The University of Richmond’s is a private liberal arts college with a campus considered one of the prettiest in the nation, with woody trails, a lake and beautiful Gothic buildings, home to just over 3,000 students. Richmond’s mascot is the spider, the only school in the nation whose sports teams bear that nickname and a striking symbol you’ll see throughout your visit. Six miles from downtown, the school offers students a free shuttle service to different parts of the city. The city of Richmond has experienced a renaissance in the last few years, thanks in part to a bustling food scene, new hotel openings, and numerous art galleries. Though student's day to day life revolves around campus, the city itself is a big draw, with many taking advantage of its many festivals, events, and outdoor activities.
Transportation: Richmond International Airport (RIC) is located seven miles northeast of the city of Richmond and approximately 12 miles from campus. Taxi’s and rental cars are available at the airport. Amtrak also serves the University of Richmond via its Staples Mill Road station (RVR), which is located approximately five miles northeast of campus. Taxi and rental car services to campus are also available. Greyhound serves the Richmond area through its North Boulevard station located approximately six miles northeast of campus. Taxi service to campus is available at the station.
Stay: Less than a ten-minute drive the Westin Hotel. is the most convenient option to campus, located in midtown Richmond and a popular choice for visiting families. We opted to stay downtown, closer to many of the cities best restaurants, and attractions, approximately a 15-20 minute drive to URichmond. After touring the campus, we checked into the new Graduate Hotel, a collegiate themed mini-chain with well-priced rooms and back to school touches sprinkled throughout the hotel. There’s a seasonal rooftop pool and a soon to open game room that is a fun amenity especially if you have younger siblings in tow. We enjoyed the communal lounge areas and stool top coffee bar in the lobby, and the friendly staff. Down the block, we peeked into the boutique Quirk Hotel, a converted 1916 department store with a soaring lobby home to the restaurant Maple and Pine (super convenient for breakfast), art gallery, and seasonal rooftop bar. We would definitely consider a stay here on a next visit. For those who want a full-service property look into The Jefferson, a Forbes 5-star property, and Richmond’s grandest hotel. While it felt a little formal for our likes, it is well worth a peek into the opulent, grand lobby—a wow for sure. The Jefferson’s bar Lemaire makes for a nice pre-dinner drink or nightcap.
Breakfast: You might want to plan your campus tour for the late morning so you can go to Perly’s (Yiddish for delicious), with its modern spin on a traditional Jewish deli. Order the Larry Davis, a homemade celery soda to whet your appetite for either the Cinamon Babka French Toast or the Benny Goodman, potato latkes with poached eggs and hollandaise sauce. Or head to campus early, The Heilman Center mentioned below opens at 7 am.
Lunch: On campus, the Heilman Dining Center is one of the best dining halls we have encountered on our tours. There are multiple stations, including a pasta station, salad bar and Mongolian Grill with plenty of options for even the pickiest eaters. Situated lakeside and always filled with students and professors this is a great spot not only to eat but to observe student life at Richmond. Another great option and afternoon activity is to head to nearby Carytown, just a quick 5 minutes or so from campus. Nicknamed “The Mile of Style” thanks to its colorful facades, eclectic boutiques, and thrift stores plus the atmospheric Byrd Theatre. (who doesn’t love an old vintage theater) We suggest Can Can Brasserie, Carytown Burger & Fries, Mellow Mushroom or The Daily. Refuel at Sugar and Twine when you run out of steam, with locally brewed Trager Brother coffee and one of their sweet hand pies or cookies. Can’t imagine a visit to the south without some southern soul food then add downtown’s to Mama J’s to your hit list, this is where locals and chefs head to satisfy their cravings for fried chicken and candied yams.
Casual: Just three minutes from campus, head to Toast, offering great comfort food. Also close by is The Continental serving an array of sandwiches and salads. In Scott’s Addition, Tazza serves up good salads, tacos and pizzas. For delicious Mediterranean fare, nothing beats Stella’s. Order the Jambalaya at Strawberry Street Cafe locating in the Historic Fan District. If you venture Downtown, you can start your night at Rappahannock Oyster Company, a buzzy downtown spot with a wood-burning grill on Grace Street a nice walk or quick Uber ride from our hotel options. Sample some oysters at the bar or stay for a full meal with choices not just limited to seafood on the farm to table menu. Just down the street, we grazed on addictive corn-sticks with honey ramp butter and a few small plates at southern bent Pasture before moving on to an outstanding chicken and dumplings.
A Step Up: The Roosevelt is a neighborhood favorite from James Beard finalist, Chef Lee Gregory and on every foodie list of don’t miss Richmond eats thanks to a winning combination of southern food and stellar craft cocktails. The fact that’s its housed in a charming century old house in Church Hill is a bonus. Nearby, Dutch and Company is another good choice if you can’t secure a reservation at the Roosevelt. Tiny Saison might read casual, but this corner laid back tiny spot (just ten tables) serves reimagined southern food with a chef’s expert touch. If you can’t get a reservation stop by for a cocktail at the bar, order The Matador, trust us, this is our favorite cocktail of the year, a sweet, sour, smoky combination of Mezcal, Cocchi Torino, Cherry Heering, Lime, Passionfruit, and Hellfire Bitters. (We practically begged for the recipe, if you’re interested we can share, just shoot us an email.)
Local Attractions: Virginia’s capital, Richmond is a historic city with a rich past, playing a starring role throughout our country’s history. It was here that Patrick Henry famously declared, "Give me liberty or give me death" on the steps of the St. John’s Church. Some of the most visited sites include The American Civil War Museum, Edgar Allen Poe Museum, and the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts showcasing a vast collection spanning 5,000 years of world history. Spend an afternoon at the James River Park where you can enjoy guided kayaking tours or enjoy the Canal Walk. In town on a Saturday? The local farmer’s market is a fun place to stock up on some local homemade and homegrown Virginia based products.
Before You Go: It’s worth the drive from downtown to Church Hill for a morning coffee and the most delicious bread and savory pies at the Turkish inspired bakery Sub Rosa. Immediately upon walking in, we were smitten by the cozy light-filled room and the smells from the wood-fired kitchen oven. Must-orders include their signature seeded braids, similar to a croissant and the savory spinach, feta and sumac tart. If we were heading home instead of to our next college visit, we'd have stuffed our bags with surprises for our families back home to enjoy.
Views from a College Counselor: Stuart Nachbar of Educated Quest remarks on his recent visit to Richmond: “Walk around this campus for an hour and you’re likely to meet anyone from practically anywhere. While Virginia is the largest sending state, the Southeast is only the second-largest sending region. Approximately one-third of UR students are men and women of color. One-ninth are first-generation college students.” To see his full profile of Richmond click here. Be sure to click on the extended profile link at the bottom of his page to see Stuart’s comprehensive guide that includes facts on SAT and ACT mid ranges, comparable colleges, curriculum, the alumni network, safety on campus and costs—just to name a few.
SHOW & TELL
—Daytripper Touring in Richmond—
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RICHMOND FAST FACTS
Blue & Red
Early Decision 1 and 2
Average - 1400
Average - 30
Small - 3,000 Undergraduates
28 Westhampton Way
Richmond, VA 23173
(p) (804) 289-8640
(f) (804) 287-6003
NCAA Division I
UNIVERSITY OF RICHMOND
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