Charlottesville: For Foodies & Lovers

In the coming months, as the cold subsides and leaves start to go green, take a weekend trip to Charlottesville, Virginia, about a two-and-a-half-hour drive from Washington, D.C., to find some peace, quiet and love. Combine your love of food, wine and hiking and explore Thomas Jefferson’s historic town that is now ranked one of the best food cities in the country. 

To absorb the countryside landscape, stay at Keswick Hall, a luxury resort at the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains. Be sure to dine at Marigold, its new lauded restaurant by Chef Jean-Georges. For staying in town, book a room at the hip Quirk Hotel, steps away from a host of restaurants and complete with its own dining room, cafe and famous rooftoppictured on a myriad of visitors’ Instagrams. It’s steps away from a slew of Cville’s best restaurants. The Graduate also offers a central town location, just blocks from the “Corner,” the University of Virginia’s main strip. The boutique hotel offers more budget stays as well as a rooftop restaurant and downstairs coffee shop. The Boars Head Inn boasts a combination of country and city proximity. It’s backed by lakes, a golf course and nature trails, while still a ten-minute drive to town. 

For dinner, check out Mezcal. Tavern & Grocery and Public Oyster Bar are tried-and-true classics for good wine, dim-lit ambience and American cuisine, all within the same few blocks. Or walk around the downtown mall and stop in Alley Light, a French speak-easy bistro complete with candlelight and a nightly rotating menu. Go to Tavola for handmade pasta in Belmont, a residential-area-turned-restaurant-region. Next door is the Local, a farm-to-table restaurant with string lights and a woodsy atmosphere. Across the street, Belle offers casual brunch, with the best avocado toast and egg sandwiches in town. 

For a sit-down breakfast and lunch, you must visit Marie Bette, or its sister location near the downtown mall, Petite Marie Bette, for daily homemade French bread, shakshuka and pastries. Also, try Farm Bell Kitchen, located just next to The Graduate, a few blocks north of UVA’s main drag. Or for something casual and quick, get a pressed sandwich or smoothie at Corner Juice on the “Corner,” across from UVA’s main campus. You can take a quick drive to Brazos Tacos, an Austin-original, for breakfast tacos and margaritas at any hour, located next to an art park. 

For shopping, stop at Eloise, a high-end boutique just a few blocks from Quirk and Little Star on Main Street. You can smell the perfumed air wafting from its luxurious neighbor, Neroli Spa. Also, check out Quattro Tizi, a trendy luxe boutique in the Dairy Market, a complex composed of various vendors, like D.C.’s Union Market. Get a matcha latte from Eleva, a homemade ice cream at Moo Thru, or a treat from the local bakery stand, Bee Conscious, all in the same square. 

Don’t leave Charlottesville without visiting its vineyards. Go to Pippin Hill or Kings Family for charcuterie, wine tasting, and vineyard views against the Blue Ridge Mountains. Or for something more wholesome, go to Carter’s Mountain Orchard for apple-picking and one of the highest hills for sunset viewing. And if you’re feeling active, hike Humpback Mountain, a steep incline with one of the best overlooks of Virginia’s valleys dotted with orange and red trees. You can catch similar views by car on Skyline Drive if you forget to pack your sneakers. 

And, of course, for something educational, head to Monticello (which offers hiking trails as well) and explore Jefferson’s estate. You can also absorb the Founding Father’s history with just a self-guided tour around UVA’s Grounds. Be sure to stop at the recently built Slave Memorial on your way to the famous Rotunda. 

Whether you’re there to hike or shop, absorb Virginia’s history or a vineyard’s wine, Charlottesville is the ideal country getaway for Washingtonians seeking nature and city alike. 

To do list for Charlottesville: 

Antiques & Vintage Decor 





Body by Signature 

Nua Medical Spa 

Restaurants (Located on Historic Downtown Mall) 

Brasserie Saison 



Petite Pois 

The Whiskey Jar 

Zocalo (Spanish/Latin) 

Restaurants in and near Charlottesville 


Mas Tapas 

Orzo Kitchen & Wine Bar (Mediterranean) 

Boylan Heights (C’Ville’s Best Burgers) 

Milan (excellent Indian food) 

Bodo’s Bagels (famous for bagels) 


Chiswell Farm Winery 

53rd Winery & Vineyard 

DuCard Vineyards 

Hark Vineyards 

Merrie Mill Farm & Vineyard 

Montifalco Vineyards 

Revalation Vineyards 


Alakazam Toys & Gifts 

Bittersweet Boutique 

Caspari (home goods & European paper goods) 

Rock Paper Scissors 

Sealed with a Kiss 





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