Visiting Richmond Area

American87

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So I'm planning a 4 day trip to the Richmond area and appreciate advice from those who know the terrain. What are the best sites to see? How much can one fit in?

Here's my itinerary so far:

Day 1
-Arrive at noon
-Gaine's Mill
-Cold Harbor
-Malvern Hill
-Check into hotel; check out the town-Monument Ave, Hollywood Cemetery, State Capitol (I may do some of these on different evenings)

Day 2
-Petersburg
-Grant's HQ
-Eastern Unit (Crater, Fort Stedman, that whole area)
-Lunch in Petersburg
-Western Unit
-Five Forks
-Back to Richmond for dinner and seeing the town

Day 3
-Tredegar Iron Works Museum
-Confederate White House
-Maybe Shirley Plantation

Day 4
-Yorktown
-Jamestown
-Williamsburg

How feasible is all this? What sites should be added?
 

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luinrina

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Sounds like an exciting trip! I've been to Richmond and area just recently. You can find my reports here: https://civilwartalk.com/threads/touring-virginia-on-the-trails-of-anv-and-aotp.159236/page-3#post-2080069 and subsequent posts. I spent 3 days in the area.

Depending on how you much you actually want to see from each battlefield, you might need to stretch things out, especially if you want to not only do the driving tours but hike the battlefields.

If I may advise you to put all things within Richmond into one day, another whole day for Petersburg area, and another day for Cold Harbor, Gaines Mill and Malvern Hill. It will save you driving time.

But however you plan it, have fun and enjoy! :smile:
 

gentlemanrob

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Don't get lost in Hollywood Cemetery the Generals are pretty welll spread out. don't forget to see the pyramid or the graves of the soldiers. My ggg uncle is buried in an unmarked grave at Hollywood. I enjoy the cemetery. I have photographed the Generals, Colonels, Naval Officers and Surgeon graves. Took me about 5 trips to the cemetery.
 

Jamieva

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Location
Midlothian, VA
So I'm planning a 4 day trip to the Richmond area and appreciate advice from those who know the terrain. What are the best sites to see? How much can one fit in?

Here's my itinerary so far:

Day 1
-Arrive at noon
-Gaine's Mill
-Cold Harbor
-Malvern Hill
-Check into hotel; check out the town-Monument Ave, Hollywood Cemetery, State Capitol (I may do some of these on different evenings)

Day 2
-Petersburg
-Grant's HQ
-Eastern Unit (Crater, Fort Stedman, that whole area)
-Lunch in Petersburg
-Western Unit
-Five Forks
-Back to Richmond for dinner and seeing the town

Day 3
-Tredegar Iron Works Museum
-Confederate White House
-Maybe Shirley Plantation

Day 4
-Yorktown
-Jamestown
-Williamsburg

How feasible is all this? What sites should be added?

40+ year Richmond native here so let me see where I can help.

Day 1. Those 3 battlefields in an afternoon is aggressive, but possible if you move at a somewhat steady, quick pace. I would go to Malvern last. You're visiting in July, and it's been super hot here lately. Malvern has very little shade. Most of the walking trail is full sun with no trees within 100+ yards of the trail. There is a brief woods portion then back out in full sun. Cold Harbor has a lot of trees, and there are 3 trails to pick from, the long one takes a while to get around. It is mostly shade but its also a lot in the woods, up and down etc. Gaines Mill is about half open and half in Boatswains Creek. I would try to make a quick trip to the Glendale national cemetary, or to Fort Harrison. They're all in the same area.

Day 2. I would try to fit in Pamplin Park if you can as part of the western tour. It is the site of the breakthrough and their museum is outstanding. Drewry's Bluff is right off I 95 between Richmond and Petersburg so if you have extra time coming back to Richmond, consider a stop there, it doesn't take more than 30 minutes to see it. If you like BBQ...go to King's BBQ in Petersburg.

Day 3. I would do Tredegar, White House, Hollywood, state capitol and Monument ave on this day since they are all in Richmond in a tight radius. These sites are all less than 5 miles from each other. When you visit Tredegar, walk out the front entrance and go across the road. There is a pedestrian bridge that crosses the James, and it has historical markers on it about the evacuation, and you get a great view of the downtown skyline and the river.

Day 4. Need more specifics here. If you're going to visit a plantation, they are between Richmond and the 3 sites you listed. Shirley is a good one due to the Carter family ties. Berkeley is Harrison's Landing and where Taps was written...and arguably the 1st thanksgiving. Sherwood Forest is John Tyler's home. Shirley is the nicest house, but for pure historical value I would go Berkeley.
Jamestown has 2 sites...there is the actual location and next to it is a recreation site. The recreation site is great if you have kids. It has a recreaction of an indian village, the colony, and the 3 ships that they traveled on that you can walk on. you're not going to have time for both Jamestown sites and see Yorktown and Williamsburg.

Any further questions fire away.
 

Jamieva

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Midlothian, VA
Don't get lost in Hollywood Cemetery the Generals are pretty welll spread out. don't forget to see the pyramid or the graves of the soldiers. My ggg uncle is buried in an unmarked grave at Hollywood. I enjoy the cemetery. I have photographed the Generals, Colonels, Naval Officers and Surgeon graves. Took me about 5 trips to the cemetery.

Helps to have a map..this one has almost every famous CW figure you would seek

https://www.hollywoodcemetery.org/pdf/HollywoodCemetery-NotableGraveSitesJune2011-21.pdf
 

Bruce Vail

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Yorktown-Jamestown-Williamsburg all in one day is awfully ambitous. I'd scale it back to Williamsburg-Jamestown, and take your time to enjoy the sights fully.
 

Jamieva

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Midlothian, VA
Yorktown-Jamestown-Williamsburg all in one day is awfully ambitous. I'd scale it back to Williamsburg-Jamestown, and take your time to enjoy the sights fully.
I will say flat out it can't be done unless you are running through each site and whats the point of that.
 

Bruce Vail

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As noted elsewhere, the entire area is exceedingly hot and muggy in July (and Aug., for that matter). Be sure to dress accordingly, stay properly hydrated, and allow time for rest/cooling off.
 

American87

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Aug 27, 2016
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Thanks for all your pearls of wisdom. I threw Jamestown-Williamsburg-Yorktown in there because I wanted to see what you all thought. My new intinerary is:

Day 1
-Arrive at noon
-Jamestown (3-3.5 hours)
-Yorktown (buy my ticket before visitor center closes, then explore it until dusk)
-Drive to Richmond and check-in; maybe drive or walk around town at night to get a sense of things

Day 2
-Gaine's Mill
-Cold Harbor
-Malvern Hill
-Sites in Richmond (Hollywood Cemetery, State Capitol, Monument Ave)

Day 3
-Petersburg
-Grant's HQ
-Eastern Unit
-Lunch (perhaps King's BBQ)
-Western Unit
-Pamplin Park
-Five Forks
-Back to Richmond for dinner/checking out local sites

Day 4
-Tredegar Iron Works
-White House of the Confederacy
-Berkeley Plantation
-Shirley Plantation (maybe)

This might be a bit ambitious in some regards, but I think I can make it work. I don't have to spend much time at Hollywood Cemetery, so I'll try to fit that and the other major attractions in during my evenings or whenever I get back from the battlefields/museums.
 


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