Richmond, Virginia, is inextricably linked with the Civil War: It was once the capital of the Confederacy, and the area saw some particularly bloody battles. Richmond was also the meeting place for many patriots and a turning point in the Revolutionary War. Today Richmond houses a number of intriguing monuments and relics from its storied past: colonial-era buildings, Civil War monuments and southern plantations.

But as the capital of Virginia, Richmond is also a thoroughly modern city, comprising big business, excellent restaurants and a lively arts scene. Home at various times to writer Edgar Allan Poe, dancer Bill "Bojangles" Robinson and tennis star Arthur Ashe, Richmond remains racially and culturally diverse. You can wake up in a colonial hotel, lunch on Japanese food, stroll among Civil War-era homes, shop at upscale boutiques and follow your French dinner with a visit to the theater. Above all, Richmond attracts visitors because of the warm hospitality offered by Virginians.

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