The Virginia Museum of Fine Arts
Richmond’s cultural hangout
This is no typical museum, because the ideas are so big at the VMFA that dust will never settle. Just take a look – in the front of the museum, a Civil War style monument features a young, modern African American wearing Nikes, dreadlocks and a hoodie. Here, special exhibitions attract people in droves. The permanent collection includes more than 33,000 works of art spanning 5,000 years of world history, with collections of Art Nouveau and Art Deco, English silver, Fabergé, and the art of South Asia that are among the finest in the nation, earning the VMFA a ranking as one of the top comprehensive art museums in the United States. And of course, there’s a social scene here, too, with wine at happy hours, yoga meetups and classes for kids and adults. VMFA is open 365 days a year and general admission is always free.