Axios Richmond

Picture of the Richmond skyline.

January 28, 2023

Hello, Saturday! Axios' Maxwell Millington here.

Today's Saturday edition of Axios Richmond is dedicated to sharing a special weekend getaway guide.

  • Now's the time to make travel plans for 2023, so let's dive in.

Today's newsletter is 523 words β€” a 2-minute read.

1. Durham

Photo: Symphony Webber/Axios

Just 150 miles from Richmond, Durham is a growing city for health care and research, tech startups and the arts. Durham is also home to two noteworthy universities: North Carolina Central and Duke.

  • Here's how to spend the perfect weekend in Durham.

Stay: A tiny farmhouse Airbnb near downtown for $96+ per night.

Do:

  • Vibe out with the Dreamville Festival in Raleigh (about 20 miles away), April 1–2.Β  The lineup hasn't been announced yet, but last year's included J. Cole, Ari Lennox, J.I.D and more. Details.
  • Take a gallery tour at the 21c Museum Hotel. Admission is free.
  • Watch a Durham Bulls baseball game. They're pretty good too. The Bulls have won five Triple-A league titles in the past ten seasons.

Eat:

  • Try a shrimp burger at The Dankery.
  • Satisfy your chicken and waffle fix at Dame's.
  • Grab Mexican street food at La Mala, which just opened in December in Downtown Durham.

Full Durham guide here

2. Wilmington

Downtown Wilmington. Photo: Brianna Crane/Axios

This Carolina coastal crown jewel is about four hours from Richmond.

  • Here's how to spend a weekend in Wilmington.

Stay: At Dreamers Welcome, a renovated Victorian home was converted into a boutique bed-and-breakfast. It starts around $200 per night.

Do:

  • Check out the NC Azalea Festival from April 12-16. This five-day affair welcomes 200,000 visitors to the Wilmington area each year.
  • Spend the day at Wrightsville Beach. If you want to be walking distance from tourist attractions like the pier or Wings, look for parking somewhere between accesses 15 and 30. If you prefer a quieter beach day, park near access eight.
  • Take a self-guided film and TV location tour. If you were a big "Dawson's Creek" or "One Tree Hill" fan, you can follow this map to see some of the shows' iconic filming locations.

Eat:

  • Get a pizza from Benny's Big Time. Celebrity chef Vivian Howard's family-friendly pizzeria has delicious cocktails and pizzas, and a signature hot honey sauce I'd drizzle on anything.
  • Try a spiked slushie from Jimmy's. Go here if you want to drink with the locals.
  • Get a burger (or double with bacon) from The Original Salt Works.
  • Get an iced coffee from Port City Java. This classic coffee spot has been around since 1995. And it’s reliably delicious.

Full Wilmington guide here

3. Virginia Creeper Trail

Photo: Brianna Crane/Axios

The 34.3-mile Virginia Creeper Trail is worth the five-hour drive from Richmond.

How it works: You rent a bike (or bring your own) and ride from the top of the mountain all the way down.

  • It's a family-friendly trail that's mostly downhill, though some stretches require a little extra peddling.

Stay: At any number of Airbnbs if you want to make it a weekend.

Do:

  • Rent a bike from Sundog Outfitters. They'll cart you and your bike to the top of the trail. You can find all of the rental options here.
  • Stop for a picnic. The trail has a couple of concessions along the way, but we always pack our food so we can pull over in less crowded spots.

Eat:

  • Grab a drink and sit outside at Wicked Chicken. They have 40+ flavors of wings to choose from too if you work up an appetite.

Safe travels!