On Location: Charlottesville

Ahhhhh…Charlottesville. Consistently named as one of the best places to live, visitors are often surprised by how much this picturesque college town nestled at the base of the Blue Ridge Mountains has to offer.

Monticello by Tony the Misfit (license)
Visitors are surrounded by the mystique of America’s beginnings as the Charlottesville area is home to Thomas Jefferson, James Monroe and James Madison.  You can almost envision Jefferson walking down the brick-lined paths when visiting his historic home, Monticello. While you’re there, why not also stop by Ash-Lawn Highland, Monroe’s home, just a few miles down the road.

With a student body of roughly 20,000, the University of Virginia permeates much of life in Charlottesville.  In addition to the campus being a UNESCO World Heritage Site, UVA is consistently in the top rankings of public universities, providing a high quality education at an affordable cost.  Whether you decide to relax on the Lawn with the students, take a historic tour of The Rotunda or cheer on the Cavaliers, the University of Virginia’s campus is sure to please anyone who likes college life.

Downtown Mall by bobtravis (license)
Hungry souls and ardent shoppers are encouraged to visit the Downtown Mall, one of the longest pedestrian malls in the US, located in historic downtown Charlottesville.  Home to over 30 restaurants and 120 shops, the Downtown Mall should satisfy even the most unique tastes of its visitors.

If a glass of vino is more to your liking, then Virginia’s wines and vineyards are sure to please your palate.  Consider touring a few of the spectacular vineyards located in and around the area.  Hop vines also thrive in Virginia’s climate.  The Brew Ridge Trail provides beer aficionados the opportunity to sample some of the regions handcrafted ales and lagers.

Shenandoah by jasoncaldwell (license)
Finally, we encourage you to take advantage of the beautiful weather that will hopefully shine through during your stay in Charlottesville.  With average highs in the mid-60s, April is a great time to visit nearby Shenandoah National Park.  It is filled with miles of hiking trails awaiting the imprint of your boots as you explore almost 200,000 acres of pristine wilderness.  Or, if you prefer to take in nature with the top down, drive down Skyline Drive, the 105-mile road that runs the length of the Park.

No matter what your pleasure, Charlottesville is sure to offer its visitors an experience they won’t soon forget.  With the regional conference ending at noon on Friday, April 8th, and Charlottesville’s location of less than 4 hours from much of Region 2, why not make a weekend out of it?  You can thank us later.

Extended Stay Information

Monticello Tours
Do you want to know how many rooms are at Monticello? Or how the home was heated, cooled and illuminated? Do you want to know what the dome room was really used for? Then please come take part in the fantastic tours of Monticello. Region 2 NACADA participants have a unique opportunity for a private tour. Only 25 people are needed to create a group that will be eligible for a private tour at the discounted price of $15! This will include a tour of the lower level of the house, plantations and gardens on the property. Afternoon tours are available at 3:45 PM on April 6th prior to the conference and April 8th at 2PM after the conference concludes. 

Please contact Melinda Anderson, mjande@wm.edu, for additional information and to sign up for this great opportunity to Monticello. You will need to RSVP for this event my March 25th in order to take advantage of the discount and private tour opportunity!

The Commonwealth of Virginia is the 5th largest producer of wine in the United States. The City of Charlottesville and Albemarle County have over 20 vineyards alone! Region 2 NACADA participants have a unique opportunity to view Jefferson Vineyard as a group or during your own free time. Located 1 mile outside of Monticello, Jefferson Vineyards provides a beautiful view of the landscape and tours of its vineyards. Wine tasting is available for $10 per person and you can keep your glass!

If you are interested in traveling as a group either before or after the conference, please contact Melinda Anderson, mjande@wm.edu, for additional information. Private tours are available for $15 per person.

Also, don't forget about the Monticello Wine Trail, which gives you a good overview of the wineries in the area.

Bed and Breakfast Information
Many B&B offer discounts and specials during this time of year and have different features that make them special. If you are interested in extended your stay in Charlottesville, please check out the Bed & Breakfast Inns for additional information about B&B in the area. You don’t want to miss out on one of the most unique aspects of this area.

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