newer, is the elegant Berkeley Hotel located in the heart of historic Shockoe Slip.
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Most of the roads in the downtown area are arranged in a regular grid arrangement, with alternating one way streets. Several major roads lead outward from the city, and are actually former Indian trails, leading to other towns and sites in Virginia. The major highways leading into the city of Richmond area I-64 and I-95. I-64 is east-west, I-95 is north-south. I-195 makes a loop around the downtown and I-295, combined with the Chippenham Parkway forms an “outer loop,” or bypass, around the metropolitan area. Virginia State Highway 288 connects I-64 and I-95 in the southwest quadrant of the area to complete a staggered loop around the city with I-295.
The following toll roads exist in the Richmond area. All can be paid with the SmartTag/EZ Pass, which sticks to your car’s windshield and deducts the proper toll amount automatically from your account.
- Downtown Expressway in Richmond.
- Powhite Parkway and Powhite Parkway Extension in Richmond and Chesterfield County.
- Boulevard Bridge in Richmond
- Pocahontas Parkway in Chesterfield and Henrico County.
Smart Tag/EZ Pass Virginia
175 Wadsworth Drive
Richmond, VA 23236
Greater Richmond Transit Company
101 South Davis Avenue
Richmond, VA 23220
Amtrak (800) 872-7245
America’s national passenger railroad system. Tickets may be purchased in person at any Amtrak station, via phone by calling 800-USA-RAIL or via the Internet.
Richmond has two Amtrak rail stations. There’s regular service from Washington, DC, Philadelphia, and New York. The Staples Mill Road Station has service south to and from Raleigh, Durham, Savannah, and Florida. The Main Street Station has a different track layout and doesn’t get quite as much traffic.
Greyhound Bus (804) 254-5910, (800) 231-2222
2910 N Boulevard
Richmond, VA 23230
Local bus service in Richmond, Henrico, and Chesterfield counties is provided by the Greater Richmond Transit Company (GRTC). The GRTC doesn’t serve much in of the suburban communities in the area; a car makes travel much easier.
Richmond International Airport (RIC)
1 Richard E. Byrd Terminal Drive
Richmond International Airport, VA 23250
Richmond is served by the Richmond International Airport seven miles south of Richmond in Sandston. RIC airport is served by seven airlines with non-stop flights to 21 destinations and connecting flights worldwide. In 2004, the airport served approximately 2.5 million passengers.
Delta Air Lines
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The local daily newspaper in Richmond is the Richmond Times-Dispatch. City Edition is a weekly news magazine distributed throughout Richmond that focuses on city government and civic life in the city.
Richmond Times Dispatch
300 E. Franklin Street
Richmond, VA 23219
8132 Forest Hill Avenue
Richmond, Virginia 23235
Dining & Nightlife
Richmond’s dining scene is a rapidly evolving assortment of restaurants featuring everything from the trendiest epicurean delights to authentic international cuisine to traditional southern fare. As the downtown neighborhoods are renovated, more and more places are opening up to accommodate hungry Richmonders and visitors-especially those looking for something a little different. Additionally, the outlying suburbs are no longer areas where chains and fast food places reign. All sorts of eateries-from fine dining to casual pubs-have sprung up.
Film & Theater
The Landmark Theater is the place to see big shows in Richmond – Broadway musicals, the Richmond Symphony and the annual performance by the Richmond Ballet of the Nutcracker Suite. The 3500-seat venue was designed so that all seats have a good view of the stage. For fans of Shakespeare, the Encore Theater Company performs the bard’s classic works outdoors in the Elizabethan Garden at Agecroft Hall. The 15th-century Tudor mansion provides the perfect setting.
Music & Dance
Music from classical to contemporary can be heard in the bars, clubs and concert halls of Richmond. The Richmond Symphony performs throughout the year with a mixed program; some concerts are specifically designed to introduce younger audiences to the classic composers. Among the best ballet companies in the country, the Richmond Ballet performs throughout the state of Virginia and also runs the renowned School of Richmond Ballet, which caters to all levels of dance ability.
Throughout the year Richmond commemorates its cultural heritage with festivals and events celebrating holidays, seasons and historical events. The Maymont Flower and Garden Show in February is held indoors at the Richmond Centre and features all sorts of plants and garden accessories. It is a great place to get landscaping ideas before spring arrives. At the River City Real Beer Festival, held in June, vendors pour out samples of brews from around the world. Listen to live music and feast on fresh seafood as well.
Black History Museum (804) 780-9093
00 Clay St
Richmond, VA 23219
This museum focuses on the achievements of African Americans, especially concerning the state of Virginia. There’s the tap shoes of Bill “Bojangles” Robinson and memorabilia from the history of the historically black Jackson Ward district. The museum also offers special exhibitions, events, and programs.
Edgar Allan Poe Museum (804) 648-5523
1914 E Main St
Richmond, VA 23223
Richmond’s Poe Museum boasts a huge collection of Edgar Allan Poe’s manuscripts, letters, first editions, memorabilia and personal belongings. The Poe Museum provides a glimpse into the Richmond where Poe lived and worked. The museum is only blocks away from Poe’s first Richmond home.
Canal Walk (804) 780-0107
12th and Byrd Sts
It’s a nice little path downtown that curls around the Haxall Canal and James River for a little more than a mile.
Virginia State Capitol (804) 698-1788
9th and Grace Sts
Richmond, VA 23219
Richmond is Virginia’s capital, and you can get free tours of the Capitol building and the surrounding grounds.
City Hall Skydeck (804) 646-7000
9th and E Broad Sts
Richmond, VA 23219
Richmond City Hall’s 19th floor gives great views of the city and the urban bustle below.
Hollywood Cemetery (804) 648-8501
Albermarle and Cherry Sts
Richmond, VA 23220
This historic cemetery is the final resting place of Presidents Monroe and Tyler, and Confederate President Jefferson Davis. There’s a massive granite pyramid here too, commemorating the fallen Confederate soldiers.
Belmont Park Golf Course (804) 501-4653
1600 Hilliard Rd
Richmond, VA 23228
Belmont Park is a municipal course that was a hosted a golf championship in the 1940s. Tee time reservations are required.
Birkdale Golf & Country Club (804) 739-8800
8511 Royal Birkdale Drive
Chesterfield, VA 23832
Birkdale opened in 1990, and has much more than just golf. There’s a restaurant, tennis courts, and a swimming pool in addition to the links. Reservations are required.
Nature & Outdoors
Metro Richmond Zoo (804) 739-5666
8300 Beaver Bridge Rd
Moseley, VA 23120
Metro Richmond Zoo presents more than 600 different animals in their natural habitats. It’s located about 20 minutes west of Richmond.
Three Lakes Nature Center and Aquarium (804) 261-8230
400 Sausiluta Dr
Richmond, VA 23227
This park is centered around three lakes. There’s an extensive trail system, and a nature center with a 50,000 gallon aquarium.
Belle Isle State Park (804) 462-5030
1632 Belle Isle Rd
Lancaster, VA 22503
This park runs along the Rappahannock River, and there’s rental canoes, boats, and bikes available.
17th Street Farmers’ Market (804) 646-0477
100 N 17th St.
Richmond, VA 23219
Thursday, Saturday, and Sunday, 8:30 am to 2 pm, you can find one of America’s oldest markets. There’s produce, baked goods, arts and crafts, clothing, soaps and more here.
Stony Point Fashion Park (804) 560-7467
Stony Point Parkway
Richmond, VA 23235
This is an open air mall with 90 stores and restaurants, and most of the stores here are pet friendly, so you can take Fido for a walk with you while you shop.
Richmond does not have any major professional sports team, but there are several minor league teams.
Richmond Kickers (804) 644-5425
2320 West Main Street
Richmond, VA 23220
The Kickers are a United Soccer Leagues Second Division soccer team that play at the University of Richmond Stadium.
Richmond Renegades (804) 644 -PUCK (7825)
601 East Leigh Street
Richmond, VA 23219
The Renegades play at the Richmond Coliseum in the Southern Professional Hockey League.
With its colonial and Civil War history and modern-day museums and parks, Richmond is a city with much to offer the visitor. Many sections are easily walkable, but a car is necessary to reach some of the outlying areas. The city and surrounding area is easy to navigate and most attractions are well-marked. The Historic Downtown Richmond Ticket is a great deal for those who wish to visit several places of interest. They are available at many museums and visitors centers.
Community colleges exist for two major purposes. The first is to serve as a bridge from high school to college by providing courses for transfer toward a bachelor’s degree. Four out of 10 collegebound high-school graduates start their college education this way.
The second function of community colleges is to prepare students for the job market by offering entry-level career training as well as courses for adult students who want to upgrade their skills for the workplace. They often offer programs that are not available at four-year schools, like fashion design.
Several community colleges are found in the metro area too, including:
J. Sargeant Reynolds Community College (804) 371-3000
PO BOX 8562
Richmond, VA 23285
John Tyler Community College (800) 552-3490
13101 Jefferson Davis Highway
Chester, VA 23831
Liberal Arts Colleges
Liberal arts colleges offer a broad base of courses in the humanities, social sciences, and sciences. Most are private and focus mainly on undergraduate students. Classes tend to be small and personal attention is available.
University of Richmond (804) 289-8000
28 Westhampton Way
University of Richmond, VA 23173
The University of Richmond is a liberal arts university with 3,000 undergraduate students and 1,300 graduate students studying law, business, or in the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences.
Recent years have witnessed the rise of online degree programs, to allow the busy professional a chance to work at their own pace from the comfort of their home on the path to getting a degree. The costs to students are typically the same as for traditional classes- and financial aid is equally available-while the cost to the institution can be much less.
There are online universities ranging from legitimate distance learning systems to fly-by-night degree-mills. It’s important to research a particular institution before deciding to enroll in their system. Generally, brick-and-mortar schools that also offer online classes are the safest, though there are plenty of fully accredited online universities out there.
Nearly 3 million students are believed to be taking online classes at institutions of higher education in the United States this year. That number has been growing about 25% a year recently. Now, virtually all public higher education institutions, as well as a vast majority of private, for-profit institutions, now offer online classes. By contrast, only about half of private, nonprofit schools offer them. Online schools offer everything from Associate’s degrees to Doctoral programs with available emphases in everything from Business Administration to Criminal Justice to Nursing. Some programs require students to attend some campus classes or orientations, but many are delivered completely online. Online courses generally require a computer with a broadband connection, but are now a serious option for the busy professional.
Public vs. Private
Public colleges are usually less expensive, particularly for in-state residents. They get most of their money from the state or local government. Private colleges rely on tuition, fees, endowments, and other private sources. Private colleges are usually smaller and can offer more personalized attention and often more prestige.
College & Universities
Randolph-Macon College (804) 752-7200
P.O. Box 5005
Ashland, VA 23005
Randolph-Macon College is a private liberal arts college with an enrollment of about 1,125 students. It’s in Ashland, about 15 miles north of Richmond.
Generally, a university is bigger than a college and offers more majors and research facilities. Class size often reflects institutional size and some classes may taught by graduate students.
Virginia Commonwealth University (804) 828-0100
Richmond, VA 23284
VCU is one of the largest universities in Virginia with more than 29,000 students at the beginning of 2005. It’s a public research university that was formed in 1968.
Virginia State University (804) 524-5000
1 Hayden Dr
Petersburg, VA 23806
Virginia State University is a historically black school 20 miles south of Richmond, in the suburb of Ettrick, just outside Petersburg.
Upper-division schools offer the last two years of undergraduate study, usually in specialized programs leading to a bachelor’s degree. Students then generally transfer to an upper-division college after completing an associate degree or after finishing a second year of study at a four-year college.
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