The Setting

Points of Interest

Monticello (Home of President Thomas Jefferson)
P.O. Box 217
Charlottesville, VA 22902
434.984.9800
Monticello is the home that Thomas Jefferson built at the young age of 26. Thomas Jefferson was the third U.S. President, author of the Declaration of Independence and Statute for Religious Freedom, as well as founder of the University of Virginia. Guided tours of the house and gardens are available, as well as a special evening tour, which gives visitors a more intimate look at the plantation. The Visitors Center, located one mile from Monticello, also is a place to visit for exhibits and a film about his life.

The University of Virginia
Thomas Jefferson wished to be remembered as “the Father of the University,” an institution that is now recognized as one of the nation’s most outstanding universities, as well as a supreme architectural achievement. It is the only United States site on the World Heritage list of historical buildings. A good starting place is at the beautiful rotunda, Thomas Jefferson’s tribute to “the illimitable freedom of the mind” and make sure to visit the historic lawn. Other activities on campus include football, basketabll, baseball, libraries, art museum, etc.

Ash Lawn-Highland (Home of President James Monroe)
1000 James Monroe Parkway
Charlottesville, VA 22902
434.293.9539
Ash Lawn-Highland is the restored home of President James Monroe and his wife, Elizabeth. This house museum is part of a 550- acre estate that recreates the atmosphere of a working farm, with strutting peacocks, spinning and weaving demonstrations, open hearth cooking demonstrations and tours of the house and gardens. Visitors are welcome all year long. Check out the Web site for special events taking place, such as the annual summer music festival.

Montpelier (Home of President James Madison)
11407 Constitution Highway
Montpelier Station, VA 22957
540.672.2728
Montpelier is the lifelong home of James Madison, fourth President of the United States and “Father of the Constitution.” Madison was raised at Montpelier, lived there after his marriage to Dolley, returned there after his presidency, and died there in his study. The Montpelier estate features the Madison mansion, historic buildings, exhibits, archaeological sites, gardens, forests, hands-on activities, a new Visitor Center, and a freedman’s cabin and farm.

Downtown Gordonsville, Va.
At the crossroads of routes 15, 33 and 231, downtown Gordonsville has become a destination for exploring charming shops and dining in locally owned restaurants. History buffs will want to visit the Civil War Museum located in the historic Exchange Hotel.

Other Area Attractions
Charlottesville’s Historic Downtown Mall
Maintained by the Charlottesville Parks and Recreation Department, the Historic Downtown Mall is considered one of the finest urban parks in the country. This pedestrian mall is home to a vibrant collection of more than 120 shops and 30 restaurants located in the historic buildings on and around old Main Street Charlottesville.

Enjoy dining at a number of fine restaurants, shop the unique boutiques, screen a new movie, take in a play or show, take the family ice skating at the indoor arena, or simply relax and enjoy the flowers with a beverage from one of the specialty wine, coffee or tea shops. Ample garage parking is available with most merchants offering free two-hour parking validation.

Children and families that visit the Downtown Mall can also stop by the Virginia Discovery Museum on the East End. The Museum is interactive and encourages hands-on participation in learning with many exhibits that change during the year.

The Downtown Mall is also home to some of the best entertainment venues in Central Virginia. The Charlottesville Pavilion hosts a number of outside concerts from spring to fall featuring nationally known musical talent. The Paramount is a renovated historic theater that brings in comedy acts, musical theater, and some of the country’s best singers. Live Arts is a community theater providing full season productions, several special series, and extensive education programs.

Lake Anna State Park
Less than an hour from Spring Creek is Lake Anna State Park, a vacation destination for those who enjoy the great outdoors. This park offers camping, hiking trails, boating, fishing, swimming and much more.

Wine Tours of Central Virginia Wineries
If you’re a wine lover, Charlottesville is the place for you. There are more than 20 wineries, the largest concentration in Virginia, in Charlottesville and its surrounding counties. Most of the wineries and their tasting rooms are open to the public. Hours of operation vary. The Monticello Wine Trail Web site does an excellent job of bringing information about all of the wineries, including the individual Web sites together so you can choose which ones suit your palate. This site also groups the wineries by location in four different wine trails for a fun weekend or day-long activity.