Richmond Things to Do Tips by b1bob Top 5 Page for this destination
Richmond Things to Do: 275 reviews and 462 photos
main museum @ Battle Abbey
The Virginia Historical Society has existed since 1811 and remains to this day a repository, a research, and teaching centre for Virginia History. It is supported almost fully by private contributions. It has 13 galleries covering more than 25,000 square feet (2,300 m2). The V.H.S. is the only museum with all of Virginia’s history under one roof. It's literally all there from prehistory through to present day.
The museum is housed (since 1912) in Battle Abbey (in the 1st photo). It is of neoclassical architecture. They have been adding onto it in stages as more historical artifacts have been donated.
The flag in the 2d photo is one of many Revolutionary War era flags on display. Apart from being the one that stands out the most, the 3d Virginia Standard (1775) is the first flag that features all 13 stars of the original colonies.
In the 3d photo, the Woodson rifle was used by the Woodson family to fend off a 1644 attack during an Indian uprising.
The 4th photo features a petrol pump prominent in the first half of the 20th Century. It is a hand operated, gravity petrol pump made by the Progress Manufacturing Co. It has some replaced or restored parts. On closer inspection notice how it says the product contains lead.
The 5th photo shows a Richmond streetcar converted into a mini exhibition hall. Streetcar #1240 was part of a thirty car order placed in November 1918 with American Car Co. in St. Louis. It probably went into service in Richmond around April or May of 1919 and was no longer in use sometime in the 1930s. It is a single-truck Birney safety car designed to seat twenty-eight passengers. The VHS restored the streetcar for exhibition in the Story of Virginia (version of the exhibit that opened in 1997) and did not intend to return it completely to its original condition.
This was the first thing David Karner and I visited on his 3d trip to here in August, 2015. We motored through here faster than we should have (we had people meeting us for lunch in Carytown), but he got lots of pictures (mine came out blurry only here and he was good enough to let me use some of his). There is also a gift shop that sells whatnots from Virginia's history. I almost bought Mama a modern cloth bag with the old Miller & Rhoads logo on it.
Address: 428 North Boulevard, Richmond, VA 23220
Phone: (804) 358-4901
Richmond skyline at sunset from Jefferson Park
Jefferson Park is in a hilly area just east of downtown Richmond. This makes it a good place to view the Richmond skyline or just sit and watch the world go by. A word to the wise: don't stay in this park after dark. This part of Richmond is gentrifying, but there is still crime against people who let their guard down and especially after dark.
Directions: between North 19th Street and North 21st Street.
Virginia governor's mansion
The Executive Mansion is a short walk from the State Capitol and serves as the official residence of Virginia's governor. Three presidents of the United States resided here before moving on to bigger and better things. James Monroe and John Tyler were governors. William Henry Harrison lived there while his daddy was governor. The house was designed by Alexander Parris and is the oldest occupied governor's mansion in the United States. It has housed governors and their families since 1813. Towards the turn of the 21st Century, the mansion underwent major renovations restoring the public areas, the private residence, and made the building accessible to wheelchairs.
Address: On Capitol Square, Richmond, VA.
American Civil War Museum at Tredegar
The Center is located at the American Civil War Centre on a beautiful site on the James River. Richmond's new Canal Walk fronts the river here, and a foot bridge gives visitors access to Belle Isle, a park formerly a prison camp for captured Yankee soldiers. Here at Tredegar, five surviving buildings illustrate the ironworks era and the National Park Service operates the Richmond Civil War Visitor Centre. I found the exhibits and discussion at this museum to be a little preachy and one-sided- very P.C. I actually got more out of the grounds tour of the old ironworks. It's open 9 a.m.-5 p.m. daily and admission runs $8 for adults as of October, 2008.
Address: 500 Tredegar Street, Richmond, VA 23219
Phone: (804) 780-1865
civil rights monument (front)
The newest monument on Capitol Square commemorates a student strike in 1951 by Barbara Johns and several classmates protesting inferiour conditions at their segregated school near Farmville. Parents contacted NAACP attorneys to sue the school system. This lawsuit became part of the landmark case of Brown vs. Board of Education (1954) which banned school segregation on the grounds that separate educational systems are inherently unequal and unconstitutional.
old stone house entrance
The Edgar Allen Poe Museum is not located where the "American Shakespeare" lived and worked, but it is real close by. The museum has been in the old stone house, Richmond's oldest surviving building, since 1922. In the stone house and outbuildings are a larger preponderance of his works and possessions across his 40 years. There is a garden in the back, a shrine with a bust of the writer, and three outbuildings with exhibits and artifacts. The museum is open 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Tuesday to Saturday; 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Sunday; closed Mondays. Tours are self-guided. As of October 2008, the price of admission was $6.
Address: 1914-16 East Main Street, Richmond, VA 23219
Directions: Scroll to the bottom of this page
Phone: (804) 648-5523
Virginia Aviation Museum
The Virginia Aviation Museum is located, quite fittingly, on the grounds of the Richmond International Airport. For those who are flying into Richmond, this can be the first thing you visit after you hire your car on the way to your hotel or my house. All sorts of aircraft are on display here from the kites the Wright Brothers used to experiment with the concept of flight through to the SR-71 spy plane which flew supersonically at heights of between 80000 and 95000 feet (24390 to 28960 m.)
Address: 5701 Huntsman Road, Sandston, VA 23150
Directions: From I-64: Take Exit 197A and follow the brown Virginia Aviation Museum signs. From Interstate 295 take Exit 31B and follow the brown signs.
Phone: (804) 236-3622
Its handsomely adorned false marble pillars support a 70 foot (22 m.) ceiling with a stain glass skylight. Leading town from the Palm Court to the Rotunda is the grand staircase, believed to be the model for the one in the movie Gone With the Wind. Distringuished guests include the Barrymore, Whitney, Vanderbilt, and Bush families. Famous individuals include F. Scott Fitzgerald, Charlie Chaplin, Sarah Bernhardt, Charles Bronson, and Sir Anthony Hopkins.
In the Palm Court lobby, guests can relax with afternoon tea. As you enter, you see the life-sized marble statue of Thomas Jefferson and a 35' (10 m.) Tiffany stain glass skylight.
Lemaire Restaurant, the fanciest restaurant in the grand hotel, was designated as a 5-Diamond winner as well as the hotel at large. Once you enter, on the left you will find the library where many private lunches and dinners have been held. The fireplace is made of solid African mahogany.
On the rotunda level, left of the grand staircase, is a permanent historical exhibit which includes all manner of memorabilia from the hotels history.
The grand ballroom is the gathering point for formal and informal events. The Jefferson has hosted 9 U.S. Presidents, cotillions, weddings, and various corporate events. The grand ballroom has a gold detailed ceiling and a crystal chandelier.
Address: 101 W. Franklin St., Richmond, VA 23220
current Senate chamber
The Virginia General Assembly convenes every January here on Capitol Square. Citizen legislators represent the interest of all Virginians. In even-numbered years the session lasts 60 days including crossover where bills introduced in one house are debated and voted on in the other. In April, they come back for a (usually) brief veto session. The governor can call the General Assembly back for special session at any time and for any reason.
OLD AND NEW LEGISLATIVE CHAMBERS
The old Senate chamber is used as a committee room. Most such rooms are decorated with statuary. This one has 2 paintings describing the settlement at Jamestown in 1607 and the Colonial victory over the British at Yorktown in 1781.
The Senate has met in this "modern" chamber since 1906. The signers tablet which commemorates the Virginians who signed the Declaration of Independence is displayed here. There are 40 state senators who serve 4-year terms (all of whom elected at the governor's mid-term). The last election for state Senate was 2003, the next will be 2007. The state senator who currently represents my district is Ryan McDougle, a Republican for Mechanicsville, and a friend of mine.
House of Delegates
The old House chamber is the largest room in the capitol. Its width was exactly that of the original capitol before the two wings housing the current house and senate chambers were added in 1904. It was here that the Bill of Rights was ratified into the U.S. Constitution, where Aaron Burr was tried and acquitted of treason, and where Robert E. Lee accepted the duty to lead the Confederate army in the War of Northern Aggression.
The current House chamber has met in the East Wing since 1906. There are 100 members of the House of Delegates, elected at every odd-numbered year for 2-year terms. My representative in the House of Delegates (97th district) is my friend Chris Peace, a Republican for Mechanicsville. At the time he was first sworn in (January, 2006) he was the youngest member, elected at age 29.
Old vs. New
The state capitol building of Virginia is the second oldest working capitol in the United States (in continuous use since 1788). It was designed by Thomas Jefferson who was inspired by the Maison Carré (Square House, for those from Roxboro) in Nîmes, France. The capitol is made of brick and covered with stucco. The six white columns on the south portico contain the original pine centre posts. The grounds are always open and folks choose to picnic on the grass. I have done it a number of times on school field trips to the capitol. In the photo, note the capitol, built in the 1780s in the foreground with the modern city hall (skyscraper) built in the 1970s in the background. On hot days, like when Mark and I were here, the water fountain on the south side of the capitol looked tempting. Inside the capitol, there is a two-storey rotunda with embedded dome and skylights is at the centre of the Capitol. This is the only statue for which George Washington actually posed. It looks so lifelike, it was almost like ol' George was living, breathing and watching all manner of tourists. Although there is not as much statuary on these capitol grounds as in Columbia, South Carolina, there are still some notable examples like...
George Washington monument
A grand and impressive monument dedicated to famous Virginians stands 60 feet (18 m.) high on the western portion of Capitol Square. The centrepiece of the statue is a sculpture of George Washington atop his horse encircled by other notable Virginians (Patrick Henry, Thomas Jefferson, George Mason, John Marshall, Thomas Nelson, and Andrew Lewis) together with several bald eagles. It took from 1850-1869 to complete the monument.
Address: Downtown Richmond
More Reviews (215)
- See All neighbourhood German food
- See All West End Antique Mall
- See All Old Mechanics and Merchants Bank...
- See All "Qué Pasa" Festival
- See All University of Richmond (or U of R)
- See All Clean up after your pet
b1bob's Related Pages
Richmond Travel Guide
Member Travel Pages
- "Richmond, VA"
- "PAGE DEDICATED TO NAT (b1bob on VT)"
- "richmond, virginia"
- "Revolutionary and Civil War History"
- "Richmond (A city of diverse history)"
- "A wonderful walk through Richmond"
- "The Rise and Fall and Rise of Richmond"
- See All...
- Things to Do in Richmond
- Hotels in Richmond
- Transportation in Richmond
- Nightlife in Richmond
- Restaurants in Richmond
- Shopping in Richmond
- Warnings and Dangers in Richmond
- See All...
Badges & Stats in Richmond
- 250 Reviews
- 471 Photos
- 0 Forum posts
- 170 Comments
- See All Stats
- See All Badges (47)
Have you been to Richmond?Share Your Travels
Latest Activity in Richmond
Photos in RichmondSee All Photos (471)
Top 10 Pages
- Top 5 Page for this destination Richmond Intro, 250 reviews, 498 photos, 1 travelogue
- Top 5 Page for this destination United States of America Intro, 203 reviews, 326 photos, 3 travelogues
- Top 5 Page for this destination Virginia Intro, 154 reviews, 245 photos, 2 travelogues
- Top 5 Page for this destination Quito Intro, 80 reviews, 123 photos
- Mechanicsville Intro, 67 reviews, 131 photos
- Top 5 Page for this destination Charlotte Intro, 83 reviews, 91 photos, 1 travelogue
- Washington D.C. Intro, 76 reviews, 94 photos, 2 travelogues
- Virgilina Intro, 52 reviews, 85 photos
- Top 5 Page for this destination Williamsburg Intro, 51 reviews, 64 photos
- Europe Intro, 51 reviews, 53 photos
- Canal Walk- 12 Reviews, 33 Photos
- Capitol Square- 39 Reviews, 65 Photos
- Hollywood Cemetery- 12 Reviews, 22 Photos
- White House of the Confederacy- 7 Reviews, 11 Photos
- Old City Hall- 8 Reviews, 8 Photos
- Museum of the Confederacy- 9 Reviews, 16 Photos
- Maymont Park- 4 Reviews, 7 Photos
- Monument Avenue- 10 Reviews, 19 Photos
- American Civil War Museum at Historic Tredegar- 5 Reviews, 13 Photos
- Agecroft Hall- 5 Reviews, 9 Photos
See All Richmond Things to Do