Charlottesville in picturesque town in Virginia that boasts a vibrant arts culture, great shopping, world-renowned historic sites, scenic parks and an abundance of waterways providing opportunities for endless outdoor adventures.
Charlottesville is also a college town, known for being the home of the University of Virginia.
The city is small (population 45,672 as of 2023) and has a hometown feel. Downtown Charlottesville offers wine and beer tours, ballooning, hiking, and world-class entertainment.
Charlottesville is also home to the Downtown Mall, which is one of the longest outdoor pedestrian malls in the nation. The mall features stores, restaurants, theaters, and civic attractions. The city is located just east of the Blue Ridge Mountains, which adds to its stunning natural beauty. Charlottesville is rich in culture and offers endless activities to enjoy.
Here’s our ultimate girls’ getaway guide to Charlottesville, Virginia with all the tips you need to plan an unforgettable girls’ trip!
Things To Do In Charlottesville On A Girls’ Getaway
Charlottesville, though small, offers numerous things to see and do. It is located in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains and is just a short 30-minute drive away from the 500 miles of trails in Shenandoah National Park, providing ample opportunities to explore the great outdoors.
The city is surrounded by farms, orchards and dairies, making it a haven for foodies. Charlottesville boasts one of the highest numbers of restaurants per capita in the US, ranging from funky food trucks to trendy food halls and buzzing brunch spots.
Here are ten fun things to do in Charlottesville on a girls’ getaway!
1) Visit Thomas Jefferson’s Home At Monticello
Just a 15-minute drive from Charlottesville is Thomas Jefferson’s Home at Monticello. This 19th-century plantation has a superb educational tour and spectacular gardens. The garden boasts a diverse array of trees and flora, making it a must-see for any garden enthusiast.
2) Hike The Blue Ridge Mountains
Charlottesville is nestled in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains with a large number of hiking trails with incredible views of the surrounding area. The Shenandoah National Park is located close to the city, which has over 500 hiking trails if you and your girls would like to leave the city and spend some time in the great outdoors.
3) Follow The Monticello Wine Trail
The Monticello Wine Trail boasts over 40 wineries inspired by Thomas Jefferson’s passion for viticulture and winemaking. The trail is made up of wineries that are members of the Monticello Wine Trail. Each member has a tasting room to offer guests the wines made from their Monticello AVA vineyards.
Each winery is different and has different things to offer. Pippin Hill Farm is a boutique vineyard and winery that produces award-winning wine and has tasting rooms, along with its signature wines, the Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay and Cabernet Franc. In contrast, King Family Vineyards offers a laid-back experience with a tasting room and tours and both indoor and outdoor seating areas.
4) Try Some Virginia Cider
In Virginia, it’s worth following the locals’ lead and opting for a refreshing glass of cider instead of a pint of beer. Virginia is renowned for its hard cider, so it’s highly recommended that you visit a local cidery such as Bold Rock Cidery & Taproom or Castle Hill Cider.
5) Visit The Downtown Mall
Spend an afternoon exploring the pedestrian-friendly Downtown Mall in historic Charlottesville, brimming with shops, restaurants and cafes. Here, you will find three-story bookstores, a Saturday morning market (in the summer months) and many local boutique stores to explore.
6) Visit the Art Museums
The Fralin Museum of Art is a must-visit for art lovers with an extensive permanent collection and different exhibitions. Another great art museum is the Kluge-Ruhe Aboriginal Art Collection, the only museum dedicated to Indigenous Australian art in the United States.
7) Watch The Sunset At The Carter Mountain Orchard
Located in the mountains close to Charlottesville, you will find a country store and bakery. During the summer, they often have live music and visitors and locals bring a blanket and sit and enjoy the music and views. During fall, they also have apple picking and pumpkin picking. There is also the Prince Michel Wine Shop and Mountain Grill, where you can get something to eat or pick up a bottle of wine for your picnic.
8) Drink Beer Along The Charlottesville Ale Trail
The Charlottesville Ale Trail consists of craft breweries, cideries and distilleries. Charlottesville has become a significant player in the craft beer scene. To participate in the Charlottesville Ale Trail, all you need to do is visit their website and download your passport. Each time you visit a location on the tour, get a stamp. This is an excellent way to explore all the great spots while earning a gift. You can also turn the trail into a walking tour or a bar crawl.
9) Explore The University of Virginia
Established in 1819 by Thomas Jefferson, The University of Virginia is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the “Public Ivies” of the United States. Here, you will find The Rotunda, a national historic landmark, the Serpentine Walls and Edgar Allan Poe’s Room. From the historic Rotunda, daily tours wind through beautiful gardens, an expansive courtyard called the Lawn, ten pavilions, and various other historic structures.
10) Visit The Dairy Market
Dairy Market, one of the most incredible attractions in Charlottesville, is housed in the historic 1936 Monticello Dairy building. It is the first market hall in Central Virginia and opened its doors in 2020. The space is home to around 18 unique vendors, all offering fantastic food and products. Dairy Market regularly hosts pop-up events and live music performances, making it a popular spot for locals and tourists.
Best Tours To Take In Charlottesville For A Girls’ Getaway
Charlottesville offers a variety of enjoyable tours for exploring the area, taking to the water and visiting historic landmarks. For a girl’s getaway, here is a great option:
- Discover the most spine-tingling haunted sites in Charlottesville on this ghost tour of the Pedestrian Mall, Court Square and beyond.
Best Hotels In Charlottesville For A Girls’ Getaway
Despite its size, Charlottesville has many accommodation options, from boutique hotels in the Downtown Mall to luxury resorts just a short drive from the city. There is something for every accommodation, desire and budget.
Here are 10 of the best hotels to stay at during your Charlottesville girls’ getaway:
- Omni Charlottesville Hotel – Located ideally in the entertainment district, the Omni is within a walkable city area with easy access to the Jefferson Theater and the Downtown Mall. The recently renovated hotel has an outdoor and indoor swimming pool and 205 rooms. The rooms are divided into deluxe rooms, suites and executive suites, sleeping between one and five people in comfort.
- English Inn of Charlottesville – Located in the business district, this hotel is ideally located to explore the city, with short walks or a short drive to major city landmarks and shopping districts. The hotel has 106 rooms, including suites, two queen bedrooms, a one-bedroom family suite, and standard king rooms.
- Country Inn and Suites by Radisson – The 87 rooms in this hotel all feature laptop-friendly workspaces air conditioning and a complimentary buffet breakfast. The hotel also has an indoor swimming pool and free parking and is just a short drive from the city’s main attractions.
- Courtyard by Mariott Charlottesville – This hotel features an airport shuttle, a terrace, a coffee shop and free wifi. The hotel is within walking distance of many of the city’s main attractions,, including the Fashion Square Mall, the Barracks Road Shopping Center, and the University of Virginia.
- Graduate Charlottesville – With 134 rooms, this hotel is on the large side but still features a terrace, cafe, an onsite restaurant and a bar. The rooms can sleep between one and four people in comfort with king and queen bed options.
- Quirk Charlottesville – Located just a short walk from the Downtown Mall and the Jefferson Theater, this hotel is in a great location to explore the surrounding area and the shopping district. The hotel features 80 individually decorated rooms, including queen rooms, king rooms, suites and deluxe rooms, many of which have outside balconies with seating areas.
- Kimpton The Forum Hotel – This hotel features 198 rooms which include rooms with balconies, terraces and a separate dining area, making it an ideal place to stay for larger groups. Located within walking distance of the University of Virginia and the Barracks Road Shopping Center, this hotel is ideally located to explore the area.
- Boar’s Head Resort – Located in Ednam, a Charlottesville neighborhood, this upscale resort has an 18-hole golf course, three outdoor swimming pools, an onsite spa and two restaurant options. The hotel also offers yoga and aerobics classes and squash and racquetball. The 170 rooms include two queen-bed options for four guests, king-room options and single rooms.
- Oakhurst Inn – This upscale hotel features 35 individually furnished rooms including queen rooms, standard rooms, accessible rooms and suites. Located in Jefferson Park Avenue, this hotel is close to the airport and many of the city’s top attractions. The inside cafe also features a brunch option, which shouldn’t be missed.
- Keswick Hall and Golf Club – Located in Keswick, just a short drive from vineyards and the city, this luxury hotel has an 18-hole golf course, an outdoor swimming pool with cabanas and a bar. The hotel also features an onsite spa and a fine-dining restaurant.
Best Villas In Charlottesville For A Girls’ Getaway
If you are looking for a more affordable high-end rental or somewhere where all your girls can relax together on your Charlottesville girls’ getaway, here are ten top-rated luxury villas that are less pricey but still have all the required amenities for an incredible stay:
- Modern Crozet Apartment – 2 bedroom / 2 bath / Sleeps 6
- TheComfy Ranch – 3 bedroom / 2 bath / Sleeps 6
- Ivy Rose Cottage – 2 bedroom / 2 bath / Sleeps 5
- The Metta Gem – 2 bedrooms / 1 bath / Sleeps 4
- 3 Bedroom Downtown Home – 3 bedrooms / 2 bath / Sleeps 6
- Belmont Carriage House – 3 bedrooms / 2 bath / Sleeps 10
- Grand Log Home – 7 bedrooms / 5 bath / Sleeps 20
- Shenandoah Yurt – 3 bedrooms / 2 bath / Sleeps 8
- Monticello House – 4 bedrooms / 3 bath / Sleeps 13
- Rustling Meadows Dwell Manor – 4 bedrooms / 3 bath / Sleeps 12
Best Dinner Spots In Charlottesville
Charlottesville has every dining option, everything from casual to fancy and countryside to downtown. Charlottesville is a hub of diverse restaurants, serving Nepalese, Peruvian, Honduran, Turkish and other cuisines.
Here are ten of the best restaurants in Charlottesville:
- Zocalo – This restaurant is in the heart of Charlottesville, right on the historic Downtown Mall. It has been a popular dining and nightlife destination for over a decade. During the warm months, guests can enjoy the restaurant’s spacious patio. With this regional hotspot, they can sip on signature cocktails, socialize with friends, or simply relax and watch the endless parade of people strolling the Downtown Mall.
- The Bebedero – Considered by many as the best Mexican in town, this Historic Downtown Mall location has something for everyone. The menu is prepared with fresh ingredients using family recipes from coastal Veracruz to Puebla.
- Bizou – This restaurant offers classic Virginian dishes with French culinary techniques and multicultural interpretations. Additionally, it has a quirky vintage dining room and a patio in the heart of the downtown pedestrian area.
- Bang! – The menu boasts a delicious Asian influence with fresh fish, homemade entrees, and locally sourced produce and meats. A full bar offers an extensive martini menu and other fine beverages served indoors and outdoors on the vibrant patio.
- The Fitzroy – Located on Charlottesville’s Downtown Mall, offers updated comforting classics in its kitchen and bar.
- Orzo Kitchen and Wine Bar – Situated in the charming downtown area of Charlottesville, it embodies the welcoming and generous character of the Mediterranean through its cuisine, beverages, art, and hospitality. Savor our ever-changing menu of locally sourced, seasonal dishes paired with a wide selection of wines by the glass and inventive handcrafted cocktails.
- Lampo – This Italian pizza restaurant is a local favorite, with three locations around the city. Lampo is a Neapolitan pizzeria that offers various pizzas and other items. The restaurant is open for lunch and for dinner, Monday through Saturday.
- Mas Tapas – This restaurant prides itself on using simple, well-made ingredients, all served within a casual neighborhood-style setting, with a traditional fare of Spanish tapas ideal for sharing plates with your girls or as a snack with drinks. The menu features Spanish favorites such as Papas Bravas, Chorizo and Paella.
- Southern Crescent – This restaurant specializes in Cajun and Creole cuisine, with home-cooked authentic Louisiana dishes. The restaurant itself has a comforting ambiance located within an old house with a big front porch and gardens with outdoor seating.
- The Clifton 1799 Restaurant – The restaurant offers seasonal menus that feature dishes made from locally sourced ingredients, many of which are grown in the Chef’s garden. The cuisine is unforgettable and is perfectly complemented by innovative cocktails and an extensive wine selection. The wine list includes Virginia’s most celebrated wines andes from around the world.
Best Nightlife Spots in Charlottesville
Charlottesville has plenty of bars and nightlife options for your girls. The Downtown area has an abundance of live music and something for every girl’s getaway if your girls are into lively nightlife options of just a relaxing evening drinking a cocktail.
Here are ten of the best nightlife spots in Charlottesville:
- Blue Mountain Brewery – Situated in Afton, Virginia, nestled in the shadow of the Blue Ridge Mountains, this farm brewery grows its hops and proudly crafts real American beer inspired by millennia of tradition.
- Kardinal Hall – Kardinal Hall is a contemporary version of an Alpine-inspired Beer Hall and Beer Garden. The establishment is located in the historic Art Deco Coca-Cola building, which was built in 1939. The warehouse and bottling plant have been repurposed and are located in Charlottesville’s Midtown area.
- Three Notch’d Brewing – Three Notch’d has been brewing award-winning beer since 2013. Located in IX Art Park this brewery specializes in creating locally sourced food to pair with what’s on tap. The brewery has an extensive full bar and a craft cocktail menu.
- The Whiskey Jar – If you and your friends enjoy whiskey, this is the perfect spot! Located at the far end of the downtown mall, there is plentiful indoor seating and a festive wooden bar.
- Rapture – The restaurant and nightclub is situated at the heart of Charlottesville’s lively historic downtown pedestrian mall. It is the perfect spot for an evening out, offering a blend of traditional Southern cuisine with high-end European and Asian dishes. The restaurant’s swanky bar and billiards room provide an ideal atmosphere to gather with friends and socialize.
- Tilman’s Cheese and Wine – Located on the Downtown Mall, this counter-service wine bar is a fantastic choice for happy hour.
- Quirk Rooftop Bar – The Rooftop Bar offers a diverse selection of seasonal cocktails, mainly bottled beers with a few on tap, and an extensive wine list with many local winery options. Many of the cocktails are visually appealing and perfect for Instagram, and the Quirk Rose is a refreshing option that’s particularly enjoyable during the hot summer months.
- Miller’s Downtown – Located on the Historic Downtown Mall in one of the oldest buildings on Main St, the bar frequently hosts live jazz music.
- Firefly – The space is packed with games like pool and pinball, and their cocktails are a good time, too. They also host weekly events such as Geeks Who Drink trivia, bingo and karaoke nights.
- The Milkman’s Bar – This bar is a welcoming space where you can enjoy creative cocktails that pay homage to classic 1950s and 60s Americana drugstore soda fountains. The bar has a hip and playful vibe and offers fun recreations of lost classic American cocktails, using modern techniques and presentations that will inspire awe and nostalgia.
How To Get To Charlottesville, Virginia
One of the things that makes Charlottesville an ideal destination for a girls’ getaway is that it is easily accessible by several direct flights from around the United States.
The closest airport is Charlottesville-Albemarle Airport (ILM), which has flights to Charlotte, Atlanta, New York, Chicago and Washington.
The airport is located just outside of the city. You can pick up an Uber at the airport, get a taxi or rent a car.
Best Time To Visit Charlottesville
Charlottesville is a great city to visit for a girl’s getaway year-round. There isn’t a wrong time to visit Charlottesville, but if you don’t like cooler weather, avoid visiting between November and April.
The best time to visit Charlottesville is either May, June, or July when the University students are finished for the summer. May is filled with wine festivals, but avoid graduation weekend when accommodations are scarce and expensive.
Charlottesville Girls Getaway Guide Wrap Up
I hope you’ve found this Charlottesville girls’ getaway guide helpful and you are now excited to visit this city with your girls!
If you have questions about Charlottesville or tips for our readers, please leave these in the comments below! And suppose you’re interested in visiting other cities in the United States. In that case, you can check out all our Bachelorette party articles for inspiration or all our girls getaway guides for other trip ideas.
We hope that this article has inspired you to visit Charlottesville, Virginia. If you have any questions or advice to share with our readers, please leave these in the comments below.
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