Hometown Love: A Guide to Richmond, Virginia

Hometown Love: A Guide to Richmond, Virginia
Julia Cavalieri

Living in the cosmopolitan melting pot that is Miami, I meet people from all corners of the world, but it’s rare that I encounter new friends who have lived in or visited the charming little city I call home: Richmond, Virginia (AKA: RVa, Cap City, River City, the 804).

Every chance I get, I’ll pretty much talk anyone’s ear off at DPR about why this artsy, eclectic spot should be on their radar for a weekend getaway. Actually, Richmond is getting more and more national attention, and deservedly so, even if I am a little biased. 😉 My Facebook feed was full of proud Richmonders when Travel & Leisure ranked my hometown at #3 on their list of Best Places to Travel in 2016 earlier this year.

From Instagram-worthy eats and cocktails, to scenic nature paths, to museums and historic landmarks, there’s something for everyone in Richmond. Not to mention, it’s extremely budget-friendly. Every time I go home and pay $7 for eggs benedict and $2.75 for a bloody mary, a little piece of me dies inside when I consider the prices I’m used to in Miami.

If you decide to see for yourself what RVa is all about, here are a few of my top recs for exploring my old stomping grounds!


  1. River Hangs: You’ll quickly see why it’s called the River City when you check out Pony Pasture — a rapids park along The James River that is somewhat of an urban paradise. On the outskirts of the city, this is the perfect spot to spend a day with friends sunbathing on the big granite boulders in the river, which is shallow enough to swim in. Dog and picnic friendly! Another fabulous river spot is Belle Isle, where you can boulder hop with views of Richmond’s famous Hollywood Cemetary.



  1. Carytown: Richmond’s beloved Cary Street is a colorful strip of trendy boutiques and vintage haunts, novelty stores, record shops, cafes, bars & restaurants, and it’s the ultimate Saturday spot to feel the true local vibes. Hit up Can Can Brasserie for brunch on the patio, browse vintage Richmond postcards and mementos at Bygones Vintage, grab a cone at Bev’s Homemade ice cream, and don’t forget to catch a $1.99 flick at The Byrd Theatre, which was built in 1928 and has kept its same appearance ever since.

  1. The Jefferson Hotel: This hotel is pretty much synonymous with Richmond. Built in 1851, it has since been elegantly restored, and pays homage to Virginia’s homeboy, Thomas Jefferson. If you want to feel fancy, stop by for afternoon tea, or grab a cocktail at the bar, TJ’s. During Christmastime, they have an incredible Christmas tree, gingerbread house and decorations throughout the lobby.  

  1. Joe’s Inn: If I caught your attention with the $7 eggs benedict, add this Richmond dive to your list. Located in Richmond’s Fan District, Joe’s Inn has no frills, and has been a treasured Richmond staple forever. For a signature Joe’s Inn experience, order the Spaghetti A La Greek, which is baked with feta. OMG, you guys.



  1. Maymont: A humongous 100-acre Victorian mansion and estate, Maymont has been around since the baller days of Carnegie and Rockefeller, and later opened to the general public through the creation of its own nonprofit foundation. The property is home to its own wildlife center, and hundreds of animals. Get lost at Maymont’s endless grounds, from waterfalls to a bamboo forrest, to gazebos, fountains, an Arboretum and more. This is the perfect spot to enjoy a gorgeous fall or spring day.

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1 Comment

  1. Steve C

    September 3, 2016 at 3:22 pm

    Couldn’t have said it better. Just be sure you plan to spend most of your time in the water or AC if you come here in July or the humidity will getcha.

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Julia Cavalieri

Julia landed in the Miami by way of Washington, DC, after trading politics for paradise and the pursuit of Cuban coffee. Fueled by Florida sunshine, Julia bikes, boats and rollerblades her way to new experiences, and is loving life with her funny feline sidekick, Zooey.

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