Richmond is a mecca of a variety of fun summer activities, from centuries of American history to King's Dominion located a half-hour outside the city. Add that to the great food and shopping, Richmond is a worthwhile trip down (a little ways) south. Distance from Baltimore: 147 miles Summer events/activities: The Pocahontas Live summer concert series in Pocahontas State Park (10301 State Park Road, Chesterfield, Va.; dcr.virginia.gov or 804-796-4255; ticket prices vary) will feature popular performers including Lee Brice (July 10), Scotty McCreery (July 28) and O.A.R. (July 31); shop and sample at one of Richmond's summer food tours (realrichmondva.com or 804-840-5318; $50 tickets); enjoy "POP!," an outrageous whodunit musical opening July 11 at the Firehouse Theatre Project (1609 W. Broad St.; firehousetheatre.org or 804-355-2001; $15-$32). Cool lodging: Feeling fancy? Stay at the historic Jefferson Hotel (101 W. Franklin St.; jeffersonhotel.com or 804-649-4750) where you can dine on delicious Chesapeake-style seafood and observe the magnificent architecture. For those on a budget, try the Clarion Hotel Central (3207 North Blvd.; clarionhotel.com or 804-359-9441) for a great location and free breakfast. Eat here: Richmond specializes in fantastic southern cuisine. M Bistro (4821 Old Main St.; mbistro-rocketts.com or 804-652-2300) thrills with a variety of seafood and great service. And if you love fried food and a spectacular beer and whiskey collection, check out Comfort (200 W. Broad St.; comfortrestaurant.com or 804-780-0004). Don't miss: There's no better way for a Baltimorean to feel at home in Richmond than a visit to the (other) Poe Museum. (1914-16 E. Main St.; poemuseum.org or 804-648-5523;$5-$6). The "Poe in Paris" exhibit opened this summer and will feature rare editions of Poe's works as well as portraits of Poe by Manet.
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