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What to Do in Richmond

LaDIFF is right in the middle of many interesting things to do and see. Richmond has a long and colorful history that is highlighted in the varied museums and historical sites throughout the area. Below is just a partial listing.

To start, LaDIFF is at the heart of the 2011-formed Shockoe Design District. Centered around the historic Canal Turning Basin and expanding outward, the Shockoe Design District is a community of merchants, restaurants, architects, designers (graphic, furniture, interior, and otherwise!), marketing people, developers, etc. who celebrate and embrace the creativity and innovation of Richmond. As one of its founding members, LaDIFF is proud to be at the center of this lively, energizing neighborhood.

Right around the corner is the 17th Street Farmer's Market. 100 N 17th Street, East Main & 17th Street. Find locally grown produce and hand made crafts sold directly by their producers. Independent local food producers, artisans, and crafts people are encouraged and promoted. Plus, special events happen all year long including the Shockoe Tomato Festival, the Brunswick Stew Competition and 12 Days of Christmas- Information - www.17thstreetfarmersmarket.com.

Directly across the street from LaDIFF is one of the true gems of Downtown Richmond, the historic riverfront district. Stroll along the 1.25 mile scenic Canal Walk along the banks of the Haxall Canal, the James River & Kanawha Canal. You can also take a leisurely & informative 35-minute narrated tour of the James River and Kanawha Canal in a replica canal boat. Tours depart on the hour from the Canal Turning Basin directly across the street from LaDIFF. Learn more about this revitalized area from our favorite city boosters at Venture Richmond.

Just a short stroll up the Canal Walk, you'll find the Civil War Visitors Center located at the original Tredegar Ironworks property. Three floors of exhibits and artifacts are on display plus an special orientation film is shown every half hour. www.Tredegar.org.

Also near here, in Shockoe Bottom, is the Virginia Holocaust Museum. The Virginia Holocaust Museum opened its doors at the current location in April 2003. There are currently 27 exhibits, with more in the planning stage over the next few years. There are also the auditorium/synagogue, Survivors' Room and a cattle car. The tour is inter-active and an educational experience. In the first year of operation, over 10,000 visitors toured the museum. For more information - call 804.257.5400 or go online www.va-holocaust.com.

Edgar Allan Poe Museum offers a retreat into the 19th century Richmond that Poe lived and worked in. Located in one of the oldest surviving homes in the area: "The Old Stone House" at 1914 E Main Street. 648-5523, Tuesday-Saturday 10:00-5:00. Sunday 11:00-5:00.Closed Mondays. www.poemuseum.org.

Travel a few more blocks east, and you'll find St. John's Church where Virginia son and patriot Patrick Henry proclaimed 'Give me liberty, or Give me Death!' Still an active church today, you can attend services AND re-enactment ceremonies in the circa 1741 white church building. Learn more at www.historicstjohnschurch.org.

Just a few blocks north & west from LaDIFF you'll find the neo-classical design of Mr. Thomas Jefferson: the Virginia State Capitol. A great fan of Greek and Roman architecture, Mr. Jefferson modeled the Richmond beauty after the Maison Carree, built by the Romans in circa 16 BC in Nimes, France. Recently restored and renovated to include a fabulous underground entrance and museum, Virginia's Capitol building is where the state General Assembly has met since 1788. For information and tours call (804) 695-1788 or visit www.virginiacapitol.gov.

For over a century, the Richmond Valentine History Museum has collected, preserved and interpreted the history of Richmond. With one of the best textile collections in the country, plan to spend several hours losing yourself to this amazing, unexpected gem in downtown Richmond. 1015 East Clay Street, (804) 649-0711, Sues - Sat 10-5, Sun 12-5, Closed Mondays. www.richmondhistorycenter.com.

The Virginia Fine Arts Museum offers a close encounter with the highest achievements of the human spirit: Wall-to-wall original art by great artists Cassatt, Tiffany, Bearden, and thousands more; treasures of ancient Egypt, Greece, Rome, and the Americas; a wealth of Medieval and Renaissance art; masterpieces from Africa, China, Japan, India, the Himalayas; the priceless Pratt Collection of jeweled Faberge objects from the court of the Russian czars; and one of the best Art Nouveau and Art Deco collections this side of Paris, as well as contemporary art, including truly special pieces of modern & contemporary furniture collections of Frances and the late Sydney Lewis (Richmonders and former owners of Best Products). The museum became even more spectacular after a long renovation and expansion revealed to Richmond in 2011. Discover the VMFA at 2800 Grove Avenue at the Boulevard, (804)340-1400 www.vmfa.state.va.us. (p.s. when you visit, be sure to check out the Best Cafe: those Bellini chairs you see came from LaDiff!)

Also on the Boulevard is the Virginia Historical Society originally founded in 1831. Check out the changing historical exhibitions shedding light on the many aspects of Virginia's long history. www.vahistorical.org 428 North Boulevard, (804) 358.4901 Hours: Monday-Saturday 10-5, Sunday 1-5 (galleries only)

For a special treat check out Agecroft Hall, a 15th Century Tudor manor house transported brick by brick from Lancashire, England. Richly paneled and furnished with armour, tapestries and other artifacts with gardens overlooking the James River, 4305 Sulgrave Road, (804) 353-4241
www.agecrofthall.com.

The Children's Museum of Richmond offers a special place where creative play and active learning ignite a passion for learning in a safe, comfortable environment. CMoR is a "hands-on" place of discovery where children learn about their world by experimenting, solving problems and working together. Plus it is a super cool place where kids and their family can have a really awesome time! 2626 West Broad Street, (804) 474-CMOR www.c-mor.org.

Don't miss the Library of Virginia. Changing displays from the vast collections of books, magazines, newspapers, state and Federal publications; county and city government records, state government records, personal and private papers, genealogical notes and charts; maps, rare books, broadsides, sheet music, posters, prints and engravings, postcards, paintings, sculpture and photographs. You never know what interesting things turn up. 800 East
Broad Street, (804)692-3500 www.lva.lib.va.us.

The White House of the Confederacy and Museum prides itself on offering exciting, fun and educational events designed to inspire and illuminate visitors on a wide range of interesting topics and historic personalities of the Confederacy. Exhibitions change frequently. The Museum is open daily. Monday thru Saturday 10:00 - 5:00 and Sunday 12:00 - 5:00. Closed Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s Day. 12th and Clay Streets, www.moc.org.

For a comprehensive list of all there is to see and do in the Richmond Region, go www.visitrichmondva.com. You'll find information on the attractions, restaurants and accommodations that make the Historic Richmond Region so easy to love. And don't miss the calendar of events to find out
what's happening during your visit.

Other sites we love for being 'in the know' about Richmond are www.gunghoguides.com, www.richmond.com, and www.rvanews.com. We guarantee you'll have fun exploring these sites to learn more about our city!

Our favorite downtown city boosters are the folks at Venture Richmond. VR is a nonprofit organization dedicated to energizing downtown through economic development, marketing and festivals and events. Check out the many concerts and festivals that they offer throughout the year such as Easter on Parade, Friday Cheers, and the fabulous Richmond Folk Festival. They are also behind the terrific RVA Creates sign and concept taking over our city! Visit www.venturerichmond.com to learn more.