For a birthday week treat (and because I had been DYING to see the Yves St Laurent retrospective at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts), my mom and I embarked on a day trip to Richmond, VA to explore and visit some of our favorite spots in the city. I’ve been going to and from Richmond for years now…my baby brother graduated from VCU and so for the past years we’ve been visiting and exploring different areas – signing up for the Monument Avenue 10K down the historic Monument Avenue district, going to new restaurants, art shows, science exhibits.
Just a quick two-hour drive from the DC area, this is the perfect weekend getaway for a change of pace or a fun day. Because my brother Elliot has since graduated college, I have less of an incentive to go visit but I always have a blast when I make it down.
Arriving a bit after noon, we started our day grabbing lunch at the Quirk Hotel – a Destination Hotel that has been written up quite a bit these past few years in Travel & Leisure and Conde Nast Traveler to name a few. From the high ceilings and millennial-focused pink seating and marbled white tabletops in the lobby dining area of their restaurant, Maple & Pine – this is the most instagrammable hotel in Richmond for sure. (See Instagram-worthy social media picture below)
After the Quirk, we made our way to the the VMFA for the the YSL exhibit. The exhibit alone was worth the drive. The complete retrospective of Saint Laurent's life includes each decade of work from his beginnings at Dior starting in the 50s to his own line from the 1960s onwards. Following along with each outfit was not only aesthetically incredible, but historically fascinating. The shift in trends and what was socially acceptable from the 1950s to the 1990s is breathtaking to see - not to mention the craftsmanship and design that has become so prevalent in every facet of what we define as present day fashion.
Shopping on Cary Street is always a good idea - from Need Supply to the sadly closing Anthill Antiques
everything is featured - clothes, jewelry, old, new...an afternoon here is a must-do
We ended our outing with a casual dinner at Kuba Kuba in the Fan district before driving home. Kuba Kuba is a Richmond mainstay and boasts a wonderfully massive menu full of Cuban food, huge portions, delicious flavors, all while being wallet and finicky eater friendly.
Richmond as a city has seen a resurgence of tourism in the past couple years, with travelers looking for quick weekend getaways but still looking to visit an interesting place with its own unique vibe. On the subject of "Richmond vibe" - gritty modern street art is juxtaposed with southern antebellum history and architecture…hipster cafes and high-end boutiques…it's inhabitants a melting pot of country city-dwellers walking pigs on leashes (yes, I did see this), students from public and private universities, artists, chefs...
What a wonderful melding of people in a city that is truly unique. If you haven't been to Richmond yet, or haven't visited in a couple years, now is definitely the time to head back. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for any inquiries or more tips and happy travels!