Richmond VA - Subdued Gay Lifestyle in a Historic City

Richmond, Virginia is not known for being extremely gay-friendly, as Virginia has a ban on same sex marriage and it can be difficult to be openly gay in some areas of the city. Still there is a strong activist gay scene in the city, much of it located near Virginia Commonwealth University.  Consulting with a resident Richmond, Virginia gay realtor who is familiar with the more accepting and affordable areas of Richmond to live in is highly recommended simply because it is such a large city of 208,833 people that consists of dozens of neighborhoods.

Geographically, Richmond is located along the rapids and waterfalls of the James River.  It is a very traditional place that is the home of many legal and banking firms as well 12 Federal Reserve Banks and a United States Court of Appeals. There are also many gothic-style and Victorian churches whose services are well attended.

One the most gay-friendly areas of Richmond is Shockoe Slip which is a collection of rehabilitated warehouses that have now been converted to upscale shops, restaurants and condos.  The area also is home to the night life of Richmond.

There are also condos and newer buildings along The River District which has a long walk along Haxall Canal, the Haxall Canal and the abandoned Kanawha Canal.  14th Street, Main Street, Canal Street and 12th Street bound this trendier area.

There are also many affordable, very large housing developments in the neighborhood known as Tobacco Row. It is adjacent to The River District and is built up along the now unused Kanawha Canal.  Many of the condos here used to be part of the Libby Prison and Castle Thunder, which used to be detention facilities during the Civil War.

A very hip area in Richmond is called the Carytown District, or west of the Boulevard.  This too is a historic area filled with vintage homes and a strip of cafes, clothing stores and restaurants along Cary Street.  Most of the homes here are attached or semi-detached and built in the Victorian, Art Deco and mid-century modern styles.

If you love really old architecture then the area of Church Hill might be the place to investigate.  Some of the buildings here are right out of “Gone With the Wind.”  There are many fine examples of period architecture and it is a neighborhood in Richmond where property values are consistently rising.

As is true of most of many conservative big cities the gay bars and clubs are located downtown and include the bars nu, Godfrey’s, Barcode, Fallout, Mars Bar and Club Colours.  Most of the city’s cultural life is downtown including the National Theater and Visual Arts Center of Richmond. While looking for a property you can stay at the gay-owned Maury Place at Monument or the Linden Row Inn.  For more information about Richmond’s attractions, economy and public policies visit the city’s chamber of commerce website at