When to Go to Richmond, Fredericksburg, and the Northern Neck

Richmond's mild climate welcomes visitors year-round. Since Virginia Commonwealth University is spread throughout the downtown area, traffic is more congested from September through May when school is in session.

Spring is spectacular, especially during Virginia's Annual Garden Week in April (www.vagardenweek.org In July the Hanover Tomato Festival (www.hanovertomatofestival.com), and in August, the Carytown Watermelon Festival (www.carytownrva.org/watermelon.php) celebrates the summer season. In May and September the Richmond International Raceway hosts NASCAR. In September the Virginia State Fair (804/994-2800www.statefair.com) is a classic conglomeration of carnival rides, livestock shows, displays of farm equipment, and lots of food for sale.The Richmond Folk Festival (www.richmondfolkfestival.org) takes place in October downtown, and Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden is ablaze with 450,000 lights during December's Garden Festival of Lights (www.lewisginter.org

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