Editor’s Note: This post was written before the horrible and violent events that occurred in Charlottesville in August 2017.
My husband and I are big fans of Charlottesville, Virginia. Only a 2 1/2 hour drive from the D.C. suburbs, Charlottesville is not only home to the University of Virginia but is also a charming town that is central to countless wineries. And we know wineries always make for a good getaway.
This college town has so many things to do and places to eat, it’s impossible to touch on all of them. Here’s a quick rundown of the places we recently visited during an overnight stay for my husband’s birthday in June.
If you’re looking for a quick trip that involves good wine, food and that laid-back feel you won’t find in D.C., look no further than C-Ville.
Sip and See at Early Mountain Vineyards
I could list at least 8 different wineries you must visit if you’re in Charlottesville but I’ll leave that for another post. Early Mountain Vineyards was one of the few my husband and I had not visited. It did not disappoint. The wine is wonderful, the space itself is rustic modern, and the views are relaxing. It’s rosé season so of course we (okay, I) used that as an excuse to grab a bottle of their 2016 Rosé. Did I mention they also serve gourmet food? Perfect combo.
Grab Dinner at Red Pump Kitchen
I wish I had snapped a shot of this beautiful Tuscan restaurant but my husband and I were too engrossed in our rare child-free night. Red Pump Kitchen is owned by the renowned (and other highly-recommended winery) Pippin Hill Vineyards. Located in the Downtown Mall, you can easily spot Red Pump’s large open windows and hear patrons’ voices spilling onto the street. It’s a beautiful space and the buttery lighting complements the food perfectly. We will definitely be back.
Relax at the Omni Hotel
While it’s one of the pricier hotel options in Charlottesville, the Omni is also one of the most convenient to the Downtown Mall. Step right onto Main Street from the back of the hotel. No need for a taxi or car.
This hotel also won brownie points for me when I asked if they could do something special for our stay since it was my husband’s birthday. I was expecting an extra mint or two under the pillow but was pleasantly surprised when they left champagne and chocolate cake. The husband approved. Nice job, Omni!
Stroll the Downtown Mall
Take a leisurely walk down Main Street in the Downtown Mall area after dinner. There’s usually some kind of live music, fun shops and good people watching. Grab some UVA swag, too. If you’re looking for a nightcap, stop by Commonwealth, a rooftop bar that has a good mix of people. Happy strolling.
Wishing you a relaxing getaway in Charlottesville!