Richmond Is Ranked As Number 3 On International Best Travel Destinations

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Richmond Makes The Top 3 in Travel & Leisure Magazines Best Travel List

The Richmond region took a spot on yet another list as a top travel destination.

Travel + Leisure magazine put Richmond at No. 3 on its list of the 50 Best Places to Travel in the world in 2016.
The list, released Tuesday, had only two other U.S. destinations in the Top 10 — Lanai, Hawaii, and Asbury Park, N.J. Five other U.S. cities were ranked: San Antonio, Texas; Denver; Detroit; Pittsburgh; and Seattle.

“Closer to home, once-overlooked spots have proven themselves worthy of another glance. The bike-friendly town of Richmond, Virginia, has standout architecture, a burgeoning art and food scene, and a brand-new design hotel,” Travel + Leisure magazine wrote on its website. “Virginia’s capital, with its Civil War monuments, distinctive architecture, and intriguing galleries, has started to draw a cosmopolitan crowd,” the magazine said.

Richmond Has Become A Top Travel Destination In the U.S.

The Travel + Leisure designation comes after American Express Travel in May put Richmond at No. 1 on its list of top 10 most popular U.S. cities to visit this past summer. And well-known travel guide publisher Frommer’s chose Richmond as a top travel destination for 2014. “This is very exciting,” Jack Berry, president and chief executive officer of Richmond Region Tourism, said Tuesday about the Travel + Leisure rankings.

“This shows just how far our destination has come in getting recognition as a top place in the world to visit,” Berry said. “It shows the notoriety and the uniqueness of the destination that we have. And food is driving all of this momentum.” The magazine tells readers to check out some of the Richmond region’s best restaurants in Church Hill, mentioning Dutch & Co. and The Roosevelt. It also suggests getting baked goods at WPA, breads at Sub Rosa and a craft beer at Hardywood Park Craft Brewery.

“For an ideal weekend trip, start by checking in to the new Quirk Hotel, in a former department store,” the magazine said about Richmond on its website. “Then tour nearby Jackson Ward, a beautiful neighborhood that was once the epicenter of Richmond’s black culture, and roam the many restaurants and galleries of Broad Street on foot or on a hotel bicycle. Make time to take in the architecture of Monument Avenue and shop in Carytown.”

International Cycling Has Helped Put Richmond On The World Map

The UCI Road World Championships, the international cycling event held in late September, helped put the Richmond area on the world’s map, Berry said. “The race provided great exposure for us. We never looked better.” But Berry said it is hard to measure the impact that the Travel + Leisure designation as well as the ones from American Express Travel and Frommer’s have on local tourism. But he said it certainly helps to put a positive spotlight on the Richmond area.

A decade ago, Berry said the region had a bit of an inferiority complex, and residents didn’t really promote the area. He said he has seen a huge change. “Now RVA is hot, and every citizen has become a cheerleader,” Berry said.
On the Travel + Leisure list, Bocas del Toro, Panama, was No. 1, with Guadalajara, Mexico, as second.

This article was previously published by By GREGORY J. GILLIGAN Richmond Times-Dispatch - December 1st, 2015