Charlottesville, Virginia is a historic American city which is known for having once been the home to US presidents Thomas Jefferson and James Monroe and notable writers William Faulkner and Edgar Allen Poe. Charlottesville is also home to the University of Virginia and is a lively college town with a lot to offer the party-minded traveler looking for fun and excitement. The city is home to the University of Virginia’s college sports teams, most notably their regionally popular football team which plays in Scott Stadium (a venue which also hosts major national music acts). Charlottesville is known for having a good local music scene as well, with the Dave Matthews Band being the most prominent act to arise from the city.
If you are planning on visiting Charlottesville for a football or basketball game or a major college event such as graduation, be sure to book your hotel well in advance as there will be a major influx of travelers into the city. For cheap lodging you might look at the Alexander House Inn and Hostel, featuring extremely inexpensive hostel-style bunks, and relatively inexpensive private rooms. If you want to stay in style Downtown, you might consider the Omni Hotel Charlottesville. Hotels located near the University or on campus include higher-end choices like the Inn at Darden Charlottesville and the Holiday Inn University Charlottesville, while inexpensive and midscale options include the Budget Inn Charlottesville, the Days Inn Charlottesville, and the Comfort Inn Charlottesville. For true luxury options in and around C-Ville (as the locals call it), it doesn’t get much better than the Boar’s Head Inn, the Clifton Inn, and Keswick Hall at Monticello.
We all know the old adage “we all gotta eat;” it’s true as ever, and you are going to be wondering where the best places to do just that are in Charlottesville. Charlottesville has a rich culinary landscape, and being that it is surrounded by fertile land, its restaurants have great fresh and local ingredients to draw from. No restaurant better epitomizes this aesthetic than The Local, focusing on “farm-to-table” style contemporary American cuisine. Mas is a hands-down locals-favorite Spanish tapas bar with a lively atmosphere which is well worth checking out, while the BBQ Exchange is the place to be for great barbecue in C-Ville. Bodo’s is a local institution among bagel lovers, while Dr. Ho’s Humble Pie features not only the best pizza in the area, but great wings, nachos, fries, and more. For upscale fine dining in Charlottesville, you cannot beat the Clifton Inn, a convenient choice if you are looking for the best in both dining and lodging in Charlottesville.
As you would expect from a major college town, Charlottesville definitely has its fair share of after-hours excitement to be had. Some of the more popular bars include Miller’s Downtown (where Dave Matthew’s Band famously played in their early days in C-Ville), McGrady’s Irish Pub, and the Commonwealth Restaurant and Sky Bar. If you like good beer, your top options Downtown are going to be the South Street Brewery and Beer Run, or hit up Michael’s Bistro or the Mellow Mushroom if you want to sip some craft brews on “The Corner” (the main hub for student nightlife in Charlottesville). For live music, the Jefferson Theater, Twisted Branch Tea Bazaar, Coupe DeVille’s, and The Southern are great options. If you want to dance to DJs, Rapture is your best bet.
Let’s face it; college is fun, and with college towns come all the excitement of the college experience. Charlottesville, Virginia, as home to UVA, is the epitome of a college town and all that implies; great live music, bars galore, and lots of young (and young at heart) people out and about looking to have a great time. The local and organic-oriented food scene in Charlottesville really shines as well, and the countryside is gorgeous (and also wine country), making it a great place to have a relaxing chill-out weekend, party it up big-time, or a combination of the two.