Last weekend, we went to Richmond, VA; my mother organized a ladies’ getaway for our church. It’s always around this time (September, right after school starts) that we discover new things in another town outside of our area. Remember my post about St. Michaels? Just a few days away from home, but full of activities and socializing.
With its mark in history, profound architecture, and haven for culture and the arts, Richmond has plenty to offer for visitors. Throughout the area, you can see a balance of historical and modern life. Here’s a glimpse of our trip. There are lots of pictures under the cut!
Thursday – We left Church around 10:30, and arrived at our first destination around 1pm. Depending the typical traffic or rubbernecking, it’s about a 2.5 hour trip from Montgomery County; once you get on I-95, it’s a straight shot. As you *drive closer to the city, you can take different routes, depending on where you want to go. As with most cities, if you’re familiar with the main streets, you’re good.
After lunch (we went to Matchbox), we settled at our hotel and rested for a little while. Our base was about 25-30 minutes south, and we traveled into the city and some other spots in the area. Our evening activity was venturing to the Museum District. Parts of the area reminded me of Charleston (SC), Annapolis (MD), and Old Towne Alexandria (VA). With the historic, colorful homes, and walking paths, it had a cozy feel to it.
The Virginia Museum of Fine Arts was a gorgeous facility with three levels of exhibits, showcasing many centuries and cultures. Also, there were a few sculptures outside and areas for visitors to sit. Since it’s part of the community, I saw bicyclists and residents walking their dogs. In their cafe, they hold a weekly music night. The theme was Armenian Jazz. It was really cool hearing the different songs and also watch guests dance on the floor.
There was some time to chill and do our own thing, so once we finally left, I just grabbed a bowl of my fave Cava and drove back to the hotel.
Friday morning, I visited with my friend Jenn (who sent us a lot of great recommendations). We met at Roastology (formerly known as Adbibo Coffee) and talked for several hours! We both ordered the salted caramel latte. Our mugs were adorable – I should buy one. I adore smaller coffeehouses with lots of character. It was a great spot to chill and talk. She was so sweet to drive closer to where I was staying. Thanks, lady!
Friday evening – my mother made reservations at Lola’s Farmhouse Bistro. It’s a house, transformed into a cozy restaurant. There were tables outside and it was just darling with the lights and ambiance. Their selection was fine, with more of an Italian flare. I kept it simple and order a plate of spaghetti and meatballs (aka my favorite form of comfort food). I thoroughly enjoyed their music selection – jazz, French tunes, old standards, etc. Lots of humming and laughter. 🙂
Our last day – Saturday – we visited the Maggie L. Walker Historic Site. If you’re not familiar with this wonderful activist, please do yourself a favor and do your research. I was very ashamed that I had no knowledge of her and her accomplishments. Miss Walker was a orator, educator, business owner, encourager, and most importantly, a woman of perseverance and faith. After learning about her, watching a video, and touring her house (which gave you a feel of how she lived in the 1900-30s), I was inspired!
The Maymont Mansion was our final stop. The grounds were beautiful with lots of land and flowers. While most of the group toured inside, I just walked around and took pictures. It reminded me of Victorian times. (Did anyone read the Samantha books from American Girl?)
We had a late lunch at our usual spot, the Olive Garden, and headed home.
It was more of an off-the-beaten-path excursion for us, which was fine. I know most who visit the city just stay downtown, but it was cool that we visited other places. There were a few spots I wanted to check out, but I didn’t have enough time. Also, I was bummed that I didn’t take as many pictures as I wanted. But that was my fault.
So, I’ll have to come back soon and explore some more! If you’ve visited Richmond, do you have a favorite place to visit? Or if you’re from there, live there now…what do you recommend? Comment below and I’ll add it to my to-do list.