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Top Places to visit in Charlottesville Virginia

A peaceful day in Charlottesville Virginia

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Our family had been eagerly waiting for an exciting getaway. Suddenly, the name Charlottesville popped up. From historic landmarks and scenic vineyards to interactive museums and gourmet eateries, we were set to discover the best places to visit in Charlottesville, Virginia. Little did we know, this trip would become a cherished chapter in our family’s story, filled with laughter, learning, and unforgettable moments.

Thoughts On Arrival

As we arrived in Charlottesville, Virginia, on a bright summer morning, I felt a wave of excitement and anticipation. We checked into a charming bed and breakfast, its cozy ambiance setting the perfect tone for our family adventure.

Our first stop was the historic Downtown Mall, one of the longest pedestrian malls in the country. Watching Emily and Jack’s eyes light up as they took in the street performers and unique shops filled my heart with joy. We decided to have lunch at Bizou, a delightful bistro offering Southern comfort food. The fried chicken and seasonal salads were a hit with everyone, setting a delicious tone for our culinary journey.

After lunch, we visited the Virginia Discovery Museum, a perfect spot to engage young minds. Emily and Jack were enthralled by the interactive exhibits, especially the kinetic sculpture and the bee hive exhibit. Their laughter and curiosity were infectious, and I found myself equally fascinated by the displays. As the sun began to set, we strolled back to our AirBnB, feeling a sense of contentment and excitement for the days ahead.

You can also read about our exploratory stay in Frederick, Maryland.

Historical Insights and Wine Country

Day two began with a hearty breakfast at our B&B, featuring homemade pastries and fresh fruit. Our morning destination was Monticello, the esteemed home of Thomas Jefferson. Walking through the historic house and its beautiful gardens, I felt a deep sense of connection to our nation’s history. Emily and Jack were fascinated by Jefferson’s ingenious inventions and hidden alcoves, while Mark and I marveled at the rich history surrounding us.

In the afternoon, we ventured into Virginia’s renowned wine country. We spent a blissful few hours at King Family Vineyards, where the kids enjoyed running on the sprawling lawns while Mark and I indulged in a wine tasting. We had a picnic on the grass, featuring local cheeses, fresh bread, and charcuterie, making for a perfect family meal.

Returning to Charlottesville, we dined at The Local, a farm-to-table restaurant known for its fresh, locally-sourced ingredients. The shrimp and grits quickly became a family favorite. Tired but happy, we returned to our AirBnB, eager for the next day’s explorations.

Downtown and Nature’s Beauty

The third day began with a historical walking tour of Charlottesville’s downtown area. Our guide brought the city’s past to life with engaging stories, leading us through historic neighborhoods and past iconic sites like the Rotunda at the University of Virginia. Even Emily and Jack, who sometimes resist history lessons, were captivated by the stories of the past.

For lunch, we visited Miller’s Downtown, a beloved local eatery where we enjoyed hearty sandwiches and refreshing iced teas. Energized, we set out for an afternoon of natural beauty at Shenandoah National Park. The scenic drive along Skyline Drive provided breathtaking views, perfect for family photos. We chose the Hawksbill Mountain trail for a family-friendly hike, and the panoramic views at the summit were worth every step.

Dinner that evening was at Boylan Heights, a gourmet burger joint that thrilled Emily and Jack. The creative burger options and crispy fries were a hit, making for a fun and casual dining experience. We ended the day with a sweet treat from Chaps, a vintage ice cream parlor on the Downtown Mall. With cones in hand, we walked back to our B&B, enjoying the cool evening air and the laughter of our children.

Arts and Farewell

Our final day in Charlottesville focused on exploring the city’s vibrant arts scene. We started at the Fralin Museum of Art, where Emily and Jack found the diverse collection of artworks intriguing. Next, we visited IX Art Park, a lively and eclectic space where local artists display their work. The interactive sculptures and murals provided plenty of entertainment, and we even participated in a hands-on art activity.

Lunch was at Bodo’s Bagels, a Charlottesville institution famous for its freshly made bagels and diverse toppings. The warm, chewy bagels were a hit, providing a quick yet satisfying meal. In the afternoon, we explored Michie Tavern, where we stepped back in time to experience 18th-century life. The kids enjoyed trying on period costumes and learning about colonial history.

Our last stop was the Carter Mountain Orchard, where we picked fresh peaches and apples while enjoying the stunning views of the surrounding countryside. We shared a final meal at Mas Tapas, savoring a variety of Spanish small plates that delighted everyone’s palate. The lively atmosphere and delicious food provided a perfect end to our Charlottesville adventure.

Remarks

Our family’s trip to Charlottesville had been more than just a vacation; it was a series of unforgettable experiences that brought us closer together. We found some of the best places to visit in Charlottesville Virginia and returned home with hearts full of joy and minds enriched with the memories of our four-day adventure.

Check out our stay in Baltimore, Maryland.

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