Southern Living has partnered with Virginia.org to form a guest blogger network. Today’s post is provided by guest blogger Kath Younger of Kath Eats Real Food. Check back every Monday and Thursday for new ways to explore the state of Virginia.
Hello Daily South readers! I am Kath, author of Kath Eats Real Food. I live in Charlottesville, Virginia where I eat really good real food all the time in our many lovely restaurants! I’ve been in Charlottesville for almost six years and frequently get emails from readers asking me for recommendations for things to do and of course, where to eat! Charlottesville makes such a great weekend getaway, so here’s my itinerary for a weekend visit!
Arrive in time for cocktail hour on the Downtown Mall. If the weather is warm, stop into Fridays After Five at the Pavilion at the end of the mall. Enjoy one of our local beers or a glass of Blenheim Wine on draft while you listen to a free outdoor concert.
In the cooler months, head over to Champion Brewing or Three Notch’d Brewing and taste a sampler of local favorites. Or sip a Spice-a-Rita jalapeño margarita at Mono Loco!
For dinner, check out Citizen Burger Bar on the mall. They serve Timbercreek grass-fed beef and many local products. Their sweet potato fries are the best in the world! If you’re looking for something healthy, try the Beet Salad with goat cheese, blueberries, beets, apples and candied walnuts. It’s huge and could easily serve two people.
For dessert (if you have room!) head just up the mall to Splendora’s Gelato. They serve dozens of unique flavors, and the White Chocolate Lemon is my favorite if they have it! You can also get a tiny bambino cone for a teeny portion.
Stop into our farmer’s market, which is downtown just off the mall. Look for the freshly made donuts with rainbow sprinkles, a scuffin (scone+muffin!) from Great Harvest or for something hearty, try a Babes in the Wood sausage topped with a fresh farm egg. Don’t miss coffee from Shenandoah Joe’s!
Hop back in your car and head to the Monticello Trail to work off your breakfast. It’s about ten minutes outside of town, and the trail is light gravel and easy for strollers or jogging. Two miles up to the top, and you’ll find the entrance to Monticello.
For a lighter lunch head over to the Juice Laundry for a smoothie in a bowl or their vegan chili with a Spicy Greens juice on the side. For something a bit more substantial, head back downtown to Whiskey Jar. I love their egg salad sandwich or the salad with catfish on top! The mini pan of cornbread with sorghum butter is amazing.
Saturday afternoon head out to Monticello and take the tour! You won’t want to miss our famous historic site. Afterwards, drive 10 more minutes into the country and do some wine tasting. Blenheim, Trump and Jefferson Vineyards are all about 5 minutes apart. Blenheim is owned by Dave Matthews, Trump is known for sparkling wines and Jefferson’s Chardonnay Reserve is one of my favorites.
For dinner head back downtown and go to Zocalo for the Stuffed Relleno Pepper! My favorite entree in town, it’s filled with rice, corn and cheese, rolled in a crushed tortilla chip crust and then served over smoked tomato grits with a buttermilk cilantro sauce. Take in a night cap at Alley Light, famous for their hand-crafted cocktails!
Start the morning off with a yoga class at Hot Yoga Cville on Market Street or a run on the greenway at Riverview Park, which is two miles long and scenic. Then head to brunch at Commonwealth. Everything is good!!!
On your way out of town, stop at Sweethaus for a farewell cupcake. Get the Cookie Dough flavor. You’re welcome!!