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Getting ready for our visit to Richmond

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Getting ready for our visit to Richmond

Thanks for all the posts - It really helped me put together some thoughts on our upcoming visit.

While I've driven through Richmond countless times, I don't think I've ever set foot in the city though I've wanted to for many years (always pointed out the baseball stadium to the kids as we drove by).

We'll be coming with our 11 year old daughter on Thursday April 5 and leaving April 6th for a night at Virginia Beach and a stroll on the boardwalk. We are typically fans of museums, parks, history and the urban stumble (always looking for a place like DC's Georgetown or NYC's Greenwich Village). Typically our Spring Break normally includes a stop at Parkers BBQ in Wilson, NC but not this year; so question number 1 is:

1) Where can we go in Richmond that has decent Brunswick Stew, BBQ for dinner that won't ask me if I want my tea sweetened since Richmond should be well south of the sweet tea line? McLean's while it doesn't have BBQ at least has Brunswick Stew on the menu though no dinner hours mid week which may not work for us. If not, BBQ maybe a Diners, Drive-in and Dive type place. Maybe someplace in or by Carytown since that is where I think we'll end our day. Two DDD places in town are Dots Back Inn and the Village Café (looks like a college bar so that may not work). Any other thoughts especially close to Carytown?

We're trying to plan an itinerary that includes the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts; Virginia State Capitol; the Hollywood Cemetery and Maymont (I know - who visits cemeteries but it opens early so that might work on Friday AM as we head to VA Beach plus it looks amazing); a couple of churches (St. John's and St. Paul's Episcopal); a peak inside the Jefferson Hotel, the Canal Walk (did I hear there are catacombs nearby - the 11 year old would love that - any info on that would be great); World of Mirth, Plan 9 Music and a wander around Carytown; Monument Avenue; Virginia War Memorial; a walk around Shockhoe Slip (I think that is by the Canal Walk); and maybe the Fan.

Any thoughts on the best way to do that in a day and a half?

Did I miss anything that should be a must see like the Poe House, Three Lakes Nature Center and maybe Jeff Davis's house or any thing like that? Please say no as I don't think I'll be able to get all this in as it is (who knew Richmond had so many must sees).

Any good places to eat similar to the above request either in VA Beach or on the way? Maybe a favorite pizza joint - seems like every beach town should have a go to pizza place.

Might stop at Cold Harbor on the way if I can talk the crew into it.

After spending some time on TripAdvisor, I'm really looking forward to this trip - Richmond seems like a great city.

Richmond, Virginia
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1. Re: Getting ready for our visit to Richmond

Wow, I live in Richmond, and haven't done most of these things! That is ALOT of things to cover in a day and a half. You could spend half the day easily in the Museum of Fine Arts.

Carytown has some neat shops, but I'm not sure how long an 11 year old is going to interested in them. Plus they can be pretty expensive. World of Mirth is worth a trip if possible, and Carytown is pretty close to the Museum of Fine Arts.

The Three Lakes Nature Center is nice, but nothing you won't see anywhere else. Displays about the local wildlife that sort of thing. And out of the way from the rest of your destinations.

The catacombs-never heard about it. There are tunnels that connect some of the government buildings, but I don't think it's a touristy thing.

Monument Avenue is a LONG street, and you should definitely drive it. Part of Monument would be considered the Fan, so you could kill 2 birds with one stone there.

Shockoe Slip doesn't have too much there aside from bars/nightclubs. You might try http://www.tredegar.org/ instead to get some info on the Civil War and then a very short walk to Belle Isle. If you go to Belle Isle, be sure to follow the river and walk all the way around to the back part, where the rocks are. All kids LOVE the rocks. Belle Isle is across the river from Hollywood Cemetery.

Museum of the Confederacy could be neat too.

If you are looking for BBQ, about halfway between Richmond and VA Beach is Pierce's Pit BBQ. It's at the Lightfoot exit off 64E.

Hope this helps!

Richmond VA USA
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2. Re: Getting ready for our visit to Richmond

You've got several days' worth of activities; I guess you'll be coming back after this quick visit.

I'm not sure VA is really south of the sweet tea line, but I would try Buzz and Ned's for your BBQ fix. It didn't make DDD, but they did beat Bobby Flay in the BBQ throwdown, and they've got great beans. It's a couple of blocks south of the baseball stadium on the Boulevard. I don't know of any BBQ places in Carytown, but there is very good NY style pizza at Angela's, good subs at Coppola's, and at least a dozen other choices, including Thai, sushi, French brasserie, etc, etc. etc. You can wander up and down Cary St. and see what interests you.

The Valentine History Center offers a walking tour of Hollywood Cemetery Monday through Saturday at 10 AM starting April 2, so you are coming at the right time. They do a nice job on their walking tours, if you have time for it.


The VMFA is great, but to see everything couldl fill almost your entire day; so check the website and focus on what you're interested in. They are open in the evenings on Thursdays and Fridays, so maybe you could stop in after dinner, if you're just trying to get an overview.

The State Capitol has tours on the half hour, which really showcase the history of that building, so do try to catch one of those.

If you want Nature Center, you could see the one in Maymont, but what am I talking about, there's no way you have time to see all of that, and really, these places are not so unique that you would want to skip something else. I wouldn't go out of your way for 3 Lakes, nor the VA War Memorial.

Walking over to Belle Isle after the Canal Walk would be lovely if the weather is anything like today's. Never heard of any catacombs in Richmond, at least none that you could visit. Shockoe Slip, as the PP stated, is a place to eat lunch or go to bars at night.

After reviewing all of this, you may want to focus on what's available in the downtown to Carytown areas, working your way west. I would consider the Museum of the Confederacy if keeping the focus on history would make the visit make more sense, but you don't have a lot of time, and museums like that can eat up several hours. I think it has more to offer than Tredegar, unless you know nothing at all about the Civil War. There's not a lot to see at Cold Harbor, unless you take the hike into the woods to look at what's left of the fortifications. I found it interesting, but you've got so many other things to see. You could do a whole trip to Richmond just doing the Civil War stuff.

Have a great trip, and save some things for next time! There will have to be a next time!

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3. Re: Getting ready for our visit to Richmond

Thanks for the input - it will help me pare down what is an ambitious list.

Stopping by the VMFA after dinner might work since it's open late on Thursday's.

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4. Re: Getting ready for our visit to Richmond

Funny first response. I haven't done half those things either, but let me help where I can.

In Carytown, World of Mirth is definitely a highlight and it's across the street from Plan 9. It's one block west from Mongrel's which is a neat gift store. Further west (I'd probably park here first (Carytown is one way) and hit some stores (Penzey's spices, Franklin Goose, maybe Pink) and then drive down a bit and hit World of Mirth and such.

If you do that you can then continue east on Cary St, take a right on the Boulevard and follow it around to Maymont or Dogwood Dell (outdoor greek style ampitheater- it's on the right, Maymont is on the left). Anyway- point being it's about 5 minutes from Carytown so those 2 things would be good to do together vs going somewhere else and coming back to Maymont.

Another option is to take a left on the Boulevard from Carytown and there hit the VMFA.

I'd skip Three Lakes. Maymont is the best and then for a park, I'd choose Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden- but you're short on time so I don't want to throw out more.

I second the comments about driving some of it. There is nothing you'll miss by driving down Monument Avenue instead of walking and you'll get a gist of some of the Fan (other parts of the Fan are just city residences on narrow streets).

Hollywood is also off of Cary Street albeit further east toward the VCU area in a section of town called Oregon Hill (if I recall correctly you turn right off of Cary around Pine or Laurel St)

Further down Cary toward the business district you could go to Tredegar and cross over to Belle Isle/Brown's Island. From Cary St. - you'll see Brown signs telling you where to turn right (around 2nd street- maybe a little further). You'd park and walk from the parking area. But it's nice if the weather cooperates.

Anyway- I'd get a map and coordinate your plan of attack so you're not backtracking. Best bet is to find out the place you want to visit that's furthest west and then work your way east or vice versa. Have fun!

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5. Re: Getting ready for our visit to Richmond

Chamdex - thanks for the detailed info. Over the next few days I'll take a closer look at that map and try to put together a plan of where to start (I'm thinking VA State Capitol but we'll see).

Aylett, Virginia
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6. Re: Getting ready for our visit to Richmond

If you're really into BBQ, then here is the place for you.......

and, it's on the way to VA Beach from Richmond........

just prior to Williamsburg......

which is also a great place to visit for an 11 year old.

Old Colonial Williamsburg, ,




a stay at the "Great Wolf Lodge in Wmsbg.",


Busch Gardens








From Norfolk:

• Take Camp Peary, Exit #238 - Turn left at the stop sign at the top of ramp.

• Turn right at first stop light onto Rochambeau Drive.

• Restaurant is 3 miles down the street on your left.

From Richmond:

• Take Interstate 64 East to Lightfoot, Exit #234

• Turn right at stop sign at top of ramp.

• Cross overpass over Mooretown Road.

• Take right - 1.2 miles from interstate onto East Mooretown Road.

• Turn left at Lowe's onto Rochambeau Dr. (F137) - approximately 1.9 miles from Lowe's to Pierce's.

Aylett, Virginia
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7. Re: Getting ready for our visit to Richmond


Aylett, Virginia
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8. Re: Getting ready for our visit to Richmond

Visit Richmond VA


9. Re: Getting ready for our visit to Richmond

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