Richmond is one of the oldest cities in the US and the capital of Virginia. The first Europeans came to Virginia in the early 1600’s.
As a Los Angeles native, I admire the brick, cobblestone and the architecture. It’s humid and the weather is mild during the spring and fall. One of my visits to Richmond was in July and the heat and humidity was a bit uncomfortable. I explored via the bus, walked and used Uber during my visit.
The Poe Museum is in the oldest house in Richmond. Although Poe didn’t live in that house, he did grown up in Richmond.
It was my first stop on my first visit to Richmond. I was very excited to see what this little museum had to offer. The entrance begins with a charming macabre gift shop and the museum fee is $8. There are three small buildings you can tour and one is “ The Old Stone House” which was built in 1843 and features some of Poe’s belongings. The museum is a biography of Poe that includes stories about his life, photographs, his clothing and writings. It features an enchanted memorial garden and two black cats named Edgar and Pluto.
The most interesting thing I learned at the museum was that Poe had a mysterious death that is still unsolved to this day.
You can get your nature fix at the Pipeline Overlook in the middle of the city where you can birdwatch, kayak, river raft, sunbathe and picnic. The entrance is not too far from the Canal Street Murals. You climb down a metal ladder to enter- sneakers, backpack, water bottle and towel is recommended.
Rest in Pieces is an absolutely gorgeous oddities shop. They have a bit of everything and it’s all hauntingly beautiful, fair priced and beautifully displayed. Taxidermy, wet specimens, bones, antiques, candles and unusual gifts. It’s just a few blocks from the Hollywood Cemetery.
The Hollywood Cemetery is an 1847 garden cemetery. President James Monroe is buried here in a gothic style “birdcage”. (I’ll take a picture next time). They offer several tour options from April through November.
I went to see the tomb of W.W Pool, also known as the Richmond Vampire. Legend says he was run out of England for being a vampire in the 1800s. A tunnel had collapsed about 2 miles from the cemetery and it was said that it was caused by the Richmond Vampire since some workers were buried in there and saw a bloodied man with his flesh hanging off. The rumors and stories drew people (including vandals) to W.W. Pool’s crypt and eventually they had to move the bodies of Mr and Mrs Pool so they would not be disturbed.
Maymont is a 100 acre estate including the 1893 mansion, Japanese gardens, arboretum and a children’s farm. It’s free to visit the estate but a guided tour of the mansion is $8.
The Gwar Bar is not to be missed! Created by Chef Balsac the Jaws of Death, guitarist of the band Gwar. I took my co-worker and she said, “it smells like the inside of a Halloween mask in here” and “this is the most un-appetizing menu I’ve ever seen”. But it’s great though, right?! (Currently open for take out due to Covid)
My co worker asked what my plans were for the rest of the evening and I told her a dive bar called Wonderland. She asked if she could join me.
It’s like being in a psychedelic Rob Zombie movie. It’s super divey, cigarette smoke, cheap drinks but it gets a 5 star rating for dives.
Richmond was definitely one of those cities that I knew nothing about but had an absolute blast exploring. Looking forward to another long day here.