Road Scholar : Home
The James River Plantations and Their Culture

Program Number: 4317RJ
Start and End Dates:
4/7/2013 - 4/12/2013; 5/11/2014 - 5/16/2014; 9/21/2014 - 9/26/2014;
Duration: 5 nights
Location: Richmond, Virginia
Price starting at: $698.00 - Price may vary based on date, departure city
Program Type: History & Culture; Homes & Gardens
Meals: 15; 5 Breakfasts, 5 Lunches, 5 Dinners    
Meal Options: Low Fat; Vegetarian; Low Salt    

Join us to examine key aspects of the complex society that developed along the James River, once Colonial Virginia’s major highway, linking the people, goods and ideas of town and countryside. Background lectures set the stage for field trips to some of the most important historic sites along with special treats.




Highlights

• Discover the great plantations along the tidal James River: Berkeley (1726), seat of the Harrisons, and the Carter family’s Shirley (1738).
• Explore Virginia's exquisite Jefferson-designed Capitol and the expanded and stylish Virginia Museum of Fine Arts.
• Visit Tuckahoe (1733), the Randolph family home where Jefferson attended school in boyhood, and Wilton House (1753).



Activity Particulars

Standing and walking on uneven terrain and climbing stairs, including upper floors of historic houses. Limited barrier-free access at some sites.




Date Specific Information

4-7-2013, 5-11-2014, 9-21-2014

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 hotel in the heart of Richmond's downtown River District with pool and fitness center, walking distance to the State Capitol and James River.
Meals and Lodgings
   DoubleTree by Hilton Downtown Richmond
  Richmond 5 nights
 DoubleTree by Hilton Downtown Richmond
Type: Hotel
  Description: Located on stylish Franklin Street on the western edge of downtown Richmond, this renovated hotel is just a few blocks from popular attractions, restaurants, the State Capitol, Virginia Commonwealth University, and the riverside parks along the whitewater of the Falls of the James River.
  Contact info: 301 West Franklin Street
Richmond, VA 23220 USA
phone: 804-644-9871
  Room amenities: TV with cable, iron & ironing board, hairdryer, coffeepot, free wireless high speed internet, free telephone, refrigerator and microwave
  Facility amenities: Business center, fitness room, rooftop pool
  Smoking allowed: Yes
  Elevators available: Yes
  Additional nights prior: Current State employee rate Advance registration required and stay is based on availability. Road Scholar rate varies by year and is based on room availability.
  Check in time: 4:00 PM
  Additional nights after: Current State employee rate 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 DoubleTree by Hilton Downtown Richmond that night.
  End of Program:
Program ends after early lunch at 11:30 AM. Room checkout is 11:00 am. You will be staying at DoubleTree by Hilton 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:
Cost for parking at hotel is covered by VCU Road Scholar 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 (RIC)

 

From Airport

 
 

Service:

 

Taxi
CMC Ground Transportation
phone: 804-360-2122

 

Per Person/One Way:

 

Varies, $25-$35
Prices are subject to change.

 

Travel Time:

 

20 minutes 

 

Distance:

 

10 miles

   

Several choices to travel from the airport to the DoubleTree Richmond Downtown. The shuttle service listed above is one way. Also, a 24-hour taxi stand is available outside the baggage claim area, with cabs generally from several different companies.

 

Richmond Greyhound Bus Station

 

From Bus Terminal

 
 

Service:

 

Taxi
Limited taxi service
phone: NA0-000-0000 x00000

 

Per Person/One Way:

 

variable
Prices are subject to change.

 

Travel Time:

 

15 minutes 

 

Distance:

 

3.5 miles

   

Taxi is the best way to travel from the Greyhound Bus Station to the DoubleTree Richmond Downtown. No cabstand but you can call a cab from the station. (Local bus service is infrequent and requires a transfer.)

 

Richmond Amtrak Station (Staples Mill Road)

 

From Train Station

 
 

Service:

 

Taxi
Taxi stand
phone: NA0-000-00 0 x00-00-0-0/

 

Per Person/One Way:

 

variable
Prices are subject to change.

 

Travel Time:

 

20-25 minutes 

 

Distance:

 

8 miles

   

The Richmond Amtrak station at Staples Mill Road is 8 miles from the DoubleTree Richmond Downtown. The best method of transportation is by taxi, and a cabstand is available. (Bus service is infrequent and slow.) The second Richmond station, Amtrak Downtown at Main Street Station, is much closer, only one mile from the hotel, but has a limited schedule. No cabstand is available, but you can call a cab from the station.

 
Driving Directions
  From the East to the Doubletree Richmond Downtown Take I-64 West to Richmond. When I-64 merges with I-95, look for signs for Exit 75 to 3rd Street. Follow 3rd St. for about 5 blocks (passing by the Convention Center on left) to Grace Street, and turn right on Grace. Follow Grace for 5 blocks to Monroe Street and turn left. Go one block on Monroe and turn left on Franklin Street. DoubleTree is on Franklin St. on right hand side.
  From the North to the DoubleTree Richmond Downtown Take I-95 South to Richmond. Approaching downtown, look for signs for Exit 75 to 3rd Street. Follow 3rd St. for about 5 blocks (passing by the Convention Center on left) to Grace Street, and turn right on Grace. Follow Grace for 5 blocks to Monroe Street and turn left. Go one block on Monroe and turn left on Franklin Street. DoubleTree is on Franklin St. on right hand side.
  From the South to the DoubleTree Richmond Downtown Take I-95 North to Richmond. At downtown Richmond, take the first exit after crossing James River bridge, Exit 74A, heading west on Downtown Expressway. On Downtown Expressway, take the second exit to Canal Street, which is a 30 cent toll (exact change only). Proceed a couple blocks up Canal Street to the stoplight at Belvidere/Route 1. Turn right and follow Belvidere/Rt1 for 3 blocks to Franklin Street. Turn right on Franklin and go 2 1/2 blocks. The DoubleTree is on the right.
  From the West to the DoubleTree Richmond Downtown Take I-64 East to Richmond. When I-64 merges with I-95, follow I-64 East/ I-95 South. Approaching downtown, look for signs for Exit 75 to 3rd Street. Follow 3rd St. for about 5 blocks (passing by the Convention Center on left) to Grace Street, and turn right on Grace. Follow Grace for 5 blocks to Monroe Street and turn left. Go one block on Monroe and turn left on Franklin Street. DoubleTree is on Franklin St. on right hand side.


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
(Sunday, April 7)
   
 Afternoon: Welcome to Richmond! Check-in is 3:00 PM for your hotel room, at the hotel's lobby desk. Road Scholar registration is 3:00-5:00 PM - look for us at a table in the hotel lobby..
 Dinner: Dinner at the hotel
 Evening: Orientation and introductions.
   
Accommodations: DoubleTree by Hilton Downtown Richmond
Meals Included: Dinner

Day 2: Class/State Capitol/Wilton House Musuem
(Monday, April 8)
   
 Breakfast: In hotel
 Morning: We make every effort to keep our schedules as we've listed them here. However, sometimes we may have to modify time of day or the day itself to fit an instructor's availability. Our first class of the program gives an overview of Richmond's history, architecture and plantations.
 Lunch: In hotel
 Afternoon: Our field trip this afternoon begins with a visit to Virginia's State Capitol, which was designed by Thomas Jefferson and which has many well-known monuments on its grounds. Jefferson's design was inspired by the Maison Caree in Nimes, France as well as classical Roman temple design. Houdon's famous marble statue of George Washington graces the center of the Capitol's rotunda. We'll explore this building with Capitol guides and hear stories of famous figures for each room. Then we'll move on to Wilton House (1753), an historic plantation house overlooking the James River, owned by the Society of Colonial Dames..
 Dinner: Dinner at the hotel
 Evening: Learn about the lifestyle, culture and traditions at 18th and 19th century plantations.
   
Accommodations: DoubleTree by Hilton Downtown Richmond
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 3: Field trip to Berkeley and Shirley Plantations/lunch at a local tavern/evening class
(Tuesday, April 9)
   
 Breakfast: In hotel
 Morning: All day field trip by coach to Berkeley and Shirley plantations in Charles City, approximately 45 minutes' travel. Explore the plantation mansions and grounds. The Georgian-style Berkeley was home to William Henry Harrison ("Tippecanoe"), who became the 9th U.S. President, and his grandson Benjamin, who was the 23rd President. Shirley, Virginia's oldest plantation, is recognized as an architectural treasure. Shirley has a 3-story "flying" staircase that is the only one of its kind in America
 Lunch: Lunch at a Charles City County tavern
 Afternoon: Shirley and Berkeley plantations are located in beautiful settings on the James River, which is tidal and rather wide in this section. Cameras are not permitted in the Houses. The plantation grounds have limited barrier-free access, with grassy, uneven terrain.
 Dinner: Dinner at the hotel
 Evening: Class: People of Color on the plantations of early Virginia
   
Accommodations: DoubleTree by Hilton Downtown Richmond
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 4: Class/Walking field trip to the James River/Tredegar Iron Works NPS-HQ
(Wednesday, April 10)
   
 Breakfast: In hotel
 Morning: Class: Plantation Life and Culture
 Lunch: Lunch at the hotel.
 Afternoon: Enjoy a four-block walk to Brown’s Island, a municipal park along the rapids of the James River. Another three blocks brings us to the Tredegar Iron Works, which today serves as the National Park Service headquarters for Richmond National Battlefield.
 Dinner: In the hotel.
 Evening: Class: Richmond Monuments and Masterpieces
   
Accommodations: DoubleTree by Hilton Downtown Richmond
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 5: Field trip to Tuckahoe Plantation/Virginia Museum of Fine Arts/evening entertainment
(Thursday, April 11)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast in the hotel.
 Morning: Our field trip presents a unique opportunity to visit the privately-owned Tuckahoe Plantation, boyhood home of Thomas Jefferson. Tuckahoe, 25 minutes west of downtown, has been the location for movies and TV documentaries. Founded in 1733 by the Randolph family in the era of great plantations, Tuckahoe is still privately-owned and remains one of the most complete plantations in America. This location is not barrier-free -- you will be walking on uneven, grassy terrain.
 Lunch: Lunch at the art museum
 Afternoon: Our next stop will be one of Richmond's treasures that contains treasures of its own: the splendid Museum of Fine Arts, which recently re-opened after four years of renovation and expansion. The VMFA is now one of the top ten comprehensive art museums in the US, displaying more than 5,000 years of art from around the world. Especially pertinent to this week's subject are the early American galleries with art and furnishings. Explore numerous permanent galleries connected by a 4-story atrium designed by London-born architect, who now resides in Oregon. The VMFA also contains a sculpture garden, reflecting pools, focus galleries for changing exhibits, a cafe and a restaurant, and a museum shop. Information on special exhibits, collections and upcoming events is at www.vmfa.museum.
 Dinner: Dinner in the hotel or at a local restaurant.
 Evening: You won't want to miss the entertainment tonight, which has music typical of early Virginia. You'll learn a lot of history, too...and some really tall tales. How will you know which ones to believe?
   
Accommodations: DoubleTree by Hilton Downtown Richmond
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 6: Morning class, lunch and departure
(Friday, April 12)
   
 Depart From: Departure after morning class and lunch.
 Breakfast: Breakfast in the hotel.
 Morning: Enjoy the final program class on Richmond History, Architecture and Plantations
 Lunch: Lunch and departure
   
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch
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.

Suggested Reading List


At the Falls: Richmond, Virginia, and its People


Author: Marie Tyler-McGraw


Plantation Homes of the James River


Author: Bruce Roberts and Elizabeth Kedash


Richmond, An Illustrated History


Author: Harry Ward




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