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Charlottesville, VA
Weekend Vacation Getaway

Destination Overview


Click picture to enlargeThe Blue Ridge MountainsThe Downtown MallUVA Rotunda

Nestled in the shadows of the Blue Ridge Mountains, Charlottesville, Virginia is a largely undiscovered destination for weekend travel, yet offers everything you would want for an enjoyable getaway; great accommodations and dining and plenty of interesting things to do. Charlottesville is best known as the home of the University of Virginia and Thomas Jefferson’s beloved Monticello  and while a visit to Monticello is worth the trip alone, Charlottesville is so much more than just that.

Two other presidents, Madison and Monroe had homes here that are major tourist attractions and this city of 45,000 residents has a vibrant music scene, wonderful art galleries, ACC college sports, nationally recognized wineries, terrific shops and cafes in a Downtown Pedestrian Mall, great golf courses and a host of other indoor and outdoor recreational activities.

Known affectionately by the locals as C-Ville, Charlottesville is one of those places you visit where you think, "I could live here". Physically it is a small town with small town manners, but it's got big city lodging, dining and activities, making it a perfect weekend getaway. See my Scrapbook for pictures of Charlottesville.

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Click picture to enlargeA Snowy Clifton InnThe Hunt at Keswick HallFeast at Main Street Market

Making Your Travel Plans

To make your travel plans you can go to our Weekend Planner for all the contact information.

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Getting There

Richmond, Va is the closest airport, a little over an hour away. Driving time from DC is about 2 hours, 20 minutes, Charlotte and Philadelphia about 4 hours 45 minutes and New York about 6 hours. We drove from central New Jersey, it took about 5 1/2 hours and was a very pleasant ride through the country.

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When To Go

There is so much to do in and around Charlottesville that you can enjoy the city at any time of year. The warmer months provide the opportunity to enjoy the vast array of outdoor sports and sidewalk cafes. Fall in the Blue Ridge Mountains is spectacular and winter means ACC basketball.

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Getting Around

You will need a car when traveling to Charlottesville, particularly if you want to explore the wineries and historical venues. If however, those hold no appeal and you are staying at Keswick Hall with all it has to offer, you could get by without a car.

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Accommdations/Dining

There’s no longer any need to roll the dice on where you stay or to settle and stay at a “safe” national chain. BestWeekends Travel Advance Team takes the worry out of where to stay when you go away.

The BestWeekends Travel Advance Team does all the work for you. We research each destination by scouring the guidebooks, articles, blogs, reviews and rating systems. Then we visit the destination and stay in the properties. Finally, we talk to the locals to be sure we didn’t miss anything. The result: we post on our site only the best of what we experienced. You can book with confidence knowing that “we’ve been there” and that no one pays us for a review. Inside see our Featured Properties.

When you are away on vacation, there’s few things worse than a bad dining experience. We agree, so we follow the same process for identifying restaurants as we do for accommodations, but with an extra step. We believe that the best dining experience has the strongest combination of food, ambiance and service. Good food is a given in our recommendations, but the best food in the world just doesn’t taste as good in a poor setting and the best setting with poor service just doesn’t cut it for us. The BestWeekends Travel Advance Team only presents those restaurants that meet our strict criteria. Mangia….enjoy! Inside see our Featured Restaurants.

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Things To Do

The question is really what would you like to do, not what is there to do. Outdoors there's fishing, biking, hiking, horseback riding, canoeing/kayaking and golf. Indoors there's history, art galleries, antiquing, museums, theater, music and college sports. An exciting wine community offers tasting opportunities and there's no shortage of wonderful places to shop. Take a look at our Things To Do section.

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BestWeekend' s Exclusives

After selecting our favorite places to stay and eat, we sat down and made a list of all the other things that would save you time and make your stay more enjoyable. The result is “Special Things” and “Good To Know, Good To Go,” BestWeekends Exclusives.

Special Things identifies unique, fun and romantic things for couples to do together in a particular destination. Good to Know is our list of the “best” of everything from breakfast to burgers, cocktails to after dinner fun and much, much more. Why stumble around trying to find the “best”….we’ve already done it for you!

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Don't Miss

  • Jefferson's Monticello
  • Stroll the UVA campus and take the Rotunda tour
  • The Downtown Mall
  • Lunch at Palladio at Balboursville Vineyards
  • Dinner on the Terrace at Fossett's
  • A visit to Kluge Estate Winery and Vineyard
  • City Market, Saturdays, April-October

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News and Resources

The Daily Progress is the local newspaper and C-Ville is a weekly with news and arts info.

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