What is Richmond VA like

The capital of Virginia, Richmond, is right on the James River. It was already an important base for defense against colonial power during the War of Independence and was later also of strategic importance for the southern states during the American Civil War. Not only in Richmond but in Virginia itself there are many places where large and small battles have taken place. Richmond was elected the capital of the southern states during the Civil War. The city was the seat of Tredegar, an important arms manufacturer who provided arms for the southern states during the civil war.  

Large parts of the city were destroyed, especially after the civil war. Today the beautiful city is a fascinating place with a mixture of historic buildings and neighborhoods and a modern inner city, Downtown Richmond. There are lots of free things to do with kids in Richmond VA and free museums to visit for adults.  

First-time travelers to the USA 

If you are visiting the USA for the first time you might not need to submit a visa application (under certain conditions). All you need is ESTA: a document that gives you the right to reside in the United States.  

Once you have completed your esta visa online and received a positive response, you do not need to present any document other than your passport when traveling to the United States. 

In fact, the ESTA authorization is a sort of dematerialized visa which is basically a travel authorization electronically associated with the passport. As a result, when the ground staff at the airport or customs officers in the United States scan the passport, they see the residence permit appearing on their screen with the dates of issue and validity. Of course, this simplifies the administrative aspects of the trip as you don’t have to worry about carrying other important documents with you. 

 On the part of the traveller, the ESTA authorization is completely invisible. In fact, contrary to what happened previously with the visas that were affixed to one of the pages of the passport, the ESTA does not appear anywhere in a visible way and only the equipment of the agents authorized to read the passports can access it. 

However, even if you won’t present the document during your trip, it is always advisable to have it on you (printed form). This allows you to take precautions in case of problems and to know at any time what is the validity period of your ESTA and its expiry date. This document also contains the number of the file which can be useful if you want to change the information, for which this possibility is provided, of your ESTA or consult its status online. There are two possibilities to keep this written record. First, you can simply print the email received in response to your online question from your inbox. On some ESTA application sites, such as the one we recommend, it is also possible to request to receive your ESTA authorization as well as by e-mail also by post. This option is available upon payment of shipping costs and can be useful if you are unable to print the response email. 

 Attractions in Richmond 

 Downtown is between Interstates I-95 and I-195 with the Richmond River to the south. There are several islands on the river: Brown’s Island with the wonderful Canal Walk, Mayo Island, which is connected to Downtown via the Mayo Bridge, and Belle Isle, from which the Robert E. Lee Bridge leads to downtown Richmond. Manchester, on the opposite side of the river, is also connected to downtown Richmond via the Manchester Bridge and I-95. 

 Downtown, between 9th and 12th Street and E Broad St and Bank Street, you’ll find the Virginia Capitol, the Executive Mansion, the Bell Tower, and the Old City Hall. If you walk further north in the area towards Leigh Street, you will pass many historical buildings, such as the John Marshall House and the Valentine Richmond History Center, which is located in Wickham House and which takes you into the history of the city. In many houses, you can still see the great importance of tobacco for the economy of the city, which has not changed until today. 

East of the Virginia Capitol is Saint Peter’s Catholic Cathedral and St. Paul’s Episcopal Church. Continuing east along Franklin Street is the Cathedral of the Sacred Heart. If you walk east on Franklin Street, you will come to the Robert E. Lee Monument and the Jefferson Davis Monument. 

 In the southern part of Richmond, across from Brown’s Island, the Virginia War Memorial towers over the city, from which one also has an excellent view of Richmond and the river. By the river, you can visit the Tredegar factory, which now houses the American Civil War Museum. The Canal Walk leads along Brown’s Island along the shore. Another museum worth visiting in Richmond is the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, located south of Monument Avenue. There are lots of free museums in Richmond VA. 

Note: Remember to do a quick esta check status before your date of departure. 

From downtown to the west and west of I-95 and Main Street Station is the fascinating district of Church Hill. A historic quarter with beautiful, typically American-looking houses, where people greet each other, regardless of city life, and where the world still seems to be in order. Church Hill also has many great restaurants and several parks such as Chimborazo Park and Libby Hill Park. In the latter, today’s city of Richmond is said to have received its name when William Byrd II looked out over the river from here and was reminded of Richmond, south of London, as the course of the river at this point corresponds to that of the Thames in England. The Edgar Allan Poe Museum is also located on Main Street in Church Hill. Even if the writer himself never lived in this house, the various buildings were furnished as authentically as possible according to the style of his time and offer a good insight into the work and life of the author. The Old Stone House, which is part of the museum and is right on Main Street, is also Richmond’s oldest building. 

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