The Fan District is one of the most interesting areas in Richmond because of its unique architecture, restaurants, local shops, and monuments. Named for the fan-like layout of its streets, it runs westward from Belvedere Street, near Monroe Park, ending on the eastern side of the Boulevard. Predominantly a residential area, the Fan is a fun place to wander and admire the many styles of architecture from the mid-late 19th century, including Italianate, Queen Anne, Richardsonian Romanesque, and Colonial Revival. Homeowners in The Fan have entertainment at their fingertips with walkable parks, restaurants, and museums, as well as Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) located in the Lower Fan.
Some of the Fan’s most notable and sought-after features include:
The bike share program known as RVA Bike Share is a great way to explore The Fan. Once you register online and download the app it’s simple to pick up a bike anywhere around the city, with the Fan’s easiest pickup spot located 26 N. Morris Street.
While on your bike ride, you may want to stop in at one of the many Parks and Pocket Parks within The Fan that provide green space for both humans and pets to enjoy:
Monroe Park: 719 East Franklin
Scuffletown Park: 418 Strawberry St.
Meadow Park: 401 N Meadow St.
Paradise Park: 1700 Grove Ave.
Sydney Park: 66 North Brunswick St.
Federal Park: 2100 West Main St.
Grace Park: W. Grace St and N. Allen
Lombardy Park: 347 N Lombardy St.
Not into biking? Stroll down one of Richmond’s most iconic and notable tourist attractions, Monument Avenue. Monument Avenue, while famous mostly for its historical monuments, is also host to some of the most spectacular homes in the entire city. It’s easy to let your mind drift and imagine what it was like to live in this prestigious area at the turn of the 20th century. The interior median of Monument Avenue is a park-like setting lined with towering trees that become truly magnificent during the fall. This is where you will often find neighbors running, playing games or simply wasting the day away with a book or a friend.
Fan District Events
One of my favorite annual events is the Monument Avenue 10K, when runners from across Virginia and the east coast visit this section of Richmond to run and enjoy the area and various post-race events.
Another exciting annual event is Easter on Parade. Every Easter Sunday, Monument Avenue closes its streets to traffic and droves of Richmonders show up in their Sunday best with family members and pets alike to celebrate spring with the sounds of live music and great food.
Another one of my favorite events is the infamous Halloween on Hanover. If you want a costumed street party where houses turn into movie sets, then this is the place to be in The Fan for Halloween.
Shopping in the Fan
There are many great locally owned shops in The Fan but my very favorite is Strawberry Fields Flowers & Finds.
The shop owners will welcome you with open arms and create the most amazing flower arrangement specific to your needs – and they’ll often do it as you wait.
If you are looking for a last minute gift, they carry an array of unique gifts and potted plants that are sure to make anyone happy.
An extensive variety of great eats and drinking are also prevalent throughout this area. Here are a few of my favorites:
Drinks and the Game
And that’s just to get you started…
There are certainly many more that have been left off this list so get out there and explore! With new restaurants, bars, and shops opening up all the time, there’s always a new hidden gem to discover.