Like most cities, Richmond is home to a diverse array of neighborhoods, each with its own identity and charm.
The Fan and Museum District
The picturesque Fan district — so named for the configuration of its streets, which fan out as you move from east to west — offers a range of architectural styles and a host of small businesses. Abutting the district’s western edge is the Museum District, home to the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, the Virginia Historical Society, and the Science Museum of Virginia. Cutting through the heart of both neighborhoods is Monument Avenue, an imposing boulevard listed on the National Register of Historic Places that features some of the city’s most impressive architecture (the Virginia Center for Architecture is a particular standout).
Along the south end of the Museum District lies Carytown, Richmond’s main shopping district. Here, you can find a range of locally owned shops and boutiques, restaurants, and the historic Byrd Theatre, a luxurious 1928 movie palace turned National Historic Landmark, that shows second-run movies for $1.99 every night of the week, and a pre-movie Wurlitzer performance every Saturday. Every August, the Carytown Watermelon Festival draws tens of thousands of people to Cary Street for music, food, and fun.
North of Broad Street lies Jackson Ward, a historically African-American neighborhood known as the “Harlem of the South” during the first part of the 20th century. Maggie Walker, the first woman, white or black, to found a bank in the United States, made her home in Jackson Ward; her house is now operated by the National Park Service. Jackson Ward remains home to a diverse population of long-time residents and students from Virginia Commonwealth University, and supports a growing number of fine restaurants, music venues, and galleries.
The University of Richmond sits in the city’s West End, a neighborhood full of hidden gems. Agecroft Hall, a 15th-century Tudor estate transported piece by piece to Richmond and reassembled on the banks of the James, is open to visitors and hosts the Richmond Shakespeare Festival in its courtyard every summer. Pony Pasture, with its forested trails fronting on the James, offers West End residents a chance to get back to nature. And those looking for a more urban experience can visit the growing shopping district at Libbie and Grove avenues, which includes boutiques, restaurants, and the Westhampton Theatre.