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Shockoe Slip is the city's oldest mercantile district and was once the site of the State Capitol building. This area has been a bustling hub since the 17th century. Though the earliest buildings here were destroyed during the Civil War, original cobblestones and structures dating from 1868-1888 make this beautiful and historic area a perfect place for sightseeing. Shockoe also offers shopping - there are antique and book stores and a variety of clothing boutiques - and a ton of dining options, such as a Japanese steak and sushi restaurant and Morton's Steakhouse.
By boat or by foot the Richmond Canal Walk is a beautiful and educational experience. Take a guided tour or learn about the site on your own. Trek through wooden steps, cobbled streets, and dirt trails - you certainly won't be bored with all of the pathways this walk offers. Brass disks embedded in the sidewalk, maps, photos and artifacts note historical events and people associated with the canals and locks.
The American Civil War Center at Historic Tredegar chronicles the savagery of the 19th-century American Civil War through its exhibits and displays. Discussions and analysis of the cause, effect, and legacy of the civil war are held here. Audio-visual content documenting episodes of the war are also available to visitors. The center's fantastic location by the James River in the heart of Richmond makes it one of the most noticeable and visited spots. Rental spaces at the center are much sought after. The scenic riverside backdrop and the elegant interiors make it an ideal venue for weddings and bashes.
Richmond Slave Trail is a significant part of Virginia's history. The trail mainly describes the dark era when the trade of African slaves took place in Virginia in the 18th and 19th Century. It begins from the Manchester dock as it acted as a major port in the trade of enslaved Africans. The trail covers major landmarks of the period including former sites of the slave markets, Lumpkin's Slave Jail and the Negro Burial Ground. The trail ends at First African Baptist Church. Tours are provided by various agencies.
Cobblestoned Monument Avenue is the only street in the country declared a national historic site. This is a favorite local spot for taking a walk or for reading a novel, spread out on the grass. After the Civil War, statues were erected on Monument Avenue to honor Confederate heroes. These include Confederate President Jefferson Davis, Robert E. Lee, commander of the Confederate Army, and General "Stonewall" Jackson, so called because he rode upon his horse immovable and expressionless as a stone wall. To better illustrate Richmond's cultural diversity, a statue of tennis great Arthur Ashe, a Richmond native, was added in 1996.
Built-in 1893, this beautiful home on the James River is a classic example of Victorian architecture and landscaping. Maymont Mansion is filled with period furniture including a magnificent swan bed. Trees and plants from all over the world were cultivated here by the owners. The English, Japanese and Italian gardens are romantic spots for strolling and picnicking. A carriage collection, children's farm, and small zoo are other favorite attractions.
Maymont, a historic estate, was left to the people of Richmond by a wealthy lawyer and philanthropist, and his wife, after their deaths. The Robins Nature & Visitor Center at Maymont is dedicated to native fauna from across Virginia. A visit here is like visiting somebody’s house and discovering an astonishing world of wildlife in their backyard. You can either walk around and explore the park and its inhabitants on your own, or opt for one of their educational programs available throughout the year.
The Fan District is full of richly detailed turn-of-the-century townhomes. Each is unusual with architectural features including spellbinding stained glass, grimacing gargoyles and intricately carved columns. Most are surrounded by fragrant flowers, carefully tended by the buildings' owners. The area is named for its fan-shaped layout, designed during Richmond's streetcar era. The Strawberry Street Cafe is just one of many favorite Richmond restaurants that nestle along the Fan's folds.
Carytown is a treasure trove of specialty stores and restaurants. Stroll down the sidewalks and explore antique stores, salons, vintage clothing stores, coffee places, bookshops and more. On and off-street parking is plentiful. The eateries represent many different kinds of food, from Mexican at Nacho Mamma's to French-Asian at Indochine or Indian at Farouk's. The shops include Premiere Costumes, The Compleat Gourmet and Leo Burke Furniture. These and other stores have sidewalk sales in the spring and fall and open houses on December Sundays. In August, the street comes to life with the Watermelon Festival.
The canal that was built to favor the passengers who traveled through the water ways was the James River and Kanawha Canal. Although frequently destroyed by the floods, the canal stood still in its appearance and continues to serve the passengers. This canal is spread over 138 acres (56 hectares) and is a great visiting place for the tourists. If you are still debating whether or not to visit, keep in mind that it is listed on the register of National Historic Places in the year 1971. The public pathway is open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
This Tudor house once overlooked the Irwell River in Lancashire, England. In 1929, it was moved to this site, reminiscent of the original, overlooking the James River in Richmond's Windsor Farms neighborhood. Agecroft contains furnishings dating back from 1485 to 1660, including an interesting 1610 lantern clock that tells time only on the hour. Landscape artist Charles Gillette designed the gardens, which include an Elizabethan knot garden that blooms with fragrant and medicinal plants. When you visit Agecroft, you are stepping back in time and into the lives of gentry in the English Tudor period. Guided tours are available for the museum and the gardens are self-guided.
The Bryan Park is a prime historic park in the northwest of the city. Spread over a large area, the park offers an array of hiking and biking tracks. Another promising feature is the Joseph Bryan Park Azalea Garden. It boasts of over 450,000 azalea plants of roughly 50 varieties, as well as a small pond with a fountain. The park also features a well-designed golf course. It also hosts cultural events and festivals throughout the year. Admission is free, and in this fast-paced world of gadgets, a visit can revive your mind and soul.