Blenheim Vineyards#8 in Best Things To Do in Charlottesville
In 2000, Dave Matthews (of the Dave Matthews Band) and his family purchased some Piedmont region farmland. His original purpose was to preserve its historic significance (it was once the home of Secretary of Virginia Colony John Carter and housed a Revolutionary War prisoner, British Gen. William Phillips). But Matthews later decided to also plant some grape vines, and thus, a popular Charlottesville vineyard was born. Almost 20 years later, travelers still make a point to stop at Blenheim Vineyards for its history, its picturesque surroundings and its novelty.
Though Dave Matthews fans are united in their love of Blenheim, they're not the only ones offering praise for this vineyard. Recent travelers highly recommended adding Blenheim to your itinerary, especially if you're partial to reds. Though reviewers do note that it's smaller than the area's other vineyards, they rave about the views from the tasting room and the outdoor terrace.
The vineyard is about 10 miles south of the central Charlottesville area. It's open every day from 11 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Tastings cost $5 per person. Visit Blenheim's website for more information on the vineyard and special events.
More Best Things To Do in Charlottesville
#1 Historic Downtown Mall
Charlottesville's popular shops, restaurants and ambiance converge in one main area, known as the Historic Downtown Mall. Located, as you would imagine, on Main Street, this thoroughfare is home to more than 120 shops, 30 restaurants (many with outdoor seating), 10 art galleries, multiple performance venues, an ice skating rink and a Saturday farmers market. Stretching for eight blocks, this pedestrian-only area is popular with both visitors and locals, who say it's the perfect spot to shop, eat or simply people-watch.
In the spring, summer and fall, the mall's Charlottesville Pavilion hosts musical acts like Modest Mouse, Wiz Khalifa and Alabama Shakes. You can also catch free concerts at the pavilion every Friday from mid-April to mid-September as part of its Fridays After Five concert series. The mall's historical Paramount Theater is a great space to catch fine art performances like the Ash Lawn Opera. The only gripe among recent visitors? Parking. There is limited street parking (which is free), but there are plenty of spots in the Water Street Parking Garage, which charges $2 per hour.
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