Road Scholar : Home
Richmond's Great Gardens and Estates

Program Number: 14656RJ
Start and End Dates:
5/5/2013 - 5/10/2013; 4/11/2015 - 4/16/2015; 5/3/2015 - 5/8/2015; 5/31/2015 - 6/5/2015;
Duration: 5 nights
Location: Richmond, Virginia
Price starting at: $699.00 - Price may vary based on date, departure city
Program Type: Homes & Gardens
Meals: 15; 5 Breakfasts, 5 Lunches, 5 Dinners    
Meal Options: Low Fat; Vegetarian; Low Salt    

Virginia’s capital city is graced with a superb array of historic homes and gardens. Examine architecture, history, lifestyles as you go behind the scenes at a plantation, an imported 12th-century priory, a Tudor mansion, and an opulent 1890s manor. Led by horticulturists and experts, explore gardens that are beautiful, exciting, and unusual.




Highlights

• On field trips, explore Agecroft Hall and gardens, Lavender Fields Herb Farm, and Lewis Ginter Botanical Gardens with its conservatory and 770+ perennial species.
• Experience Maymont’s intact Gilded Age estate and 100 acres of historic gardens.
• Explore Virginia House gardens and Tuckahoe Plantation, Thomas Jefferson’s boyhood home.



Activity Particulars

Walking up to two miles per day, uneven terrain; standing outdoors for some garden presentations; limited barrier-free access at some sites. Tram available at 100-acre Maymont Gardens.




Date Specific Information

5-5-2013

Richmond’s Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden, a field trip destination, has been selected as one of the “Top 10 North American Gardens Worth Travelling For” by a panel of international judges, as part of the 2013 Garden Tourism Awards. There will be a substitution at the May program: the group will not go to the gardens at Virginia House, but instead will meet the horticulturist at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts and have a guided tour of the grounds.
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4-11-2015, 5-3-2015, 5-31-2015

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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 12:00 noon. You will be staying at Crowne Plaza Richmond Downtown 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 field trip locations 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 25 miles south, Williamsburg 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.


Required innoculations:

Yes: Those allergic to bees should carry their own bee sting kit as field trip locations 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: Welcome to Richmond!/Orientation
(Sunday, May 5)
   
 Afternoon: Registration is in the hotel lobby from 3:30 to 5:00 p.m. Register for your room at the hotel desk. Register for the program at the Road Scholar desk.
 Dinner: Dinner in the hotel or at a local restaurant
 Evening: Orientation and introductions
   
Accommodations: Crowne Plaza Richmond Downtown
Meals Included: Dinner

Day 2: Class/Class
(Monday, May 6)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast included.
 Morning: This exciting program is for participants at all levels of gardening experience. Walking in this program is 1-2 miles daily, at a moderate pace, as you explore gardens and historic homes. Some gardens have areas or exhibits that are not barrier-free. Stairs only (no elevators) to the 2nd floor of historic homes. Please be aware that, although you will have time to relax before dinner and classes, there is no large block of free time in this program. The following is a sample schedule. Classes and field trips may be rearranged to accommodate instructors' schedules. Class this morning explores the history and development of Richmond and the various styles of architecture of its mansions and plantations.
 Lunch: Lunch at the hotel
 Afternoon: Class this afternoon is about "Healing Gardens." Learn about herbs, growing herbs, and the varieties and uses of perennial medicinal herbs. This class will prepare for our visit to Lavender Fields Farm later in the week.
 Dinner: Dinner at a local restaurant or in the hotel
 Evening: Class this evening, "Richmond's Gilded Age and early 20th Century Families," discusses the folks who were the patrons for a number of the gardens we will see.
   
Accommodations: Crowne Plaza Richmond Downtown
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 3: Maymont Gardens and House/Tuckahoe Plantation
(Tuesday, May 7)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast included.
 Morning: This morning we'll visit a world of timeless elegance and natural beauty at Maymont, an intact Gilded Age estate in the heart of Richmond. A knowledgable staff person from Maymont will lead us through the 100 acres of grounds, which include Japanese, Italian, formal and speciality gardens and arboretum. Maymont's grounds are unique, with high bluffs, streams, ravines and massive rock outcroppings, interspersed with gazeboes, statuary and garden ornaments, paths and walkways. Maymont's mansion, the Queen Anne-Romanesque Revival Dooley House, is rare because its 12 rooms of furnishings and wall hangings were totally preserved. In addition, the lower level where the servants worked and stayed has been restored, providing a fascinating "upstairs, downstairs" view of the House. And there is a fine collection of carriages.
 Lunch: Lunch at the hotel
 Afternoon: After lunch, we'll visit Tuckahoe Plantation, boyhood home of Thomas Jefferson and a National Historic Landmark. Prepare for a unique experience and a step back in history! Tuckahoe, unusual because of its H-shaped plan and overall setting, is considered to be America's finest existing example of an early 18th century plantation. We'll tour the House, which contains ornately carved woodwork and staircases, and the grounds, which contain a "plantation street" with a storehouse, smokehouse, barn, kitchen, plantation office, slave quarters and the schoolhouse that Jefferson attended as a child. A knowledgable staff person from Tuckahoe (or someone from the family that owns it) will discuss the colonial era gardens and cedar-lined lanes that reflect the grandeur of the period. This famous plantation is often used as a setting in films, yet Tuckahoe has been a home and working farm for nearly 275 years.
 Dinner: Dinner in the hotel or at a local restaurant
 Evening: Class this evening focuses on "Plantations and Their Architecture."
   
Accommodations: Crowne Plaza Richmond Downtown
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 4: Class/Agecroft Hall and Virginia House gardens
(Wednesday, May 8)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast included.
 Morning: Class this morning is taught by an expert horticulturist, whose focus is growing historic plants.
 Lunch: Lunch at the hotel
 Afternoon: Journey to medieval times in England this afternoon, as we visit two imported English mansions and their gardens, located on the banks overlooking the James River. Tudor-style Agecroft Hall was dismanteled in Lancashire, England, shipped to America, and rebuilt at its location during the American country-house movement. The House reflects English opulence and the lives of landed gentry in the Elizabethan period. After a tour of the House, a knowledgable staff person from Agecroft will guide us through the gardens, which include a sunken garden based on the pond garden at Hampton Court Palace, a rare collection of exotic plants recorded by John Tradescant, an herbal knot garden, and other gardens of roses, perennials, annuals, and plants grown for their medicinal, flavoring and aromatic values. We then move to Virginia House, initially an early 12th century priory built in Warwick, England, that was bought by its American owners at a demolition sale and imported to Richmond. We'll visit its eight types of formal and naturalistic gardens, which include bog, historic, and ornamental plants. Landscaping at both Agecroft and Virginia House was designed and completed by the noted landscape architect Charles Gillette.
 Dinner: Dinner at a local restaurant or in the hotel
 Evening: Class this evening continues our discussion of "Richmond's Gilded Age and early 20th Century Families."
   
Accommodations: Crowne Plaza Richmond Downtown
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 5: Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden/Lavender Fields Farm
(Thursday, May 9)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast included.
 Morning: This morning we'll visit Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden, which is fast becoming one of the great botanical gardens in North America. Located on land that was once Powhatan Indian hunting territory - and then owned by Patrick Henry - Lewis Ginter has numerous gardens and is internationally respected for its botanical and applied horticultural research and education, which we'll learn about from knowledgable Lewis Ginter staffers. Types of gardens are too numerous to mention individually, but plantings include Japanese and Asian, roses, wetland (with a unique collection of pitcher plants), woodland (with a rare collection of ferns), native, ornamental grasses and mosses, herbs, more than 770 species of perennials, annuals, miniatures, wildflowers, topiary, azaleas, mountain laurels and rhododendrons displayed in formal, ornamental, Victorian, sunken, seasonal and other settings, interspersed by lakes, streams, ponds and the river. The Conservatory at Lewis Ginter is a lush oasis of palms, orchids and other tropical, exotic and unusual plants from around the world. Lewis Ginter also has a large gift shop, which you'll have time to explore, if you wish, after lunch.
 Lunch: Lunch in the Garden Cafe at Lewis Ginter
 Afternoon: After lunch, we'll travel to Lavender Fields Farm, situated on 22 rolling acres on the Chickahominy River. Lavender Fields is proof-positive that you can, indeed, grow lavender in a hot, damp climate! The owners of Lavender Fields will give us a tour of the farm and its nine greenhouses, where they grow the numerous varieties of organic herbs that supply many sites in Virginia and the mid-Atlantic. You'll be able to learn about different herbs and their uses and purchase herbs if you wish. There is also a small gift shop with handmade soaps, exotic teas and lavender ice cream.
 Dinner: Dinner at a local restaurant
 Evening: Entertainment for your enjoyment
   
Accommodations: Crowne Plaza Richmond Downtown
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 6:
(Friday, May 10)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast included.
 Morning: Final class on "Richmond History, Great Houses and Architecture" is followed by early lunch at 11:30 am. Your program ends after lunch. Room check-out is 12:00 noon.
 Lunch: Program ends after early lunch in the hotel. Check out time is 12 noon.
   
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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