The Virginia Museum of Fine Arts

The world renowned Richmond hangout

This is not your idea of a typical museum. Just take a look – in the front of the VMFA, a Civil War style monument features a young, modern African American wearing Nikes, dreadlocks and a hoodie. (That’s artist Kehinde Wiley’s response to the statues on Monument Avenue.) Here, special exhibitions attract people in droves. The permanent collection includes more than 50,000 works of art spanning 5,000 years of world history, with premier collections of 21st century art, Art Nouveau and Art Deco, English silver, and the largest collection of Fabergé eggs and Russian decorative arts outside of Russia. 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. (Special exhibitions do require a fee.)