Jefferson Vineyards#7 in Best Things To Do in Charlottesville
Jefferson Vineyards is one of Charlottesville's favorite wineries for several reasons. One, its heritage (commissioned by Thomas Jefferson who donated this part of his land to a viticulturist for the purpose of producing wine); two, its size (22 acres of vines that produce between 6,000 and 8,000 cases annually) and three, its low tasting fee (only $12, and you get to take your tasting glass home). Its convenient location, a little more than a mile southeast of Monticello, isn't too shabby either.
It's for these reasons that travelers highly recommend stopping at the vineyard. When you're not sampling the vino in the tasting room, grab a bottle and park yourself on the outdoor lawn space or indoor seating area for some truly spectacular views. You're welcome to bring your own picnic or stop next door to Salt, an artisan market, to pick up some local eats. Aside from the quality of the wine, recent travelers were also impressed with the knowledgeable staff, who visitors said provided a wealth of information about the wine and the vineyard's far-reaching history. The only gripe among reviewers was that there was no discount on wine bottles for visitors to the tasting room.
Jefferson Vineyards is open daily from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.; the tasting room is open daily from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. For more information, visit the official website.
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#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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