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. Admission to the home and children's farm is free, although donations are requested.
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 them 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.
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.
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.
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!
In the 1880s, Lewis Ginter, a wealthy businessman, opened a resort on this land just northwest of Richmond. An avid gardener, he planted and cared for much of the foliage that still thrives in the park today. Upon his death, the property passed to his niece who opened a hospice for children in Ginter's home. She also cultivated the gardens and imported several rare plants. The land is now operated by the city as a botanical garden. Explore the Victorian garden, nature trails and the home, and perhaps stop at the Tea House for lunch.
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.
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.
Built in 1790, this is the oldest brick house surviving in Richmond. For 45 years it was the home of the third Chief Justice of the United States, John Marshall. Restored as a museum, it contains original home furnishings and artifacts from Marshall's professional life. This a must-see for all history lovers.
Cited right on Capitol Square, the Virginia Civil Rights Memorial is a testament to Barbara Rose Johns' bravery. Not widely known but still an extremely important figure in the civil rights movement, Barbara is fondly referred to as "Virginia's Rosa Parks." The then 16-year-old led a strike for equal education at Moton High School in Farmville, Virginia. Her suit was used in the historic 1954 U.S. Supreme Court case, Brown v. Board of Education, in which the court ruled against "separate but equal," ending segregation in American public schools. The Civil Rights Memorial celebrates the spirit of Barbara Johns, Moton High School, community leaders and civil rights attorneys.
Begin your exploration of historic Richmond at The Valentine museum! Fascinating permanent and changing exhibits illuminate the city's four centuries. Tour the 1812 Wickham House, a neoclassical masterpiece, and Edward Valentine's 19th-century Sculpture Studio, then enjoy lunch in beautiful Wickham's Garden Cafe. The Cafe offers sandwiches, salads and award winning desserts and is open for breakfast and lunch, M-F 8a-3p. Guided walking tours, specialty bus tours, custom group tours and step-on guides are available. All programs are led by friendly and knowledgeable master guides, who bring the history of Richmond to life, on location.