Visit Friday, February 14 – Monday, February 17, 2020
We take advantage of every long weekend the military offers us and we love the opportunity to explore the areas we live. Being on the east coast, we enjoy a quick day’s drive to America’s historic locations.
We had both been to the Williamsburg area as kids but wanted to visit again now that we could fully comprehend where we were visiting. We had heard fun things about Richmond, Virginia and decided that’s where we were going to stay!
A 3.5 hour drive from the Fort Bragg area to RVA put us at our Airbnb in the Jackson Ward area. We had an awful experience here so we aren’t linking it. It was actually the third Airbnb that we had to book last minute since the other two canceled on us. Crazy!
Fun Fact: Jackson Ward is where the Bojangles founder is from!
Friday night was Valentine’s Day so we only wanted a quick dinner. Wong Gonzalez was still open and we were very happy they had no wait…it was delicious! A fun take on an Asian/Mexican food joint, you have to get their wings and the burrito.
Saturday morning we took an Uber to the Church Hill neighborhood. The streets are more than confusing so if you can catch a ride instead of drive, I would recommend it! We ate breakfast at the highly recommended WPA Bakery which offered delicious coffee, desserts, cakes and breakfast sandwiches at low prices. There were numerous locals in and out all morning and I’m not sure you’d be disappointed with anything to order.
A few blocks away you’ll want to stop by the historic St. John’s Church 2401 E Broad St, Richmond, VA 23223. This is the site of prominent meetings and decision-making including the 1775 Virginia Convention where Patrick Henry, George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Peyton Randolph and other prominent Virginians were delegates. Patrick Henry also gave his “Give me liberty…or give me death!” speech at the time at this location. Several historical figures are buried here.
If you’re sticking around Church Hill looking for something to do:
- Patrick Henry Park
- Take note of the old “Uneeda Biscuit” advertisement mural on the corner of 25th and Broad. You’re going to see a lot of great ghost murals and new murals all over walls in the RVA.
Another 10 min walk to The Edgar Allen Poe Museum $6-8 tickets (free for military and several other discounts available!) This was a small walk through museum of one of Poe’s childhood homes and his preettttyyy weirdddd life. Like, he married his cousin and his death remains a mystery weird.
Also nearby is Libby Hill Park. Libby Hill Park and see the vista that gave Richmond its name for a striking resemblance to Richmond Upon Thames in England. You’ll want to join the many, many folks who Instagram this view (hashtags #RVA and #VisitRichmond will get you lots of likes). Libby Hill Park and see the vista that gave Richmond its name for a striking resemblance to Richmond Upon Thames in England. You’ll want to join the many, many folks who Instagram this view (hashtags #RVA and #VisitRichmond will get you lots of likes).
If you’re in a walking mood and ready to see the city on foot, walk up Bank past the Main Street station. There isn’t much inside but it’s a fun sight seeing location on your way to the Capital.
The Jefferson Hotel (where we obviously were not guetss) is a must-do for at least walking through. Since 1895 this hotel has provided a luxurious stay for guests featuring live alligators for a while.
The Jefferson Hotel, a Spanish baroque stunner built in 1895, should be your next stop. Have a drink at the bar at Lemaire restaurant in the hotel, or outside if the weather’s nice.
Our visits to Richmond always include a visit here and a stay in the historic Linden Row Inn downtown, housed in seven row houses dating back to the mid-1800s. Edgar Allen Poe played in the garden here, now a courtyard.
On a future visit, I hope to stay in The Jefferson Hotel. Opened in 1895 by Richmond’s wealthiest citizen, Lewis Ginter, the hotel has survived two fires and hosted 13 presidents.
You can grab a drink, a meal or join them in a large tea area for a special occasion. You can imagine the celebrities, public figures and presidents this hotel would host after 125 years of service. A small corner of the lower lobby features the history of the hotel and a running list of famous guests (the picture of the three white sheets in the slides below).
One of the most fun things on this trip, and unique from anything we’ve done, was found randomly while walking around. The Hotel Greene serves fun cocktails and ‘hipster food’ in my words. It’s not a hotel at all but an indoor putt putt golf course that winds around a creatively fun hotel themed course.
There are a few peepholes where you can see miniature displays and a fun staff that gets you in on the scheme. This would be great for any age as mom and dad can carry their drinks around while playing! 😉
One of the places back near our Airbnb that we had planned on eating was Mama J’s Kitchen for “the best fried catfish and corn muffins we’d ever had.” but the line was out the door! Plan on a second option or get there early.
- The Veil Brewing Co.
- Vasen Brewing
- Isley Brewing Company
- Three Notch’d
- Castleburg Brewery (next door to Hardywood)
- Hardywood Park Craft Brewery. (30 mins from Ardent/SA area).
SA is center of brewing, arts and loft living. Richmond has more than 30 craft breweries and it had actually been called the #1 beer destination in the world which I believe is a little extreme but it’s for sure the party area in the city.