As y’all are well aware, Charlottesville, Virginia is one of my absolute favorite cities. I’m down there several times a year for football games, wine tasting, and weekend getaways. Every season in Charlottesville is wonderful, but you just can’t beat a perfect fall weekend in the Blue Ridge Mountains.
I’m going to take you through my ideal fall weekend in Charlottesville – from Friday night through Sunday afternoon. While this isn’t exactly the itinerary we followed this past weekend, it’s pretty darn close. If you’re visiting the area and want specific recommendations, definitely reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org! I’m happy to answer questions and provide recs.
STAY AT THE OAKHURST INN
Our last night in Charlottesville this past weekend, we stayed at the Oakhurst Inn. An adorable inn located just a 5 minute walk from the stadium, this is the place to stay if you’re going to a football game – or anytime you want to be perfectly located between campus and downtown.
The inn’s 27 rooms are split between several houses in a historic neighborhood bordering the University, so it has an intimate feel, like you’re staying in someone’s cozy (yet stylish) home. I love that the rooms are colorful, but minimalist at the same time. It’s exactly the vibe I want when I’m traveling.
We stayed in a Queen Suite, which meant we had a good sized bedroom and a living room with a sofa and a desk. This was perfect when Adam slept in and I got up to do work early in the morning. There are also sitting rooms throughout the property, which I took full advantage of as I spent the evening reading by the fire. And, as an espresso lover, I was thrilled to see they had espresso machines on every floor.
FRIDAY NIGHT: DINNER AT MAYA
After checking in, head downtown for dinner Friday night and go to Maya, a Southern restaurant that takes classics and makes them a bit more interesting (and delicious!). I actually hadn’t been here in over a decade until this past weekend and it was even better than I remembered. We started with the pimento cheese fritters with pepper jelly (I’m still dreaming about these and insisting we go back when we’re in town for our wedding next month) and then split the fried chicken with Alabama style barbecue sauce. Both dishes were SO good.
SATURDAY MORNING: BREAKFAST AT OAKHURST CAFÉ
To make things super easy, the Oakhurst Café at Oakhurst Inn is actually one of the best breakfast spots in Charlottesville. Seriously, we overheard locals at dinner at Maya talking about how good it is. Plus, it was hopping for breakfast and most of the diners weren’t even guests of the inn – that’s when you know it’s good.
You can grab something easy to go or sit down for a full breakfast. We chose to have a leisurely-ish morning and I ordered the tomato pie, while Adam got the huevos rancheros. Had it been warmer weather, they have a charming patio that seemed perfect for a relaxing morning.
SATURDAY: UVA FOOTBALL GAME
If you’re in Charlottesville on a fall weekend and there’s a football game, definitely try to squeeze it into your schedule (or plan the whole weekend around it like we do!). There’s nothing I love more than a fall football tailgate, and we always manage to make it down to C’ville to see the Hoos play at least once a season. This past weekend, we tailgated with friends and friend’s parents who do a huge tailgate once a year. Typically, we’ll tailgate with my parents, but I was able to convince them to join our friends this time around.
Also, if you’re staying at the Oakhurst Inn, you’re literally just around the corner for the Stadium. You’ll walk out of the inn and you’re steps from all the action.
SATURDAY NIGHT: TAKE OUT DINNER FROM REVOLUTIONARY SOUP
After a busy day of tailgating and cheering on our now winning team, you’re probably not going to want to put a lot of effort into dinner. So, pick up takeout soup and sandwiches from Revolutionary Soup. There’s one on the Corner and one downtown, so choose whichever location is easier for you. This past weekend, Adam and I went there and I got the pepper jack crab soup. SO delicious.
SUNDAY MORNING: WALK ALONG THE IVY CREEK NATURAL AREA
With all the eating and drinking you’ve done thus far, you’re probably craving a little bit of physical activity. While there are great hikes in the Blue Ridge, Ivy Creek Natural Area is perfect for fitting in a bit of nature just 10-15 minutes from downtown. We walked around for about 45 minutes which was just what we needed to get moving and get some fresh air.
SUNDAY LATE MORNING: BRUNCH AT BIZOU
Now that you’ve gotten some steps in, it’s time to eat some more! Brunch at Bizou is one of my favorites, but you’ll want to get there early because people start lining up before it opens at 11 AM. I got the meatloaf sliders this past weekend, which were not sliders at all, but rather a meatloaf eggs benedict – it sounds strange, but it was one of the best brunch meals I’ve had in a long time.
SUNDAY MIDDAY: EXPLORE THE DOWNTOWN MALL
With brunch in your belly, it’s time to stroll around the Downtown Mall. Most of the shops will have opened by the time you’ve finished eating, so stop in some of the antique stores, vintage shops, boutiques, and home and gift shops that dot the pedestrian mall. Fun fact: I just read on the Visitors Bureau website that Charlottesville’s Downtown Mall is one of the longest pedestrian malls in the United States!
No surprise here, I caved to temptation while we were walking around and stopped in The Pie Chest to pick up a slice of S’mores pie. I’d highly recommend a visit if you have a sweet tooth.
SUNDAY AFTERNOON: STOP BY A WINERY ON THE WAY HOME
On your way out of town on Sunday, stop by a winery for a tasting and some time spent taking in the countryside. I still need to do a round up of all the Charlottesville wineries, but this past weekend we stopped at Glass House Winery because we saw they had a Blues Festival going on. We each sipped a glass of wine while listening to Virginians from all over the state play the blues.
PLANNING YOUR TRIP TO CHARLOTTESVILLE
Again, if you’re planning a trip to Charlottesville, definitely reach out and let me know! Otherwise, refer to my Best of Charlottesville Travel Guide for tips on all my favorite restaurants, things to do, and places to stay.
Thank you to the Oakhurst Inn for hosting us for a night! As always, all opinions are my own and thank you to the brands that make www.heatherbien.com possible!