Some cities pave over their past, but the streets of Richmond are constant reminders of its history and America´s history. With its Jefferson-designed Capitol, antebellum mansions, grand boulevards and legacy of Civil War sites, Richmond weaves yesteryear with today in delightful fashion. The city also boasts white-water rafting, Fortune 500s, NASA´s medical tech facility, lavish gardens, cozy bistros, the largest Victorian district in the US, and significant art and history museums.
Tour participants stay at the Holiday Inn Express Downtown Richmond , 201 East Cary Street. This charming hotel in the central city River District features spacious rooms, business center, fitness room, free parking, and free passes to the nearby YMCA.
Below is a listing of Road Scholar tours at Richmond. Registration is toll-free by phone at 877-426-8506, or online at www.roadscholar.org .
Richmond Site Coordinator:
"The wonderful" Catherine D. Dodson M.S.
Richmond´s Jewels: Mansions, Monuments, and Masterpieces
Come to Richmond and discover four centuries of history, culture, and style. Study art, rebellion, architecture, and the fruits of enterprise. Explore colonial aristocracy at Wilton House, and see the site of Patrick Henry´s famous speech at St. John´s Church. Experience the new republic through Thomas Jefferson´s Capitol, and the Civil War in Jefferson Davis´s White House. Tour the manorial elegance of an imported Tudor estate, and the modernist ´elan of the new wing at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts. Be prepared for an amazing heritage and a few surprises!
Richmond´s Great Gardens and Estates
Virginia is renowned for historic homes and gardens and its capital city is graced with a superb array. Experience architecture, history, and lost lifestyles. Visit a colonial plantation and two imported estates, one a 12th-century priory and the other a Tudor mansion. Horticulturists and researchers conduct you to gardens of many styles: pastoral, knot, herb, butterfly, Tradescant, woodland, wetland, native wildflower, rose, cloistered, sunken, Asian, and exotic. Explore Lewis Ginter Botanical Gardens and its much acclaimed 800 perennials and orchids. Enjoy Maymont´s 100 acres of century-old gardens and look at upstairs and downstairs in its Gilded Age estate. No two days, houses or gardens on this must-see list are the same.
The James River Plantations and Their Culture
The James River was colonial Virginia´s central avenue, linking the people and commerce of town and countryside. Join us to examine the multi-layered society that developed along the James. Expert lectures and field trips introduce storied plantations: Shirley, early and unique in design; Berkeley, birthplace of William Henry Harrison; and Thomas Jefferson´s boyhood home, Tuckahoe. See the expressive architecture of the new nation in the Federalist-style home of Justice John Marshall, and at Virginia´s magnificently restored Capitol, designed by Jefferson. Sample culture as it progressed at the Jefferson Hotel, an extraordinary beaux-arts masterpiece; as seen in the turn-of-the-century Fan District and Monument Avenue; as heard in an evening of musical time travel; and within the reinstalled collections at the new wing of the up-to-date Virginia Museum of Fine Arts.
Two Founders and an Artist in Early America:
Patrick Henry, John Marshall and Edgar Allen Poe
Learn about three extraordinary men whose legacies connect in Richmond. At the curious and quaint Poe Museum, with its notable collection of Poe memorabilia, trace the author´s life and ponder his impact on popular imagination and discover why he was more respected in Europe than at home. Explore John Marshall´s 1790 home to consider the significance of his service in all three branches of government and his seminal contribution to American jurisprudence as the first great Chief Justice. Finally, hear from scholars to separate myth from reality in the life of Robert E. Lee, on one hand a leader of impossibly high standards, the "marble man," and on the other a loving father and compassionate soldier.
A Very Richmond Christmas: Four Centuries in the Capitol District
Celebrate the tradition and magic of the season in Richmond´s Capitol District. We´ll delight in the tasteful holiday décor at the Capitol, the Executive Mansion, and historic St. John´s Church, and the more expansive splendor at a Gilded Age estate and a fabulous 1895 hotel. Enjoy a festive dinner at Lewis Ginter Botanical GardenFest and then a guided evening walk through its fantasyland of flowers, trees, lights, conservatory displays, and woodland sculptures. We´ll examine the Richmond legacies of leaders such as Chief Justice John Marshall, Thomas Jefferson, and patriot Patrick Henry, and pay a Yule season call to the John Marshall House (1790) and to its Court End neighbor, the Wickham House (1812) at Valentine Richmond History Center.