With its thriving cultural community, mild climate and Southern charm, Richmond, Virginia is a great relocation spot. This capital city is in the midst of a renaissance that positions it among some of the most progressive cities in the South. Situated in the center of the state on the banks of the James River, the city has nearly 215,000 residents. Over 1.3 million people reside in the metro and surrounding areas.
Richmond’s population is diverse, with Southern belles rubbing elbows with tattooed chefs and young entrepreneurs. With more than 30,000 students and over 2,000 faculty members, Virginia Commonwealth University brings an unmistakable energy to the heart of the city, while the University of Richmond and Virginia Union University keep things fresh on the outskirts.
The James River is a major part of Richmond’s landscape. In fact, the city claims to be the only urban setting with Class III and IV rapids. Richmond is divided into several distinct neighborhoods, including the bustling, business-forward downtown; historic and charming Church Hill; pedestrian-friendly shopping mecca Carytown; the picturesque and pricey Fan District; and the budget-friendly Jackson Ward, once known as the “Harlem of the South.” While public transportation is available via the Greater Richmond Transportation Company, most residents find that they need a car to get around the sprawling metro area. After hosting the UCI Road World Championships in September 2015, the city continues to make great strides toward becoming more bike-friendly.
Whether you’re interested in history, art, nature or craft beer, Richmond offers many attractions and events. The always-free Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, the Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden, the vast James River Park System and the historic Hollywood Cemetery keep residents entertained. For off-the-beaten-path fun, explore the First Friday art walks downtown, Hardywood Brewery, and the numerous nouveau Southern restaurants and cocktail bars. The city’s biggest annual events include the Richmond Folk Festival and the Richmond Marathon.