I enjoyed a long weekend in Charlottesville (kind of wishing I was still there). Here are some recommendations for the area:
- To see: UVA’s campus. It was fun pretending I was still in college walking around the campus with great buildings and views of the mountains. My favorite are the old residence halls that have rooms that all open to the quad (yes Edgar Allen Poe lived in one of them). The downtown mall area has a lot of cute bookstores, antique stores, and restaurants. The restaurants are a bit overpriced but the stores are super cute. Some of my favorites were Oyster House Antiques, Blue Whale Books, Sidetracks Music, and Timberlake’s: an old school fountain shop/drug store. If you’re there on Friday do Fridays after Five on the mall, live music, sitting outside: good combination. Oh and um, Monticello. Go there too.
- To eat: It’s out of the way, but really good: Savour. A friend who spent 5 years in Charlottesville getting his PhD
raved about it, for good reason: $30 gets you 3 courses and one of my favorite dishes of the year so far: tomato sushi. A smoked tomato acts as the “raw fish” with oh so creamy mozzarella as the “rice” and balsamic reduction as the soy sauce. Oh man. Go. Also enjoyed Boylan Heights - gourmet burgers for around $8 and a collegiate bar atmosphere (it’s right across the street from UVA).
- To drink: You gotta go to the wineries. Everyone raved about Stone Mountain Vineyards, but the drive up a mountain on a narrow, dirt road made me too nervous. I really enjoyed Barboursville – $5 gets you a wine glass to keep and 19 wines to taste. The owners are Italian winemakers and they grow some great Italian vintages. Plus there’s ruins on the site: Governor Barbour’s Jefferson-designed mansion burned down in the 1800s and is on site. Very cool.
You can view more photos from my trip on Flickr.