Monroe Ward – Richmond, VA

Monroe Ward, an exciting urban neighborhood, located in downtown Richmond, is home to Virginia Commonwealth University, the historic Jefferson Hotel and many unique restaurants and buildings. Residents of this thriving district love living in the center of the city surrounded by historic architecture, public schools, universities, parks and much more. Getting in and out of Monroe Ward is easy. Interstates 95 and 64 run through the neighborhood, providing easy access to major expressways. The rapids of the majestic James River lie to the south, providing stunning views for residents. Broad Street houses many restaurants, art galleries and boutiques. Spend the afternoon perusing the shops and pick up a unique piece of art made by one of the locally based and internationally renowned artists. The Monroe Ward neighborhood provides an eclectic mix of arts and shopping right in the heart of culturally robust city. Residents and visitors get to enjoy access to a long list of museums and attractions including: the Black History Museum and Cultural Center, the Science Museum of Virginia, the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts and many more.

Restaurants & Nightlife

The venerable Jefferson Hotel lies in the heart of Monroe Ward, and visitors to this luxurious property enjoy some of the best dining in the city at the hotel's restaurant, Lemaire. Utilizing locally grown ingredients, the highly trained staff at Lemaire serve scrumptious food. All entrées are below $30, making this a glamorous and affordable destination. With the historic staircase of the hotel lobby in the background, patrons can dine on savory dishes such as lemon and thyme roasted swordfish loin, served with risotto, leeks and a delectable truffle sauce. Visit East Grace Street to enjoy a favorite local hotspot for fresh seafood. The Rappahannock Restaurant bears the same name as the great river to the north of the city. The restaurant specializes in dishes made with the day's catch plucked directly from the nearby Chesapeake Bay. For a delicious dinner, dig into a plate of fresh oysters and wash it all down with a cold beer. For a night out of fun and dancing head over to Barcode, where pool tables and karaoke keep patrons entertained until that electronic dance music starts playing later in the evening. Dressed to the nines? Check out Kai on E. Cary Street. This nightclub has a DJ on the weekends, playing all of your favorite electronic mixes. Grab a handcrafted cocktail and get ready to hit the dance floor.

History & Culture

History has shaped the grand, Southern city of Richmond. Originally visited by settlers of Jamestown in the early 1600s, it was incorporated in 1742 and went on to become both the capital of the commonwealth, and the Confederate States of America during the Civil War. Take a tour of the stunning architecture, with the Thomas Jefferson designed state capitol as the crown jewel. Visitors love the ambiance of this neighborhood. Its use of cast iron is second only to New Orleans, giving it an air of architectural elegance. The adjoining neighborhoods, such as the Fan District, are also filled with some of the best examples of 19th century architecture on the east coast. As one of the first cities to host First Friday Art walks Richmond hosts one of the largest with an estimated 20,000 people attending every month to see artists, live performances and visit local shops.

Transportation

Whether you want to go to the beach, climb a mountain or visit the nation’s capital, it will only take you two-hour drive to get there. With gas prices usually running with the national average, and Interstates 95 and 64 running directly through the city, residents easily visit some of the most famous sites in the region with ease. Frequent fliers can jet-set from the local Richmond International Airport, which is just a 15-minute drive from the Monroe Ward. Residents can also catch a train to at the Main Street Station and head to major nearby cities such as Washington, DC, without having to deal with traffic. The Greater Richmond Transit Authority provides regular bus service throughout the city for just $2 a ride. For a quick ride across town, take advantage of local Uber services, or easily hail a cab from at one of the major intersections. Parking can be at a premium, especially during peak evening and weekend hours, so be sure to have some cash on hand to pay for parking at one of the many conveniently located parking decks. As a pedestrian, you can easily travel the neighborhood on foot, although if biking, you may find the sidewalks too crowded to easily pass through. Bike lanes line some streets for those commuting on two wheels, but there are gaps where bikers will have to co-exist with traffic.

Cost

The cost of living in the Monroe Ward runs slightly below the rest of the city. A one-bedroom apartment rents for $960 per month, and reaching the downtown area costs just $2 for a bus ride. Drivers can expect to pay gas prices that run right on par with national average. Head out for a drink at one of the local bars, and a pint of beer will cost about $4.

Shopping

Take your time wandering through downtown Richmond and the Monroe Ward neighborhood, Locally owned boutiques and specialty stores line the streets and provide a unique shopping experience. The area known as Carytown houses more than 300 locally owned shops, restaurants, spas and galleries making it the premiere shopping district. AlterNatives specializes in fair-trade products and works to support artisans from all over the world. Visit the store to find unique women's clothing and jewelry that has an international flair. Affordable prices mean more for your money, and shoppers can feel good about exactly where their money is going. The World of Mirth provides another truly unique shopping experience. From the moment shoppers enter the store, it becomes clear that this isn't your average toy store. Described as a combination of Pee Wee's playhouse and the world of Dr. Seuss, kids of all ages enjoy exploring the selection of safe and educational toys. Stop by to find the perfect gift and have a magical shopping experience. Several regional shopping malls call Richmond home. The fashion-forward can head to the Stony Point Fashion Park and dress up at Saks Fifth Avenue and shop at other nationally known retail chains. Whether you want to swing by Barnes & Noble to grab the latest bestseller or hunt down a unique gift at a specialty store, shoppers can find it all in the Monroe Ward. The Richmond Farmer's Market has been providing fresh produce to locals since 1737. Shoppers can stop by and stock up on the weekends from April through October. For all other grocery needs, residents can choose from nearby Whole Foods, Trader Joe's and Fresh Market.

Parks

One of the most established park systems in the country calls Richmond home, with the oldest park being Monroe Park, which is the heart of the ward. Majestic fountains dot the landscape of this park, located in the heart of the Virginia Commonwealth University campus. On the James River border of the neighborhood lies James River Park. Go white-water rafting, or stroll along the riverwalk and enjoy the scenic views, with great spots for fishing and swimming. During the summer months many of the huge rocks in the middle of the water are covered by those wanting to catch a tan, while many throw impromptu parties amidst the rushing waters. Children love to play in the river, but many parents choose to take them down the street to Byrd Park, where you can play tennis, rent a paddle boat for a cruise around the pond or watch a show at the Dogwood Dell Amphitheater. No matter what time of year, a long list of annual events keep residents busy. From the Jazz Festival held every August to the National Beer Expo and Dragon Boat Race on the James River, there is always something going on.
Deco
219 E Broad St, Richmond, VA 23219
1 / 42
3 hrs
$842 - 2,215 Studio - 2 Bedroom Available Now
844-492-1883
Berkshire Apartments
300 W Franklin St, Richmond, VA 23220
1 / 35
New
$809 - 2,094 Studio - 3 Bedroom Available Now
804-723-6551
Monroe Park Towers
520 W Franklin St, Richmond, VA 23220
1 wk
$812 - 1,896 Studio - 3 Bedroom Available Now
804-332-5694
The Towers on Franklin
104 W Franklin St, Richmond, VA 23220
New
$1,160 - 2,325 Studio - 2 Bedroom Available Now
804-767-3391