Parents Weekend - Eat, Drink and Be Merry!

Touring the Monticello Wine Trail with UVA Daytripper Ambassador Lindsey Bralower. (Class of 2017)

For many, Charlottesville is simply home to Thomas Jefferson, the rotunda, and the lawn. But, for those of us who have been fortunate enough to call Charlottesville our home for more than a weekend, we know there is so much more to explore outside of grounds.  Nestled within the countryside and mountain ranges of Charlottesville County are a bounty of vineyard and breweries spanning the Monticello wine trail. It is the perfect activity for parent’s weekends, a twenty-first birthday celebration, or just your average Saturday afternoon. Here is a breakdown of my favorite places to stop, have a sip, and grab a bite.

Pippin Hill Farm and Vineyard

Pippin is a Charlottesville vineyard staple. Located only 15 minutes away from UVA, and a favorite among UVA students. Whether you decide to sit inside the renovated barn for lunch or simply grab a few bottles of rose and enjoy the great lawn, you know you’ll be in for a treat. The beautiful views of the vineyard and the delicious crudité platters add to the overall welcoming ambiance. Its no surprise this picturesque venue is the backdrop for many weddings.

Blue Mountain Brewery

Looking for a great restaurant with an equally impressive variety of beers on tap? Than Blue Mountain Brewery, part of the Brew Ridge Trail, is the spot for you. Blue Mountain Brewery has both indoor and outdoor seating, lawn games, and often-free live music. I highly recommend doing the beer tasting paired with their spinach and artichoke dip. The brewery tends to get crowded on the weekends with locals and visitors alike, but its well worth braving the crowds for their Sunday brunch, you wont regret it!

Bold Rock Brewery

If choosing a perfect hard cider is not something that comes naturally to you; Bold Rock Brewery is aiming to change that! Bold Rock in addition to a fantastic tap house, offers tours of the cider making process, plus beer and cider tastings, all with great views of the surrounding mountain ranges. Bold Rock is one of my favorite Breweries to visit in the fall because of the changing leaves and fall flavors. It is a serious must if your parents are coming down for parents weekend or a parents formal this fall.

Blenheim Vineyards

Before Dave Matthews was a national superstar he began his career here in Charlottesville. As homage to his hometown, Mathews started Blenheim Vineyards, just 20 minutes away from grounds. There are two vineyard sites thats grow grapes for Chardonnay, Viognier, Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot, and Cabernet Sauvignon.  The goal at Blenheim Vineyards is to make high quality wines that reflect the climate, soil, and beauty of the surrounding piedmont landscape. If you are looking for a wine tasting away from the crowds, I highly recommend stopping by the Blenheim tasting room.

Beyond the corner and the downtown mall

One of my favorite things about UVA is the plethora of activities there are beyond grounds. Now that I am in my fourth year, I am looking to explore more than ever. Wine and beer tasting is always at the top of my list. While I have shared a few of my favorite spots in the area, the great thing is that there are so many more—it’s impossible to ever get bored.



Pippin Hill Farm and Vineyard

Address: 5022 Plank Rd, North Garden, VA 22959

Hours: Monday Closed

Tuesday- Sunday 11AM-5PM

Phone: (434) 202 8063


Blue Mountain Brewery

Address: 9519 Critzer Shop Rd, Afton, VA 22920

Hours: Monday – Saturday 11AM-10PM

Sunday 11AM-9PM

Phone: (540) 456-8020


Bold Rock Brewery

Address: 1020 Rockfish Valley Hwy, Nellysford, VA 22958

Hours: Monday – Thursday 11AM – 6PM

Friday – Sunday 11AM – 8PM

Phone: (434) 361-1030


Blenheim Vineyards

Address: 1 Blenheim Farm, Charlottesville, VA 22902

Hours: Monday- Sunday 11AM – 5:30 PM

Phone: (434) 293-53

Daytripper College Road Trip: Richmond, UVA, GW, American, and Georgetown

We went on a college road trip to The University of Richmond, UVA, GW, American, and Georgetown to get the latest scoop for you. Here are the notes--a sample guide you can use--from our trip. For detailed information visit each school's individualized itineraries.

Day One:  Richmond Virginia


Travel: Fly early morning from NYC JFK to Richmond Virginia, get the rental car then drive to Graduate Hotel downtown Richmond to check in.

Late Breakfast/Lunch: Perly’s

Campus: Tours at 9:45 and 2:15 each day, refuel with an iced tea at Passport Café and check out Heilman Dining Center, observe and talk to students at Tyler Haynes Commons and visit the bookstore.

Afternoon: Short drive to Carytown, quick coffee, and cookie at Sugar and Twine, then browse shops, and spend an hour or so at Virginia Museum of Fine Arts.

Pre Dinner Drinks: 6:30 walk from Graduate to Saison.

Dinner: 7:30 at Pasture (quick Uber from Saison)  


Day Two: Richmond to Charlottesville/UVA


Early Morning Coffee: At Graduate Richmond before checking out

Breakfast: Drive to Church Hill, approximately ten minutes from hotel to Sub Rosa Bakery.

Drive: Leave Richmond 9 am--one hour, 15 min drive to Charlottesville

Stop: Visit Monticello for around 2 hours.

Check-in:  Graduate Charlottesville

Quick Lunch: The Virginian

Campus:  2 pm Grounds Tour, spend time on the lawn, walk around the Grounds and visit the new 1515 Student Center in The Corner.

Refuel: Coffee at Grit Coffee right in The Corner

Dinner: 7:30 PM, Nice walk to Oakhart Social (or quick uber)

After Dinner: Drink at C&O


Day 3: Charlottesville to Washington DC: Georgetown University  


Breakfast: Quick stop at Bodos Bagels

Drive: Leave at 8:30 am heading to Georgetown, approximately 2 hours 15 minutes

Check-in: Ritz Carlton Georgetown or Jefferson Hotel

Visit Georgetown University: Tour at 11:15, if miss do self-guided tour here -- 

Late Quick Lunch: Chaia Georgetown

Coffee Break: Baked and Wired

Dinner Downtown: Zaytinya

Dessert: Georgetown Cupcakes and/or Ice Cream at Thomas Sweets


Day 4: George Washington University


Breakfast: Founding Fathers

Campus: Tour and information sessions at 10 am, spend time in Marvin Center, walk around Foggy Bottom

Quick Lunch: Beefsteak

Afternoon: Visit National Museum of African American History and Culture.


Day 5: American


Breakfast: Before the tour grab a quick bite at Megabytes

Campus: After the tour grab a coffee at Davenport Coffee Lounge, a great place to talk to students or at the Mary Graydon Carter Building.

Time Allowing: Head for a quick lunch in Tenleytown.

Travel: Return rental car, Amtrak Acela back to NYC (2 hours, 46 minutes)


Notes: You could easily combine GW and American (or Georgetown) on one day if you had to, but we feel seeing more than one school a day is overload—for you and your child.

Continue the Tour: Depending on your families college list and time, schools that work well with this tour include: The University of Maryland, The University of Delaware, The College of William and Mary, and John Hopkins University.



School Itineraries