Fun In Richmond, VA?
August 26, 2009 8:56 PM   Subscribe

What is the most popular (not necessarily trendy) area of Richmond, VA in which to stay and party for a couple of nights?

I will be coming into town with a few other people (all twenty-somethings) for a conference and we wanted to know the best place to stay (neighborhoods or specific hotels!) so we can walk to some bars and good restaurants and let loose after the conference each day. The conference is at UofR, but from my basic Googlefu, it appears as if the best areas are not going to be too close to the school. That's fine with us, as we will have a car and can drive to the school each day for the conference . . .

But help us HiveMind . . we are definitely going to need to let loose each night!
posted by BadgerKyle to Travel & Transportation around Richmond, VA (15 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: Most popular area? Probably Shockoe Slip/Bottom, Carytown, or the area immediately around VCU (the eastern part of the Fan, especially around Harrison & Grace and West Main).

I recommend staying downtown near Shockoe Slip, because there are plenty of restaurants and bars around there. Though there is a free shuttle bus service between Carytown and the Slip, so you could conceivably stay anywhere in between and not worry about drinking and driving.
posted by armage at 9:48 PM on August 26, 2009

The Jefferson is Richmond's best hotel, bar none. If you can afford it, you will massively enjoy the experience. However, there are plenty of less expensive places downtown, like the Omni or the Doubletree.

Also, for drinking, get thee to the Capital Ale House. 46 beers on tap and good happy hour specials.
posted by armage at 9:51 PM on August 26, 2009

Best answer: Capital Ale House doesn't have any beer happy hour specials, unless you are talking about Sunday during the day. However, the beer selection surpasses any other place in town. 45 beers on draft (most of the time if things aren't tapped out) and over 200 beers in bottles. The beer menu is very well maintained and has descriptions of all the beers, the staff also knows what they are talking about as well. Capital is a good starting point in my opinion, and then you can walk on down to the Shockoe Slip area and bar hop.
posted by MaryDellamorte at 10:18 PM on August 26, 2009

Penny Lane Pub is three blocks away from Capital Ale House and they have pool tables, a laid back atmosphere and yummy English beers on draft.
posted by MaryDellamorte at 10:22 PM on August 26, 2009

Oh also, it would help to know which days of the week you'll be in town since different areas are busy at different times of the week.
posted by MaryDellamorte at 10:23 PM on August 26, 2009

Capital Ale House doesn't have any beer happy hour specials

You're right; I was referring to food specials, like their $1 burger nights (Mondays, IIRC?).
posted by armage at 10:38 PM on August 26, 2009

Response by poster: We'll be arriving on Thursday and leaving on Sunday . . . Thanks for all the great tips. It seems like any part of downtown should be fine (but further north/west toward the Fan?).

The Capital Ale House is right up our alley . . but keep 'dem tips coming! There was really no post about this already, so at least we can make a resource for future MeFites!
posted by BadgerKyle at 12:40 AM on August 27, 2009

further north/west toward the Fan?

The trouble with the Fan (and Carytown) is that there just aren't many hotels (though there may be some B&Bs). The closest proper hotel is the Doubletree, which is just on the other side of Belvidere from Monroe Park and the main VCU campus.

The Slip/Downtown is nice because you can walk to a variety of restaurants and bars from your hotel, and on Friday and Saturday there will definitely be people out. The Fan will be quieter, as its mainly residential, and Carytown will be somewhere in between (lots of shops close early). But from Carytown it's a straight shot down Main/Cary to the UofR campus.
posted by armage at 1:21 AM on August 27, 2009

Best answer: Basically, anywhere in this area is a safe bet.
posted by armage at 1:27 AM on August 27, 2009

Basically, anywhere in this area is a safe bet.

Hey we are actually heading there this Sunday.
(If I may leech onto this Ask) - What's the parking like around there ?
I realize it is a city and downtown, but any tips ?
posted by Webbster at 7:03 AM on August 27, 2009

Webbster, it couldn't be easier - place is a ghost town on weekends.
posted by There's No I In Meme at 11:33 AM on August 27, 2009

Response by poster: Thanks everyone!

Webbster . . . good question to ask!
posted by BadgerKyle at 2:50 PM on August 27, 2009

Webbster, do not listen to that advice. There are parts of that area that are a nightmare to find a place to park, others not so bad. It all depends on exactly where you'll be.
posted by MaryDellamorte at 2:51 PM on August 27, 2009

FYI, there is a parking deck on 6th street right at Main that is free to park in on the weekends and after 4 during the week.
posted by MaryDellamorte at 2:51 PM on August 27, 2009

I second MaryDellamorte on the parking situation -- parking downtown can be tricky, especially on weekdays. Depending on where you stay there might be free parking included.
posted by armage at 7:44 PM on August 27, 2009

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