richmond has flavor. from the food, to the arts scene, to great shopping, it’s a must visit.
i’ve lived in the dc area for almost ten years and didn’t realize the gem that’s less than 100 miles south. don’t believe me? let me give you the rundown: the city is historically black and today is super diverse. the mayor, levar stoney, is only 36 and the city’s youngest to ever be elected into the office.
here’s 6 reasons you’ll fall in love with richmond, virginia
- richmond is ushering in a new south. dedicated residents are calling forth a new day in the former capital of the confederacy. black women like kelli lemon of coffee with strangers and enjoli moon of the afrikana film festival are at the forefront of this movement offering a unique voice to the rapidly changing city. their work is ensuring greater diversity does not erase richmond’s cultural roots.
virginia’s american evolution is also uplifting diversity by commemorating the 400th anniversary of key historical events that occurred in the state. they’re celebrating the history of boss women like sarah boyd jones and maggie walker (read more below) in a first of its kind monument, voices from the garden.
be a part of history on december 4th at the monument’s groundbreaking ceremony. grab your tickets to the event and fundraising breakfast here.
- black history is proudly on display. not all heroes wear capes and untold rva is preserving the narratives of those who came before us. during our walking tour, we learned about maggie walker, a black woman educator, philanthropist and the first woman of any race to own a bank in the united states. her statue stands proudly in jackson ward.
the most memorable part of the trip was visiting the sites associated with the african slave trade. we visited the very water captured africans were shipped down to be sold. it’s possible that one of my ancestors travelled this exact same path since most african-americans can trace their u.s. lineage to virginia or south carolina.
- the food is bomb dot com. over breakfast, kelli lemon said, “black richmond feels good.” true that kelli, and it tastes good too.
i was super excited to attend this year’s dabney dinner, part of the city’s fire, flour and fork food festival. the evening celebrated renowned restauranteaur, caterer and bartender john dabney who broke barriers in the 19th century. the southern cooking was catered by local restaurants and divine doesn’t do it justice. plus, i loved learning about the african roots of southern cuisine from michael twitty, author of the cooking gene.
- there’s always something special happening. between film festivals, gallery events and conferences, there’s always something to do in richmond. the afrikana film festival, rebelle con and the art of noise party are three events you don’t wanna miss. i’ll be there next year for sure.
if you love art and unique decorative pieces visit the quirk hotel’s gallery. the hotel and gallery space are absolutely stunning.
- shopping is clutch. girl. you will get your life in carytown. it’s cute as a button with lots of vintage shops and boutiques. need supply co. definitely takes first place for its curated stock of “it” brands like cult gaia, marni and mansur gavriel.
unfortunately, our time in carytown was cut short, but i can’t wait to go back. na nin is on my list for its vintage and contemporary pieces.
- the graduate hotel is a top notch stay. we were super impressed with our digs at the graduate hotel. it’s a well-crafted hotel with a vintage vibe. the decor is retro with pops of color and old-time charm. the location is clutch: walking distance to virginia commonwealth university, restaurants and shopping.
many thanks to visit virginia and american evolution for showing me a new side of a historical city. richmond has a new fan. check out the video recap of our trip below!
this post was sponsored by the virginia tourism corporation; however, all opinions are my own. thank you for supporting the brands that support politics & fashion.