My first bit of advice is, if you haven’t already: Get out there. As a premier and centrally located east coast city, Richmond never stops growing, renewing and changing. From historic neighborhoods, like The Fan, Manchester or Bellevue, to the latest developments—every area of this city warrants a fresh look on an ongoing basis, so venture out. And don’t be surprised if you find new options (or new interest) in old places.
This is an easy area to explore
Whether it’s work, daycare, dining or shopping—chances are, there are locations that you’d like to be able to access conveniently. And thanks to Richmond’s low levels of traffic, fortunately you can map out and test those drives (or walks, for that matter) just about any time. (This may be why Kipplinger’s rated Richmond among the 10 Best Cities for Commuters.) Use Google Maps to determine distances, but also give them a test run. You may find some points quicker and easier to reach than you thought and you never know what you might discover along the way.
Beyond getting to know your key areas, pick an evening or weekend to explore unfamiliar places. In the process, you’ll get a feel for which areas and neighborhoods contain the architecture, amenities and attractions that suit your needs and you may even stumble across something you’re interested in right away.
If you do stumble upon what looks like that perfect listing: Don’t knock on the door, or call the number listed on the sign. Instead, we highly urge you obtain your own buyers’ agent. Even if it’s spur of the moment—pick up the phone and call us! Chances are, we can get you in there quickly, while providing you with your own representation. That way, we can show up ready to make an informed offer if you decide to move forward.
If you haven’t already, Meet Richmond:
Welcome to Richmond, where we’re top ranked for so many things
If you already live in Richmond, then you know why you want to be here: a world-class food scene, a vibrant and diverse culture that’s filled with music and arts, and abundant career opportunities among everything from small startups to Fortune 500 companies. And let’s not forget the local wineries and breweries, which are simply fantastic. If you’re planning to relocate to Richmond, then you have all of those same things to look forward to, plus more than 400 years of history to catch up on through the local museums and approximately 200 parks, buildings, landmarks and other features recognized by the National Historic Register. (Even those of us who’ve been here for years can’t catch up.)
The point is, whether you were born in or destined to end up in Richmond, you’ve made a fine selection. And whatever your criteria may be, chances are we have a top-10 ranking to match. In recent years, the “City of Seven Hills” has found itself on such lists as:
- Wall Street Journal’s Marketwatch ranking for best metro centers for business
- Parenting.com’s healthiest city in America and one of the best places for families
- Forbes.com top 10 locations for finding a job
- Men’s Health magazine’s second most charitable city in America
And those are just a few of the many top-10 titles Richmond has achieved.
Areas and neighborhoods
Unlike some cities, you won’t have to land within certain areas in order to easily enjoy all of Richmond’s notable features. From the northern reaches of rural Hanover County, to the broad spectrum of Southside, and from the far east end to western Short Pump—chances are, you’re never more than a 10- to 20-minute drive from wherever it is you’d like to go and whatever it is you’d like to do, with very little traffic to contend with.
The land that’s centrally located
In addition to what you’ll find within the Greater Richmond area, one of the city’s best features includes its proximity to other destinations. Whether it’s trekking into D.C. to see the nation’s capital artifacts, venturing out to the Blue Ridge Mountains, or heading east for some fishing on the Chesapeake Bay and the Atlantic Ocean—Richmond is just a one- to two-hour drive from whatever your weekend may fancy. Major interstate highways 95 and 64 converge at the heart of the city, ready to launch you north, south, east or west. And with 50 percent of the U.S. population living within a half-day’s drive away, odds are your family and friends are well within reach. If not, book a flight out of Richmond International Airport—host to six major carriers, non-stop flights to major domestic destinations and connecting services to points worldwide.
Quick facts and key points about Richmond
Population: The Richmond metropolitan region is home to more than 1,000,000 and its growing international communities add to the city’s cultural diversity and cosmopolitan flavor. (As well as its food scene.)
History: Situated along the fall line of the James River (a natural stopping point for early settlers), Richmond’s history spans more than 400 years to 1737 and serves as the birthplace for eight U.S. presidents. From the location of Patrick Henry‘s “Give me liberty or give me death” speech in 1775 (at St. John’s Church) to the oldest building south of the Mason-Dixon line, the area features approximately 200 parks, buildings, landmarks, cemeteries and districts recognized on the National Historic Register.
Weather: Though Richmond is one of few locations where residents enjoy the flavor of each season, its coastline to the east and the Blue Ridge Mountains to the west shield the region from harsh extremes. The coldest weather strikes late December to early February—just long enough to deliver a few fun snow dates—with an average temperature of around 38 degrees. And while temperatures and humidity peak in July (often at or above 90 degrees), those extremes don’t last long before fall leaves begin to fill with color and spring infuses the city with blooms of every type. Be sure to check out the dogwoods around town and venture out to Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden.
The great outdoors: You don’t have to venture out to the Blue Ridge Mountains or to the Atlantic Ocean in order to experience an outdoor adventure. Whether it’s day hiking, mountain biking or paddling—Richmond offers the opportunity to merge world-class outdoor activities with everyday life. For something on the low impact side, the Haxal Canal Walk offers a tranquil setting for peaceful 1-1/4-mile strolls or seasonal boat rides, while the James River Park System allows runners and mountain bikers to gear up amid more than 550 acres of pristine trails and outdoor action. On hot summer days, don’t be surprised to find everyone from families to college students venturing down to Pony Pasture and the 42nd Street rock gardens for a wade in the river, while boaters take to the Class IV rapids. Richmond is the only city in America to feature Class IV white water in the middle of its downtown region.
→Fact: In 2012, Outside Magazine voted Richmond the nation’s top river city.
Architecture: If great architecture is your hot button, then you’ve come to the right place. From the world-renowned $150 million renovation of the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts building (designed partly by famous London-based architect Rick Mather) to historic Greek Revival, Neoclassical and art deco designs (to name but a few)—Richmond serves as an open air museum of American architecture. You’ll have no trouble at all discovering the city’s gems, but be sure to check out such notable areas as The Fan, the Museum District, Carytown and Oregon Hill for a flavor of the city’s row-house designs, as well as downtown, where you’ll quickly discover that Richmond ranks second—only to New Orleans—for cast-iron architecture. Then venture down the cobblestones of Monument Avenue to discover what American Planning Association labels one of the country’s 10 Great Streets.
Culture: When it comes to music, art and great festivals, Richmond is loaded. In 2010, the world rediscovered one of its finest art venues when the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts was selected as one of seven locations—worldwide—to host a Pablo Picasso exhibit. The museum hosts collections spanning 5,000 years. Meanwhile, the Edgar Allan Poe Museum commemorates the home of one of our nation’s most renowned authors. And when it comes to music, Richmond serves as host to countless venues, drawing in everything from big name acts to local performers spanning every genre. Large performances sound off from the city’s CenterStage venue, including two theaters and a music hall, or the Richmond Coliseum, which seats as many as 12,000. Meanwhile, smaller venues like Altria (previously Landmark) Theater or The National draw intimate performances from big name acts. In the summer months and at the end of every workweek, Richmonders flock to Brown’s Island for Friday Cheers, a weekly and budget-friendly concert series. This location also serves as host to numerous events throughout the year, including the Richmond Folk Festival, one of the East Coast’s most renowned events for music and arts.
→ Festivals abound: The Folk Festival is just one of many great Richmond-based events throughout the year. Whether it’s food, music, art or extreme games, this city has a festival for everyone. Greek, Italian, Irish and Lebanese festivals draw thousands to their ethnic cultures and cuisines, while the Dominion Riverrock festival and Xterra Games’ East Championships combine running, biking and kayaking competitions with free concerts.
Sports: While the city hasn’t landed a professional sports team (yet), don’t be surprised to find yourself a little hoarse come Monday mornings, from cheering on one of the local sports teams. Each summer, Richmond serves as host to Washington Redskins Training Camp, drawing football enthusiasts out for some off-season action. Meanwhile, college basketball strikes a high note each year with two NCAA teams, the University of Richmond Spiders and the Virginia Commonwealth University Rams, each of which venture their way from season tip offs to the NCAA tournament. If baseball is more your fancy, take the Boulevard St. exit to catch a Flying Squirrels game, the AA franchise of the San Francisco Giants. Right next door, you can cheer on the Richmond Kickers, one of the most successful soccer clubs in the nation. Richmond is also in the heart of horse country, so every spring horses and riders gather in the shadow of the birthplace of world famous triple crown winner Secretariat, for the annual Strawberry Hill Races. If motors are more your speed, on the city’s east end you’ll find Richmond International Raceway, NASCAR’s premier short track.
→ A world-class venue for cycling: In 2015, Richmond joined such elite names as Melbourne, Australia, Florence, Italy and Madrid, Spain, when it hosted Union Cycliste Internationale’s World Road Championships. The city was chosen as the first American host for this event since 1986, which draws approximately 1,000 athletes from 75 countries, as well as 450,000 spectators.
Big employers and Fortune 500 companies: Of course, Richmond isn’t just about fun. Virginia is home to 18 Fortune 500 companies, six of which reside in Richmond, along with 10 Fortune 1000 companies and more small businesses and startups than can possibly be listed. Some of our most well known employers include: Altria Group (including Philip Morris USA), Capital One, CarMax, Dominion Resources, DuPont, Genworth Financial, MeadWestvaco and UPS. The city also serves as a hotspot for creative industries, including such names as The Martin Agency.