In Shockoe Bottom, you’ll stumble upon history everywhere, and we mean that literally because of all the cobblestones. This low-lying, canal-side neighborhood is one of the city’s oldest. It’s where trade took place—specifically the slave trade—and where the city was set ablaze by Confederate forces at the end of the Civil War. These days, it’s a site of happier times. Many of its old brownstones are now restaurants, production studios, creative agencies and other small businesses. As far as where to live, we recommend checking out the very cool converted warehouse lofts along Tobacco Row.
WHAT TO EXPECT
Lots of outdoor adventuring, starting with the trailhead to the Virginia Capital Trail—a 52-mile hiking and biking trail connecting RVA and Williamsburg. It’s the perfect way to work off a gut-busting brunch at the legendary Millie’s Diner. Order the Devil’s Mess and be instantly transformed into a real Richmonder.
Un-ironic Segwayers. RVA on Wheels’ headquarters is in the heart of Shockoe Bottom. It’s where you can rent a set of wheels, get a quick tutorial in a back alley and then zip along the Canal Walk learning a bunch of history from a tour guide whose skills are so dope they can talk about George Washington while doing backward wheelies around the State Capitol.
CHECK IT OUT
See Shockoe Bottom through the eyes of different Richmonders as they show off their favorite spots.