Wednesday, December 31, 2008
GETTING THERE: From the Beltway, travel south on Interstate 95 to Richmond; take Exit 74B (Franklin Street) and travel south two blocks to Main Street; turn left and go four blocks; the Edgar Allan Poe Museum is on the left.
WHERE TO STAY: For the most Poe-esque lodgings, book a room at the Linden Row Inn (100 E. Franklin St., 804-783-7000, http://www.lindenrowinn.com). The mid-19th-century Greek Revival townhouses have 70 rooms, $109-$219, including continental breakfast. Gardens occupied the site when Poe was a boy, and he reputedly played there. Richmond's finest accommodations are at the Jefferson Hotel (101 W. Franklin St., 804-788-8000, http://www.jeffersonhotel.com), an 1895 Beaux-Arts landmark with 262 units at $235-$535.
WHERE TO EAT: Several good restaurants are close to the Poe Museum in the Shockoe Bottom area. Zuppa (101 N. 18th St., 804-249-8831, http://www.zuppa.org) offers dinner entrees for $12-$20. Lulu's (21 N. 17th St., 804-343-9771, http://www.lu-lusrichmond.com) presents modern Southern dinners, including meat loaf, chicken pot pie and jambalaya for $17-$22. The popular River City Diner (7 N. 17th St., 804-644-9418, http://www.rivercitydiner.com) serves breakfast all day. Poe's Pub (2706 E. Main St., 804-648-2120, http://www.poespub.com) has a full menu, but most people come for the libations and tunes.
WHAT TO DO: The Edgar Allan Poe Museum (1914 E. Main St., 804-648-5523, http://www.poemuseum.org, http://www.poe200th.com) offers guided and self-guided tours Tuesday-Saturday 10 a.m.-5 p.m., Sunday 11 a.m.-5 p.m. ($6, students and seniors $5). The 200th birthday party begins just after midnight Jan. 19 and features candlelight tours and a Poe relative signing copies of a book on his famous kinsman. St. John's Church (2401 E. Broad St., 804-648-5015, http://www.historicstjohnschurch.org), where Patrick Henry gave his "Liberty or Death" speech, holds the grave of Poe's mother, Elizabeth Arnold Poe; tours Monday-Saturday 10 a.m.-4 p.m., Sunday 1-3:30 p.m. ($6, seniors $5, students $4, younger than 7 free). Poe is buried in Baltimore.