100 things to do in RVA

November 2, 2023


By María Badillo
Annie Tobey, W’82
This was a great launching point for everything.

While many Spiders graduate with an affection for the city of Richmond, Annie Tobey, W’82, wrote a whole book about it. This native Richmonder distilled decades of local experience into 100 Things to Do in Richmond Before You Die.

“We moved away when I was young,” she said, “but my parents always talked about Richmond with such warmth.” Raised with a strong sense of hometown pride, she found it natural to capture that love in her favorite medium: words.

“I wanted to be a writer when I grew up,” she said. “When my friend was finishing her dissertation research, she told me it was time to start writing, and I said, ‘Oh, the fun part!’ And she looked at me like I had two heads.”

This taught Tobey that her adoration for the written language wasn’t a universal experience. She used the revelation as the launching pad for her award-winning career as a writer.

“My Richmond professors helped me [make that possible.] They made their classes so interesting, which made writing about the topics so enjoyable. They were helpful in their critiques. This was a great launching point for everything.” Devoted to writing about intriguing subjects, Tobey has worked as a beer columnist for the Richmond Times-Dispatch, a regular contributor to beer and spirit periodicals, and an editor at several local magazines.

“There’s so much to do in Richmond and great communities for meeting people with shared interests. I truly enjoy the craft brewery scene, and I’m also part of the running community here. There are even groups that combine the two — you can really find your niche here.”

So when Reedy Press reached out to Tobey to write a Richmond guidebook, she jumped at the chance. “My reader was always front of mind as I wrote. It’s great for visitors, but I wanted it to be a resource for locals as well. There are definitely hidden gems that people might not know about.”