Walking Tour of Richmond, Virginia, USA
Richmond is the capital and largest city in Virginia, and offers a host of attractions for the tourist. Its infamous past includes a stint as capital of the Confederacy during the American Civil War. Note that, although not included in my walking tour below because of the distance from downtown, visitors are strongly encouraged check out the impressive statues on Monument Avenue. To reach them, walk west on Main Street (a few blocks south of Grace Street), and then cross Monroe Park, to reach the beginning of Monument Avenue. If driving, drive west on Main Street, then turn right on Belvedere, and left onto Monument, The statues can be found over a mile or so heading west.
My walk begins on Capitol Square, location of the Virginia State Capitol. The imposing “Temple of the Hill” was designed by Thomas Jefferson, and has witnessed numerous significant historical events. Also on the square is an impressive Equestrian Statue of George Washington, a Virginian and the first US President, as well as the Executive Mansion, residence of the Governor, and Old City Hall, a structure erected in the late 19th century. The nearby Bell Tower houses a Visitor Center, where you can get a map and other information about the city’s and the state’s sights. The New City Hall, across the street from its predecessor, offers an observation deck on its 19th floor, with great views.
Exit the square to the northwest and walk across 9th Street onto Grace Street, to visit St Paul’s Episcopal Church, where both Confederate President Jefferson Davis and General Robert E Lee worshiped.
Now continue northeast on Grace Street to 8th Street and turn right, and then right again on East Marshall Street, to visit the John Marshall House, former residence of the US Supreme Court Chief Justice.
After your visit, continue southeast on Marshall Street, to 9th Street, and turn left, and then right, onto East Clay Street. The Valentine Richmond History Center is at #1015, in the Wickham House, an 1812 mansion.
Now, continue on East Clay Street to find the Museum of the Confederacy, which contains a comprehensive collection of artifacts and other paraphernalia from the Civil War period. Next door is the White House of the Confederacy, Jefferson Davis’ Victorian residence during his short-lived presidency. Retrace your steps on East Clay Street to 11th Street, and turn left to return to Capitol Square.