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The Weekender: Richmond, Virginia

The new beer capital of the east coast is brewing up more than your favorite ale

The city of Richmond used to be known for its beloved college basketball team, the VCU Rams, and its rich history. These days, Richmond is making a name for itself due to its flourishing art scene and innumerable craft breweries. While the city’s past is ripe with prestige, today it is the perfect destination for a getaway filled with delicious local fare and imaginative masterpieces.

Where to Stay:

Remember the staircase in the film Gone With The Wind, where Scarlet takes her tragic tumble? It was inspired by the iconic entryway of The Jefferson Hotel. Dripping in southern elegance, this newly renovated hotel is sheer opulence from the glittering fountain under the portico to the stained glass domed lobby. Opened in 1895, few hotels have seen the history of Richmond more than The Jefferson. However, The Jefferson Hotel of the late 1800’s looks wildly different than the one today. The former featured live alligators swimming in the welcome fountain and much smaller rooms. After undergoing an extensive renovation, the original 262-room hotel was ripped down to the exterior walls to create 181 larger and more luxurious guest accommodations. The hotel still preserves pieces of its past in the design, such as the alligator details in the draw pulls of the side tables.

Where to Eat:

Richmond is having a moment in the world of culinary prowess, serving up top-notch cuisines from down home food to upscale dining. Should you find yourself in need of a Sunday brunch, the Champagne Brunch at The Jefferson Hotel is a must. Imagine a grand ballroom filled with a raw bar, pasta station, omelette bar and more along with flowing champagne. If you are looking for a low key lunch that’s true to your southern surroundings, stop into The Roosevelt, which serves elegant dishes housed in a turn-of-the-century building in Richmond’s oldest neighborhood.

For dinner, we recommend Lemaire, a farm-to-table southern fine dining restaurant with a French fusion run by Executive Chef Patrick Willis. Each of Willis’s well-crafted dishes are thoughtful and creative, giving new life to traditional cuisine. The attentive staff will tell you the standout dishes are their unbelievably tender pork chop and the chicken fried Chesapeake Bay oysters. Richmond is also known for their vibrate Greek community and there is no better place to experience modern Mediterranean fare than Stella’s. If you are itching for southern barbecue, try Buz and Ned’s, Alamo BBQ and Jackson’s Beer Garden and Smokehouse.

Where to Drink:

In addition to Richmond’s culinary renaissance, the city has also seen an explosion of breweries popping up in the Scott’s Addition neighborhood. A few stand outs that are worth the visit are The Veil Brewing Co., Arden, Isley Brewing Company, and Hardywood Park Craft Brewing. For a well-balanced cocktail, head to the speakeasy inspired Saison for a true “hole in the wall” experience or The Jasper for that classic drink.

What to Do:

Richmond is infamous for its local art scene. With over 100 murals peppered throughout the city, simply walking the historic streets exposes the vibrant artistry of the area. The Virginia Museum of Fine Art exemplifies contemporary in both its design and collection. The garden is a particularly beautiful spot to sit a spell and take in your stunning surroundings.

Whether you are vintage obsessed or crave a unique retail experience with expertly curated pieces, Carytown is the only area you will need to shop. Need Supply is the epitome of cool when it comes to expert fashion. If vintage is more your vibe, Bygones may be your mecca with a mixture of old and new pieces.