This summer, Redfin named Richmond a Top 10 Most Walkable Mid-Sized City of 2015. Take a look at the specific neighborhoods that helped Richmond earn its spot and get the scoop on the local real estate market from Redfin agent Warren Teller. “Many areas in Richmond are best explored on foot thanks to the city’s historic architecture, tree-lined avenues and local businesses and shops, he said. “In the last decade or so, there has been a resurgence of interest in Richmond’s downtown neighborhoods. Once-neglected areas have seen new interest and investment, in part because more homebuyers want walkability and a more urban lifestyle.”
Here’s a look at the Richmond neighborhoods with the highest Walk Scores:
1. Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) – Walk Score 93
“It’s no surprise there are a lot of people on foot on and around the campus of VCU,” says Teller. “More than 30,000 students attend VCU, so the area is always abuzz with activity.”
Walk Score considers the neighborhood a Walker’s Paradise and estimates that the average resident can walk to an average of 24 restaurants, bars and coffee shops in five minutes. “In terms of housing, the area has mostly rental options, though there are a few condo buildings in the VCU neighborhood with a median sale price a little over $250,000,” Teller explains.
2. Monroe Ward – Walk Score 93
Monroe Ward is in the heart of Richmond’s historic downtown, tucked between the VCU’s Monroe Park campus and medical campus. “The area is known for its boutique apartment and condo buildings, many of which have been well preserved,” says Teller. Monroe Ward is home to the famous Jefferson Hotel. Even if you aren’t staying there, Teller says it’s worth taking a look in the lobby. Check out the homes for sale in the Monroe Ward on Redfin.
3. Carytown – Walk Score 92
“Carytown is characterized by the eclectic mix of restaurants, boutiques and independently owned businesses along Cary Street,” says Teller. Residents enjoy having great local establishments within walking distance and quick access to Byrd Park. The local residents and businesses organize street fairs, concerts and other activities for the community. “The homes in Carytown are a mix of townhomes, single family homes and condos. Most Carytown properties were built between 1910 and 1930, so they have historic character,” says Teller.
4. Carver – Walk Score 91
“Carver is a historic neighborhood bordering the VCU campus characterized by townhomes along tree-lined streets with a variety of bars, restaurants and coffee shops, including the popular Sugar Shack Donuts, nearby,” says Teller. “The median sale price for homes in Carver is $210,000 and with close proximity to VCU, the opportunity to easily rent out properties to students is a big draw for buyers and investors.”
5. Jackson Ward – Walk Score 91
Jackson Ward is rich in history and culture and has been designated a historic district by the National Park Service. The neighborhood was a significant center of African American culture and business in Richmond and nationally in the post-Civil War period, and is now home to the Black History Museum.
The National Park Service also notes the “large collection of historic cast iron porches that constitute some of Richmond’s great architectural treasures,” notably on Clay Street and East Leigh Street. “Porches with ornate iron railings, many two stories, are quintessential Richmond. Original iron work is a definite draw for buyers,” says Teller. “In addition to historic homes, Jackson Ward offers a vibrant and artsy scene, with many galleries and studios, as well as public art and colorful murals.” The city hosts RVA First Fridays to promote and celebrate the local art scene.
6. The Fan – Walk Score 89
“The Fan includes many beautiful historic homes, including some truly grand properties along Monument Avenue, which have been home to many wealthy and famous residents in the city’s history. Beyond the architecture, it remains and widely coveted neighborhood today thanks to the walkable lifestyle it offers.” The median sale price for homes in The Fan is approximately $475,000, above the city-wide median sale price of $382,000.
7. Shockoe Bottom – Walk Score 87
“Shockoe Bottom is located along the James River and has seen a lot of residential development in recent years. Old industrial buildings and warehouses have been converted into new condos and apartments, many boasting great river views. The area has a commercial vibe, with a variety of restaurants, bars, offices and retail stores,” says Teller. “Most of the residential properties in Shockoe Bottom are condos.”
8. The Museum District – Walk Score 86
“The Museum District, sometimes referred to as The Upper Fan or West of the Boulevard, is named for the museums along its border, including the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts and the Virginia Historical Society. The quaint, old homes and leafy streets make it a pleasant place to stroll.” explains Teller. The average Museum District resident lives within a five-minute walk of six different restaurants, bars and coffee shops.
9. Shockoe Slip – Walk Score 82
Like neighboring Shockoe Bottom, Shockoe Slip is located on the James River and is known for historic commercial buildings, many of which have been redeveloped and converted into residential and office spaces. “It’s definitely possible to walk from your home to a job downtown,” says Teller. The median sale price for homes in Shockoe Slip is $299,000.
10. Church Hill – Walk Score 80
Church Hill is in the East End of Richmond. It is named for St. John’s Episcopal Church, which is where Patrick Henry delivered his famous, “Give me liberty or give me death” speech. “The area is populated with historic homes and peppered with coffee shops, bars and restaurants. There are a number of recently completed and planned residential and retail development projects in the neighborhood as well,” says Teller.
Rounding out the top 15 most walkable neighborhoods are:
- Oregon Hill – Walk Score 73
- Union Hill – Walk Score 73
- Manchester – Walk Score 73
- Fairmount – Walks Score 69
- Blackwell - Walk Score 68
Wondering how your neighborhood stacks up? Click here for a full ranking of Richmond’s neighborhoods, or enter your address to get the Walk Score for your home.