City Guide



Virginia State Capitol
Virginia State Capitol © Anderskev
The stately Southern granddame of Richmond has been Virginia's state capital since 1780, and although a bastion of history, it also has all the hallmarks of a lively and modern urban centre. Acting as an ideal gateway to the rest of the state, a range of attractions is within easy reach and visitors can enjoy the neighbouring sights and sounds of the ocean, mountains, battlefields, historic colonial Williamsburg, or can even drive into Washington DC to visit the nation's capital.

Richmond has played an enormous role in American history, particularly as the capital of the Confederacy during the Civil War. Today visitors can enjoy a host of monuments, battlefields, cemeteries and museums that hark back to the days when Jefferson Davis and Robert E. Lee held out against the Union. This is not a city stuck in the past, however, and there are numerous modern attractions including an active nightlife, plenty of restaurants, bars and outdoor concerts. A stroll along the attractive Canal Walk, and along the restored Haxall and Kanawha Canals, provides a great way to relax and there is also the option to catch a boat; some tours include an historical narration or there is the 'drive yourself' option.

The cityscape is an interesting combination of modern high rise office complexes housing financial institutions, Fortune 500 Companies, government offices, hospitals and universities and the more charming cobblestone, gas-lit streets flanked by 19th-century warehouses and a 300-year old farmers' market, filled with the scent of ripe fruit and fresh flowers.

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