Roanoke, Lynchburg, Richmond, or Petersburg.

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May 20th, 2009, 11:52 AM
  #1
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Roanoke, Lynchburg, Richmond, or Petersburg.

I need to spend 2 nights in ONE or TWO of these places for the last 2 nights of our vacation.
Looking for a

1. SAFE

2. Touristy (Museums, Nature, History)

3. Memorable experience.

Thank you SO much.
ehovis is offline  
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May 20th, 2009, 12:38 PM
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I just spent 1.5 days in Richmond and am looking forward to returning. The State Capitol tour is a must. Lots of historic events occurred there and the building was just restored so it is beautiful. I also went to the Poe museum and even though I am not a literature person I found it to be very interesting. Also saw the White House of the Confederacy and the Museum of the Confederacy.

I went with 4 other women (we have met for dinner every year since 1963 and now we travel once a year). We couldn't find a cheap hotel so went on priceline.com and bid $85 for a 4 star hotel and got the Omni in Richmond. It was very nice and they have a shuttle bus that takes you anywhere within 5 miles and will pick you up too!

We ate at the Tobacco Company (yes, a bit overpriced but very interesting - go to their website). We also ate at the Can Can, a fun french restaurant I heartily recommend. Have the walnut ice cream! It is in the Cary Street district which has lots of interesting shops but they are not open evenings except Thursday.

Roanoke is right on the Blue Ridge Parkway, so nature is right there. It has a new art museum - the first Thursday of each month they have "Art By Night" with open galleries and they have a great farmers market.

I don't know about Petersburg (except it is right next to Richmond). I've been to Lynchburg but only for lunch.
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May 20th, 2009, 01:29 PM
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Thank you Toniseid, I'm always afraid of Priceline, because
4 star hotels can be in terrible neighborhoods, you are brave.
Been to a lot of Capitol tours, was this one more unique?
The farmers market in Roanoke sounds like fun, maybe one
night in Roanoke for the market and art museum, and the
second in Richmond. If the weather is good, I was looking into the Lewis Ginter Garden, and then the Capitol and the White House of the Confederacy as you suggested.
Wish I knew what part of Richmond to stay in.
Again thank you for your help.
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May 20th, 2009, 02:55 PM
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Skip Petersburg and Lynchburg in favor of Roanoke or Richmond. There are many good Richmond neighborhoods. Maybe someone who has been there since I have can update you. I wouldn't hesitate to bid on PL.

I went to biddingfortravel.com and here are the hotel's you'd be likely to get if you bid at the three- or four-star level:

Downtown Richmond

4 Star
Omni Richmond
Westin Richmond (a possible hotel; not reported yet)

3.5 Star
Marriott

Richmond West End

3 Star
Sheraton West End
Crowne Plaza Hotel Richmond West
Courtyard

Richmond Airport (RIC)

3 Star
Wyndham Richmond Airport
Doubletree Richmond Airport (formerly Hilton)
Courtyard Richmond Airport

Any of the above should be in safe areas. Looks like you'd get the Omni if you bid for a four-star or the Marriott in the downtown area, since there's only one PL hotel in each area.

If you've never used PL, understand there's a learning curve. Be sure you understand the procedure by studying up at biddingfortravel.com. BTW, I have no relationship with the BFT site.
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May 21st, 2009, 04:10 AM
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I vote for Richmond and can help with restaurants, etc. more than hotels (though I have some recommendation and can help with part of town, etc.)

Toniseid....glad you went to CanCan, but there are SOOOO many places better than Tobacco Company.

ehovis, if you decide on Richmond, let me know. I love my hometown.
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May 21st, 2009, 05:20 AM
  #6
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Thank you Betsy, I never heard of bidding for travel, but bookmarked it and will be using it a lot in the future.

Janet, I could really use your expertise on Richmond.
I heard Buz and Neds had the best Bar B Que and was a must
do in Richmond.
We are an older couple and like safe neighborhoods, can you
recommend an area. We will probably look for a bed and breakfast once we know which part of town to be in.
If you had just one FULL day to spend in Richmond and have never been there, what would you do. We love seeing anything we've never seen before, which is hard, since we travel a lot. Not fond of Edgar Allen Poe's writing, so probably would not choose to see his home. The Lewis Ginter Garden sounds unique.
I burned my husband out on historic homes, after all the plantations in the south. We love cemetaries as they are
so different, and tell their own stories. We especially love
nature, boardwalks, scenery that has to be seen. We are museum goers if they are worth going to.
We can usually fit in
a lot in one day, what do you suggest?

Thank you for your offer to help, I apreciate any suggestions.
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May 21st, 2009, 10:27 AM
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Well, if you are a cemetery fan, you are in luck in Richmond! Hollywood Cemetery has the graves of Jefferson Davis and JEB Stuart, literary and political figures, and incredible monuments. It is in a sketchy looking but safe section of town near VCU, and there are walking tours.

We just spent the winter in Richmond and found a lot of really interesting places to eat and things to do, some of them recommended above. Buzz and Ned's has fantastic sides (fabulous beans, potato salad, mac and cheese)and good ribs, but their pulled pork and chicken are not to my taste. My dream Richmond meal would be a load of sides and ribs from Buzz and Ned's and a box of fried chicken from Lee's on Broad.

For a restaurant meal unlike those you can get everywhere else, I would recommend Black Sheep, on the edge of a sketchy neighborhood one block off Broad, but again, somewhat sketchy, but the warehouse across the street is really condos! It is gentirfying rapidly! Nearby on Broad is Comfort, sort of high end southern comfort food with especially good fried green tomatoes as an appetizer.

If you find a B&B in the Fan, the most appealing part of town in many ways, you may want to walk to Kuba Kuba, which my family like more than I do, or Strawberry Street Cafe, which has good, not great food but is a wonderful neighborhood place. There are tons of these in Richmond, especially in the Fan, and many are enjoyable. There are lots of chef-owned upscale restaurants as well. I do not think the larger "continental cuisine" places in Shockoe or out in the suburbs offer nearly as much value, but your mileage may vary. Richmond is probably more like Toronto than any other North American city in that there are good neighborhood cafes where you can eat happily at very reasonable prices, and the Fan and Carytown resemble Toronto a lot physically.

We are, by the way, in our mid-sixties and don't like noisy dinners. I also don't like feeling unsafe, but a lot of the best places (Mamma Zu's and Edo's Squid, for example, which some might say are the two best restaurants in the city) are in sketchy locations. But the areas are perfectly safe, just not prepossessing.
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May 21st, 2009, 06:08 PM
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Yes, yes. If you are into cemetaries, you must do Hollywood in Richmond.
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May 21st, 2009, 06:47 PM
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Petersburg has the Civil War battlefield site. I don't know if the Museum of the Civil War Soldier is again open for tours. It was closed for most of the winter, but that museum is definitely worth paying for if it is open again. I spent a couple of hours there and really needed more time. Since it is right outside Richmond, among your choices, I'd opt for Richmond. I would definitely put the Virginia Art Museum on the itinerary. Most people think Civil War when it comes to Richmond, but the Art Museum is excellent and has a number of Fabrege Easter eggs.
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May 21st, 2009, 08:42 PM
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The Virginia Art Museum, more commonly known as the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, is under going a major renovation with limited galleries available to be seen. The Faberge Eggs exhibit is open. I'm not sure I'd put the VMFA on your Richmond itinerary this go round but would highly recommend it when it reopens in 2010.

Maymont and Agecroft Hall have some fabulous gardens.
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May 22nd, 2009, 05:05 AM
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I will echo Ackislanders and Birdie's post as well as obxgirl's Virginia Museum recommendations.

In the Fan, I love KubaKuba and Six Burner. Strawberry Street Cafe is solid but is definitely a neighborhood place and a Richmond staple.

Edo's is my all-around favorite Richmond restaurant but it is LOUD and there are homeless people, vagrants, etc. walking around (as well as college students when VCU is in session). Dh and I have never had an issue, but my brother had his tires slashed there once a couple of years ago.

I don't think Comfort as high end, but it's isn't cheap eats either...middle of the road prices with good food and very good wine list.

Go to Carytown and walk around to the shops...if you like Thai food both Mom's Siam and Thai Diner Too are good. CanCan is a great place for a croissant (almond is great) and coffee for breakfast or a burger on their homemade bun with their terrific fries for lunch or dinner.

Millie's Diner (milliesdiner.com) is a Richmond experience and a "must do" IMO whether it's for weekend brunch or weekday lunch or dinner.

If you are looking for a high end "date night" type of place, I highly recommend Sensi on East Cary Street. Great high end Italian food and some of the best service in town.
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May 22nd, 2009, 10:50 AM
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I knew I was slightly off on the name of the art gallery, but knew someone would correct me.
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May 24th, 2009, 05:28 PM
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I would definitely go with Richmond first, and then Roanoke, over Lynchburg or Petersburg.

If you're into cemeteries, Hollywood Cemetery is most definitely worth a visit, and it's not far from Tredegar, where you can see a small Civil War exhibit and walk over a bridge over the river to Belle Isle. There's a path by the river. Do go in the daytime.

The Capitol is recently renovated, and was designed by Thomas Jefferson. I think it also has the only from-life statue of George Washington, and the tour shows you (if I remember this correctly) the room and spot where Lee accepted command of the Confederate Army.

As for where to stay, I'm sure there are a number of B&Bs in the Fan and Museum District. I've heard good things about this one: http://mauryplace.com/
I haven't been inside, but it's recently renovated. I live in the neighborhood and have never felt unsafe. It's also walking distance to several restaurants -- I like Arianna's (Italian, low-end but good, lot of pizza options, inexpensive) and the Corner Cafe, although if you're looking for a uniquely Richmond experience they're probably not it, they're just nice local neighborhood places. I also second someone else's recommendation of Strawberry Street cafe, and of Mom's Siam and Thai Diner Too in Carytown for Thai. Mama Zu's is good for better Italian, although they can be persnickety, and I don't think they take credit cards?

As far as Lynchburg goes, I lived there for a few years, it's nice but not a lot to see. Bedford, between Lynchburg and Roanoke, has the National D-Day Memorial.
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May 25th, 2009, 05:44 AM
  #14
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Thank you soo much guys for all your suggestions.
I'm sold on Richmond and the Fan district with all the
neighborhood restaurants.
You are all so kind to help me.
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