Old is Gold: Exploring the Historical City of Richmond

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The bustling city of Richmond holds a special place in everyone’s heart because of its Civil War history. The oldest major city in America is known for its museums, Federal-style mansions, modern eateries, craft breweries, and gardens. It’s a buzzing tourist destination, and I hope to travel to Richmond soon. Meanwhile, here’s a post I compiled with the help of three of my close friends. Thanks to their suggestions, here’s a list of the top eight things to do in Richmond.

1. Fuel Your Beer Craving

Image via Flickr by taberandrew

A trip to Richmond isn’t complete if you don’t try the famous cider or craft brews. Follow a beer trail or go brewery-hopping to pursue your affair with craft beer. Visit popular breweries like The Answer Brewpub, Midnight Brewery, Ardent Craft Ales, Final Gravity Brewing Company, 7 Hills Seafood & Brewing Co., or Hardywood Park Craft Brewery. Seafood fritters, spring rolls, and fried bites serve as the perfect accompaniments for a pint.

2. Step Into a Gothic Abode

 

Image via Flickr by Gamma Man

If it’s gothic, it has to be the Edgar Allan Poe Museum. The museum pays tribute to the author with his manuscripts, letters, walking stick, socks, locks of hair, and furniture. The museum dates back to 1922 and is located in one of the oldest buildings in Richmond. Don’t forget to say hello to the two black cats, Pluto and Edgar, which you may see lurking by the museum.

3. Walk Through James River Park

Spend an early morning over a perfect nature walk through James River Park. Head to its pipeline walkway and spot nesting herons, fish, and migratory birds. The pipeline carries sewage downstream, but the area around it is very clean and keeps the river fresh. The James River also has some great rapids that make the river ideal for canoeing or kayaking. Row away or swim to your heart’s content in areas marked safe for swimming and chill out during your stay in Richmond.

4. Admire the Infamous Potato Building

Image via Flickr by rvaphotodude

The Markel Building at Richmond is worth a visit, as it resembles the wrinkled jacket of a potato. This shining, circular structure has made its way to the world’s 10 ugliest buildings. Whether you call it ugly or unique, it was designed by architect Haigh Jamgochian in 1962. He gained inspiration from a baked potato served at a dinner held by the American Institute of Architects. A total of 555 feet of aluminium sheeting adorns the building, most of which is highly textured to impart the distinctive look.

5. Visit the Ruins of Belle Isle

Belle Isle is home to remnants from Richmond’s history. This site was inhabited by Native Americans until John Smith discovered it on the James River. The island even served as a prison camp at one point in time. You can find ruins of an old nail factory on the island, along with the remains of an oil storehouse and a hydroelectric plant. The route to the island via a cycling bridge is quite an adventure, too.

6. Take a Refreshing Canal Walk

Image via Flickr by Ron Cogswell

The Canal Walk offers anecdotes relating to the history of the United States through four centuries. Walk along the banks to spot sculptures, statues, and exhibits that tell the story of Richmond. Keep watch for the Box Brown Plaza and the American Civil War Center, both of which are near the walkway.

7. Interact With Animals at Metro Richmond Zoo

The zoo offers fun experiences like giraffe feedings and a safari train ride. It’s home to more than 2,000 animals and about 200 wildlife species. The animals here include endangered species like orangutans, rhinos, tigers, tapirs, and giraffes, along with a budgie aviary.

8. Take a Trolley Ride

Image via Flickr by taberandrew

Richmond was the first city in the world to have a trolley system. The 26-seater was introduced in 1888. Today, it’s open to the public, so you can experience the city through this historical transportation system. Even the firm cushions and iron-rimmed seats are intact.

We hope you enjoyed this virtual trip to Richmond as much as our friends enjoyed compiling it. Have you visited Richmond recently? Let us know what we can add to the list.

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38 thoughts on “Old is Gold: Exploring the Historical City of Richmond

  1. What an informative post. Loved the writeup and pics. Specially potato building… very cool. Look forward to more of such blogs from this site.

    Liked by 1 person

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