Looking for an idyllic getaway in the heart of Virginia’s Blue Ridge Mountains? There are so many things to do in Charlottesville, VA, a vibrant and historic city brimming with endless possibilities for adventure and fun!
Whether you’re a history buff, a nature lover, a foodie, or an art enthusiast, this charming town will delight and inspire you. From exploring Monticello, the former home of Thomas Jefferson, to hiking in Shenandoah National Park, to savoring the local wines on the Monticello Wine Trail, there’s never a dull moment in Charlottesville. So pack your bags and get ready to experience the best of what this captivating destination has to offer!
Pondering a girlfriend getaway? Then here are some ideas on things to do in Charlottesville, Virginia with your besties.
Visit a Cidery – Castle Hill Cider
Forget your sweet fall favorites for a minute, because Castle Hill Cider serves the hard stuff and it is good! If your tastes lean toward the dry, rather than the sweet, you’ll absolutely love it. My pick: Terrestrial.
Located on the historic 600-acre Castle Hill estate in Keswick, the cidery not only makes delicious dry aged ciders, but they have the distinction of being the only cidery in the world to be aging cider in a qvevri.
What’s a qvevri? It’s a large terra cotta egg-shaped vessel and the first traceable and purposeful method of underground fermentation and storage. There are eight of them underground and in use at Castle Hill.
Be sure you taste the Levity, one of the qvevri-aged ciders when you visit the tasting room, and take a stroll around the grounds if you can. It’s beautiful there!
Castle Hill Cider
6065 Turkey Sag Road
Keswick, VA 22947
Tasting Room – open daily from 11-5
Visit a Winery – Keswick Vineyards
A visit to this cozy tasty room at Keswick Vineyards is well worth your time. The wine style is primarily dry with fruit-forward notes, so whether you prefer dry wines or not, you’ll likely find a wine you love. They grow 12 different varietals on the property, so all but one wine (the Pinot Grigio) are produced with their own grapes.
According to their wine expert, the most popular white is Chardonnay (I loved it!) and the most popular reds are Merlot and Trevillion Red.
Fun Fact about the Amelie (pictured above): Amelie Reeves was one of the original descendants of the estate and the label is a charcoal self-portrait she made at age 24. The wine itself is stainless steel aged so it has a bit of an acidity, burn and crispness to it, just like Amelie herself did. Apparently she was a bit of a firecracker.
We happened to visit Keswick Vineyards just hours before their 2014 Cabernet Franc Estate Reserve was being judged for the 2016 Virginia Governor’s Cup, and we found out later that evening that it won! It was pretty exciting to have the chance to get a sneak peek tasting before its official release.
1575 Keswick Winery Dr.
Keswick, Virginia 22947
Tasting Room – open daily from 9-5 (closed some holidays)
Get a Spa Treatment at Keswick Hall
Keswick Hall itself originated from the beautiful Villa Crawford, a lavish Tuscan-style private residence built in 1912. Over the years, it was turned into a country club and then the world class five star resort it is today. Although I was on the grounds solely to visit the spa, I’m already planning a return so I can stay there, and spend time exploring the magnificent hideaway.
But as for the spa, it was fabulous. I enjoyed a most relaxing Swedish massage, and it was completely customized to me. Afterwards I felt as if I had awakened from a blissful, restful slumber even though I had never fallen asleep. It was that relaxing.
Not to mention that we were pampered with infused water, blooming hot tea and champagne with chocolates. The spa at Keswick Hall treats you right.
Keswick Hall Spa
701 Club Drive
Keswick, VA 22947
Appts available daily from 8:30am to 5:15pm
Historic Downtown Mall
This Main Street brick and concrete pedestrian mall in Charlottesville extends a full eight blocks, and is just oozing with history and charm. Home to over 120 shops and 30 restaurants, visitors can easily spend several hours poking around and exploring.
There are also lots of cozy seating areas to people watch, enjoy a coffee and cold drink or just enjoy the shade of the towering oak trees overhead.
Don’t miss the Community Chalkboard, a freedom of speech wall on which the First Amendment is permanently inscribed and anyone can speak their mind via chalk art at any time. It’s worth a visit and perhaps your two cents.
Also in the downtown mall are an ice rink, a children’s museum and a restored theater. Visitors can park in nearby parking garages or lots, and a trolley connects the downtown mall to the University of Virginia. The downtown mall is an absolute can’t miss when visiting Charlottesville.
Wine & Design
Bring your own wine and your girlfriends to this evening painting party and class for a 2-hour artistic adventure. You’ll start with a penciled-on template on an otherwise blank canvas, and with easy-to-follow instructions, you’ll leave class with a painting.
The #1 rule is that there are NO mistakes, so everyone’s painting will have a unique look. That’s what makes it so fun… well, that and the wine. It’s a perfect girlfriend getaway activity!
Wine & Design Charlottesville
609 E Market St #109
Charlottesville, VA 22902
Monticello Artisan Trail (I covered this in another post, so take a peek!)
So there you have it. Proof positive that Charlottesville makes a great girlfriend getaway destination! Stay tuned for the artisan trail post, ideas on where to stay, where to eat and a visit to the area’s historical gems.
Comments & Reviews
Hannah Wood says
Looks like an very amazing place with lots to see and do, but also loving the tea and cakes. Would be nice to getaway for a few days.
What an amazing place to have a girlfriend getaway. My sisters and I were thinking about going to Savannah next year on a getaway, but this sounds like more fun.
Chelley @ A is For Adelaide says
What a fabulous trip! I would love to go with my girlies!!! Adding to our list of places to go… once we’re not all BFing! LOL!
valmg @ Mom Knows It All says
You’ve got some great suggestions for a girlfriend getaway. I have always wanted to go to a winery, and painting is fun.
I really like the mix of fun and history. I would like to attend a Wine and Design class. It seems like so much fun.
I would love to visit that cidery–it sounds intriguing. And that spa–oh how I desperately need a spa day–week–month. I hope that some day I get a chance to get down there. It sounds like a great place to visit and relax.
Robin Rue (@massholemommy) says
That sounds like such a fun place to visit. I will definitely keep this in mind 🙂
Dannii @ Hungry Healthy Happy says
I really wanted to go to Charlottesville on my recent US trip, as it looks so pretty, but sadly I didn’t make it.
Cynthia C says
I take a road trip to the beach with my girlfriends every year. We all say it’s the best week of the year!
I’ve always wanted to grab my girlfriends and head to a painting class. I never knew there was so much to do in Charlottesville. It’s perfect for a girlfriend getaway.
Stacie @ Divine Lifestyle says
This sounds like the PERFECT getaway for me and my girlfriends. I could stand taking a stroll around the town and enjoying some wine and good conversation with the girls.
Robin Rue (@massholemommy) says
There is nothing like wine with the girls! It sounds like so much fun to me.
Paula Schuck says
This is exactly the type of thing that my girlfriends and I love. A little art, a little architecture, a little more wine. Love it.
Laura H says
Seems to be an alcohol theme… I like it 😉 Great suggestions for a girly getaway, I know me and my friends would love any one of these 🙂
Becca @ Amuse Your Bouche says
I love the idea of taking a trip with your best friends – especially if it involves a spa and a winery! Just my sort of trip 😉
Shirley Wood says
Virginia is on my list of places to visit. Charlottesville looks beautiful. I would love to visit and stay in a B&B. The chalk wall is super cool and the downtown shoppes look like a don’t miss destination. Very interesting about the qvevri! I would enjoy visiting with my best friend, my hubby 🙂
Franc Ramon says
Testing out the ciders and the wines would definitely be a fun experience here. Of course, everybody loves a day at the spa and the mall.
this place looks great!! we’re looking to travel around the US a bit over the next few years and get away from the bigger cities.
MJ. L says
Wow this looks like an amazing trip!! I would love to travel here for a girls weekend!
Carmen Perez (listen2mama) says
I have never visited this city but it looks like a fantastic place for a weekend getaway. I love all of those cozy, homey small towns. And that inn is absolutely gorgeous!
Ora Lee Gurr says
Virginia is such a beautiful state. How fun to visit the wonderful sites, especially the ones around Charlottesville. I’d enjoy visiting Castle Hill Cider.
I loved hanging out with you in Charlottesville! The spa treatment was amazing, I’ve been telling my whole family about how great it was. I can’t believe I missed the cider tasting, though.
Karen Glatt says
What a wonderful place to visit for a girlfriend getaway. I think the Spa looks incredible and taking a tour of the downtown area would be amazing! I want to visit Charlotesville!
The spa was incredible! It was probably the best massage that I have ever had.
Rhian Westbury says
What a cool place to visit. The cidery sounds right up my street as you don’t see them in that many places x
Valerie Robinson says
VA really has some great wineries. Perfect for a girls day out or bridal shower. I enjoyed he photos and recap!
Cara (@Stylishgeek) says
This is an incredible girl-pal getaway! I have never been to the foothills of Blue Ridge Mountains in Charlottesville Virginia, but now I am so curious! You can do a spa day, drink wine, and many more! Wow! Next time I play a getaway with my friends I have to remember this place! Thanks for sharing!
Stephanie Manley says
Now, I could handle every bit of that girls trip! I love the little Historic Downtown area. Thank you for recommending and sharing. I’m adding this to my list of adventures!
Holly Thomas says
I have been to Charlottesville before and I agree it would be perfect for a Girlfriend Getawat.
We are heading down South this Summer. Maybe we should take a stop here along the way!
Jenn @ EngineerMommy says
I would love to visit Charlottesville. It looks like such a fabulous place to vacation. That winery sounds like a lovely place to sample some reds! And that
I am planning a trip with friends to a few wineries in the South. Not sure if we are going up as far as Virginia but will keep this area in mind.
Cassandra Mayers says
That spa looks amazing! Never been to a real spa before. only small ones.
Christina G. says
I’ve never been to Charlottesville, although it looks like a lot of fun. I’ll have to check it out the next time I’m on the East Coast. Thanks for sharing!
Kayla @ TheEclecticElement says
I’ve only ever been to one winery and that’s a small locally owned one here in town. I’d be very curious to see how a larger winery operates, especially if they have those large underground containers! Those fascinate me xD
This looks like you had a ton of fun! One day I hope to be able to afford to go on a small getaway like this with a few close friends.
Deborah Pucci says
Are you kidding me, that looks like the most amazing place to visit. I’ve never been to Virginia. Let me just say that my life is so beyond stressful most days that a getaway like this would rock my world!
Gloria @ Homemade & Yummy says
Looks like the perfect spot for a girl’s getaway….it would be so much fun.
Sounds like a great itinerary for a fab break away! I’m not a wine drinker so I’d Def have to find an alternative!
Sarah Bailey says
Oh wow what an amazing looking place to spend sometime, I don;t think I would want to leave! x
I have never been! I am looking for a good girlfriends getaway somewhere in Virginia, because it’s an in-between place for many of my best blog friends.
Neely (@Neelykins) says
This looks like a blast for a friends weekend! Thanks so much!
That’s pretty close to where I live (within driving distance for a girl’s weekend) and it looks like a great time! I think I need to start planning a trip.
Lois Alter Mark says
Girlfriend getaways are so much fun. This looks like a great place for one!
Amber NElson says
I could really use a girlfriend getaway. That looks like a blast!
Amanda Love says
I have never been to Virginia and after seeing your pics I agree that this would make the perfect girlfriend getaway. Maybe I might invite my girlfriends so we can do a weekend getaway.
Nicole Escat says
I’m sure you had so much fun! Such a beautiful place to have a girlfriend getaway.
Emma White says
oh wow I so need a get away like this for sure
Ana De- Jesus says
I need to go to Keswick Hall to have a fantastic spa experience! Imagine the beautiful photos you could have?!
Katherine G says
This would be the perfect girlfriend getaway. I don’t drink but I would love to see how wine is made. This place offers so much to do.
Christy Maurer says
This looks like such a fun trip! I need a girlfriend trip. I could handle visiting Charlottesville!
Marcie W. says
My best lady friends, wine, a spa, shopping and art? Sounds like a dream trip! I love that community chalkboard as well.
Cindy (Prime Beauty) says
I would love to visit a cidery for something different to do.
Looks like it was a treat and a relaxing outing 🙂 xx
maria @closeothome says
I live only 1 hr from charlottesville. Never did a girls weekend but a few times with my husband.
Jeni Hawkins says
YES! This sounds like the PERFECT place to getaway with a girlfriend! I just drove through Virginia, and LOVED IT!
Ciders really can be good. I do believe you are right and this could be a fabulous vacation spot for a trip with the girls.
I love historical places like this. Probably won’t ever visit Virginia but it does look noce!
I could sure use a girls weekend there! It looks so charming. I really like to explore downtown venues when I visit a new city, and this one looks like they do have a lot to offer!
Mama to 5 BLessings says
I do not drink but I am sure I would enjoy the beautiful scenery. Sounds like a great getaway!
The spa sounds lovely! I had no idea Virginia has such neat things to do 🙂
Toni | BoulderLocavore says
What a fun get away for girlfriends or anyone really! The spa looks heavenly. I’d love a glass of that champagne right now. Just looks like a fun place to wander around.
Ron Leyba says
A real great place to visit. Love all the destination and the food looks amazing too!
Elizabeth O. says
It’s been a while since I last went on an out of town trip with my girlfriends! It would be nice to spend some time together here! I love the spa treatment and the painting party ideas!
April Mims says
Charlottesville would be a great weekend getaway! I love visiting wineries in different cities and sampling the wines.
Debbie Denny says
Ooo now this sounds like a great trip to do. Wonderful places to visit.
I would so love to visit Charlotsville, VA with some of my besties!
I would love to visit Charlottesville, it seems like a wonderful place!
This sounds like the most awesome trip ever!! I love cider so the idea of a cidery is right up my alley!
Ann Bacciaglia says
I would love to go here for a girls weekend. I really need a fun getaway soon.
tara pittman says
A girlfriend trip with wine and chocolates sounds awesome.
Ashley Whipple says
I’ve only ever been to Virginia Beach before. Charlottesville sounds like a really lovely place to visit.
This looks like the perfect destination for a girlfriend getaway. It’s such a scenic and relaxing environment.
Jennifer Williams says
Now that would be a fun girl’s weekend getaway. I had not heard of qvevr, it is crazy to think they are still using them. Sometimes the old way is the best way! We might be moving back to the east coast, if so I will definitely be checking couple of these places out – that spa after a 2500 mile move would be nice!
Travel Blogger says
My Mom and I have been looking for a great little weekend getaway, and I think this would be great! We would love to check out some wineries.
I lived in Roanoke Virginia for 13 years and never got to visit Charlottesville. The downtown area looks beautiful and I can tell I would adore staying at Keswick Hall.
This looks like a beautiful romantic getaway, thanks for the review!
I’ve always wanted to go to one of those. I think they would be fun.
My family visits C-ville several times a year. Making a girls weekend of it sounds so nice!
What an awesome way to enjoy girl time! This looks like such an awesome town to enjoy the weekend. I need a spa and wine/cider tasting day very badly.
Michelle Gwynn Jones says
I have been there several times and always enjoyed it. And the countryside around it is beautiful.
Laura Funk says
Oh what fun! That Quiver is really interesting. I would love to tour Charlottesville
Amy Jones says
sing me up for the wine! hehe ill be sure to try that getaway.
This town looks so perfect. All of the buildings are so clean well painted and beautifully maintained.
Doran @ Haute Beauty Guide says
My friends and I were just talking about a girlfriend getaway! This looks like so much fun.
sounds like a lot of fan, I wish I was visiting the states any time soon so I could visit Charlottesville but I will have to get my fill of a getaway close to home maybe paris for the easter weekend since you’ve made me want some good wine
Carol Bryant says
A group of us go away with our dogs. I would love to visit this area and those chocolates and sparking beverage sounds yummy right now.
This sounds like a fantastic getaway! Sign me up, yes please! 😀
Up Run For Life says
This looks like a fun place to visit. I have always wanted to do the painting class. I’ll have to go next time a group of my friends go. Thank you for sharing your fun adventures.
I would love to get a spa treatment with my girlfriends!
Mama to 5 BLessings says
I totally agree, I would love to go with girlfriends and/or by myself! Need some pampering right about now!
Lexie Lane says
Looks like a amazing and fun place to go. I will save that. Thank you for the idea.
Claudia Krusch says
Sounds like so much fun! I have never been there, would love to visit it!
What a great place to visit! Your photos are so inspiring! Pinned your post!
Travel Blogger says
I have never heard of a qvevri before! Very interesting. I would love to check out Castle Hill Cider. Looks like they have some great wines.
Sounds like a load of fun. I can’t wait until my kids are a bit older so I can do these girlfriend getaways. I think it would be so much fun. I’ve heard a lot about Charlottesville!
will defintely do all of the things on the list above! winery and spa sounds fun with a BFF
This looks like such a perfect little place for a girls getaway! This summer my sisters and I are looking into doing one. I’m adding Charlottesville to the list of possibilities. – Katy
Mimi Green says
I’ve never been to Charlottesville which is crazy because I’ve been to a lot of areas in Virginia. I was recently snowboarding down the Blue Ridge Mountains. A winery sounds a lot better though. I need to check
I can see how this would be a fabulous girlfriend get away to have. I need me one of those sometime soon, just a purely adult girlfriend day trip or something!
laura londergan says
what a perfect place for a get away with the girls. I have always wanted to do something like this with my friends
Seattle Travel Blogger says
Your article has some wonderful pictures.
This looks like it was a nice little adventure.
Louise Bishop says
You had me at food scene. I’m always down for going somewhere that has a solid food scene. My husband and I are foodies to the core.
Dhemz Apdian - Dias says
how neat! Sounds like a great place to wander. Thanks for sharing.
Kelly Hutchinson says
This looks like a great place to have some alone time with my girls. It is so pretty!
I think I would take my boys to visit too. It’s wonderful for them to experience travel and getting to know other places.
All of these things sound right up my alley! I just recently did a wine and painting class with my sister-in-law and mom and it was so much fun! I would definitely do it again! 🙂
Becca Wilson says
Charlottesville is on my list to visit. I live in Virginia, so I need to just take a weekend and go with my family.
KRYSTLE COOK says
I love the feel of Charlottesville. It seems to have that family friendly country feel I like.
Jenn Peters says
Beautiful location. Looks like a fantastic girl’s day!
There was a lot of wine going on during this trip – my favorite! Keswick Hall looks so beautiful and serene!
Melissa Bernardo says
I’d love a girlfriend vacation 🙂 this looks like a beautiful place!
What a gorgeous place to visit! I’d love to have a girlfriend getaway there!
We hav a girlfriend trip every year. They are so fun!
Shannon Peterson says
I love charlottesville! It isn’t that far from where I grew up, and is such a beautiful area!
What an adorable city! It looks like a perfect place for a girlfriend’s break. Great pictures!
Marielle Altenor says
Any getaway that includes wine drinking is going to be fun for sure! Love the idea of going to a winery then spa! Best way to enjoy a girls getaway!
Lisa Rios says
Charlottesville sounds like a wonderful place to visit & a Spa Treatment at Keswick Hall sounds like a great experience to go through & get some relaxation needed. I would love a girlfriend vacation as well for sure.
Ana Fernandez says
This looks like an amazing place to visit! Would love to take a couple of days there just to relax
Kathy Kenny Ngo says
I love this idea of a friends getaway. It could be both for guy friends and girl friends. Awesome. I think I’ll do one with my friends as well.
Christina Aliperti says
I love this. It’s been a while since we did a girl’s weekend. This just reminded me how badly we need one!
Tanya Brannan says
What an absolutely wonderful adventure! I would love to go to the Vineyards, and that spa retreat. Wish It wasn’t so far away!
What a beautiful place, I visited a vineyard in Spain and it was so good. I love a good spa day, need one soon
Jasmine Watts says
I love a good spa day and this place sounds like a great place to visit! I would love to go there!!
I’m doing this later this summer with my wife. Without the kids!
You had me at spa and wine!!! Charlottesville sounds like a fabulous place to visit! It’s also where Dave Matthews as in the singer is from so I have always wanted to at least take a drive thru the area.
Claudia Krusch says
I love SPAs during the day and this place sounds like an awesome place to visit! I would love to check it out!
I love going to spa’s, this place sounds amazing, I’ll have to cheek it out more.
It sounds amazing. It has such a great historic feel and wine! Win win
Chubskulit Rose says
What a beautiful place to explore. I have only been to parts of Virginia twice and I love both times!
I so need to visit and do this. I have a bucket list as well and I am definitely adding this destination to it. I have so many things i want to do. Love the looks of all that wine too. 🙂
life as mum says
What lovely photos! Looks like an amazing place to visit
Peachy @ The Peach Kitchen says
I haven’t done a girlfriend getaway in such a long time! I so need to do this.
Emily Underworld says
It looks like a lovely place, and your photos are great.