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A Very Richmond Christmas: Four Centuries in the Capitol District

Program Number: 15462RJ
Start and End Dates:
12/7/2012 - 12/10/2012; 12/5/2014 - 12/8/2014;
Duration: 3 nights
Location: Richmond, Virginia
Price starting at: $525.00 - Price may vary based on date, departure city
Program Type: Holidays
Meals: 8; 3 Breakfasts, 2 Lunches, 3 Dinners    
Meal Options: Low Fat; Vegetarian; Low Salt    

Celebrate history, traditions and the season’s magic in Richmond’s Capitol District. You’ll delight in holiday splendor at a Gilded Age estate, a fabulous 1895 hotel, St. John’s Church, and Lewis Ginter Botanical GardenFest with a festive dinner and expert-led evening walk through its fantasyland of flowers, trees, lights, conservatory displays and woodland sculptures.




Highlights

• Expert lectures and field trips to historic homes, museums and gardens present the culture, traditions and living history of four centuries in historic Richmond.
• Discover other sites decorated for the season like the Capitol and Executive Mansion, John Marshall House, the Valentine Richmond History Museum and Wickham House.
• Examine splendid architecture and the legacies of leaders such as Chief Justice John Marshall, Presidents Washington and Jefferson and patriot Patrick Henry with presentations at historic sites.



Activity Particulars

Walking up to two miles a day; stairs at historic sites.




Date Specific Information

12-5-2014

Enjoy the latest in hearing technology — listening devices — on this date.



Coordinated by Virginia Commonwealth University.




Richmond

Founded in 1607, Virginia's capital is situated at the falls of the James River. This seat of colonial and Civil War history blends the legacy of settlers, patriots, presidents, free blacks and civil rights leaders with superb museums, monuments, mansions and gardens.



Accommodations
Modern downtown hotel in the heart of Richmond's River District with pool and fitness room, near State Capitol and James River.
Meals and Lodgings
   Holiday Inn Express Downtown Richmond
  Richmond 3 nights
 Holiday Inn Express Downtown Richmond
Type: Hotel
  Description: Located in the heart of Richmond's River District, this former historic bank is now a secluded small hotel, beautifully renovated, and just a short walk from many popular attractions, restaurants, the State Capitol district, Virginia Commonwealth University and, of course, exciting downtown whitewater and the Falls of the James River.
  Contact info: 201 East Cary Street
Richmond, VA 23219-3736 USA
phone: 804-788-1600
web: www.hiexpress.com/richmonddtwn
  Room amenities: TV with cable, iron & ironing board, hairdryer, coffeepot, refrigerator, microwave, free wireless high speed internet, free telephone
  Facility amenities: Business center, fitness room, outdoor courtyard, free parking, free passes to nearby YMCA
  Smoking allowed: Yes
  Elevators available: Yes
  Additional nights prior: VCU/State employee rates Advance registration required and stay is based on availability. Road Scholar rate varies by year and is based on room availability.
  Check in time: 3:30 PM
  Additional nights after: VCU/State employee rates Advance registration required and stay is based on availability. Road Scholar rate varies by year and is based on room availability.
  Check out time: 12:00 PM


Travel Details
  Start of Program:
3:30-5:00 PM in hotel lobby for Road Scholar registration. You will be staying at Holiday Inn Express Downtown Richmond that night.
  End of Program:
Program ends after breakfast. Room checkout is 11:00 AM. You will be staying at Holiday Inn Express Downtown Richmond the night before.
  Required documents:
The Road Scholar Health & Safety Form is required.
  Required innoculations:
Yes: Those allergic to bees should carry their own bee sting kit as plantations are remote and immediate medical assistance may not be available.
  Parking availability:
Parking at hotel is FREE for the length of the program.
Transportation
To Start of Program
  Location:  Richmond
  Nearest city or town:  Petersburg, Ashland, Goochland
  Nearest highway: I-64 and I-95
  Nearest airport:  Richmond International Airport (RIC)
  From End of Program
  Location: Richmond
    (Additional transportation information same as above)
Travel Details
 

Richmond International Airport

 

From Airport

 
 

Service:

 

Commercial Van/Shuttle
Groome Transport
phone: 804-222-7222
Advanced Reservations Required

 

Per Person/One Way:

 

Variable; call for details
Prices are subject to change.

 

Travel Time:

 

20 minutes 

   

Groome Transport is located outside the baggage claim area at Richmond International Airport. This option may be more expensive than a taxi if there are two or more in your group.

 

Richmond Greyhound Bus Station

 

From Bus Terminal

 
 

Service:

 

Taxi
Limited taxi service
phone: NA -0/0-

 

Per Person/One Way:

 

Variable
Prices are subject to change.

 

Travel Time:

 

15-20 minutes 

   

There is no reliable taxi stand at the Greyhound Terminal, but you can call a cab from the station.

 

Richmond - AMTRAK Station

 

From Train Station

 
 

Service:

 

Taxi
Taxi Stand
phone: NA -0/0-

 

Per Person/One Way:

 

Variable
Prices are subject to change.

 

Travel Time:

 

20-25 minutes 

   

AMTRAK-Staples Mill Station is 10-12 miles from the hotel. Cabstand is available. AMTRAK-Downtown Station has a limited schedule. It is less than 3 miles from the hotel; there is no taxi stand, but you can call a cab from the station.

 

Richmond International Airport

 

From Airport

 
 

Service:

 

Taxi
Taxi stand
phone: NA -0/0-

 

Per Person/One Way:

 

Variable
Prices are subject to change.

 

Travel Time:

 

20 minutes 

   

A 24-hour taxi stand is located outside the baggage claim area. The taxis are usually from several different companies. Cost cannot be predicted, but this may be the less expensive option if there are two or more in your group.

 
Driving Directions
  From the East on I-64, from Norfolk, VA Beach, Williamsburg DO NOT TAKE 295 TO I-95 NORTH, do not take I-64 west ramp to Charlottesville. Follow I-64 West to Exit 190 (where I-64 merges with I-95, stay on I-95). Stay in the middle lane marked for downtown and take the Downtown/5th Street Exit Follow 5th Street to Canal Street (just after Cary Street) Turn RIGHT on Canal Street Turn RIGHT on 2nd Street and the Holiday Inn parking lot will be on your right. There are 2 entries to the parking lot and elevators to the hotel lobby from all parking levels.
  From the North on I-95, from Maryland, Washington DC DO NOT TAKE 295 TO I-64 WEST. Follow I-95 South into Richmond; merges with I-64 East Take exit 76B- Belvidere Street, get in middle lane on exit ramp Turn LEFT at the light onto Leigh - you should now be in the far right-hand lane on Leigh Turn RIGHT at the next light onto Belvidere Street Follow Belvidere to Cary Street (the next light after Main Street) Turn LEFT onto Cary Street Turn RIGHT onto 2nd Street There are 2 entries to the Holiday Inn parking lot and elevators to the hotel lobby from all parking levels.
  From the South on I-95, from Petersburg, North Carolina Follow I-95 North into Richmond. At Exit 74A, turn RIGHT onto ramp for I-195-Downtown Expressway *Toll road* merge onto I-195 Turn RIGHT onto ramp--Canal Street/US 60 *Tollbooth* as you merge onto East Canal Street Turn RIGHT (north) onto 2nd Street Access to the Holiday Inn parking lot is on 2nd Street. Street and the Holiday Inn parking lot will be on your right. There are 2 entries to the parking lot and elevators to the hotel lobby from all parking levels.
  From the West on I-64, from Charlottesville DO NOT TAKE 295 TO I-95 NORTH. Follow I-64 East to Richmond; merges with I-95. Take exit 76B- Belvidere Street, get in middle lane on exit ramp Turn LEFT at the light onto Leigh - you should now be in the far right-hand lane on Leigh Turn RIGHT at the next light onto Belvidere Street Follow Belvidere to Cary Street (the next light after Main Street) Turn LEFT onto Cary Street Turn RIGHT onto 2nd Street There are 2 entries to the Holiday Inn parking lot and elevators to the hotel lobby from all parking levels.


Required innoculations:

Yes: Those allergic to bees should carry their own bee sting kit as plantations are remote and immediate medical assistance may not be available.

Equipment Requirements: Comfortable walking shoes for field trips.
The prices listed for commercial services and facilities that are not included in the program cost, such as airport shuttles or extra nights lodging, are subject to change without notice. Since Road Scholar cannot guarantee the accuracy of these prices, we strongly suggest contacting the companies directly for the most up-to-date information.


Daily Schedule

Day 1: Arrival/Orientation and introductory class
(Friday, December 7)
   
 Afternoon: Welcome to Richmond! Register for your room at the hotel's lobby desk between 3:30-5:00 PM. Most rooms will be available by 3:30 PM. Please also register for your program and get your program folder/materials at the Road Scholar desk in the lobby between 3:00-4:30 PM.
 Dinner: We'll walk one block to dinner at the Thai Room, where you'll have options for salads, Thai food choices, American food choices, and dessert. There are 4-5 steps down to the entry, and seating may be on the second floor (there is no elevator). Dinner will also be our opportunity for getting acquainted with your program coordinator and fellow participants, and having a brief orientation to the program.
 Evening: Class: Enjoy an introductory class about "Christmas Traditions" and a preview of the historic homes, churches, museums, gardens and other locations that you will be able to visit during this program.
   
Accommodations: Holiday Inn Express Downtown Richmond
Meals Included: Dinner

Day 2: Class/Field trips to Maymont, St John's Church and The Jefferson Hotel
(Saturday, December 8)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast in the hotel dining area includes hot and cold cereals, pastries, bagels, hot cinnamon buns, bacon and sausage, sausage gravy, yogurt, fresh fruit, toast, eggs (either omelets or scrambled)
 Morning: Class this morning: "Four Centuries in the Capitol District" explores the history, personages, events and traditions in Richmond's celebrated Capitol District. After class, depart for Maymont Arboretum. At Christmas, Maymont sets the tone for Christmas in the Gilded Age. We'll tour the lavish estate that is opulently decorated with original furnishings, giving a glimpse of the wonders of wealth and luxury and the differences between "upstairs, downstairs" at the turn of the century. For more than 30 years, Maymont has been a special part of the Christmas season in Richmond - the estate comes alive with the warmth, sights, sounds and all the traditions of a Victorian Christmas.
 Lunch: Catered lunch in the hotel dining area includes options for salads, sandwiches, vegetarian fare, side dishes and desserts
 Afternoon: Our first field trip this afternoon is to historic St John's Church,which was the setting for the Second Virginia Convention and Patrick Henry's famous "liberty or death" speech. We'll have a special lecture inside the Church, and there will be a little time to see the grounds and visit the gift shop before we depart for our excursion to the Jefferson Hotel. Visiting the Jefferson Hotel at Christmas has become a Richmond tradition even -- and perhaps, especially -- if you couldn't find the time to attend the annual tree-lighting ceremony. This historic hotel is especially elegant at Christmas, with special music and local school performances during the month of December. Commissioned by entrepreneur Lewis Ginter, the Jefferson Hotel opened in 1895 to wide acclaim, and it immediately hosted the wedding of famous journalist Charles Dana Gibson to the "Belle of the South" (and of Richmond), Irene Langhorne. Ginter commissioned sculptor Edward Valentine to create a life-sized marble statue of Thomas Jefferson as a centerpiece for the upper Palm Court lobby. This elegant hotel is one of just a handful of 5-star, 5-diamond hotels in North America.
 Dinner: Catered dinner in the hotel or dinner at a local restaurant will include holiday entrees, with options for vegetarians.
 Evening: Class this evening...more Richmond history and culture...and preparation for your field trips tomorrow.
   
Accommodations: Holiday Inn Express Downtown Richmond
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 3: Court End Festival/Lewis Ginter Gardens/Lewis Ginter "Gardenfest of Lights"
(Sunday, December 9)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast in the hotel dining area includes hot and cold cereals, pastries, bagels, hot cinnamon buns, bacon and sausage, sausage gravy, yogurt, fresh fruit, toast, eggs (either omelets or scrambled)
 Morning: Class contines with Richmond history and traditions.
 Lunch: Catered lunch in the hotel dining area includes options for salads, sandwiches, vegetarian fare, side dishes and desserts
 Afternoon: We'll spend the afternoon at Richmond's popular annual Court End Festival. Court End is a neighborhood in Richmond that was developed in the Federal era, after Virginia's capital was moved from Williamsburg to Richmond. The Court End Christmas Festival celebrates historic sites in this neighborhood. These sites, all with "open houses" at Christmas, include the John Marshall House, the Valentine Richmond History Center & its 1812 Wickham House, Monumental Church, St. John's Church, the Virginia State Capitol and the Museum and White House of the Confederacy. All sites will display holiday decorations and costumes of the era, recreate traditional holiday events, and feature live music, traditional dances and talks by historians. Free shuttles are available between sites.
 Dinner: We'll travel from the Court End District to Lewis Ginter Gardens, where we'll have a splendid holiday dinner before viewing the Gardenfest of Lights. Buffet includes several choices of meats, vegetables, potatoes, salads and other vegetarian options, and desserts.
 Evening: Prepare to be enchanted during this delightful evening at Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden. We'll begin with a talk just for our group, followed by a tour of Gardens that have been transformed by nearly one million lights into a fantasyland of flowers, bowers, fairies, woodland creatures, special Christmas displays, trains, and other delights.
   
Accommodations: Holiday Inn Express Downtown Richmond
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 4:
(Monday, December 10)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast in the hotel dining area includes hot and cold cereals, pastries, bagels, hot cinnamon buns, bacon and sausage, sausage gravy, yogurt, fresh fruit, toast, eggs (either omelets or scrambled)
 Morning: Your program ends after breakfast. Checkout time for hotel rooms is 11:00 a.m.
   
Meals Included: Breakfast
Important information about your itinerary: Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy and completeness of the information featured on this website. Itineraries are based on our best information at this time. Circumstances beyond our control may require us to adjust itineraries or other details. We regret any inconvenience this may cause and appreciate your understanding. Information will be sent to you from your Program Provider approximately three weeks prior to the program start date. The prices listed for commercial services and facilities that are not included in the program cost, such as airport shuttles or extra nights lodging, are subject to change without notice. Since Road Scholar cannot guarantee the accuracy of these prices, we strongly suggest contacting the companies directly for the most up-to-date information.


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