Richmond, Virginia. It was our first visit to the city; a city deeply rooted in American history with direct ties to the civil war. It’s a city with historical neighborhoods, a modern city center and incredible murals seemingly around every corner. It’s where we experienced Mexican/Asian fusion for the first time and you know what? It works! Virginia Commonwealth University calls Richmond home, and it has a student population of 25,000+. With no set expectations on this our first visit to Richmond, our eyes and minds were open to new experiences.
Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden
Our first stop of the day was the Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden. I don’t quite remember how I came to learn about the garden. As it turned out it proved to be the inspiration that set the wheels in motion to visit Richmond. Comprised of 80+ acres, the gardens offer the perfect experience for those looking for a respite in nature. There are ponds, a large glass conservatory, a children’s garden, and numerous other themed gardens boasting a plethora of flowers, trees and shrubbery.
The garden was founded in 1984. It was made possible through the generosity of Grace Arents, who bequeathed the funding for the establishment of a botanical garden. The garden was named, Lewis Ginter, as a tribute to Grace’s uncle.
The mission of the garden is to bring plants and people together to support the community. This includes a garden where fresh produce is grown and distributed to local food banks. Lewis Ginter is a garden that definitely feeds the soul in more ways than one.
There’s something almost magical about a garden and Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden does not disappoint; especially, when one walks among the butterflies!
If You Go:
- Open daily 9:00 – 5:00 (extended summer hours Wed/Thurs)
- Tickets purchased online or in person
- 1800 Lakeside Avenue, Richmond, VA
- Gift Shop
- Surface parking lot
- Wheelchair accessible
Linden Row Inn
The charming Linden Row Inn hosted our overnight stay in Richmond, and it was lovely, quiet and relaxing. The inn has a long and interesting history that includes the author Edgar Allan Poe. Seven historic row houses were reimagined and became the Linden Row Inn in 1980, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
We entered the inn from the First Street entrance. Emily, at the reception desk, greeted us and she could not have been more cordial and helpful. With a warm comfortable parlor adjacent to the front desk, an adorable black and white cat posed to greet guests, and a lovely patio area, we knew right away we were staying someplace special.
Our guest suite, The Edgar Allan Poe Parlor, boasted a large living room, a king bed, and full bath. Each piece of antique furniture had a multitude of stories to tell; if only they could talk. They sure don’t make furniture like they used to.
The inn is located on the corner of First and Franklin. We found the inn to be conveniently located yet just the right distance from the city center. Once we settled in to our lovely suite, we headed out to explore more of Richmond by foot. If you know us at all, you know we are walkers. We walked down Franklin Street to the government center, much of which is seemingly under construction. From there we walked to see the Confederate White House, home to Confederate President Jefferson Davis. We found our way back to the inn strolling along Main Street.
The inn does not have on-site parking, however there is a public parking garage nearby. We paid $7 for 24 hours, very reasonable and it was just one block from the inn.
If You Go:
- Linden Row Inn
- First & Franklin Streets, Richmond
- Monroe Ward District
- Comfortable common area parlor
- On-site dining
- Walking distance to many eateries, businesses and attractions
The James River
In the early days of April, 1865 Richmond, the capital of the Confederate States of America, fell to the Union Army. Construction of the 1,600′ T. Tyler Memorial Bridge was completed in 2016. The bridge gives pedestrians and cyclists alike access to cross the James River to Brown Island. At the start of the bridge, on the city side, there is an installation titled, “Three Days in April 1865”. It tells the story of how Richmond fell to the Union soldiers.
We walked the length of the bridge and back. Not only did we see and hear the rushing river water, we also saw great views of the city skyline. Notice the grip I have on Abi’s shoulder. Fear of heights, don’t ya know?
The Riverfront Canal Walk follows the James River and the Kanawha and Haxall Canals. It is an easy paved loop of 1.25 miles. In addition to art exhibits and installations, there are murals, statuary, and views of the city skyline lining the path. Apparently, there are canal cruise boats, however, we didn’t see any. There are also 20 large medallions embedded in the path that pinpoint historic sites along the way.
How to Spend a Day in Richmond
There you have it. That’s how we spent a day in Richmond. To sum it up, we enjoyed ourselves and we figure any time we can learn something new, it’s a win. We walked through lush blooming gardens, slept in a beautiful historic inn, and learned a few history lessons along the way.