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suggestions for a Richmond-Charlotte art/history/food trip

suggestions for a Richmond-Charlotte art/history/food trip

Old May 8th, 2012, 08:11 PM
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suggestions for a Richmond-Charlotte art/history/food trip

After work in DC this September, Boyfriend and I are taking the train to Richmond to visit a friend then on to Charlotte, which we've always wanted to visit. Don't know where we're heading after that, but while we're in those areas were interested in history, art and food. Any great suggestions for must-sees/must-eats? I went to school in Chapel Hill before moving North and can't wait for some good Southern cooking! We've been reviewing old posts, but are interested in recent advice. Also interested in alternative, off the beaten path places. Love being around any creative communities.

Thanks in advance.
ascoli is offline  
Old May 9th, 2012, 03:49 AM
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Richmond: the art museum is terrific and free, with an outstanding new American wing and distinguished collections of stuff you may or may not care about like art deco and art nouveau jewelry, Faberge, and British sporting art. They usually have wonderful African art on display, real art, not ethnography. The Asian collections are very, very good, as is the collection of contemporary art. They have nice collections of the usual stuff from medieval through the post Impressionists. If you are interested in women it art, be sure to see the painting by Artemisia Gentileschi, a very rare Renaissance Italian woman artist. They had the foresight to buy it before a novel made her famous.

Two doors down is the Virginia Historical Society with terrific displays of Virginia artifacts that do not deny some of the uglier parts of the Commonwealth's history.

You should also try to see Hollywood Cemetery if your friends are willing to drive you.

Let's assume you only have a couple of days to eat and responding to your desire to go Southern, be sure to have lunch at Black Sheep on Marshall St. They have Cheerwine. Try dinner at Comfort on Broad. Eat breakfast at the Dairy Bar in Scott's Addition or at Joe's Inn on Shields. If you have a second lunch, go to Kuba Kuba in the Fan. Consider going to Croaker's Spot across the river on Hull Street for the area's best soul food, although there are other places more centrally located in Jackson Ward.

All of Broad Street in the area near Comfort is turning into a gallery district owing to cheap rents. For the past XX years, galleries have been open at night on the First Friday of every month with new stuff and light refreshments. In warm weather, the crowds can be big.

Now, Chapel Hill. Crook's Corner is still there and still turning out delicious New Southern food. Even better -- I am trembling as I write this -- Allen and Son BBQ is still on Highway 54 next to the railroad tracks just north of town before you get to the interstate. It still has the same cheap wood paneling and shaky chairs and tables they had when I was in grad school, and I am now retired. The best news is that they still make the The Best Barbecue in the World. Both my kids went to Carolina, so I got to eat there when I drove them down in the fall and when I drove them back up north in the spring.
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Old May 9th, 2012, 05:49 AM
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I second Comfort on Broad for dinner. Also Lemaire at The Jefferson Hotel is wonderful for drinks and/or dinner.

I'd go to Black Sheep for breakfast or lunch, but be aware it's a tiny place and can get crowded in a hurry.

If you are doing Sunday brunch....I recommend Millie's Diner or Lulu's.

KubaKuba is always a good choice as well.
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Old May 9th, 2012, 05:51 AM
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I'm no expert on Charlotte, but my husband and I love this place so much we ate their twice Great soul food.

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Old May 9th, 2012, 08:36 AM
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After doing the art i Richmond come on down to our uptown art center--Mint Museum, Bechtler (outstanding!), Levine Museum of the New South, and then go to the main Mint Museum 10 minutes from uptown.
You really should have lunch at the United House of Prayer for all People across from Panther stadium --on Mint I bbelieve. It is a cafeteria in the basement of the church and is soul food at its best.
There are a couple of others also. The King's Kitchen on the corner of church and Trade may be the only place within many states that you will get honest pan fried chicken to order. GREAT southern food for a good cause--training homeless and underemployed people to cook, by one of the city's best restauranteurs--Jim NOble.
Lots and lots of other good food in town, of course.
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Old May 9th, 2012, 04:00 PM
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We just came back from our first trip to Richmond and Charlotte. As Ackislander has said, the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts is excellent; it's the largest art museum in the South. Also, we went on a 2 hour guided walking tour of Hollywood Cemetery put on by the Valentine Richmond History Center....another excellent find. One of the restaurants we enjoyed there was the Strawberry Street Cafe.
In Charlotte, if you enjoy auto racing even a tiny bit, the behind-the-scenes 2 hr. tour of the Charlotte Motor Speedway is lots of fun; www.lowesmotorspeedway.com.
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Old May 9th, 2012, 04:18 PM
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agree with all of the Richmond suggestions. Buzz and Neds for Barbecue is good, too, and not far from the museum of fine arts. Their restaurant, Amuse, is great, too.
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