After a history of setbacks, Thomas Jefferson’s Virginia is now on the cusp of a viticultural renaissance. Visit now before the masses catch on, says Katie Kelly Bell, in her Virginia travel guide.
Virginia: Where to stay, shop, eat and relax
Hotels and Restaurants
Plush accommodation including a spa set amid a golf course fringed by jogging trails. This small luxury resort showcases the state’s exceptional produce in the hotel’s award-winning Fossett’s Restaurant.
The Clifton Inn
Rooms with mountain views provide a intimate setting for a romantic escape. Make sure you find time to savour a fine meal at the restaurant – the best seats are at the Chef’s Counter where you’ll be right in the heart of the action.
Inn at Mount Vernon Farm
This lovingly restored turn-of-the century home is on a hillside overlooking the sustainable farm. Before fly fishing on the private riverfront, enjoy breakfast made from farm produce.
Blue Rock Inn
Farm-to-table dining with a Provençal twist in a turn-of-thecentury farmhouse. The four guestrooms are lovely for a night or two.
Inn at Little Washington
The area’s only Forbes 5-Star lodging and dining boasts a raft of accolades including a place in the International Herald Tribune’s ‘Top 10 Restaurants in the World’. Playful twists on luxury defines this countryside gem.
Market Street Wine
Charlottesville’s oldest wine shop boasts a large selection of Virginian wines complemented by fresh pastas, and local breads and cheeses. There’s also an artisan beer selection and wine accessories.
The Virginia Shop
This purveyor of everything Virginian has it all, including local jams, coffees and chocolates. The wine selection represents Virginia well, and you can pick up a locally crafted souvenir from the Jefferson Brass Company.
Historic Downtown Mall
This is not a typical American mall, but rather an outdoor pedestrian shopping experience complete with antique shops, booksellers, clothing boutiques, live music, cafes and wine bars.
Thomas Jefferson’s home is a rewarding visit for its architectural features and the intimate peek it provides into the life of a great US president. You could easily spend three hours here, so plan accordingly.
The estate of President James Madison – the Father of the Constitution. Tour, walk the gardens and forest trails, visit the archaeological sites or bring a picnic lunch and enjoy the views.
University of Virginia
One of Jefferson’s greatest architectural achievements, embodying his vision for academics and learning. Daily tours of the beautiful grounds include visits to the Rotunda, Academical Village and Pavilion Gardens.