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A magnificent spot tucked into the Virginia mountains and dripping with southern charm, rich history, and homegrown, crafted beverages. Charlottesville offers sips and sagas for your group getaway!
Charlottesville is home to our third, fourth and fifth presidents’ homes – and you can tour them all!
Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello is his “autobiographical masterpiece.” It was designed, redesigned, built, and rebuilt over the course of 40 years.
Walk the halls where our nation’s third president walked. Immerse yourself in the architecture and furnishings that were part of Jefferson’s 18th-century daily life.
Stroll the beautiful grounds that were designed to be both functional and ornamental. Learn about historic and unique varieties of plants that continue to thrive here.
Explore the slave quarters that were an integral part of Jefferson’s plantation. Paradoxically, the freedom fighter kept more than 400 men, women, and children in bondage during his life.
Next is James Madison’s Montpelier. Walk the meticulous grounds and gardens, take a guided tour of this exquisite house, or browse the gift shop.
There are also regularly scheduled tours of the enslaved community. These tours are an opportunity to dig a little deeper into the lives of those who labored to maintain the estate and its residents.
Finally, just a few miles away is James Monroe’s Highland House. The former plantation was home to our fifth president and scores of enslaved men, women, and children.
Highland has an interesting but until recently relatively unknown history. Construction began in 1797, and through the years the property underwent countless changes – additions, damage, and owners.
Tour the home and grounds and learn the story that recent archeological digs have only begun to uncover.
Monticello, Montpelier, and Highland House provide insightful glimpses of colonial African American life. But what happens as the time passes and the story continues?
The Jefferson School African American Heritage Center picks up Charlotteville’s story post-emancipation. Its mission is
“to honor and preserve the rich heritage and legacy of the African-American community of Charlottesville-Albemarle, Virginia and to promote a greater appreciation for, and understanding of, the contributions of African Americans and peoples of the Diaspora locally, nationally and globally.”
There are engaging exhibits, a contemporary art gallery, and a host of events in which to take part.
The Albemarle Charlottesville Historical Society will guide you through the area’s most intriguing spots on one of several group tours.
Explore Charlottesville’s pre-revolutionary past through its thriving present on the Court Square & Environs tour. Or perhaps your interests lie six feet under – in which case you can jump on the Maplewood Cemetery tour.
Regardless of your group’s interests, you’ll find a tour that’s led by local experts and checks all your boxes.
Once you’ve indulged your interest in Charlottesville’s spellbinding sagas, kick back and start sipping some of the area’s creatively crafted beverages.
The Monticello Wine Trail features more than 40 lush vineyards and wineries dotted along 25 miles of unspoiled Blue Ridge countryside. Each invites you to sip, savor, and study the region’s rich winemaking heritage.
Load your wine trail passport and track your visits. Once you reach your tenth winery, you’ll receive a special wine glass to commemorate your adventure!
Craft beverages tours are making a splash in Charlottesville as well. Find your favorite local beers, ciders, and spirits on a custom craft tour.
Try the Charlottesville Ale Trail, a walking tour of six of the city’s best breweries. Or take a seat in the tasting rooms at several local distilleries. The spirits are as eclectic and refreshing as the surroundings.
If you really want to sip something special, check out the Charlottesville cideries. Charlottesville has 5 of Virginia’s 21 cideries within its borders.
The hard cider tradition here is legendary. George Washington allegedly bribed voters with hard cider when he ran for House Representative and John Adams guzzled a glass each morning to start his day!
Stroll through charming orchards or relax in the tasting rooms as you savor the flavors of Virginia’s favorite founding beverage.
Groups will also love visiting during Cider Week, this November 11-20, 2022. Festivals, events, tastings, and more take place in the crisp fall air among a backdrop of glorious color!
Oh – and don’t forget the famous apple cider donuts at Carter Mountain Orchard!
The rich history and spirit (pun intended!) of Charlottesville and Albemarle County offer a refreshing twist to the usual group itinerary.
To learn more about what groups can do in this bucolic spot in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains, check out the most recent episode of Destination Dispatch.
Teresa Lamb from the Charlottesville Albemarle Convention and Visitors Bureau joins Jim, Stevie, and Keith with helpful tips and inspiring itineraries for group trips.
Charlottesville is home to sips and sagas your groups will love!
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