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Richmond, VA

Heading up interstate 95 for New England this summer? Antiquing on the way? Then a stop in the capital of the Commonwealth is required!
Richmond, Virginia, originally established by Francis West in 1609, was laid out by William Byrd II in 1737. The capital of the Confederacy in 1861 is now, a hip, friendly, modern city that welcomes visitors from around the world. It’s easy to get around, and accommodations can be inexpensive.
First stop, the State Capitol (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Virginia_State_Capitol) which houses the oldest legislative body in the United States, the Virginia General Assembly, completed in 1788. Recently renovated, tours are free and docents are avid to take you around and proudly point out the fossils in the rotunda, presidential gallery and Houdon’s statue of George Washington. Park free, where the legislators park, around the massive George Washington monument at the 9th street entrance.
Go down the hill from Capitol Square to East Cary St and walk the original cobble stone streets of Shockoe Slip (http://www.shockoeslip.org/) and visit Antique Boutique at 1310 East Cary Street, everything from ornate Victorian to retro junk. While you are there, grab a fun lunch from one of the many street vendors, or, enjoy the ambiance and diversion of the Tobacco Company. If you are spending the night, check the rates at the Berkeley or Omni hotels.
Now, head west down main street (stop at Kim Antique [804.732.8001] for glassware and decorative antiques) and cut over to Carytown (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carytown,_Richmond,_Virginia) at the southern end of the Museum District (http://www.museumdistrict.org/home.asp). Park for free on the street or in one of the two municipal lots and stroll from the Boulevard to the 3400 block. There are over 200 shops and restaurants. Must visits include Sheppard Street Antiques for garden décor, Bygones and Luxor for vintage clothing, (http://www.carytownrva.com/) and one of the nation's finest cinema treasures, the Byrd Theater (http://byrdtheatre.com/).
Like Faberge eggs, Tiffany glass and Andy Warhol? Head four blocks north to the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts (http://www.vmfa.state.va.us/). State owned and run, this fabulous museum houses one of the world’s finest treasure troves of antiquities (a full sized Caligula!), old master paintings, early American silver and modern art; free parking and free admission. B&Bs nearby are Museum District B&B, Maury Place at Monument and West-Bocock House.
Further west at 2004 Staples Mill Rd, you will find the West End Antique Mall (http://westendantiquemall.com/). This is an “antiquers” paradise, 53,000 square feet of jewelry, silver, furniture, art, glassware, books and coins. If your day is ending up here, eat dinner at the Crazy Greek and stay at the Holiday Inn right in front of the mall.
It’s time to head north again and on your way out of town, you would be wise to stop at Bellevue Antiques, 4034 MacArthur Ave. Marvel at the turn of the century mansion on way through the Bellevue neighborhood. Check out their selection of toys and advertising, primitives and tobacco ware. From Bellevue it’s a short hop to the antique lighting fixture Mecca of the south, Paul’s Place (http://www.antiques.com/dealers/34076/Paul-s-Place-Antiques) at 1009 Overbrook Rd. Bask in the glow of over 350 chandeliers, lamps, sconces, exterior lights and antique Victorian oil lamps. Stroll through yards and yards of old Richmond, antique iron fencing and, if you are trying to replace missing hardware from your old house, don’t forget to bring a sample so that the friendly staff at Paul’s can fix you up from their extensive antique hardware department.
Last stop on your way north is the Antique Village (http://www.antiquevillageva.com/antiques_links.htm) at 10203 Chamberlayne Rd in Mechanicsville. 50 dealers, great prices and a Civil War room will keep make you lose track of time, but 95N is calling you to the land of Maple syrup, cool weather and fresh clams. Be sure to stop back by on your way to Florida this fall.

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Cary Street Antique Gallery


Paul's Place

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Museum District B&B

2811 Grove Ave
Richmond - Virginia - 23221

Maury Place at Monument

3101 West Franklin Street
Richmond - Virginia - 23221


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