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Travel & Tourist Tips
Richmond. The place of Patrick Henry’s historic “Give me liberty, or give me death!” speech during the second Virginia Convention. This city also became the capital of the Confederate States of America, where the Confederate White House is located. Because of this, there is an abundance of historic sights, and old residences, as well as a fine arts museum and other structures. What draws the tourists, however, are mainly the different monuments, battlefields, and museums that are built in honor of the some of the bloodiest wars in American history. Civil War enthusiasts should not miss visiting this epic city.
Getting There & Around
Flights usually land in Richmond International Airport, on Airport Drive, just off I-64, I-295 and Williamsburg Road, more commonly known as Byrd Field. From the airport, you can make use of Groome Transportation’s van service, which can take you to Richmond, Petersburg, Fredericksburg, and Williamsburg. You may also take the bus, but these can be quite inconvenient.
If you’re driving your own car, you will find Richmond at the junction of I-64, if you’re traveling east to west, and on I-95 if you’re traveling north to south. US 60, US 1, and US 301 are other main thoroughfares to get to Richmond.
Amtrak trains are also an option. There’s a station at 7519 Staples Mill Road, located at Exit 185 of I-64. If you want to travel by bus, the Greyhound/Trailways bus terminal can be found at 2910 N. Boulevard.
Richmond has The Greater Richmond Transit Company, or GRTC, which operates their public bus system in the metropolitan area. A bus ride will require you to have exact change. This mode of transportation is available from 5 am until midnight.
You can also take advantage of the Richmond Cultural Connection Shuttle, which is a great alternative if you’re in Richmond on a weekend. It plies the route downtown during weekends, from June until the start of September. The Orange Line will bring you to various sights such as the Chimborazo Park and the Science Museum of Virginia. The Blue Line, meanwhile, will take you from Boulevard to Marymount via Carytown.
Driving can also be convenient, just be aware that most streets in Richmond are one-way streets. Taxis are also available; fares are based on a per mile basis.
Edgar Allan Poe Museum
The great mystery/suspense writer created his masterpieces just about a block away from this museum. This museum, located in Shockoe Bottom, boasts of a vast collection of Poe memorabilia. In the museum’s souvenir shop you will find a Poe action figure that comes with a detachable raven. A museum that should not be missed by Poe fans.
This cemetery, overlooking the James River , serves as the final repository of two US presidents, a Confederate President, and about 18,000 Confederate soldiers. Its name made lead some to think that deceased Hollywood stars have their final resting place here, but the name Hollywood was derived from the holly trees that can be found in abundance throughout the graveyard.
By far the most visited location in Richmond . Located in Hampton Street , this park/garden used to be a private estate, which was eventually turned into a vast, 100-acre public park. It houses the Maymont House, as well as enchanting Italian and Japanese gardens. Children will enjoy themselves at the petting zoo that’s also hosted inside this huge garden.
The Museum and White House of the Confederacy
This is one tourist spot you shouldn’t miss, most especially if you’re a Civil War fanatic. It features one of the largest collections of Confederate paraphernalia in the country. Almost every significant event during the Civil War is documented and kept here, including uniforms, weapons, and even art pieces. There’s even a replica of Lee’s headquarters. Don’t forget to allow enough time to see the entire White House.
Important Visitor Information
A good time to go visit Richmond is from February until November. Weather in Richmond is usually mild, though the heat can get to you from July until August. April and May brings spring, which is the best time to see the sights. Autumn starts in September and ends in October.
Though most areas cited in this guide are relatively safe, there’s no harm in taking extra precaution when walking the streets of Richmond at night. Shockoe Slip and Shockoe Bottom are safe, especially when the establishments and restaurants are open. Keep away from deserted areas at night.
For more information on safety and other tourist-related inquiry, you can always go and visit the Richmond Visitors Center, located on 405 N. Third Street, between Clay and Marshall. The center can give you useful information on hotels, and other services you may need. There is also another visitor information center in the Bell Tower, located on 9 th Street and Marshall.
Useful Links & Resources
The Official Online Portal of Richmond
The Richmond International Airport
Edgar Allan Poe Museum