VCU's location in historic Richmond affords its students the benefits of living in one of the South's most cosmopolitan cities. Richmond, which has served as the capital of Virginia since 1779, is located on both sides of the James River at the seven-mile-long fall line between Virginia's low lying Tidewater region and the higher elevations of the Piedmont. The city is perfect for outdoor enthusiasts of all types, located only a couple of hours from the sparkling beaches of the Atlantic Ocean and the majestic mountains of the Blue Ridge. Richmond has established itself as the business, cultural and recreational hub of the State, and is hometown to many Fortune 500 companies. Richmonders can enjoy a wide variety of cultural and sports activities, including the Richmond Ballet, the Richmond Symphony, and the renowned Virginia Museum of Fine Arts.