Southern Belle in Training

Fashion, Travel & Lifestyle Blog || Est. 2012 || Virginia Beach, VA

December 14, 2021

TRAVEL GUIDE: Charlottesville Bachelorette Party Recommendations.

      While cities like Nashville, Charleston and Las Vegas might be best known nationally as the biggest bachelorette party destinations, there's a small regional destination in the Mid-Atlantic that's quickly gaining in popularity for bachelorette tourism: Charlottesville, VA! Home to beautiful mountain views and outdoor activities, a charming downtown with a surprising local food scene, and a reputation of being the Napa Valley of the East Coast for wine drinkers. It's also one of my former homes, and where I lived for 3.5 years between 2018-2021. While I have my Ultimate Charlottesville Travel Guide that I've already published on the blog, I've been wanting to write a separate one with specific bachelorette party themed recommendations such as best wineries for bachelorette groups, trendy restaurants and lodging, and an overall review of Charlottesville as a bachelorette destination. 



About Charlottesville

     Charlottesville is located very centrally in the state of Virginia- it's just over two hours north to Washington DC, and just over two hours south to the state line of North Carolina. It's located just east of the Blue Ridge Mountains, and it's only about thirty minutes to get to either Shenandoah National Park or the Blue Ridge Parkway. There are beautiful views of the Blue Ridge Mountains that can be seen all throughout the city. Charlottesville of course is best known for being the home of the iconic University of Virginia. While UVA is a big part of Charlottesville, it's not the only part. Charlottesville differs from other college towns in that the whole area doesn't revolve around the university- there are many neighborhoods that are completely separate from UVA. It's like the best of both worlds- it's both a cool college town and a separate small city! Most of the wineries are about 30ish minutes from Charlottesville's downtown, and are located in more rural (yet beautiful) parts of Albemarle County, or surrounding counties.


Travel:

    A lot of people are surprised to learn that Charlottesville has its own airport! It is very tiny- probably the smallest commercial airport I've ever flown into. But at this time it does offer flights from United, American and Delta, going to their various East Coast hubs. The Richmond airport is an hour and a half to the southeast, and Washington Dulles International Airport is two hours north. If you do fly, I would 100% recommend renting a car. Things are spread out in the area (especially the wineries), and while Uber does cover the downtown area, it won't cover a lot of the further away spots. Amtrak also passes through Downtown, and you can ride the train straight up to DC. (If your bachelorette group isn't renting a car, booking a winery tour bus or one of the other for-hire transportation options is an absolute necessity!! Don't rely on Uber.)

     However, if you're in the Southeast I'd definitely recommend driving to Charlottesville! It is definitely centrally located in Virginia, right off Interstate-64 and Route 29. You'll be so happy you have your car with you for exploring things like the wineries or mountains nearby. 


Brides Who Would LOVE Charlottesville For Their Bachelorette Party:

  • Wine lovers - This would be my top recommendation! If you and your girlfriends are winos who don't want to travel as far away as Napa or other West Coast winery regions, I highly recommend Charlottesville. There truly is a winery for everyone here, and there are also distilleries, breweries and cideries in the area. Cheers!
  • Day drinkers - Charlottesville is 100% a day drinking kind of town with the wineries, breweries, and other similar spots. If you'd rather drink during the daylight hours and then have a mellow night after, this would be an ideal place!
  • Foodies - Charlottesville has a great local culinary scene, and the downtown area especially has a whole array of upscale restaurants with unique menus. 
  • Outdoor adventurers - Charlottesville is kind of the best of both worlds- it has a small city feel and some nice amenities like restaurants and shopping, but it's also just a hop, skip and a jump away from tons of amazing nature and outdoor adventures. The entrances to Shenandoah National Park and the Blue Ridge Parkway are both only about 30 minutes away! 


Brides That I Wouldn't Recommend Charlottesville For Their Bachelorette Party:

  • Non-drinkers - I'm not saying that you can't visit Charlottesville and have a good time if you don't drink alcohol. There certainly are things to do and see that don't involve alcohol (especially the outdoor attractions). However- when thinking of activities that would usually appeal to a big group of ladies for a bachelorette, the best of what Cville has to offer definitely is the wineries and other spots to drink at. If you were skipping that whole scene, I think you'd miss a lot in a group trip here, and there would be better spots in Virginia and other nearby states with more non-alcoholic things to do.
  • Nightlife lovers - As I shared in the section above, Charlottesville is 100% a day drinking town. But if you're looking for a nightclub scene and tons of spots to go out late at night, this is definitely not it. At the time I lived there, Charlottesville only had one bar/restaurant that kind of become a "club" late at night. I'm not even sure if that's still a thing post-COVID to be honest. Bigger cities would be a better fit for you if you want lots of nightlife for you and your ladies!
  • Walkable destination lovers - While Charlottesville does have a super walkable and charming downtown area, all of the wineries and similar spots are about a 30 minute drive away. If you don't want to pay for additional transportation costs or be driving everywhere, I'd pick a city that's a bit more walkable to all attractions.

Lodging:
  • AirBnb (To be closer to wineries, look for locations in Crozet, Ivy, Afton, Barboursville) If you're doing a bachelorette party in Charlottesville, I 100% think an AirBnb or house rental is your best bet. There are a good amount of them within the city limits of Charlottesville, but there are also many to pick from the in the surrounding small towns, which would put you closer to a lot of the wineries. (Look for locations in Crozet, Ivy, Afton or Barboursville to be in close proximity to wine and nature!) AirBnb would also probably be the most economical option for a group to do, as hotels in the area are honestly quite expensive for what they are.
  • Quirk Charlottesville (499 W. Main St.) - If your group does decide to go the hotel route, my top suggestion for a bachelorette party would be the Quirk. This is an artsy, boutique hotel that will definitely give you a one-of-a-kind stay, and it's less than a mile from the Downtown Mall. It's one of the newest hotels in Charlottesville, as it just opened in 2020. Quirk has a full art gallery that's open to the public downstairs, and upstairs it's home to the largest rooftop bar in Charlottesville. Even if you don't stay at Quirk, the rooftop bar is worth a visit. The original Quirk hotel is in Richmond, and I actually stayed there for a bachelorette party before! You can read my review of it here!
  • Hyatt Place (2100 Bond St.) - The Hyatt Place is a few miles from downtown and UVA, located conveniently off Route 29. It's located within the Shops at Stonefield, a newer development of shops and restaurants. The Kendra Scott store and Trader Joe's would be in walking distance of your room, just to name a few things! I have had family stay here and they had a wonderful stay! The prices tend to be a little cheaper than hotels downtown or near UVA. 
  • For additional hotel-specific lodging suggestions, check out my Ultimate Charlottesville Travel Guide!



Eat / Drink:

    • Bang! (213 2nd Street SW) - Bang! is an Asian tapas restaurant! It's best to get several small plates and share them with those in your party, so it's the perfect spot for a group. I highly recommend the coconut rice. Bang! is also known for their craft cocktails.
    • Bodo's Bagels (three locations) - This is probably the most iconic eatery in Charlottesville! Bodo's Bagels has a cult-like following. Not only are their bagels really good, but everything on the menu is also super affordable! I highly recommend the chicken salad sandwich on an onion bagel. This is a great choice for a quick yet filling breakfast before a full day of wine tastings or exploring.
    • Blue Mountain Brewery (9159 Critzer Shop Road, Afton VA) - This is about 30 minutes outside of Charlottesville, but it's located very close to all of the Crozet and Afton area wineries, so stop here for a meal if you're out that way doing winery visits! They have an extensive menu and some of the best standard brewery/American fare in the area. 
    • Brazos Tacos (925 2nd Street SE) - This is my favorite casual restaurant in Charlottesville! Every time that I had friends visit, I tried to take them here for at least one meal. Brazos is very casual but the tacos are delicious. They specialize in fun varieties of tacos and they only serve tacos (they know what they do and do it well). If you want to do a casual and quick meal in a fun spot, this would be perfect.
    • Monsoon Siam (113 W Market Street) - The top Thai restaurant in the area! Monsoon Siam is in a historic old home building a block away from the Downtown Mall, and both the inside of the restaurant and the patio have a great ambiance to them. 
    • Quirk Rooftop (499 W Main Street) - Charlottesville's biggest rooftop! It's only a few stories up, so it's not as good of a view as you'd get at rooftops in larger cities, but it's still really nice. The Quirk Hotel is fun just to walk around and explore, and the rooftop has a good drink menu.
    • These are the bars and restaurants that I think would be best for a bachelorette group, but for many more restaurant and bar recommendations, check out my Ultimate Charlottesville Travel Guide!

    Wineries:
         In my main Charlottesville Travel Guide, I shared my 10 personal favorite wineries in the area. For this post, I'm specifically sharing the wineries that I think are best for groups. If you're a group of 6+ and want to do wine tastings, I would call each winery ahead of time to try to make a reservation. Most wineries do allow walk-in, but only for small groups. For a bachelorette party, it would definitely make sense to make reservations different places in advance!
    • Afton Mountain Vineyards - Afton Mountain has one of the most unique views out of all the local wineries, and they also have a beautiful tasting room space with sprawling windows. Their space is especially great for groups- I went to several birthday gatherings here over the years I lived in Charlottesville. (This winery is near Veritas, King Family and Septenary.)
    • Glass House Winery - My favorite small, boutique winery. Glass House has their tasting room inside a tropical greenhouse! They also have a generous amount of outdoor seating by their beautiful pond. They employ a chocolatier who makes gourmet chocolates that compliment their wines. Glass House is also home to my favorite Virginia wine- the delicious Signora white blend.
    • King Family Vineyards - If you only have time to visit one winery, make it King Family. It's my favorite large winery in the area, and they definitely have both indoor and outdoor space for groups. Beautiful mountain views, great wine, and try to visit on a Sunday in the summer for Polo! You must try a glass of the iconic Crozet Rosé. (This winery is near Veritas, Afton Mountain and Septenary.)
    • Merrie Mill Farm and Vineyard - One of the newest wineries, which I'm so glad that I got to visit before I moved. This wins the award for most Instagrammable tasting room! Merrie Mill Farm has a tasting room decorated like an art gallery. They also have a lovely outdoor seating area, and some fun small plates and appetizers on their food menu. 
    • Pippin Hill Farm and Vineyards - Pippin Hill is probably the most well-known winery in Charlottesville, and seems to get a lot of publicity from outside the area. They do have the most beautiful view- probably one of my top three favorite views out of all the local wineries. The wine here is okay! I will say bottles and glasses are very pricy compared to some of the others in the area ($15+ glasses, $38-40 bottles). But I think Pippin is still worth a visit for the ambiance. It's also another good one to go to with a group.
    • Septenary WineryThis winery has an absolutely gorgeous and very chic outdoor seating area around a decorative pool of water, and stunning mountain views. Septenary also doesn't allow children, so on weekends it tends to be a bit quieter than some of the family friendly ones. (This winery is near Afton Mountain, King Family and Veritas.)
    • Veritas Vineyards - Another one of the large wineries that is extremely popular! Similarly to nearby King Family, Veritas has great mountain views and a good assortment of wines. One of my closest friends in Charlottesville is the events manager, soI would enjoy visiting her at work! Veritas also definitely has the space outdoors to accommodate large groups. (This winery is near King Family, Afton Mountain and Septenary.)




    Decor: 
         I want to give a quick shout-out here to my friend Taylor, and her side hustle venture! Taylor started a party decorating company called Perfectly Taylord Events. If you've ever seen pictures of amazingly decorated bachelorette party hotel rooms or Airbnbs in lager cities like Nashville, Las Vegas or Miami, Taylor can give your lodging option that fun decor treatment while taking away the stress for you! Contact Taylor through the Perfectly Taylord Events Instagram here.

        
          If you've been to Charlottesville before, feel free to add any extra local recs in the comments! I hope this post is a good resource for any brides considering Charlottesville for a bachelorette party- feel free to reach out to me if you have any additional questions.



         God Bless,


         xoxo Annaliese 
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    1 comment

    1. Not a bride anymore.. but now I just want to visit and have a party! What a fun city!

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