Richmond’s Gay Friendly Neighborhoods: The South Side
Cross the river from downtown for a quieter lifestyle still within hands reach of the city.
Starting in Old Manchester, an the industry-filled area is contrasted by a pocket of artist studios and converted lofts at Plant Zero. ArtWorks hosts 75 artist studios on two floors and both facilities open for an artists reception on the fourth Friday of each month.
The Corrugated Box Building hosts some of Richmond’s most progressive tech and design companies including a local office of Tumblr. Want a Vespa? Check out Scoot Richmond next door.
For the adventurous, the area also has easy river access for rafting and canoeing. Walk down the Flood Wall to check out the Manchester Climbing Wall – converted urban ruins of the Richmond & Petersburg Railroad Bridge.
The porch on Legend Brewing Company has one of the best views in the city overlooking downtown. The local brew pub has hosted the monthly Family & Friends Fourth Friday on several occasions.
Right past where Semmes turns into Forest Hill Avenue, stop by Crossroads Coffee & Ice Cream for a morning latte, sandwich, or an after-work pint.
Forest Hill Park has access to the James River and a pathway to the Buttermilk & Northbank Trails. On Saturdays in season, the South Of The James Market brings crowds of people to the park for the city’s most popular farmer’s market. Underneath the Market Umbrella, SOTJ includes baked goods, fresh meats and produce (and CSA pickups), crafts, and prepared foods.
Also for the coffee nut, Blanchard’s Coffee sets up their local roasting on Forest Hill and vends at the SOTJ market. Further into Westover Hills, the 43rd Street Gallery is the neighborhood’s creative hub and hosts the annual 43rd Street Festival.
Continue your journey towards Chesterfield County to Bon Air - originally found as a resort town just outside of Richmond. Both Westover Hills and Bon Air are home to gay and lesbian families.
Real estate agent Wanda Fears lives in the area and sees why it’s such a hub.
“It’s a more laid back lifestyle,” she says. ”I can count at least 25-28 homes in that neighborhood that are gay-owned,” Fears says.
As an agent, Fears finds what her client are looking for to help them find the right home and believes Richmond is ripe for living.
“Richmond’s come a long way. We would like to see some of our politics change, but that’s going to take a while, she says. ”Virginia has a lot to offer period – gay, lesbian or straight, it doesn’t matter.”
Kevin Clay is the editor and publisher of GAYRVA.COM. He is a Richmond native, loves the city and knows it's on the edge of greatness. Don't hold back RVA. You can follow Kevin on GAYRVA's Twitter or e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
RVA Pop-Up Pride will host its first meeting of their LGBTQ Summer Picnic Series this weekend at Forest Hill Park. All are welcome to attend this community summer event and encouraged to pack a lunch and a blanket for the picnic. Refreshments and snacks will be provided, in addition to various activities like kickball, frisbee, [...]June 7, 2016
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