Back in March, I had a blast celebrating a bachelorette weekend for my boyfriend's sister. The bride-to-be was having a destination wedding, so she wanted to make sure her bachelorette celebration wasn't too over the top or expensive. Enter, Charlottesville, VA!
Located along the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains and about 2 and a half hours outside of Washington, DC, Charlottesville is an ideal place for a low-key but girly bachelorette party. Not only does Charlottesville have a great downtown area with several delicious eateries and great bars, but it also has a number of award-winning vineyards. So in addition to having some downtime at the house, we easily filled the weekend up with activities everyone enjoyed.
Where we Stayed
We stayed at a VBRO called "The Recycled House" and it was fantastic! The location in itself was perfect, just a few blocks to downtown Charlottesville. But what really made the rental charming was its back story. The owner, Debra Weiss, designed the entire house in her backyard with recycled materials. From the door handles to the tiles, nearly everything in the house is getting their second life.
The house was not only interesting in its composition, but super cozy! The six of us fit perfectly and thoroughly enjoyed our time there.
Day 1 - Friday
Head to Charlottesville from Arlington, VA right after morning rush hour
Visit King's Family Vineyards while waiting for check-in to our rental
Check-in around 4pm
Dinner at the Sky Bar
Day 2 - Saturday
Homemade breakfast at the house
Snacks/Cocktails/Dinner at the house
Day 3 - Sunday
Pack up and head home!
We decided to do dinner out on Friday since we knew we would be exhausted from traveling. We made a reservation at Commonwealth Sky Bar, a restaurant that was about a 8 minute walk from where we were staying.
The restaurant had a wonderful atmosphere, very lively yet intimate at the same time. They sat us at a large round booth which was perfect for our group.
Their seasonal menu is absolutely delicious. I ordered their fish which was a barracuda sitting atop a sweet potato croquette and a flavorful sauce. I seriously can say it is one of the best meals I've ever had.
After dinner, we had a few more drinks at Commonwealth's rooftop bar. The rooftop bar is open-air, but had heat lamps so it wasn't too cold in the middle of March. Because it was a little chilly, I ordered a Hot Toddy. I know sometimes it's a hassle for bartenders to make specialty drinks like that, but our bartender was so nice about the request.
After the rooftop bar, we of course had to head to Miller's which is a historic bar where Dave Matthews used to tend bar and where Dave Matthew's Band was formed. The bar is the complete opposite from the Commonwealth rooftop bar (much more divey), but was definitely our kind of place. There was live music and a string of interesting characters that kept us entertained all night.
When you think about wine country in the United States, chances are Virginia isn't at the top of your list. Of course the big wine destinations are California, Oregon, Washington, New York, etc - but did you know that Virginia is in the top 5 states that have the most wineries? Charlottesville, VA is home to several award-winning wineries. The area is definitely worth checking out for all wine lovers.
Like many groups of lady friends, we're big wine drinkers so doing a wine tour was a great full-day activity for bachelorette weekend. We rented a private driver and packed up a picnic filled with pasta salad, cheese & crackers, fruit, and of course our drinking buddies. Here are all of the wineries we visited:
King Family Vineyards
We actually stopped at King Family Vineyards on our way up to the house on Friday as opposed to our wine tour on Saturday. This winery is closer to UVA and has an amazingly picturesque backdrop as well as an adorable storefront.
Owned by Dave Matthews (of Dave Matthews Band... can you tell we're fans?), the wines here are average but the inside of the winery is beautiful and the customer service is on point.
Trump Winery Tasting Room
Previously known as Kluge, this winery has a newly renovated tasting room and an amazing Rose. As hard as it is to have anything to do with the Trump name, the winery is actually owned by his son... so that made me feel a little better.
Pippin Hill Farm & Vineyards
Another winery with an absolutely gorgeous view. In addition to the wine, the food was a delicious highlight. Unfortunately if they are at capacity, you may have to wait to get in if you don't have a prior reservation.
Bonus! If you want to bring a fun treat for the weekend, checkout the Raspberry Lemonade Jello Shots I made!
This was actually one of the first bachelorette celebrations I've been too and I had a great time! For those out there planning a bachelorette weekend, would you ever consider Charlottesville? Let me know your thoughts in the comments!