For a small city, Richmond is rich in culture, from its blossoming art and music scenes to its booming craft beer scene. Its central location also puts it only hours away from most of the biggest cities on the east coast. There’s a good reason locals swear that it can’t be beat.
Where the weather is concerned, Richmond is a city of extremes. As befits a Southern city on the east coast, summers are hot — but as any local will tell you, it’s not the heat, it’s the humidity. Richmond’s relative humidity has an annual average of 70% — and that number rises to 75% in July. The city’s lush greenery also makes it an incredibly difficult place to live in the spring if you suffer from allergies; Richmond was ranked in the top 10 worst cities to live with allergies in 2014.
While the winters are often mild, the city is by no means immune from severe snowstorms. Even if only one hits, the city’s prone to exceeding its minuscule snow removal budget — as it did in 2017, after only 7 inches of snowfall.
Public transit within Richmond is limited to GRTC bus service, which is improving but continues to have big holes in coverage. Unless you really luck out, you’re going to need a car. And while finding a place to park your car isn’t really a problem in the suburbs, where big parking lots are the norm, within the city, curbside spaces are at a premium.
If you live or work downtown, attend college at VCU, or find a place in desirable neighborhoods like The Fan and Jackson Ward, you’ll need a plan for where you’ll put your car during the day, which may cost hundreds of dollars a year between garage fees and neighborhood parking passes.
Whether you’re seeking a home with historic charm, more modern lines, or if a downtown location is top of your list, there are options for you. With a median rent around $817 a month, finding a nice apartment in Richmond isn’t too tricky — even if you want something high-rise with a view. The median house value is also around $180,000, making the Richmond housing market an attractive prospect for families looking to make the step into ownership in a community that’s currently on the rise. Property values have doubled between 2000 and 2013, so you can only imagine what that means for Richmond’s future. If you’re looking to go the route of a townhouse? These are still coming in under $300,000, even with all of the amenities of a larger city.
Though it is in the southeast, Richmond does indeed get all four seasons. The summer months will get up towards 90℉ and humid, but the winter rarely gets too far below freezing — meaning if you’re looking for things to do in Richmond, the weather will rarely get in your way. Add the proximity to the mountains of the George Washington and Jefferson National Forest and the Appalachian Trail, as well as the seashore, and you have easy access to some sort of climate to please everyone.
I too am moving my family to Richmond but not until 2010. We are coming over to visit the city in August this year to have a look around and we have been advised to stay south of the river. I would love to live in a quiet neighbourhood with plenty of other families and a decent, but not large, lot. Slightly in the country maybe.If anyone is willing to advise me too that would be great.
Been living in Richmond area all my life -- of 45 years. In Richmond can be rough. Some places in the city I would NEVER travel alone. When you get here, check out western Chesterfield County and hop on over to Powhatan County. No "towns", but beautiful still (somewhat) rural area. Powhatan has about 26,000 people in the entire county. We have very good public schools and also a private school, Blessed Sacrament Huguenot. The new high school is state of the art.
Welcome to Virginia!
May will be a wonderful time to visit Richmond! (As you are coming down I95, you will find Fredericksburg, although a darling town 30 years ago, has become part of the megatropolis of the east coast and now a suburb of DC. But do stop at Carl's ice cream! It is worth it!) I live in a lovely little area called Bon Air. It is between Midlothian and the city of Richmond, but still in Chesterfield county. We have the absolute best elemetary school, Bon Air Elem., (shhhhhhh, don't tell anyone!). It is very small and landlocked, so there is rarely new development. The feeder High School, James River HS, is nationally ranked. The Governor's Schools, as well as other specialty center High Schools, are county(s) funded, but you do have to apply and be very bright to attend. But back to Bon Air...I live 1 mile from the Elem. school, Ukrops (the local grocery store), the public library, my church and the bank. Only 2 miles to the Middle School and the Little League fields. Several local community pools are also nearby. Houses, if they come on the market, are usually snapped up, so you may want to contact a realtor ahead of time to show you around. Midlothian, and the houses along the "Robious corridor", have excellent schools (many the same middle and HS and Bon Air). There are other booming communities in the Richmond area: Glen Alan has exploded in the last 20 years and the Henrico Co. School system has done a great job in keeping up with the development. Lots of new schools in that area...but they are large! A newer highway has gone up around Richmond...RT288....so Richmond may become known as "inside the beltway" and "outside the beltway" in 10 years or so. Do ride down Monument Avenue when you are here!
The advice I’d give is to choose a place to live that allows you to experience the best of what Richmond has to offer. Whether that’s the food, the history, the culture, or your career/working experience, You need a place that’s well-located without being too central - the perfect mix of convenience and privacy. Without a doubt, you should check out 2000 west creek in Broad Brach Circle, luxury apartments in Richmond, VA that allow you to experience the absolute best of the city.
Welcome, I've lived in the Richmond area since '08.
Downtown isn't bad...but parking sucks and the selection of groceries (or lack thereof) also sucks. Also, certain areas might not seem safe. I lived in what used to be a distillery (obviously refurbished). Rooms are a bit small, but modern. Expect rent to be expensive. The one benefit...you can walk to several bars and places to eat. I live in West Henrico now, and anytime I get bored enough to wanna go out and relax...I'd rather spend several dollars and take an Uber.
Carytown or The Fan District sound like areas where again, you can live and walk to areas to shop. The Fan District has lots of VCU students in the area and Carytown is probably more hipster (Kroger is right around there, with Martins and Ellwood Thompson's)...plus restaurants and other retail venues. Parking in the Fan sucks (especially with some areas that require you to move your car on certain days for cleaning and such). Carytown parking...depends 'where' you are.
As far as beer breweries...Richmond has grown...ALOT. Seriously, to get an idea just goto Google and type in "richmond beer breweries" and look at google maps. Also, one of the best spots for beer connoisseurs is "Mekong" and "The Answer". The building doesn't look like much on the outside, but inside is where the real gem is.
Scott's Addition has been developing over the years...I would also stake something here since it seems to fit your genre. New apartments, new stores.
Several different Donut Shops all over Richmond (Duck Donuts, Sugar Shack, Country Style Donuts, Krispy Cream, and Dunkin')
Burgers...yes the east coast overall is lacking In-and-Out...there are several local joints that make decent burgers: (Carytown Burgers and Fries, Station 2, Kitchen 64, and the "Cookout" Franchise.
BBQ? Alamo BBQ makes amazing BBQ, despite their shit location in the Church Hill area (highly suggest not being there when the sun goes down), Mission BBQ off Glenside and near the only Sheetz gas station, isn't bad. Buzz and Neds is also decent. There are plenty of local restaurants in the area, and each area of Richmond has their own speciality. There's always restaurants cropping up all over Richmond...and with the local community college opening up a culinary school nearby...hopefully some new tasty food.
One of my favorite places, is a New Zealand lunch spot in Church Hill called "Proper Pie Company" located East Broad and 25th street. I have been going there for years and I have never had anything bad there.
There are some coffee shops in the area, but I'm no expert on it.
Events: Every year there's the Monument 10K...in Richmond, you learn that there are several main streets that pretty much go up and down. Broad, Main, Cary, and Monument generally run through the city and each respectively goes there own routes. Monument is the road where all the civil war statues are located. Ukrop's a former popular grocery chain, used to sponsor the 10K run. Also, NASCAR. When NASCAR weekend hits...DON'T SPEED. The Raceway is in Northside and when people flock to NASCAR, expect tons of law enforcement in the area. Interstate 95/64 are the major throughways, but you also have Interstate 295 (which goes around Richmond) and Interstate 195 and route 895...the last two are generally toll-operated, but can help you get around without having to toil with traffic on I-95/64. Depending on where you work and live, spending the $30 for E-Z Pass can make life easier for you.
Gas is decent...about $2.05-$2.10 a gallon...depending where you are in the city. Also, I'd hit up the main DMV along Broad street early when they open up...you'll be in and out of there (if you have all your paperwork together) in less than an hour. There are other DMVs in the area, but the HQ DMV next to the Virginia Science Museum operates the quickest.
Virginia's Alcohol. Unlike some states, liquor can only be bought at ABC stores (Alcohol Beverage Control), wine and beer can be bought almost everywhere else. Except for bars and clubs...you usually can't purchase alcohol between midnight - 6am.
Various shows and venues at the Altria Theater (formerly known as "The Landmark") and The National.
Richmond is A+ on tattoos. We are apparently the third most-tattooed city in the US, and a bunch of artists here have been featured on Inked (the show and the magazine). I see incredible sleeves all the time just randomly walking around. All kinds of styles.
Sushi and Thai I'd say solid B. I don't know that we have any place that is of national reknown or I've ever gone in and been like "I have never had sushi/Thai on this level ever before." We also don't have like a $100+ super, super fancy type of sushi place for the elite connoisseurs. But in general, there's some decent places in town. I wouldn't say the sushi or Thai here is any worse or better than most cities I've been to.
Richmond is certainly outdoor friendly, and while we still are a city, we are also very much a small town, in which their arn't so many people that you just get lost in all of it. There is some snow in the winter, but honestly if you want more of it and less people, I would try Roanoke. Less diverse then Richmond, but also growing. Regardless there is something for everyone here so I wish you luck in your search.