As a creative professional I try to surround myself with an environment that keeps me feeling energized. For me, living in a city that feels alive and that has a pulse as well as a community that’s active and diverse is what’s truly inspiring. Richmond, VA is a city that checks all the boxes when it comes to choosing a place to live, work, and play.
An Affordable City for Young Professionals
Job opportunities and cost are probably the first two factors people consider when deciding on a place to live. I first moved to Richmond in 2014 and instantly fell in love with the walkability and affordability of living down town. For the first few years I lived in an apartment in the Shockoe Bottom neighborhood, I was able to manage rent while still being able to go out for food and drinks with friends.
While the housing market is getting a little out of control in most places, it is still somewhat manageable in Richmond. Because of this I was able to buy a house a few years ago in the Church Hill neighborhood. Church Hill is on the East side of the city and is experiencing serious growth and development. Numerous shops, restaurants, and bars have opened in the area recently. I’ve always enjoyed plants and gardening so being able to afford a home near the city that has a yard I can garden in is a dream come true!
Things to do and Places to See
Each neighborhood of Richmond has a distinct vibe and they all offer fun and unique attractions. I’ve been living in the city for close to a decade and I still feel like I’ve only scratched the surface on what Richmond has to offer. In every neighborhood, everywhere you look there are amazing murals that remind you Richmond is a city that’s alive and vibrant.
As far as night life and food & drink goes, the only thing you’ll struggle with is having to choose from such a vast array of options. Breweries, burgers, wine bars, small plates, barcades, dance clubs; they are all in abundance and most within walking distance. One of my favorite ways to spend a day off is to get together with friends and wander the different neighborhoods going into different bars and stores getting drinks, food, and playing games.
There is more than just an amazing food and drink scene in Richmond though. It’s home to tons of great outdoor recreation as well! There are beautiful hiking trails in and around the city such as the Buttermilk Trail, The Capital Trail, and even Hollywood Cemetery. One of my favorite Richmond outdoor activities is to go and hang out by the James River. There is no shortage of riverside locations either; Belle Isle, Texas Beach, Pump House, and Pony Pasture just to name a few.
If you want to branch out and take a day trip there is no city better located. I’ll frequently travel to the Shenandoah Valley area, Northern Virginia, and even the Virginia Beach; all of which can be a day trip or a weekend away. Traveling further is also extremely convenient, flying out of Richmond International Airport is quick and easy for both domestic and international flights.
The Work Scene
Richmond is home to so many different industries and businesses, ranging from small local shops to global conglomerates. I can only speak as someone who works in digital marketing and content creation, but there is no shortage of job opportunities at all levels. Richmond is somehow able to strike the balance between having the opportunities of a larger scale city but while also having the networking capabilities of a smaller town.
I started my career in Richmond as a photojournalist at a local TV news station, from there I moved into digital media management and creation in the healthcare industry because the hiring manager knew my manager at the time. From there I moved into the non-profit world and currently I work as a content strategist in the construction and mechanical industry. A lot of these career moves were possible because of the familiarity of the work culture that a city the size of Richmond enables.
A Great City to Play & Work
I could go on forever about how much I love living in Richmond. It has a little bit of everything and it feels like every time I turn around there is something new to check out. The city and the neighborhoods each have a strong and distinct character, it’s an affordable place to live in regards to housing, and there is no shortage of things to do no matter what kind of hobbies you have (or may want to pick up!)
Richmond, Virginia is a great place if you’re looking for a city to call home while you start your career or if you’re just looking to get a fresh start.