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Escape the City This Summer With These Affordable Road Trips

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Richmond, Virginia

Population: 210,000

1:50 from Washington, DC
4:00 from Philadelphia
5:30 from New York

Historic Canal Walk Retouched

It’s a rite of passage to visit Washington, DC, but so many people overlook the nearby capital city of Richmond, Virginia, which is just as rich in history, beautiful architecture, great food, and outdoor adventures.

Surprisingly, Virginia is located within a day’s drive of 60 percent of the U.S. population.

Richmond’s Canal Walk is a walkable area that encompasses a lot of history and local culture. It stretches 1.25 miles through downtown Richmond along the banks of the Haxall Canal and the James River & Kanawha Canal. The area includes the 17th Street Farmers Market—which dates back to 1737—one of the oldest public markets in the country.

Richmond is the only urban city with Class III and IV rapids, making it the best urban whitewater in America. The upper section is milder, and the Lower James River is more adventurous. The James River is also a big fishing destination.

The Capitol building was designed by Thomas Jefferson. It’s been home to the General Assembly since 1788, the oldest continuously operating legislature. During the Civil War, the Confederate Congress also met here.

Other major attractions include: Agecroft Hall, a 15th century Tudor Estate on the banks of the James River and the Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden is considered one of the top botanical gardens in the country.

Next: Asheville, North Carolina