Exploring Richmond

reidby Eric Reid, Class of 2018

Let’s face it, during the course of the semester, everyone needs a break from studying. Fortunately, one of the great things about living in Williamsburg is being in the middle of a very exciting and growing region. There are a number of attractions, not only in Williamsburg, but also in the neighboring cities of Richmond, Norfolk, and Virginia Beach. This blog post will take a look at some of the fun things to see and explore in Richmond.

Virginia’s capital city has a lot to do, and fortunately for us, it’s only about an hour away. The area is steeped in Civil War attractions, as well as other art galleries and museums. My externship at LeClairRyan (which is located in the heart of downtown Richmond) allowed me to experience some of what Richmond had to offer. Richmond’s downtown is fairly compact and easy to navigate. I found I could easily walk to most of the attractions I wanted to see.

To start off the Richmond tour, I recommend first seeing the Virginia State Capitol, which is located in an area of Richmond called Capitol Square. Fun fact: the Virginia State Capitol houses the oldest legislative body in the Western Hemisphere.

capital

The State Capitol was relocated from the Governor’s Palace in Williamsburg to Richmond at the beginning of the American Revolution. Completed in 1788, the building was designed by Thomas Jefferson and French architect Charles-Louis Clerisseau and is based off of a Roman temple in southern France. Since that time, the building has been renovated and extended.

The Capitol offers both guided tours and self-guided tours starting from 9:00a.m. to 5:00p.m. Monday through Saturday, and from 1:00p.m. to 5:00p.m. on Sundays.

Next, I recommend going to the Tredegar Iron Works, which serves as the main visitor center for the Richmond National Battlefield Park and is only a few blocks south of the Capitol. Entrance to it, including the National Park Service Civil War Visitor Center is free, but there is an $8 fee to tour the exhibits of the American Civil War Center. I highly recommend touring the exhibits.

While you’re down by the James River, you should check out Richmond’s Canal Walk and its many attractions. For example, you could stop in the Edgar Allan Poe Museum, or walk across to Brown’s Island (which is often the site for outdoor concerts and festivals).

These are just some of the great attractions you can visit in Richmond. Have fun exploring!

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