Monroe Ward serves as the bridge between the commercial district of downtown RVA and the residential Fan area. It’s only seven blocks long, but it packs a lot in. On Broad Street you’ll find all the galleries that have transformed this neighborhood into the heart of RVA’s arts scene. Head over to Franklin Street to see the absurdly opulent Jefferson Hotel, where alligators once lived in the marble fountains for reasons nobody knows. If trying to piece together how a gang of reptiles made their way to a luxury hotel in the big city makes you hungry, grab a reuben on hot rye from Perly’s or some artichoke moussaka from Stella’s and call it a day.
WHAT TO EXPECT
First Fridays—an evening art walk on the first Friday of every month. Dozens of art galleries and small businesses on Broad Street open their doors and invite you in, while street performers and musicians try to lure you back outside. You’ll definitely want to check out Quirk Gallery, located in a very pink, very cat-forward boutique hotel.
Drag queen story time at Little Nomad. This trendy kids clothing shop on Broad Street hosts lots of creative and fun events, like dance parties at the ice cream parlor across the street and a storytelling series where a local celebrity drag queen (who has to edit her stage name to be G-rated) drops some social justice knowledge bombs on kids of all ages.
CHECK IT OUT
See Monroe Ward through the eyes of different Richmonders as they show off their favorite spots.