Richmond is 106 miles south of Washington on Interstate 95. If you prefer to avoid traffic, take Amtrak; tickets start at $29 one way.
Hilton Garden Inn, 501 E. Broad St., 804-344-4300, http://www.hilton.com. In the former Miller & Rhoads department store. Rooms start at $135.
Tarrant's Cafe, 1 W. Broad St., 804-225-0035, http://www.tarrantscafe.org. The former pharmacy is now a casually classy bistro. Entrees $14 to $24.
Jefferson Hotel, 101 W. Franklin St. 800-424-8014, http://www.jeffersonhotel.com. The historic 1895 hotel boasts two restaurants, an atrium brunch and afternoon tea. At $20, the breakfast buffet is a good value with great ambiance.
Richmond CenterStage, 600 E. Grace St., 804-225-9000, http://www.richmondcenterstage.com. The performing arts center is home to nine resident companies performing in the historic Carpenter Theatre and two new venues.
First Friday Artwalk, http://www.firstfridaysrichmond.com. A dozen downtown galleries host openings on the first Friday of each month. This fall, several feature the work of Virginia artist Richard Carlyon.
Carytown, http://www.carytown.org. Seven blocks of spiffy shopping and dining. According to Southern Living magazine, the goods are better than Georgetown's.
FOR MORE INFORMATION
See lists of special events and other things to do downtown at http://www.venturerichmond.com.