Living it up in Richmond

RichmondRichmond was, at one time, the capital of the Confederate States of America and has been the capital of the state of Virginia since 1780. The city is rich with many Civil War historical sites. Richmond also has a host of other attractions, including: fine old homes, an excellent fine arts museum, a science museum with a planetarium, and a botanical garden.

The White House of the Confederacy, along with its adjoining museum, is a favorite Southern tourist attraction. The museum houses detailed descriptions and models of all the major battles of the war, as well as period costumes. The Virginia Museum of Fine Arts has the largest collection of Fabergé eggs in the world outside of Russia, and also contains works by Van Gogh, Delacroix, Picasso and Matisse. Also interesting is the Edgar Allan Poe Museum, dedicated to relics and memorabilia that are related to the famous poet. Richmond also has a hands-on science museum with a planetarium and botanical garden.

Richmond National Battlefield Park lies on the outskirts of the city and contains monuments of fallen soldiers and descriptions of the battles which took place here. Also rich with Civil War history, is Petersburg which is a a quiet Southern town on the banks of the Appomattox River, just 32 kilometers south of Richmond on I-95. South of Richmond is the resort town of Virginia Beach offering stunning beaches, an exciting boardwalk and fresh seafood.

Richmond’s beautifully tree-lined downtown has some good upscale and mid-level shopping to offer. In the summer months, you can catch the Dogwood Dell Festival of the Arts, with free music and drama. Additionally, a non-profit organization called City Celebrations offers a series of free outdoor concerts, beer blasts, and street festivals from May through September. Shockoe Bottom is the city’s quirky nightlife district.