Virginia Museum of Fine Arts contains comprehensive collections of works from ancient times to the present. Permanent exhibits include pieces from ancient Greece, a tapestry hall, a medieval chapel and the largest collection of Faberge eggs outside of Russia. A regular schedule of temporary exhibits rounds out this comprehensive art museum. A peaceful sculpture garden provides a place for a quiet rest beside the rushing fountains. Admission is free, although USD5 donations are suggested.
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.
Founded in 1847, Hollywood is one of the oldest cemeteries in Richmond. Confederate President Jefferson Davis, General J.E.B. Stuart, Presidents James Monroe and John Tyler, novelists James Branch Cabel and Ellen Glasgow, and 18,000 Confederate soldiers, 11,000 of the unknown, are a few examples of the historical figures buried here. Hollywood has the city's best view of the James River. When the cemetery was first established, neighbors declared that the rushing of the falls would, literally, wake the dead. Guided tours are available on the last Sunday of each month through October.
Spanning an impressive 7950 acres (3217.25-hectares), Pocahontas State Park is a breathtaking forested expanse. The park is named after the legendary Native American figure and offers thrilling outdoor pursuits within its dramatic landscapes. More than 58 miles of trails entice hikers and mountain bikers of all abilities, while fishing opportunities abound in the abundant waters of the park's two lakes. Swift Creek Lake, the larger of the two, is also available seasonally for kayaking, paddling and canoeing. Other points of interest within the park include the Civilian Conservation Corps Museum and the Aqua Center, a fun family destination, with pools, water-slides and a wet deck.
Designed by Thomas Jefferson with architect Charles-Louis Clérisseau, this Classic Revival building was modeled after a Roman temple, the Maison Carrée in Nimes. It was completed in 1788 and is the second oldest capitol in continuous use in the country. The focal point of the building is the central rotunda featuring a life-size statue of George Washington, said to be the only one for which he actually posed. A smaller dome displays busts of the eight American presidents from Virginia. The old Hall of the House of Delegates, where the legislature met until 1906, is now a museum. Free tours, lasting about 30 minutes, are offered here. Visitors can stroll around the Capitol grounds and see the nearby Executive Mansion.
It was here that the Virginia Convention of 1775 met to discuss the question of taking arms against the British. One of the oldest wooden buildings in Virginia, delegates to the Convention - including Thomas Jefferson, George Washington and Patrick Henry - had convened in this very spot. And it was here where Patrick Henry gave his famous speech and said the following famous lines: "Give me liberty or give me death!" Visitors can reenact this experience by watching the live performances offered by professional actors and further enrich their knowledge of history by visiting the city's first public cemetery.
The home of Virginia governors since the early 1800s, this Federal-style house is located in Capitol Square. It is the oldest governor's mansion in continuous use in the country. Confederate general Robert E. Lee lay in state in one of the rooms. Prominent governors that have resided in the home include Harry Byrd, who later served 32 years in the US Senate and L. Douglas Wilder, the first elected African-American governor in the country. The home can be toured by appointment only during the designated hours.
Founded by English settlers in the year 1737, Richmond is famous for its rich history that revolves largely around the American Civil War. Besides being the capital of the American state of Virginia, Richmond is also known for its huge tobacco production, a business that was a big part of its early economy. The city has a host of educational institutes such as University of Richmond, Virginia Union University, and a large number of technical colleges such as the ECP College of Technology, and the ITT Technical Institute that has infused the historic city with upbeat energy. For outdoor enthusiasts, the thrilling rapids of the roaring James River offer edge-of-the-seat fun while the elegant historic homes nestled in shaded streets give the city an old-world Southern charm that's hard to beat.
Still an active church, St. Paul's was built in 1845. Visit here and stand on the spot where, in 1865, Confederate President Jefferson Davis was told Union troops were advancing on Richmond, a pivotal event of the Civil War. Another famous Richmond native who worshiped at St. Paul's was Edgar Allen Poe. He claimed to have left a valise, the location and contents of which remain an intriguing local mystery in the building.
Nestled in the heart of the city is the magnificent Dominion Arts Center, the hub of art and culture in Richmond. The Center is housed within a building that's almost a Century old and boasts three state-of-the-art stages, the Carpenter Theater, the Gottwald Theater, and the Rhythm Hall. The venue frequently hosts performers of international acclaim as well as some of the regions most talented actors, musicians, comedians, orchestras, and touring troupes. Inspiring and enlightening performances and world-class facilities ensure that every visit to the Dominion Arts Center is a memorable one.
A music lover's passion for music would be incomplete without watching a show at the National. True to its name, this classic place is nationally renowned for the finest concerts held here. Wooden floors, brick walls, 1500-cushioned seats and seven full bars is what makes the patrons return for more. The stylish backdrops and the grand stage provides an unobstructed view of your favorite artists playing live. Add to it the ultra-modern V-DOSC sound system and you have a power-packed experience!