The time has come for us to leave on our little honeymoon and I realize that I know nothing about the area we’re visiting. We booked a few nights at a B&B in Virginia, near Charlottesville. We’ve only had time for a little bit of research and it looks like there are lots of wineries around, and lots of great areas for enjoying nice spring weather and scenery (Skyline drive, etc). Does anyone have recommendations for stuff to do around there (besides the hours we’re likely to spend holed up in the room with the four-poster king-size bed… )?
I’m also not familiar with B&B’s at all - I think I’ll need to bring all my own toiletries (shampoo, soap, toothpaste) but they have towels and such? The place has a bunch of very positive reviews everywhere we’ve looked, so we’re sure we’ll enjoy it. I just don’t know what to expect at all.
My family lives there and it’s a lovely town with plenty to do. Really you could stay entertained for quite a while just by walking the Downtown Mall (one of the longest outdoor pedestrian malls in the country). Great restaurants and lots of little shops. Monticello (Thomas Jefferson’s house) is cool if you like history. There will be info available when you get there about wineries, hiking, concerts, and other activities… but Google also tells you plenty.
Nice time of year to go, the leaves and flowers are out but it’s not hot and humid yet!
Were I you, I’d make a point of visiting UVA - the campus is supposed to have some really extraordinary architecture. In fact, if you’re leaving really soon, I’d even make a point of seeing if there were going to be any conferences or public lectures (unlikely, with finals coming up, but still.)
Yes, I’m a giant nerd. This is the Dope, after all.
I agree with rhubarbarin. Charlottesville is quite possibly the nicest city in the United States that I’ve ever been too. The downtown shopping mall is great, particularly if you’re a fan of classic used book stores; it has about seven of them. The neighborhood around the university also has great dining and shopping. Charlottesville also has a wonderful art and music scene, vastly superior to any other I’ve ever found in a city of that size. Search around for local music and live theater or comedy acts that will be going on while you’re there.
I think you’ll have to ask the B&B what they have and what they don’t, I’m sure it varies.
Yes, I’d agree with the other posters:
Skyline Drive/Blue Ridge Parkway. Lots of hikes with woods and waterfalls, beautiful views and scenery.
Also go to somewhere like http://www.yelp.com and look up restaurants. There is a shortage of national chains in Charlottesville, but a wealth of local and interesting restaurants.
For a short day hike, White Oak Canyon Trail, an access trail to the Appalachian Trail, is often rated as one of America’s most beautiful. You can just hike the first leg, to the base of the falls, and it isn’t terribly strenuous. IIRC that takes about 30-40 minutes one way. bring water and sturdy sneakers, but hiking boots not required. It gets quite steep after the falls.
For a very classic 5-ish hour hike, Old Ragg. Hiking boots required, and there are some spots with rocky scrambles at the top that may not be for the faint of heart. Stunning views from the peak, and well groomed & cared for.
Ashlawn, James Monroe’s house, is way overshadowed by Monticello, but it’s a very pleasant and interesting historical home that takes relatively little time to visit. Plus there are peacocks walking the grounds, and lambs just across the fence.
Lived here most of my life.
For a great and short hike, try Humpback Rocks. They’re a mere 5 miles down the Blue Ridge Parkway. The hike is less than a mile, but steep. Views are spectacular.
Visit the University and grounds of UVA. As others have mentioned, Monticello is quite a nice place to go.
Quality restaurants abound in the downtown area.
Check out the C’ville Weekly or The Hook for local events. These free papers are available all over town.
We’ve got quite a music scene in Charlottesville, if that’s your thing.