One of the Funnest Places in Virginia Founded in 1737, Richmond is a city in tune with its history. The progressive and cultured capital of Virginia is laced with stately monuments and historic homes and collections. A push to revitalize several historic districts has helped downtown spring back to life with new clubs, restaurants and shops.
Things to Do in Downtown
The Civil War echoes in this city that once served as the capital of the Confederacy. The Museum of the Confederacy, in the Court End neighborhood, contains one of the largest collections of Civil War artifacts and art relating to the Confederate states. Next to the museum stands The White House of the Confederacy, which holds more than half the furniture that was in the house during President Jefferson Davis’ residence. Headquartered in the city is Richmond National Battlefield Park, which preserves the sites of several nearly successful Union campaigns to take over the Confederate capital.
Monument Avenue, the only street on the list of National Historic Landmarks, commemorates Civil War soldiers such as Robert E. Lee and Thomas J. “Stonewall” Jackson and also is lined with spectacular Classical Revival mansions. Many other opulent historic homes in the city, such as Agecroft Hall and Maymont, are open to the public and contain original features and even some original furnishings.
By CarRichmond is served by numerous highways, including two major interstates. To the southwest, I-295 misses the destination by sprouting off I-95 in Petersburg and catches up with I-95 north of Richmond in northern Henrico County; I-295 continues westward until it dead-ends into I-64 near Short Pump. The 3rd Street approach offers access to downtown on I-95 (Richmond-Petersburg Turnpike) from the north; take Broad Street if entering from the south.
East-west I-64 from Williamsburg enters the city from the southeast, joins up with I-95 downtown and then re-emerges south of Dumbarton near Joseph Bryan Park to continue its trek northwest toward Charlottesville. The 3rd Street exit off I-64 provides access to downtown things to do if coming from the west; the 5th Street exit off I-64 takes you downtown from the east.
SR 150 semicircles the western side of the city, coming in from the south as the Chippenham Parkway on the James River in eastern Chesterfield County, crossing the James River to the west of Richmond as Parham Road, crossing I-64 northwest of the city and joining US 301/Chamberlayne Road north of Richmond near I-295.
US 1/301 enters the city from the south as Jefferson Davis Highway, crosses the James River over the Robert E. Lee Bridge, becomes Belvidere Street as it runs through downtown, and splits just north of I-95 (Richmond-Petersburg Parkway) with US 1 heading north as Brook Road and US 301 heading northeast as Chamberlayne Road.
Street SystemDowntown Richmond is bounded by the James River to the south and I-95 to the north and east. Belvidere Street (US 1/301) is roughly the eastern edge of downtown. Broad Street (US 250) bisects the destination.
Navigating Places to Go in Richmond
Richmond resembles a grid pattern. Numbered streets 1st through 40th fall either in the East End (in the Church Hill and Shockoe Bottom area) or on the South Side (in the Forest Hill and Bainbridge area). Some streets change names, including Monument Avenue, which becomes W. Franklin Street at Stuart Circle; Malvern becomes Westwood as it crosses Broad Street; and The Boulevard flows into Hermitage Road northbound and Westover Hill Boulevard southbound as it traverses the river (it changes again to Belt Boulevard as it crosses Midlothian Turnpike).
Six bridges cross the James River east to west: I-95/Richmond-Petersburg Turnpike, Mayo's Bridge (US 360), Manchester Bridge (US 60), Robert E. Lee Bridge (US 1/301/Belvidere Street), Boulevard Bridge (SR 161) and Powhite Parkway (SR 76).
Many of the roads throughout Richmond are toll roads, including the Boulevard Bridge (SR 161) over the James River; SR 195/Downtown Expressway from Powhite Parkway to I-95; and the Powhite Parkway Bridge over the James River.
The city speed limit is 30 mph, or as posted. Rush hours are usually 7:30-9 a.m. and 4-6 p.m. Unless otherwise posted, a right turn on red is permitted.
ParkingLike any big city, Richmond has some downtown street parking; metered parking is limited and strictly monitored. If your car is towed from a downtown street, phone police information at (804) 646-5100 or Seibert's Towing at (804) 233-5757. Numerous parking lots and garages are available throughout the city. Hourly rates vary from $3-$5.
In-person hotel evaluations are unscheduled to ensure the inspector has an experience similar to that of members. All hotels must meet the same basic requirements for cleanliness, comfort and hospitality to be AAA Approved. A rating of one to five AAA Diamonds tells members what type of experience to expect, from no-frills to highly personalized.
Virginia levies a 5.3 percent sales tax, which includes a 1 percent tax levied by city or county governments. The Richmond area has a lodging tax of 8 percent.
Bon Secours-St. Mary's Hospital, (804) 285-2011; Henrico Doctors' Hospital, (804) 289-4500; VCU Medical Center, (804) 828-9000.
405 N. Third St. Richmond, VA 23219. Phone:(804)783-7450 or (800)370-9004
Richmond International Airport
Hertz, at Richmond International Airport, offers discounts to AAA members; phone (804) 222-7228 or (800) 654-3080.
Amtrak train service is available at 7519 Staples Mill Rd., (800) 872-7245, and at historic Main Street Station at 500 E. Main St., (804) 646-2041.
The Greyhound Lines Inc. bus terminal is at 2910 N. Boulevard St. across from The Diamond baseball field; phone (804) 254-5910.
Some of the larger cab companies include Galaxy, (804) 560-4408; Yellow, (804) 222-7300; and Richmond Taxi, (804) 439-0009. Base fare is $2.50 for the first one-fifth mile, 50c for each additional one-fifth mile and 50c for each 80-second period of delay, including traffic. Base fare rises $1 for each additional passenger over age 6 and for rides between 9 p.m. and 6 a.m. A $2 access fee is added to fares originating at the airport.
The Greater Richmond Transit Co. (GRTC) operates buses throughout most of the city and parts of Henrico County. The base fare for local routes is $1.50. Transfers cost 25c. Transfers must be purchased at the time your initial fare is paid. Reduced rates are available for senior citizens and the physically impaired. Go Cards, used in lieu of cash by customers boarding GRTC vehicles, are available for advance purchase at retail locations throughout the Richmond area for $10. Phone (804) 358-4782.