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Welcome to the City

Thank you for joining us for our annual Welcome to the City series, where University of Richmond alumni gather in their cities to welcome newcomers and celebrate what it means to be a Spider! Stay tuned for next year's Welcome to the City schedule.

Check out our Welcome to the City guides below to see what your fellow Spiders recommend you do, see, and eat in UR city!

Make sure to take the Welcome to the City survey to share the things you love about your region with your fellow Spiders!

Alexandria

Things to Do: Walk around Old Town and experience the historic sites of the city.

Favorite Restaurants: Union Street Public House, Paradisio, T.J. Stone's Grill House, Virtue Feed and Grain, Columbia Firehouse.

Local Events: 4th of July celebration, Alexandria Day, St Patrick’s Day Parade.

Tips & Tricks:

Utilize public transportation. 

 

Annapolis

Things to Do: Water activities and things around the Naval Academy and downtown areas.

Favorite Restaurants: Preserve, Carpaccio, Luna Blu, McGarveys.

Local Events: First Sunday Annapolis, Bands in the Sand, Friday afternoon concerts at Annapolis Town Centre in the summer.

Tips & Tricks:

Everyone is so friendly - go out and explore!

Atlanta

Things to Do: Explore new restaurants, rock climbing, visit breweries, go to Piedmont Park, see a show at the Fox Theater, watch the Braves play at The Battery, walk the BeltLine.

Favorite Restaurants: Table & Main, Osteria Mattone, The Fickle Pickle, Nam Phoung, Genki, Aria, The Optimist, Rain, La Perilla, the Iberian Pig, Publico, BarTaco, Grindhouse Burgers, Das BBQ, Superica, The Optimist, Little Alley Steak, Industry Tavern, Taqueria Del Sol, Willy's, Antico.

Local Events: Roswell or Alpharetta Farmer's Markets, free concerts at City Hall, any of the annual beer and wine festivals, Decatur Book Festival, Little 5 Halloween Festival, Pride, Jewish Film Festival, Atlanta Brunch Festibal, LGBT Film Festival Cabbagetown Chili Festival.

Tips & Tricks: 

Each town's historic downtown is unique and so much fun.

Traffic is terrible, but you absolutely need a car here unless your work and living are directly accessible to Marta rail.  Even then, you will need a car if you ever want to go anywhere. 

Explore different areas - new things are happening everywhere. Don’t be pigeon-holed into one location.

Baltimore

Things to Do: Enjoy the waterfront, walk around Fell's Point.

Favorite Restaurants: Orto, Verde, Bmore Licks, Joe Squared, R House, Mount Vernon Marketplace, Nick's Fish House, Shoyou.

Local Events: Artscape, Baltimore Book Festival, Orioles games.

Tips & Tricks:

It is a great city for biking or scooting around!

Beaufort

Things to Do: Huntington Island Beach.

Favorite Restaurants: Breakwater, Old Bull Tavern, Saltus.

Local Events: Water Festival, Shrimp Festival, Soft Crab Festival, Fall Festival of Homes & Gardens, Pat Conroy Literary Festival.

Tips & Tricks:

The downtown area is very walkable including the Historic District.

Don't miss the Verdier House if you want to catch up on Beaufort history during the Civil War. 

Both Savannah and Charleston are less than an hour away.

Berkeley

Things to Do: Enjoy the very relaxed atmosphere with a lot of great parks and bars to kick back and relax!

Favorite Restaurants: Homemade Cafe for brunch, La Burrita's California Burrito is a must try!, Taco Sinaloa for traditional Burritos/Tacos, Chengdu Style Restaurant for great chinese, and Kansai for sushi!

Local Events: First Fridays in Oakland

Tips & Tricks: Berkeley is one of the most expensive cities around, so get a roommate if you want to save up and always, always, always have enough emergency funds if you want to consider moving.

Boston

Things to Do: Picnic in the Public Garden, check out a concert at the House of Blues, Sinclair, or Brighton Music Hall, visit the citys art museums, walk along the Esplanade, take a ferry to the Harbor Islands, cheer on the Red Sox at Fenway or for free at Bleach Bar, wander alonf the Rose Kennedy Greenway, enjoy the waterfront, check out the North End, Boston's Little Italy, enjoy a free concert at the ICA or MFA. 

Favorite Restaurants: Toast Office, Miyuki Sushi, Clink, T'ahpas, Cafe Vittoria, Marliave, Gourmet Dumpling House, Antico Forno, Union Square Donuts, Rino's, Angela's Belle Isle Seafood, Rod Dee Thai, Out of the Blue, Silvertone, Yvonne's Southern Proper, Terra at Eataly, La Brasa, Tenoch Mexican, Santarpio's Pizza, Bagelsaurus, Flour Bakery, La Famiglia Giorgio's. 

Local Events: Boston Marathon, Film Festival, Dine Out Boston, Festival of the Saints, the Scooperbowl, Beer Garden Pop-Ups throughout the city, St. Anthony's Festival, Shakespeare on the Common, Duckling Day Parade, Pride Week, the French Cultural Center's Bastille Day Celebration. 

Tips & Tricks: 

Utilize public transportation.

Sign up for alerts from MBTA, Learn alternative bus and train routes for wen there are unexpected delays.

Explore on foot - it's the best way to see the city.

Utilize Library Passes to see things around the city for cheap.

Each neighborhoos has coordinator who you can email to express concerns or opinions you'd like to share with City Hall.

The Museum of Fine Arts (MFA) is free on Wednesdays after 4pm.

Get out of the city and explore New England.

Check out opportunities with the Boston Ski and Sports Club or the Appalachian Mountain Club. 

Cincinnati

Things to Do: Zoo (# 2 in U.S.)  and concerts

Favorite Restaurants: Any Jeff Ruby restaurant and Mios Pizzeria in Mariemont

Local Events: Taste of Cincinnati and Free concerts in Summit Park.

Tips & Tricks:

If single, I always wanted to live on top of Hill overlooking downtown in Mt. Adams. Great food, art and entertainment for single business crowd.

Denver

Things to Do: Check out the new restaurants and bars that open weekly, Go to a Colorado Rapids soccer game, Head out to the mountains close to the city for a hike, Go to the various coffee shops and breweries all over the city.

Favorite Restaurants: Blue Pan Pizza, Spuntino, Guard and Grace, Mr. Tuna, Chook, Bar Dough, Marco's Coal Fired Pizza, Fruition.

Local Events: Cherry Creek Arts Festival

Tips & Tricks: 

Find a neighborhood that you love, with shops and stores and whatever within walking distance.

Be close to the light rail for easy access to downtown and the like.



 

Fairfax

Things to Do: Enjoy the friendly restaurants (very few are chains), Go shopping, Find a favorite salon to get your haircut, Explore GMU.

Favorite Restaurants: Wine House, Highside, Hamrock's.

Local Events: Rock the Block, Fourth of July.

Tips & Tricks:

People are friendly. 

The Fairfax County Courthouse has jobs for legal professionals and GMU has jobs for those who are interested in academics.

There is lots of new residential building going on so Fairfax is becoming more of an upscale residential area these days - mostly townhouses and condos.

Florida

Things to Do: Go to farmers markets, try new restaurants, Enjoy being outside, Go to Disney World. 

Favorite Restaurants: Domu, Sticky Rice, SevenBites. Ravenous Pig, Golden Corral, Grinders, Southern Charm, Country Cabin, Columbia, Liberty Tree Tavern, Wolfgang Puck Bar and Grill.

Local Events: Florida Film Festival, Epcot‚ Food and Wine Festival, Southern Hills Farm.

Tips & Tricks: 

Explore the different neighborhoods like Audubon Park, Colonial town, Thornton Park. 

It’s very spread out and a melting pot of people. It’s hard to meet people, so join different organizations/sport groups to get out and meet people!

Gettysburg

Things to Do: Explore the battlefields.

Favorite Restaurants: Food 101, Mama Ventura's, The Garry Owen, The Livery

Local Events: Gettysburg Beer Fest, Battlefield Reenactments

Tips & Tricks: 

Check out some of the smaller museums. 

Sunrise service on Little Round Top.

London

Things to Do: Sitting outside at a cafe or restaurant

Favorite Restaurants: Le Poule Au Pot, Jones Family Kitchen, Duke of Wellington, Maniacomo

Local Events: Battersea Park

Tips & Tricks: No need for a car!



New York City

Things to Do: Run or bike in the parks or West Side Highway, see shows on Broadway, visit MacDougal St. in The Village for coffee at Porto Rico and a show at the Comedy Cellar, got to Chelsea Market, walk the Highline, check out live music and art, go for a sunrise run around the reservoir in Central Park, explore the many diverse neighborhoods, go to Pier 13 during the summer for food trucks and musicc, take advantage of free performances and museums. 

Favorite Restaurants: Bar Pitti Avra, Kashkaval Garden, Ippudo, Vatan, Marc Forgione, Upstate, La Esquina, The Penrose, Spumoni Gardens, Best Bagel & Coffee, Up Thai, Bunsmith, Katz' Deli, Boucherie, Bo's Kitchen & Bar, Tacombi, Eataly, Gallow Green, L'Artusi, Sola Pasta Bar, Sotto 13, Via Carota, Molyvos. 

Local Events: Smorgaburg, Central Park Oktoberfest, NYC Marathon, Feast of San Gerrana, Taste of Tribeca, Thanksgiving Day Parade, Bric Festival, MoMa PS1 Warm Up Series, Shakespeare in the Park. 

Tips & Tricks: 

 

Walk as much as you can- and walk fast.

Enter lotteries to score reduced priced Broadway tickets.

NYC is less intimidating if you think of it as multiple neighborhoods strung together. 

Take advantage of the deep reach of the subways into the outer boroughs to find neighborhoods and cultures you may not have realized existed within the city.

Do all the unique things the locals do - you have plenty of time to go fo all the tourist stuff.

Learn which car on the subway will leave you off closest to your desired exit from the subway.

Explore and get outside the main boroughs.

Seek out rooftops - a haven during the summer.

Cultivate variety- try something new!

Panama

Things to Do: Walk the Cinta Costera (coastal belt) along the Panama Bay, from the banking district downtown to the romantic colonial quarter known as Casco Viejo.

Favorite Restaurants: Fonda Lo Que Hay, Donde Jose, and Maito.

Local Events: Annual jazz festival (every January), Panama IFF, Panama International Film Festival. 

Tips & Tricks: Don't judge this Central American city (or country) by "First World" standards. Read Factfulness, bone up on Panamanian history, learn as much Spanish as you can, and get out there and learn about Panama from Panamanians.

Pittsburgh

Things to Do: Explore the parks and cemeteries and neighborhoods on foot, Grab a drink at the many great bars.

Favorite Restaurants: Threadbare Cider and Mead, Hidden Harbor, Morcilla, Merchant Oyster Co., Driftwood Oven, Gepetto Cafe, B52, Ki Ramen, The Colombian Spot, Con Alma, Tazza d'Oro, Chaya Japanese Cuisine, Lorelei.

Local Events: Three Rivers Arts Festival, the amazing (and affordable) Pittsburgh Symphony shows.

Tips & Tricks: Take advantage of our world-class Carnegie Library system.

Richmond

Things to Do: Catch a movie at the Byrd, run or walk along the Canal, visit the city's museums, visit Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden, go back to UR for on-campus cultural events and games, see a movie at the Goochland Drive-In, visit Texas Beach and Belle Isle, peruse the South of the James Farmer's Market on Saturday mornings, tube on the James, see a concert at Maymont, go on a self-guided walking food tour of any given neighborhood, go antiquing or consignment shopping, mini-golf at Hotel Greene, cheer on the Flying Squirrels. 

Favorite Restaurants: Stella's, Sabai, Union Market, The Roosevelt, Tarrant's, Mamma Zu, Proper Pie Co., North End Gelato, Little Nickel, Comfort, Foo Dog, Nate's Bagels, Edo Squid, Weezie's, Penny Lane, Full Kee, Chiocca's, Kreggers, Pig & Brew, Peter Chang's, En Su Boca, Citizen Burger, Tulsi, 8 1/2.

Local Events: Folk Festival, Watermelon Festival, Filipino Food Festival, Friday Cheers at Brown's Island, VMFA Happy Hour and special exhibits, Tacky Lights Tour, Broad Appetit, Innsbrook After Hours, Monument Avenue Easter, Greek Festival, Scott's Addition Pumpkin Festival, Restaurant Week, Dominion RiverRock, Shamrock the Block, Monument Avenue 10k, Halloween on Hanover, St. Benedict's Oktoberfest, Jewish Food Fesitval. 

Tips & Tricks: 

Get a bike - the city is very bike friendly.

Utilize the GRTC Pulse.

Support locally owned bussinesses.

Embrace the history.

Grab a Richmond Magazine or Style Magazine for local reccommendations.

Join Lindsey's List on Facebook for available housing, jobs, etc.

Check out richmond.com's happy hour listing.

Take advantage of Restaurant Week.

Get involved with a volunteer organization.

Enjoy the many free outdoor activities, from the James River to hiking Humpback Rock.

Be wary of parking signs throughout the city.

San Antonio

Things to Do: Go out to dinner with friends. San Antonio has a lot of craft beer breweries and dozens of new restaurants open each year. The city is very family friends and a large percentage of the population is under age 40. 

Favorite Restaurants: Boudros; Smokeshack; and Paloma Blanca

Local Events: Dia de los Muertos and Fiesta Battle of Flowers

Tips & Tricks: 

San Antonio is a big city (7th largest in the US) with a smaller city feel.

Join a church, book club, exercise class, etc in order to find and meet new people.

It is all about who you know. Networking will get you jobs and open up opportunities. 

San Francisco

Things to Do: Hang out at Mission Dolores Park, enjoy all the outdoor activities San Francisco has to offer, eat your way through the Ferry Building, hike the Lands End Trail, take a walk to Fort Point for great pictures of the Golden Gate Bridge, visit the Golden Gate Fortune Cookie Factory, go to the Exploratorium at night, visit the sea lions at Fisherman's Wharf, visit the Japanese Tea Garden, take a tour of Anchor Brewing, cheer on the Giants, have high tea at The Palace Hotel. 

Favorite Restaurants: Gracias Madre, Waterbar, Salt & Straw, Long Bridge Pizza, Il Casaro, Delarose, Terzo, The House, Papalote, Taqueria Los Hermanos, Judahlicious, Yummy Yummy, Saigon Sandwhich, The Flying Falafel, China Live, Fiorella, Dragon Beaux, Deli Board, Lolo. 

Local Events: Pride, Outside Lands, Fleet Week, North Beach Festival, Macy's Great Tree Lighting, Off the Grid, Union Street Festival, St. Patrick's Day in FiDi, San Francisco Jazz Festival, Chinese New Year Festival and Parade, Litquake, Ghiradelli Square Tree Lighting Ceremony.

Tips & Tricks: 

Utilize scooters and bikes controlled by the Lyft and Uber apps - they're way cheaper than calling cars.

Be safe and aware of your surroundings when walking around the city.

Make a budget to ensure you can afford to not just live but also enjoy all the city has to offer.

A light jacket and layering is your friend.

The city has plenty of great farmer's markets- check them out.

Take weekend trips out of the city - snowboarding in Tahoe, wine tasting in Napa, hiking in natinoal parks, biking in Marin, or sailing in the bay.

Neighborhoods vary greatly, so spend time exploring before settling.

Ditch the car if you can.

Seattle

Things to Do: Swim in Lake Washington, walk around Green Lake, try a new brewery, hangout at Gas Works Park, go on a boat cruise. 

Favorite Restaurants: Mykonos Greek Grill, Ray’s Cafe, Umi Sushi, Brunello.

Local Events: Fremont Solstice Parade, SeaFair.

Tips & Tricks: 

Ask people to meet for coffee and keep in touch with those contacts!

Seattle is a great place for networking and people are usually really happy to share their insight.

Suffolk

Things to Do: Golf

Favorite Restaurants: Harper's Table, The Vintage Tavern

Local Events: P-nut Fest

Tips & Tricks: 

Suffolk is the largest city (in land area) in Virginia, so it can take an hour or more to get from one end of the city to another.

Washington D.C.

Things to Do: Visit Old Town Alexandria, ride your bike along the Potomac, watch airplanes land at Gravelly Point, enjoy a Nats or Caps game, check out the Arboretum, enjoy an Embassy Cultural Event, visit the Smithsonian Museums, explore the Georgetown Waterfront, take a night tour of the Monuments, check out the wineries and breweries right outside of the city, catch a show at the 9:30 Clubm attend an event at the Kennedy Center.

Favorite Restaurants: Chloe, Circa, Green Pig Bistro, Agora, Doi Moi, Little Serow, Lupo Verde, Zaytinya, Sfoglina, Salt Line, Boqueria, Le Diplomate, Thip Khao, Filomena, Sauf Haus, Hill Country, Jaleo, The Royal, Rose's Luxury, District Commons, Rasika, Stellina, Menomale, Mi Vida, Ambar, Sushi Taro, Toqueria Nacionale, Beau Thai.

Local Events: National Book Festival, Capital Fringe Festival, Funk Parade on U Street, Armed Forces Cycling Classic in Clarendon, Art on the Avenue, Cherry Blossom Festival, High Heel Drag Queen Race, Taste Leesburg, ZooLights, H Street Festival, Jazz in the Garden at the National Gallery of Art, St. Patrick's Day Parade, Rock the Block.

Tips & Tricks:

Utilize public transportation - Metro, ART buses, car sharing services, and bikes.

Get the SelectPass for Metro.

Take advantage of free events and the museums.

Sign up for the Capital Bikeshare program.

Check the metro newspaper for local festivals and events.

Ditch the car if you live and work in the city.

Join local "young adult/professional" groups.

Get outside of the more popular neighborhoods for exploring and cheaper eats. 

Williamsburg

Things to Do: Hanging out at the culture cafe.

Favorite Restaurants: Food for Thought, Nawab Indian Cuisine, Honey Butter's Kitchen.

Local Events: Events at the many local beweries. 

Tips & Tricks:

There are so many things to do here, sign up for some of the "happenings in town" mailing lists. This is a small place, but it's very lively.