Help an out-of-towner see the best of Richmond, VA
December 27, 2006 4:12 PM   Subscribe

What are some unusual/interesting/generally missed by out-of-towners spots in Richmond, VA that I should visit?
posted by ryanshepard to Travel & Transportation around Richmond, VA (13 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
AH! A question about my hometown!

The Virginia Museum of Fine Arts

The Museum of the Confederacy.


Monument Avenue

Richmond has lots of performing arts (Virginia Commonwealth University has a huge art school).

I could give you much more, if you want. What I like to do when I go back is just get on Franklin Street, Cary Street, Grace Street, or Monument Ave and just drive and stop at whatever looks good.

Have a great trip!
posted by 4ster at 4:41 PM on December 27, 2006

You can get reasonably good dim sum at Full Kee Restaurant.
posted by Wet Spot at 5:02 PM on December 27, 2006

Virginia Aviation Museum, at the airport.

Virginia Holocaust Museum

Edgar Allan Poe Museum

Go whitewater rafting through the center of the city.

The Metro Richmond Zoo

For more, there's a good guidebook by a certain (*ahem*) Mefite...
posted by gottabefunky at 8:24 PM on December 27, 2006

Response by poster: Thanks very much! Any suggestions for a romantic dinner spot by any chance?
posted by ryanshepard at 9:11 PM on December 27, 2006

The Tobacco Company (touristy but for good reason), or Lemaire at the Jefferson Hotel, one of the best in town.
posted by gottabefunky at 10:20 PM on December 27, 2006

Definitely check out the 821 Cafe, located (surprisingly enough) at 821 Cary Street. Good veggie/vegan selections if that's your bag (the chili is fabulous), and a very homey, non-forced eclectic atmosphere.

I second Carytown in general; catch a Saturday midnight movie at the Byrd, peruse the vinyl at Plan 9, wander through the numerous vintage clothing stores, or just sit and do some people-watching. World of Mirth is also a necessity, although I believe we're coming up on the one-year anniversary of the awful murders of the former co-owner and her family, so be understanding if it's not so... mirthful.
posted by sarahsynonymous at 10:25 PM on December 27, 2006

The BEST restaurant in town - Mamma'Zu in Oregon Hill. Sort of Italian Cuisine with AMAZING daily specials in addition to the regular menu. You could spend anywhere between $25 and $100 for 2 people but it will definitely be delicious. Other good options: Comfort, Helen's.

Cool places to see:
Belle Isle (formerly THE ISLE OF MISERY) is worth visiting just to go over the walking bridge underneath the highway. It's better in the summer when you can swim, but the insane high human trash factor is negate when the temperature drops.

Maymont sort of a zoo, it's free and near the city and was made famous about a year ago when some idiot lady let her kid try to pet a bear and he ended up getting scratched, resulting in the bears having to euthanized in case they had rabies.

The Jefferson Hotel is worth taking a walk around, as a former employee, I wouldn't eat there though.

Driving any length of River Road can be fun, and the section of Hugeunot approaching the river from the city side is fun especially if you play the "count the rolls royces parked in the driveways" game.
posted by youthenrage at 6:38 AM on December 28, 2006

Although I LOVE 821 Cafe (sausage egg and cheese on a giant biscuit with rosemary potatos for less than $5 can't be beat), The place is dirty, dingy, sort of gross and usually filled with tattooed weirdos, I would hardly call it "romantic" - and this is coming from a dirty tattooed weirdo.
posted by youthenrage at 6:41 AM on December 28, 2006

Mamma 'Zu is good, but the service is... quirky. It's an experience to be sure, but it's not great.

For romantic, I recommend La Petite France, one of the (if not the) best French restaurants in town. Millie's is not quite as romantic, but the food is awesome and it's consistently rated the best in town. If you're more on a budget, Saigon on West Broad Street east of Willow Lawn has great Vietnamese food.

Driving down Monument Avenue, walking and shopping in Carytown, spending some time on Belle Isle and in Byrd Park/Maymont (if it's warm) are all great things to do. If it's a weekday and the sky is clear, you could go to City Hall and view the city from the 18th-floor observation deck.
posted by armage at 7:42 AM on December 28, 2006

Sorry, that should be Mekong, not Saigon.
posted by armage at 7:47 AM on December 28, 2006

Here's a pretty authoritative list of Richmond's best restaurants from Style Weekly.
posted by armage at 7:50 AM on December 28, 2006

Response by poster: Thanks to everyone for their suggestions - I'll be spending the day in Richmond tomorrow and look forward to doing some exploring. Previous trips have always involved walking around the Fan and hitting the VMFA, so I look forward to branching out.
posted by ryanshepard at 7:26 PM on December 28, 2006

I find myself with a sudden free day in the area, so I'll be hitting Bill's Barbecue because my family visited there 20? years ago and still tells stories about it. But also looks like Carytown will be a fun thing to do. Yay AskMeFi!
posted by stevil at 8:52 PM on June 10, 2007

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