Ignite your passions in Richmond, Virginia
BY BONNIE SIEGLER
While there are 26 towns, cities, and communities named Richmond across the United States, none compare to Richmond, Virginia. Steeped in abundant history, culinary adventures, and gorgeous views, this stunning city is the perfect getaway for any pair of “lovers”—a sentiment boasted by Virginia’s travel slogan. My husband and I can certainly attest to this fact: for us, Richmond made an excellent retreat from the hustle and bustle of Los Angeles life.
No matter your passions, you and your partner are sure to find love in Richmond. Whether you adore the arts, food, or historical learning, this city has something to offer everyone.
Our first day in Richmond was rainy and cold, prompting us to spend time indoors at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, which offers free admission. With its wide variety of pieces from an assortment of eras, the museum offers a smorgasbord of items to view and contemplate. When we visited, the gallery was featuring collections from Russia’s House of Fabergé and French designer Yves St. Laurent, offering us an interesting perspective on international fashion and decorative arts.
From there, we ventured into the Edgar Allen Poe Museum. Housed in a small, two-story brick home that surrounds a beautiful courtyard, this attraction holds a large collection of Poe artifacts and original works. The museum also features a gorgeous Enchanted Garden, which preservationist Annie Jones modeled after Poe’s poem “To One in Paradise.”
We also visited The Virginia Holocaust Museum, located in the Shockoe Bottom district of the city. All of the exhibits were visually compelling, humbling, and sobering—especially the collection’s authentic “goods wagon,” or freight car. This piece was actually used to transport individuals to concentration camps, acting as a powerful reminder of the atrocities of the past.
During our time in Richmond, we stayed at The Jefferson Hotel. Built in 1895 and located in the heart of downtown Richmond, this grand hotel brings visitors back to a by-gone era—one when Teddy Roosevelt walked through the breathtaking rotunda area, and Franklin D. Roosevelt lounged in the foyer. The building has long been a favourite of visitors to the area, housing star musicians like The Rolling Stones, Elvis Presley, and Frank Sinatra.
By the end of our three-day stay at this hotel, we felt like celebrities, too—the doormen and valets took the time to learn our names and converse with us, offering up prime suggestions of where to visit and dine.
Due to these recommendations, we found ourselves seated in Pearly’s Deli, which is a short walk from the hotel. With its superb food, seemingly straight out of a New York deli, and happy, bustling atmosphere, Pearly’s was one of our favourite destinations of the trip.
We also dined at The Quirk Hotel’s Maple & Pine restaurant. Not only was Chef David Dunlap’s food a culinary experience, but the presentation was enticing and memorable—all down to the white china. Dunlap uses ingredients strictly sourced from local farms and artisans, allowing him to showcase only the freshest seasonal products.
“Our summer season has many more options for locally farmed food,” adds Dunlap. “I love the pea shoots in the pasta dish and the black radish sprouts with the Arctic char.”
Within the cobblestone streets of this historic district, my husband and I discovered that Richmond, Virginia has a lot to offer its visitors. With its well-rounded itinerary of historical destinations, gorgeous hotels, and incredible meals, it’s sure to reignite a multitude of passions within your life. VM