Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Richmond, Virginia: a Capital Destinion

If you are contemplating a trip to Virginia this summer, no doubt you have a certain destination in mind. Beach enthusiasts may be attracted to Virginia Beach and the Hampton Roads metropolitan area, while outdoor lovers may wish to go west and enjoy the Shenandoah Valley and the many opportunities for hiking, biking, and exploring. History buffs will find the northern area of the state a great place to visit, as the proximity to Washington, DC provides a wealth of attractions and interest.

But where, in all of this, does Richmond figure into a vacation. Not only is Richmond the capital of the commonwealth, but it provides visitors a good central point on the map. Crossed by two interstates, Richmond offers visitors historical and cultural interest to enjoy for anyone traveling north, south, east or west through the state.

Founded in 1607 by Christopher Newport, Richmond is just slightly younger than the first permanent colony of Jamestown, and has remained equally important in the formation of the United States. It was named capital of the commonwealth after the Revolutionary War, and served as capital of the Confederacy during the Civil War. It is the birthplace of tennis great Arthur Ashe, and former home of Edgar Allan Poe. It was here, in St. John's Church, where Patrick Henry proclaimed, "Give me liberty or give me death," and it is here where thousands of stock car racing fans can watch their favorite NASCAR drivers compete.

Other local landmarks visitors may wish to see while in Richmond include:

The Diamond: Home of the Richmond Braves, the AAA farm team for Atlanta. Baseball fans will want to make a point of stopping for a home game.

Carytown: High-end shopping and antiquing abounds in this trendy Richmond neighborhood.

Hollywood Cemetery This is the final resting place of three US Presidents, Confederate President Jefferson Davis, among other noted Civil War figures.

Belle Isle: This beautiful spot on the James River was used a film location for blockbusters like Cold Mountain and Hannibal.

If Virginia is your destination this summer, consider a stop in Richmond as part of your itinerary. Historical and cultural attractions, coupled with upscale shopping and cuisine, can truly enhance your trip.

Kathryn Lively is a freelance travel writer specializing in articles on Richmond condos for rent and Virginia Beach website design.

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