Jeanita Harris

Guest Services Manager/Head Concierge

Jeanita Harris has been serving guests of The Jefferson Hotel for more than 25 years. A native Richmonder, Harris honed her skills in the hotels of New York before returning to share her passion for her hometown with visitors to the region. An accomplished cook, she enjoys entertaining friends and family, and crocheting and knitting for her six grandchildren.

  • On September 5, 2012
    Jeanita Harris answered the question: Jeanita Harris

    What is the best way to see Richmond in two days?

    The best way to see Richmond in two days is to start with a Segway tour of the city. These organized tours last about two-and-one-quarter hours and touch upon the historical, cultural and quirky aspects of the downtown area. Grab lunch in Shockoe Bottom at one of the restored warehouses-turned-restaurants. The American Civil War Center at Historic Tredegar is just down the street and offers a unique glimpse of the Civil War from the Confederate, Union and African-American perspectives. Purchase an American Civil War Pass while you are there and add the Museum of the Confederacy and the White House of the Confederacy to your tour.
     
    Be sure to stop by the Virginia State Capitol, designed by Thomas Jefferson, on your way from the Civil War Center to the Museum of the Confederacy. If Civil War history is not your interest, then visit Maymont and stroll the gardens, tour the Victorian mansion and see the animal exhibits.
     
    Check in at The Jefferson Hotel, the region’s only Forbes Travel Guide Five-Star hotel and an attraction itself. Enjoy dinner at Lemaire, the hotel’s signature restaurant and a Richmond favorite. Enjoy a traditional Southern breakfast in TJ’s Restaurant at The Jefferson the next morning before heading down scenic Monument Avenue to the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts. Spend the morning viewing the 22,000 pieces of work in their permanent collections, including a Fabergé exhibit. They often have world-class traveling exhibits in residence as well.
     
    Carytown is the perfect spot to enjoy a great lunch; many of the restaurants offer outside dining during the warmer months. Spend the afternoon shopping along the 10 blocks of one-of-a-kind boutiques.
     
    Tickets to a show are a great way to spend the evening. The concierge at The Jefferson can assist with tickets and a schedule of the evening’s performances. Or, pick your favorite neighborhood and revisit it for dinner. Richmond enjoys a robust culinary scene of more than 900 restaurants.
     
    All of the destinations on this itinerary can be reached using The Jefferson Hotel’s complimentary downtown transportation.
     
    On your way out of town, visit Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden to see the gardens and enjoy lunch in the tearoom or café.
  • On September 5, 2012
    Jeanita Harris answered the question: Jeanita Harris

    What is the best way to see Richmond in one day?

    The best way to see Richmond in one day is to start with a Segway tour of the city. These organized tours last about two-and-one-quarter hours and touch upon the historical, cultural and quirky aspects of the downtown area. Grab lunch in Carytown and take a few minutes to shop at the neighborhood’s many one-of-a-kind boutiques.
     
    The Virginia Museum of Fine Arts is the perfect way to spend the rest of the afternoon and is a must-see when visiting Richmond. Of special interest is their permanent Fabergé collection, and they often have a world-class traveling exhibit in residence.
     
    Take Monument Avenue back toward downtown and check in at The Jefferson Hotel. This historic landmark is the region’s only Forbes Travel Guide Five-Star hotel and an attraction itself. Enjoy dinner at Lemaire, the hotel’s signature restaurant and a Richmond favorite, before going to Shockoe Bottom for a nightcap or entertainment. (Be sure to use the hotel’s complimentary downtown transportation.)
     
    TJ’s at The Jefferson offers a delightful Southern breakfast. On the way out of town, stop by Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden and lunch in the charming tearoom.
  • On September 5, 2012
    Jeanita Harris answered the question: Jeanita Harris

    What’s the best time to visit Richmond?

    Fall and spring are the best seasons to travel to Richmond. Mild temperatures make these the perfect times to get outdoors and enjoy all that the city has to offer. Beautiful flowers in the spring and the changing leaves in the fall further beautify the landscape.
     
    These are also the times of year when the majority of the city’s festivals are held. Richmond is known for its many festivals and special events, including dozens of food and cultural festivals, arts and crafts events, NASCAR, Richmond Flying Squirrels baseball and even outdoor theater. The city is also known for its extensive offering of outdoor musical performances. Hosted at a variety of venues throughout the city, a concert can be found almost every night of the week, many of them free or offered for a nominal fee.
     
    Richmond’s many outdoor shopping opportunities are also most enjoyed during these seasons when you can comfortably window shop and enjoy one of the many restaurants offering outdoor dining. Historical tours and garden tours are quite popular, along with downtown walking tours, food tours and Segway tours.
     
    The parks and botanical gardens of Richmond are also most alive with activity in the spring and the fall. Two favorites are Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden and Maymont.
  • On September 5, 2012
    Jeanita Harris answered the question: Jeanita Harris

    What is Richmond’s cultural scene like?

    Richmond provides a wide variety of cultural experience. The performing arts opportunities in Richmond are seemingly endless and the venues as grand as the performances made in them. The Richmond Ballet, Richmond Symphony and Virginia Opera have regular appearances at The Carpenter Center, often with nationally acclaimed guest performers. The Carpenter Center, along with The Landmark Theater, is also host to the Broadway in Richmond series, allowing Richmond and its visitors to enjoy Broadway theater a little closer to home. The Richmond Coliseum and The Landmark Theater regularly attract national performing artists for concerts, comedy shows and family entertainment. The Modlin Center for the Arts at University of Richmond also offers a robust schedule of performances including nearly all genres of the performing arts.
     
    The local theater is also rich with talent and can be seen in venues including Theater IV, the Richmond Shakespeare Festival, Barksdale Theatre, Firehouse Theatre Project and at Virginia Commonwealth University and University of Richmond.
     
    Richmond has a very active and diverse art community, with dozens of galleries located in downtown Richmond along Broad Street and in the Carytown shopping district. First Fridays is a popular event held the first Friday of each month when the galleries on and around Broad Street keep their doors open late for visitors to enjoy after hours.
     
    The city’s two universities, Virginia Commonwealth University and University of Richmond, also offer a wide variety of student art displays. Professional collections may also be viewed at Virginia Commonwealth University’s Anderson Gallery and University of Richmond’s Joel and Lila Harnett Museum of Art, Joel and Lila Harnett Print Study Center and Lora Robins Gallery of Design from Nature.
     
    The most renowned art collections may be seen at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, which houses more than 22,000 pieces of art, including permanent exhibits from The Lillian Thomas Pratt Collection of Fabregé; Art Deco, Art Nouveau and Modern and Contemporary art from the collection of Sydney and Frances Lewis; and The Jerome and Rita Gans Collection of English Silver — just to name a few. The museum also regularly has traveling collections from around the world, most recently including the only U.S. showing of Tiffany glass and the only East Coast appearance of Picasso: Masterpieces from the Museé National Picasso, Paris.
     
    Not to be missed is the Richmond Forum, which provides five audiences per year with nationally acclaimed speakers. Past engagements have included Condoleezza Rice, Michael Douglas, B.B. King, Cal Ripken Jr., Tony Blair, Dick Clark, Tom Brokaw, Bill Cosby, Oprah Winfrey and Mary Tyler Moore.
  • On September 5, 2012
    Jeanita Harris answered the question: Jeanita Harris

    What are the five best free things to do in Richmond?

    The five best free things to do in Richmond are:
     
    1. Tour the grounds at Maymont: This 100-acre estate was a gift to the city of Richmond from James and Sallie Dooley and is now operated by a private foundation. Tour the gardens and the exhibits of more than 100 animals for free. A tour of the Victorian mansion is available for $5.00 per person.
     
    2. Visit the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts: Over 22,000 pieces of art, including permanent exhibits from The Lillian Thomas Pratt Collection of Fabergé; Art Deco, Art Nouveau and Modern and Contemporary art from the collection of Sydney and Frances Lewis; and The Jerome and Rita Gans Collection of English Silver are free to view. Traveling blockbuster exhibits are at a charge.
     
    3. Window shop in Carytown: Enjoy browsing in the one-of-a-kind boutiques, people watching and exploring the neighborhood.
     
    4. Take a stroll down the Canal Walk: This 1.25-mile walk takes you through downtown Richmond along the banks of the Haxall Canal, the James River and Kanawha Canal.
     
    5. Take a drive down Monument Avenue: This historic street, listed on the National Register of Historic Places, is lined with architecturally significant homes from the early 1900s and is punctuated with statues that tell the history of the city.
  • On September 5, 2012
    Jeanita Harris answered the question: Jeanita Harris

    What are the five best things to do on a romantic trip to Richmond?

    The five best things to do on a romantic trip to Richmond are:
     
    1. Stroll through Carytown: These 10 blocks near downtown Richmond feature more than 200 one-of-a-kind boutiques, restaurants and services, including the historic Byrd Theatre (circa 1928), where movies are still only $1.99.
     
    2. Connect with nature at Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden: More than 50 acres of beautiful gardens are open year-round and include more than a dozen themed gardens, including a Victorian garden, Asian Valley, rose garden, wetland garden and children’s garden. A classical domed conservatory houses an amazing collection of orchids and tropical plants as well as special exhibits.
     
    3. Have a picnic at Maymont: Tour the gardens and the beautiful Victorian home on this 100-acre estate, located in downtown.
     
    4. Restaurant hop in Shockoe Bottom/Shockoe Slip: Enjoy the festive vibe of Shockoe Bottom and Shockoe Slip with its many restaurants, cobblestone streets and access to the Canal Walk.
     
    5. Sip a cocktail in The Jefferson Hotel’s Rotunda lobby: An attraction itself, The Jefferson Hotel opened in 1895 and has been an integral part of Richmond history and life since. Enjoy a cocktail from TJ’s Restaurant while taking in the magnificence of the Rotunda lobby and the beauty of the Grand Staircase. Head to The Jefferson’s Lemaire restaurant for a romantic dinner afterwards.
  • On September 5, 2012
    Jeanita Harris answered the question: Jeanita Harris

    Where is the best Richmond shopping?

    Richmond offers a wide variety of shopping opportunities. Perhaps the most popular with residents and visitors alike is Carytown. These 10 blocks near downtown Richmond feature more than 200 one-of-a-kind boutiques, restaurants and services, including the historic Byrd Theatre (circa 1928), where movies are still only $1.99.
     
    The Shops at Libbie and Grove and River Road Shopping Center are two other uniquely Richmond shopping experiences, each featuring a selection of upscale shops and restaurants in the city’s prestigious West End.
     
    Richmond is also home to two open-air malls, each featuring a large selection of chain retailers and restaurants. Short Pump Town Center is located just 15 minutes west of downtown Richmond and is anchored by Nordstrom, Crate and Barrel, Pottery Barn and Macy’s. Stony Point Fashion Park is 15 minutes south of the city and features such retailers as Saks Fifth Avenue, Anthropologie and Louis Vuitton.
     
    The region is home to six other shopping malls and more than 100 antique stores. Visitors still looking for more may also consider a day trip to nearby Williamsburg (one hour east) for outlet shopping and the unique shops at Merchants Square.
  • On September 5, 2012
    Jeanita Harris answered the question: Jeanita Harris

    What are the five best things to do with kids in Richmond?

    The best things to do with kids in Richmond are:
     
    1. Enjoy hands-on experiments at the Science Museum of Virginia: The museum has permanent exhibitions on health, energy and natural science and includes hundreds of interactive exhibits, fascinating artifacts, live animals and an IMAX DOME.
     
    2. Connect with nature at Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden: Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden is fun for the whole family with more than 50 acres of gardens, including the Children’s Garden with its enormous tree house, water play (warm weather only), ever-changing exhibits and gigantic sand box.
     
    3. Play and learn at the Children’s Museum of Richmond: The museum offers two branches filled with hands-on exhibits and active play for all ages and interests, including an art studio filled with craft materials for creating a masterpiece. The downtown branch features outdoor water play and a great area just for kids three and under.
     
    4. See the animals at Maymont: This downtown estate is more than 100 acres and includes beautiful gardens, mansion tours and natural habitat exhibits of Virginia’s indigenous animals.
     
    5. Ride the coasters at Kings Dominion: The amusement park features more than 60 rides, attractions and shows, including 15 world-class roller coasters, a large children’s area and WaterWorks, a 20-acre water park that’s included with park admission. 
  • On September 5, 2012
    Jeanita Harris answered the question: Jeanita Harris

    What are the five best things to see and do in Richmond?

    The five best things to see and do in Richmond are:
     
    1. Visit the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts: Tour the galleries that house more than 22,000 pieces of art, including permanent exhibits from The Lillian Thomas Pratt Collection of Fabergé; Art Deco, Art Nouveau and Modern and Contemporary art from the collection of Sydney and Frances Lewis; and The Jerome and Rita Gans Collection of English Silver — just to name a few. The museum regularly hosts blockbuster traveling collections from around the world.
     
    2. Connect with nature at Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden: More than 50 acres of beautiful gardens are open year-round and include more than a dozen themed gardens, including a Victorian garden, Asian Valley, rose garden, wetland garden and children’s garden. A classical domed conservatory houses an amazing collection of orchids and tropical plants as well as special exhibits.
     
    3. Experience the nation’s history at the American Civil War Center at Historic Tredegar and the Museum of the Confederacy on the American Civil War Pass: These discounted passes include admission to both museums and are available for purchase at both attractions. The American Civil War Center is the first museum to interpret the Civil War from a Union, Confederate and African-American perspective while the Museum of the Confederacy houses the most comprehensive collection of artifacts from the Confederate States of America and includes a tour of the White House of the Confederacy.
     
    4. Stroll through Carytown: These 10 blocks near downtown Richmond feature more than 200 one-of-a-kind boutiques, restaurants and services, including the historic Byrd Theatre (circa 1928), where movies are still only $1.99.
     
    5. Take in a festival or live concert: Richmond is famous for its year-round schedule of fun festivals, many themed for the region’s food and ethnic cultures. Live concerts can be enjoyed nearly every night of the week through the spring, summer and fall at the city’s museums, parks and concert venues.