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A Very Richmond Christmas: Four Centuries in the Capitol District

Program Number: 15462RJ
Start and End Dates:
12/5/2014 - 12/8/2014;
Duration: 3 nights
Location: Richmond, Virginia
Price starting at: $545.00 - 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; Gluten Free    

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
   Crowne Plaza Richmond Downtown
  Richmond 3 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 breakfast. 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 deck adjacent to 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 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.

 

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.)

 
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 and introductory class
(Friday, December 5)
   
 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: Dinner will be at the hotel's second floor dining area. Buffet choice of three entrées, two salads with dressing options, vegetables, rolls, and assortment of desserts.
 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: Crowne Plaza Richmond Downtown
Meals Included: Dinner

Day 2: Class/Field trips to Maymont, St John's Church and The Jefferson Hotel
(Saturday, December 6)
   
 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 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: 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 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: Dinner at the hotel. Buffet choice of three entrées, two salads with dressing options, vegetables, rolls, and assortment of desserts.
 Evening: Class this evening...more Richmond history and culture...and preparation for your field trips tomorrow.
   
Accommodations: Crowne Plaza Richmond Downtown
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 3: Court End Festival/Lewis Ginter Gardens/Lewis Ginter "Gardenfest of Lights"
(Sunday, December 7)
   
 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 contines with Richmond history and traditions.
 Lunch: Lunch at the hotel. Buffet with choice of three entrees, two salads with dressing options, vegetables, and assortment of 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: Crowne Plaza Richmond Downtown
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 4:
(Monday, December 8)
   
 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: 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.

Suggested Reading List


At the Falls: Richmond, Virginia, and its People


Author: Marie Tyler-McGraw


Richmond, An Illustrated History


Author: Harry Ward




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