Last Updated on December 8, 2021
Traveling during the winter is a great escape from your day-to-day life and can provide much-needed relief from the season’s stress. Even though winter is a magical time of year with the holidays and snow, some people still deal with the winter blues. You might think you need to take a vacation somewhere the sun is shining and lined with palm trees during this time of year – but there’s also something special about visiting a small town during the winter too. Add to that, and you may not have the budget to fly to the Caribbean or trans-Atlantic, then taking a quick road trip to a town a few hours away could be all you need.
Consider putting Charlottesville, Virginia, on your travel list this winter. With its rich history and charming neighborhoods, it’s a cute spot where you can cozy up in a historic home with your partner or do some pretty fantastic sightseeing that could take days. Here are some things to do in Charlottesville during the winter that make this a great place to visit.
Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello
Thomas Jefferson’s famous home, Monticello (which means “little mountain”), is worth visiting Charlottesville alone. You can get an up-close look at how life on a plantation was lived. Intimate glimpses into the private life of Jefferson and his family are something you’ll never forget from his library to his dining room; everything is just as it was while he lived there. In addition to the home, the grounds of Monticello are simply breathtaking, with majestic views of the Blue Ridge Mountains.
Speaking of the Blue Ridge Mountains, there are many opportunities to hike in and around Charlottesville and Albemarle county. But maybe you’re not that much of an “outdoorsy” type and don’t even own a pair of hiking boots. If that’s the case, taking a drive along the Skyline Drive right outside of Charlottesville will offer you some of the most spectacular mountain views you’ll ever experience. While the winter season gives you a clear picture of the beauty that is Central Virginia, this experience will have you wanting to come back in the fall to see the leaves changing color – a once-in-a-lifetime experience everyone needs. Not to mention there are many scenic overlooks and stops where you can catch the perfect selfie with a gorgeous mountainous backdrop!
The University Of Virginia
UVA is one of our nation’s top public universities, and the campus is nothing short of Ivy League. On-campus you’ll see architecture influenced by the French and The Rotunda (designed by Thomas Jefferson) is a must-see. Edgar Allen Poe’s room is available to view (as it was when he lived there) on the lawn too. The campus is also home to a charming section of Charlottesville referred to as “The Corner.” The Corner is home to several famous local bars and restaurants and upscale boutiques, and rare bookstores. Several hotels are located on The Corner, making campus and shopping local an easy day’s work.
The Downtown Mall
Charlottesville’s historic Downtown Mall is the country’s longest pedestrian mall. Taking a stroll down the brick-lined mall is nothing short of idyllic, especially during the winter when all the shops are lined with twinkling lights. There are plenty of local shops, restaurants, and even art galleries on the mall. In addition to that, there are even more fun vintage shops, coffee houses, and music venues off the beaten path of the mall down its many side streets.
Charlottesville is a great place to visit and enjoy an authentic small-town experience with plenty of luxury sprinkled in. With its winters don’t get as cold as many northern states, you could easily wear your favorite bamboo long sleeve shirt and a jacket the entire weekend and be comfortable. You want to make sure you pack hiking boots if you’re a nature lover as there are so many opportunities to enjoy nature both in town and in the surrounding counties. It’s easy to feel right at home in casual attire in Charlottesville, so if you’re looking to spend a quiet but fun-filled weekend in Dave Matthews hometown, Charlottesville should be your next road trip this winter. Happy Trails!
Photo Credit: All images used via Flickr’s Creative Commons Licensing. (1) Monticello by Bret Wiese; (2) Skyline Drive View by Bob Travis; (3) The University of Virginia by John Sonderman; (4) Dpwntown Mall by Bob Mical