Where to eat in Harper's Ferry and Charlottesville
August 30, 2016 7:10 AM   Subscribe

We are heading to a wedding next weekend and taking the scenic route - stopping to see/hike in Harper's Ferry, driving Skyline Drive, and touring Monticello. Where should we eat along the way?

I am expecting to have lunch somewhere between Harper's Ferry and the beginning of Skyline Drive, and dinner and breakfast/brunch in Charlottesville, VA. Any suggestions along the way are welcome!

We don't have dietary or budget restrictions for this, so any suggestions are welcome. We are not limited to fancy - we want the best places that we just can't miss, from shack a mile down the road to Michelin star!

Bonus question: are any of the tours at Moneticello worth getting? I was eyeing the graden tasting tour.

Double bonus question: best places to stop for pictures along Skyline Drive - this is my first time!
posted by DoubleLune to Travel & Transportation (9 answers total) 8 users marked this as a favorite
 
We just got back from Charlottesville! Best meals were at Pig 'n' Steak in Madison and Michie's Tavern right at the entrance to Monticello; either would be good for lunch or dinner. I love historic tours, and Monticello was great, well-run and nicely organized. We did the guided house tour and slave history tours. We would have liked to do the Sally Hemings tour, but it was sold out--book that early, if you're interested. There was then lots of freedom to roam the grounds and cellars and such. We went first thing in the morning and toured the garden by ourselves, but ran into the garden curator and had a nice chat. I bet the tasting tour would be fun.

If time allows, Albemarle Ciderworks has a great tasting room just south of the city. Belmont Farms Distillery is also a fun stop, depending on your route.

Skyline Drive is beautiful, but slow. S-L-O-W. Allow lots of extra time to get stuck behind cyclists and old people driving RVs.
posted by MrMoonPie at 7:34 AM on August 30, 2016


In Charlottesville go to Mas! So good!
posted by El_Marto at 7:39 AM on August 30, 2016 [2 favorites]


Absolutely do the tour of the reconstructed cabins where enslaved people lived- the Mulberry Row tour? It's a great tour and Monticello has gotten a lot of praise for doing better and better about highlighting the stories of enslaved people at Monticello.

Near Monticello, Mitchie's Tavern is a must. Fantastic fried chicken and southern food, and the waitresses and waiters dress in 18th(?) century garb.

In Charlottesville, if you like Italian, Basil on the UVA "corner" is delicious. Lemongrass, which is right across the street, has yummy Thai food, though apparently it's not too authentic. Tara Thai at Barracks Shopping center and Thai 99 are also awesome, though in less scenic places.

Students like The Pigeonhole for brunch. You can also get a good bowl of grits at Boylan (both also on the corner).

If you're there on a Saturday, I highly recommend the farmer's market!
posted by clarinet at 7:43 AM on August 30, 2016


First, if you have time, I strongly urge you to tour the UVa grounds especially the Lawn which was designed by Mr. Jefferson. The Rotunda has just been reopened after several years of repairs.

As an alum and father of a student, I am biased, but I really think you should stop in the White Spot on the Corner and get a Gus Burger all the way and a "Grills with" (Glazed donut grilled with a scoop of vanilla ice cream). Granted, it helps if you go between 1:00am and 4:00am, but even in the light of day, it is a University tradition and a damn good hole in the wall greasy meal.

For dining, I recommend the C&O Restaurant. I also second Boylan Heights on the Corner for good bar food, but again, I am biased as my student works there.

For Brunch, I would go on West Main to the Blue Moon Diner. It is between the historic downtown and the Corner.
posted by AugustWest at 8:02 AM on August 30, 2016


For pics, I'd suggest going a little further past Skyline Drive (where it turns into the Blue Ridge Parkway [free to travel]) for about another 8-9 miles and making the 20 minute hike up to Humpback Rocks. Excellent vista for pictures.

You may want to make time for the Downtown Mall in Charlottesville, particularly because a large number of restaurants are concentrated on the Mall and the side streets, so you'd be able to do some picking and choosing.

Be aware that Monticello is kind of away from everything in that you'll park, walk or bus to Monticello, then back to where you parked...but where you parked is not near dining/shops/etc.

I can't tell if you mean this weekend (i.e. September 2-4 or the next weekend), but we are supposed to have some very pleasant weather compared to the hi 90s/lo 70s we've had for the past 2-3 weeks.
posted by kuanes at 9:33 AM on August 30, 2016


My favorite Charlottesville restaurant is called Basil. I believe that area is considered the Mall.
posted by mermaidcafe at 11:12 AM on August 30, 2016


Get crêpes from the actual, literal hole in the wall behind the Jefferson Theatre. Alternately, if you'd rather go all out, find the alley light and go upstairs.
posted by emelenjr at 4:52 PM on August 30, 2016 [1 favorite]


You may want to make time for the Downtown Mall in Charlottesville

If you happen to find yourself at the Mall and you like a good burger, Citizen Burger Bar is fantastic.
posted by ashirys at 7:52 AM on August 31, 2016


In Staunton, Zynodoa and Aioli were both amazing!
posted by poppunkcat at 10:02 AM on September 1, 2016


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