Richmond Ranks High: 12 Times RVA was Nationally Recognized
RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - Here at NBC12, we love to celebrate all of the wonderful things that make Richmond such a great place to live. Turns out, we’re not the only ones who think so.
Over the years, Richmond has consistently been recognized for excellence in a number of different categories on a national scale.
From our rich culture and history to our vibrant art scene and restaurant industry, RVA has so many top-notch experiences to appreciate.
Here are 12 times that RVA was recognized among the nation’s best.
1. Yelp’s Top Ten US Destinations for Food Lovers
“Virginia is for lovers ... food lovers that is,” said Yelp in its 2019 review of the most notable places for foodies to visit in the US. RVA deservedly earned the number seven spot. Richmond has an extremely diverse and abundant selection of mouth-watering restaurants.
From high-end eateries with views of the James River, to hidden gems tucked in the city, there is something in Richmond that is sure to satisfy any craving.
RVA staples such as Sedona Taphouse, Billy Jack’s Shack, and Jack Brown’s Beer and Burger Joint among the restaurants highlighted in the article.
2. 20 Most Historic Cities in the United States
This year, the educational content platform “Owlcation” compiled a list of the 20 most historic cities in the United States. Richmond ranked number 13. As the “Old Dominion” and the “Mother of Presidents,” the Commonwealth is rich in history.
Williamsburg was also featured, landing the number nine spot.
Some of the best historical sights in Richmond include the Virginia Capitol Building, which sits in the heart of the city and was designed by Thomas Jefferson.
Richmond’s St. Johns Episcopal Church, built in 1741, was where Patrick Henry uttered his famous “give me liberty, or give me death!” speech.
The American Civil War Museum, Virginia Holocaust Museum, and Virginia War Memorial are all located in Richmond. Together these places offer guests an in-depth understanding of some of the darker parts of our history.
Moreover, the Edgar Allan Poe Museum features illustrations of the famous poem “The Raven” and other artifacts surrounding the life of this great American author. Poe is known as the father of the psychological horror story. This museum is housed in a series of buildings, including Richmond’s oldest.
The Byrd and Altria theaters are also great historic places to enjoy some amazing entertainment in RVA.
3. Top States for Business
CNBC’s annual study puts all 50 states to the test, measuring them on more than 85 different metrics in 10 key categories of competitiveness. In 2021, Virginia ranked number one out of the whole country. This year, we’re ranked third.
“America’s Top State for Business offers a wealth of talent and inclusion,” said CNBC.
These are the 10 categories CNBC uses to generate states’ business score:
- Cost of doing business
- Life, health, and inclusion
- Business Friendliness
- Access to capital
- Technology and innovation
- Cost of living
Virginia has consistently ranked high in this field.
4. USA Today’s Ten Best Botanical Garden Holiday Lights
Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden in Richmond lights up with thousands and thousands of LED bulbs during the Dominion Energy GardenFest of Lights, a holiday tradition kicking off Thanksgiving Weekend.
Lewis Ginter is a Richmond favorite year-round, but the holiday light display is truly something special. USA Today ranked it number four in the nation in 2020.
5. Top 100 Places to Live in America
Richmond was featured as number 27 on Livability’s annual list last year. The platform pointed out the city’s top Colleges and Universities including VCU and the University of Richmond.
Richmond’s abundance of art galleries, murals, eateries, bars, and access to nature and the James River all contributed to the city’s ranking. Livable also looked at Richmond’s relatively low cost of living, “charming neighborhoods”, and thriving industries (citing Capital One and VCU Health).
6. 15 Unmissable Black History Museums Across America
Fodor’s Travel Guide featured the Black History Museum and Cultural Center of Virginia as one of the nation’s best.
“This modern museum in the former Confederate capital puts equal focus on multigenerational education with interactive digital displays, including several designed specifically for children” they said.
Local artists and traveling exhibits can be seen here including an original “Woolworth’s” sign, representing the historic sit-ins in Virginia and across the South.
This year marks the museum’s 40th Anniversary.
7. The 25 Most Influential Works of American Protest Art Since WWII
The New York Times ranked Richmond’s heavily-graffitied Robert E. Lee Statue number one out of the 25 pieces included. The massive 61-foot statue had towered over Richmond since 1890. During the summer of 2020, the monument depicting Lee riding a horse was one of the final two confederate memorials standing.
Among the widespread Black Lives Matter protests, hundreds of activists and everyday people took to the streets of Richmond, covering the base of the statue with paint, signs, and candles. All in solidarity with those who lost their lives to police violence. Images of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor were even projected onto the structure.
The statue has since been removed from Monument Avenue and now sits in the Black History Museum.
8. Best Racing Cities in the US
If you’re a runner, RVA is the place to be. Richmond earned the number four spot among the 10 best metropolitan areas for racing.
This ranking was voted on by actual runners across the nation in 2020.
The Richmond Marathon and Half Marathon as well as Ukrop’s Monument Avenue 10K are among the most notable races in the city.
9. The Ten Best Cities for Art Lovers in the US
The art news platform Artnet listed Richmond among the ten best cities for art-lovers in the US. Richmond ranked number nine and was commended for its abundance of beautiful murals throughout the city. There are more than 100 of them scattered around town.
Virginia Commonwealth University’s newly renovated School of the Arts also drew attention and praise from Artnet, earning RVA this recognition.
The Virginia Museum of Fine Arts and the Rumors of War statue by Kehinde Wiley are also artistic hubs in the city.
10. Nine of the Most Surprising Cities in the US
The travel magazine, Afar, says that they “vetted hundreds of U.S. cities to surface those that have blazed artistic, epicurean, and entrepreneurial trails yet remain bafflingly underrated.” Richmond was on the list alongside cities such as Baltimore, Milwaukee, and Tulsa.
The article offered detailed praise of all the fun and unique things there are to do in RVA. Exploring the city on a Bike and Brunch Tour, grabbing a drink at the Quirk Hotel rooftop bar, or playing mini golf at Hotel Greene (a mini golf experience designed to resemble an early 20th-century Eastern Europe hotel), were all mentioned.
11. Most Tattooed Cities in the US
When it comes to tattoos, Richmond is inked up! The tattoo removal and fading company, Removery, curated a list of the most “tattoo-friendly” cities in America. Behind Miami Beach and Las Vegas sits our very own Richmond, VA in the number three spot in the country.
“Richmond, Virginia, is the most surprising on the list, with 14 tattoo shops per capita in Richmond” they wrote.
Removery guessed that this can be attributed to the bustling arts and college community in Richmond, as well as the high volume of shops in the surrounding suburbs such as Colonial Heights which they say has “five tattoo shops for just under 17,000 residents”.
This statistic is a testament to the culture of creativity fostered in RVA.
12. 35 Best Breweries on the East Coast
With the diverse selection of food and drink spots in RVA, it’s no shock that a Richmond brewery made this list.
Mashed is a media platform that reports on all things food! “Whether you’re looking for the latest foodie news, the dirt on your favorite celebrity chefs, or inspiration for tonight’s dinner, we’ve got you covered” they said.
This year they compiled their list of the best breweries on the east coast, and Richmond’s own The Veil Brewing Company was included.
The Veil has four different locations around the city; their original spot is in Scott’s Addition. There you can enjoy different food trucks every day.
Or check out their Forest Hill taproom. Its sleek black design and red neon light artwork creates a cool modern vibe. Here you can also enjoy delicious food from Y Tu Mamá's Mexican kitchen.
Also stop by their Funkhaüst Café, which differs from the other locations with its rustic design.
Richmond is a special place to be and it’s exciting to reflect on all of the accolades this city has received over the years. As RVA continues to grow and evolve, we look forward to seeing what other recognitions we can add to this list.
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