Road Scholar : Home
The James River Plantations and Their Culture

Program Number: 4317RJ
Start and End Dates:
9/22/2013 - 9/27/2013; 9/21/2014 - 9/26/2014; 4/5/2015 - 4/10/2015; 5/10/2015 - 5/15/2015; 8/23/2015 - 8/28/2015;
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

9-22-2013, 9-21-2014, 4-5-2015, 5-10-2015, 8-23-2015

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
   Crowne Plaza Richmond Downtown
  Richmond 5 nights
 Crowne Plaza Richmond Downtown
Type: Full Service Hotel
  Description: Modern hotel in downtown Richmond located next to Kanawha Plaza, two blocks from financial district, three blocks from James River, and six blocks from Capitol Square and Shockoe Slip District.
  Contact info: 555 East Canal Street
Richmond, VA 23219 USA
phone: 804-788-0900
web: crowneplaza.com/ric-downtown
  Room amenities: Serta Perfect Sleepers, refrigerator, coffee-maker, microwave (in most rooms), high-speed internet access, HD flat-screen television with cable access
  Facility amenities: Free parking in attached garage; business center; fitness center; indoor heated pool, whirlpool, and sauna; courtesy van to 2 mile radius
  Smoking allowed: No
  Elevators available: Yes
  Additional nights prior: Road Scholar rate Based on availability, participants can arrange up to 3 additional nights before or after the program directly with the hotel.
  Check in time: 3:00 PM
  Additional nights after: Road Scholar rate Based on availability, participants can arrange up to 3 additional nights before or after the program directly with the hotel.
  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 Crowne Plaza Richmond Downtown 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 Crowne Plaza Richmond Downtown the night before.
  Required documents:
The Road Scholar Health & Safety Form is required.
  Parking availability:
Parking in hotel deck is free for the length of the program.
Transportation
To Start of Program
  Location:  Richmond
  Nearest city or town:  Petersburg, Williamsburg is 50 miles east
  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 Amtrak Station (Staples Mill Road)

 

From Train Station

 
 

Service:

 

Taxi
Taxi stand
phone: NA0-0 0-0-0/ x0-

 

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 Crowne Plaza 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.

 

Richmond Greyhound Bus Station

 

From Bus Terminal

 
 

Service:

 

Taxi
Limited taxi service
phone: NA0-000-00 0 x00-00-0-0/

 

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 Crowne Plaza Richmond Downtown. No cabstand but you can call a cab from the station. (Local bus service is infrequent and requires a transfer.)

 

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 Crowne Plaza 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.

 
Driving Directions
  From the East to the Crowne Plaza Richmond Downtown Take I-64 West to Richmond. When I-64 merges with I-95, follow signs to I-95 South (first a left exit and then a left turn). On I-95 South, proceed only a short distance and take the third exit, Exit 74A, heading west on Downtown Expressway. On Downtown Expressway, take the first exit, Canal Street, which is a 30 cent toll (exact change only). Proceed 4 blocks up Canal Street and Crowne Plaza will be on the left. For drop-off area, turn in under hotel. For entrance to parking garage, take first left off Canal St. after hotel (5th Street) and entrance is at left.
  From the North to the Crowne Plaza Downtown Richmond Take I-95 South to Richmond. At downtown Richmond, take Exit 74A, heading west on Downtown Expressway. On Downtown Expressway, take the first exit, Canal Street, which is a 30 cent toll (exact change only). Proceed 4 blocks up Canal Street and Crowne Plaza will be on the left. For drop-off area, turn in under hotel. For entrance to parking garage, take first left off Canal St. after hotel (5th Street) and entrance is at left.
  From the South to the Crowne Plaza 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 first exit, Canal Street, which is a 30 cent toll (exact change only). Proceed 4 blocks up Canal Street and Crowne Plaza will be on the left. For drop-off area, turn in under hotel. For entrance to parking garage, take first left off Canal St. after hotel (5th Street) and entrance is at left.
  From the West to the Crowne Plaza Richmond Downtown Take I-64 East to Richmond. When I-64 merges with I-95, follow I-64 East/ I-95 South. At downtown Richmond, take Exit 74A, heading west on Downtown Expressway. On Downtown Expressway, take the first exit, Canal Street, which is a 30 cent toll (exact change only). Proceed 4 blocks up Canal Street and Crowne Plaza will be on the left. For drop-off area, turn in under hotel. For entrance to parking garage, take first left off Canal St. after hotel (5th Street) and entrance is at left.
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, September 22)
   
 Afternoon: Welcome to Richmond! Check-in is 3:30 PM for your hotel room, at the hotel's lobby desk. Road Scholar registration is 3:30-5:00 PM - look for us at a table in the hotel lobby..
 Dinner: Dinner at the hotel: Buffet choice of three entrées, two salads with dressing options, vegetables, rolls, and assortment of desserts.
 Evening: Orientation and introductions.
   
Accommodations: Crowne Plaza Richmond Downtown
Meals Included: Dinner

Day 2: Class/Tuckahoe Plantation/Sacred Heart Cathedral
(Monday, September 23)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast at the hotel: Buffet with choice of eggs, bacon, sausage, breakfast potatoes, pancakes, oatmeal, fresh fruit, juice bar, cereals, pastries, and beverages. Chef made to order omelets with a selection of fillings and made to order waffles.
 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. Please be aware that there may not be a free afternoon in this program; there is one free evening, and you will have time to relax each day, but there is no large block of free time in the afternoons. Our first class of the program gives an overview of Richmond's history, architecture and plantations.
 Lunch: Lunch at the hotel: Buffet with choice of three entrees, two salads with dressing options, vegetables, and assortment of desserts.
 Afternoon: Our first field trip is a unique opportunity to visit the privately-owed 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 Randolf 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. On the way back to the hotel, we'll visit another Richmond treasure, Sacred Heart Cathedral, built at the beginning of the 20th century and considered to be Virginia's finest ecclesiastical example of the Italian Renaissance Revival style. Surrounded by The Fan and the Monroe Park district of Virginia Commonwealth University, the Cathedral is a Virginia Historic Landmark and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
 Dinner: Dinner at the hotel: Buffet choice of three entrées, two salads with dressing options, vegetables, rolls, and assortment of desserts.
 Evening: Learn about the lifestyle, culture and traditions at 18th and 19th century plantations.
   
Accommodations: Crowne Plaza Richmond Downtown
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 3: Class/Walking field trip to the Jefferson Hotel
(Tuesday, September 24)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast at the hotel: Buffet with choice of eggs, bacon, sausage, breakfast potatoes, pancakes, oatmeal, fresh fruit, juice bar, cereals, pastries, and beverages. Chef made to order omelets with a selection of fillings and made to order waffles.
 Morning: Class: "Art Nouveau and La Belle Epoch" focuses on an important art movement, and some of the history, legends and legendary individuals in the Gilded Age.
 Lunch: Lunch at the hotel: Buffet with choice of three entrees, two salads with dressing options, vegetables, and assortment of desserts.
 Afternoon: Enjoy a three-block walk to our tour of the fabulous Jefferson Hotel. Commissioned by entrepreneur Lewis Ginter, the Jefferson Hotel opened in 1895 to host the wedding of the famous Charles Dana Gibson to the Belle of the South (and of Richmond), Irene Langhorne. As a centerpiece for the upper Palm Court lobby, Ginter commissioned sculptor Edward Valentine to create a life-sized marble statue of Thomas Jefferson. This elegant hotel is one of just a handful of 5-star, 5-diamond hotels in North America.
 Dinner: Dinner at the hotel: Buffet choice of three entrées, two salads with dressing options, vegetables, rolls, and assortment of desserts.
 Evening: Class: Learn about the history and architecture of the Capitol of Virginia, which was designed by Thomas Jefferson, Virginia's second governor.
   
Accommodations: Crowne Plaza Richmond Downtown
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 4: Field trips to the Virginia State Capitol, the John Marshall House, Monument Avenue, The Fan, and the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts
(Wednesday, September 25)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast at the hotel: Buffet with choice of eggs, bacon, sausage, breakfast potatoes, pancakes, oatmeal, fresh fruit, juice bar, cereals, pastries, and beverages. Chef made to order omelets with a selection of fillings and made to order waffles.
 Morning: This morning's field trip 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 have an interesting lecture and then explore this building with Capitol historians. Next, we'll visit the John Marshall House, an outstanding example of Federal architecture that retains most of its original features. Built in 1790 and located near the Capitol, the Marshall House contains a rich collection of family-owned furnishings and a large collection of Marshall memorabilia. The intimate courtyard garden has plants and herbs that were popular in Marshall's time. This is not a barrier-free location: there are several sets of steps, but no elevators.
 Lunch: Lunch at the hotel: Buffet with choice of three entrees, two salads with dressing options, vegetables, and assortment of desserts.
 Afternoon: Our field trip this afternoon begins with a trip down Richmond's grandest boulevard, Monument Avenue, where we'll view monuments to Robert E. Lee, JEB Stuart, Stonewall Jackson, Jefferson Davis, Matthew Fontaine Maury, and Arthur Ashe. Monument Avenue and the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts are both located in Richmond's Fan District, which holds one of the nation's largest collections of Victorian architecture. 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. 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 at the hotel: Buffet choice of three entrées, two salads with dressing options, vegetables, rolls, and assortment of desserts.
 Evening: A free evening to explore other locations in Richmond or spend time with new (or old) friends.
   
Accommodations: Crowne Plaza Richmond Downtown
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 5: Field trip to Berkeley and Shirley Plantations and lunch at a local tavern
(Thursday, September 26)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast at the hotel: Buffet with choice of eggs, bacon, sausage, breakfast potatoes, pancakes, oatmeal, fresh fruit, juice bar, cereals, pastries, and beverages. Chef made to order omelets with a selection of fillings and made to order waffles.
 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 local country tavern
 Afternoon: Shirley and Berkeley plantations are located on the James River. Cameras are not permitted in the Houses. The plantation grounds have limited barrier-free access, with grassy, uneven terrain
 Dinner: Dinner at the hotel: Buffet choice of three entrées, two salads with dressing options, vegetables, rolls, and assortment of desserts.
 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: Crowne Plaza Richmond Downtown
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 6: Morning class, lunch and departure
(Friday, September 27)
   
 Depart From: Departure after morning class and lunch.
 Breakfast: Breakfast at the hotel: Buffet with choice of eggs, bacon, sausage, breakfast potatoes, pancakes, oatmeal, fresh fruit, juice bar, cereals, pastries, and beverages. Chef made to order omelets with a selection of fillings and made to order waffles.
 Morning: Enjoy the final program class on Richmond History, Architecture and Plantations
 Lunch: Lunch at the hotel 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




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