Michie Tavern#9 in Best Things To Do in Charlottesville
Michie Tavern certainly has nostalgia in its favor. Originally erected in the late 1700s in Earlysville, Virginia, this historic landmark was once the hub for that town's passersby, providing food, drink and a cozy bed if necessary. In present day — and relocated about 13 miles south in Charlottesville — the tavern still serves up southern comfort for its guests, with a staff donning colonial garb. But Michie is more of a novel historic house than a foodie sensation. In fact, there are several recent visitors who say the cuisine isn't very good, particularly given how much it costs. (On the plus side, if you do decide to dine here, you'll score a discount on your tour ticket.) But according to some travelers, the grounds' general store, gift shop and metal smith shop are worth your notice and make the trip here worthwhile.
Others say that the self-guided tours of the property, though no more than $6 for adults, aren't worth the price when compared to the grandeur of Monticello or Ash Lawn-Highland. However, you can save on entrance fees to all three if you purchase the Monticello Neighborhood Pass, which offers a savings of $6 for adults. If you're interested in judging for yourself, you'll find the tavern open every day except for Christmas and New Year's Day. The Dining Room and shops have varying hours of operation by day and season. Continuous tours are generally run from 9 a.m. to 4:20 p.m. each day. Visit the official website for further details.
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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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