We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Going to Charlottesville, VA: hotel, food, activity ideas?

Which Charlottesville hotels are on sale?
mm/dd/yyyy mm/dd/yyyy
See hotels
wsp
San Francisco
Level Contributor
11 posts
3 reviews
Save Topic
Going to Charlottesville, VA: hotel, food, activity ideas?

I'll be visiting Charlottesville, VA, the first week of March. Before reading the forum here warning against the Hampton Inn on India Dr. (NOT the university one), I reserved that very hotel. I'll be traveling alone, and am worried, after reading about the neighborhood. I noticed those posts were 3 years old. Has it improved since then? Looks as though people are rec. the Omni; however, the guest reviews on that hotel sug. that they have a problem w/ the rooms being too hot.

I'm coming to help my law student (UVA) son get a well-deserved break (spring break for the law school). Do you have ideas/recommendations re: things to do, good places to eat? Is there a good theater (musicals, plays) or place for fine arts events? Any outdoor fun things to see/do, or is the first of March too cold?

I have never been to Charlottesville, and he has been spending his spare moments in the library, so we could use suggestions.

Thank you so much: I love this forum!

Charlottesville
Level Contributor
331 posts
260 reviews
Save Reply
1. Re: Going to Charlottesville, VA: hotel, food, activity ideas?

The Hampton Inn on Main Street is a good choice - it's one of the three places I recommend to my friends when they are visiting (along with the Omni or the Courtyard by Marriot also on Main). The neighborhood is perfectly safe (I actually live just two blocks from there) though it does get a little sketchy if you walk a few blocks away from Main St., but you wouldn't be doing that anyway. and in any case the area has gotten safer over the last few years. The great thing about the Hampton Inn is it's located halfway btwn the university and the downtown mall (closed off street that's now a pedestrian mall with restaurants, bars, shops, etc.) so it's a five minute walk to either place.

for arts and plays as well as live music, you can check the calendar on www.readthehook.com. there's tons of great restaurants in cville - it really depends what kind of food you want and how much you want to spend, but continental divide is just two blocks from the hampton inn and might be the best restaurant for the buck. the ivy inn and fleurie might be the nicest but are expensive. you can also walk to maya (kind of southern cooking) and the horse and hound (gastropub) are both very good. if you like tapas, i'd recommend Mas. i'd be happy to make more suggestions if there's anything in particular you're looking for.

for things to do outside, i'd recommend walking around the university and stopping in at the Rotunda, as well as spending an afternoon at Monticello. hope this helps!

Charlottesville...
Level Contributor
317 posts
44 reviews
Save Reply
2. Re: Going to Charlottesville, VA: hotel, food, activity ideas?

If I'm reading your post correctly, you stated that you're staying at the Hampton Inn on India Drive. I wouldn't say that the area isn't safe so much as what I would recommend to anyone anywhere and that is not to be walking alone at night. The same can be said for anyplace on West Main St. I used to work at the medical center and we were always reminded that when we parked, to try to be in a group at night.

There is so much to do. This is a great site put out by the UVA Law School: …virginia.edu/html/insider/todo_camping.htm for hiking and viewing the National Parks. It's really hard to predict the weather in advance, but we go hiking just about every weekend year round- there's always someplace to go. We're lucky to have quite a few theater choices here. Randy Newman and "In the Mood" - 40's Big Band Revue are playing at the Paramount on the Downtown Mall that week. Live Arts and Play On! Theater will have their listings in The Hook and C'ville. Check www.Charlottesville.org for ideas and www.downtowncharlottesville.net for what's on the Downtown Pedestrian Mall. Nice restaurants that are always consistently good are the C&O on the downtown mall, Savour on Emmet St., and Zinc on Main St. (close to the downtown mall). www.Charlottesville-Dining.com, ,www.mastomillers.com, Awww.civillian.com, www.reviews.opentable.com, and of course, Trip Advisor are resources I use to see what's new in the C'ville dining scene or to see if there have been any big changes at the established restaurants. As suggested above, there's Monticello as well as Ashlawn and Montpelier. If you enjoy wineries, check out www.monticellowinetrail.com.

Enjoy the week with your son!

Laura

wsp
San Francisco
Level Contributor
11 posts
3 reviews
Save Reply
3. Re: Going to Charlottesville, VA: hotel, food, activity ideas?

THANK YOU!! I am relieved to hear that the Hampton Inn is a safe enough neighborhood. Is the India Dr. Hampton Inn the one on Main St.?

Are you familiar with the English Inn?

www.readthehook.com is a great resource: thank you!

Have you eaten at Zazu's?

wsp
San Francisco
Level Contributor
11 posts
3 reviews
Save Reply
4. Re: Going to Charlottesville, VA: hotel, food, activity ideas?

Thank you! Wonderful resources. My son and I both love hiking! Maybe we'll see you on the trails! I wouldn't have known about the Paramount and etc. without your help. Thank you!

Charlottesville
Level Contributor
331 posts
260 reviews
Save Reply
5. Re: Going to Charlottesville, VA: hotel, food, activity ideas?

The Hampton Inn on India Road is the one that's a few miles north of UVa/downtown. I'm sure it's fine but it's further away and so you would need a car to drive every time you wanted to leave the hotel. The Hampton Inn at 900 Main Street is the one that's close to UVa and the downtown mall, which I tend to recommend to people - that's the one that some people might have had mild safety concerns about the neighborhood a few years ago but I think is fine.

And yes, I am familar with the English Inn - my parents stayed there one time and hated it! It was a little cheaper and so they booked it, but only lasted one night! It was a little run down and dirty - not too bad - but definitely a couple steps down from a Hampton Inn/Courtyard by Marriot type place. Maybe the level of a bad Days Inn or Motel 6. I'd say fine for college kids trying to find a place for cheap, but you'll get what you pay for.

And yes, I know Zazu's very well - I work just a block away from there so eat there all the time. They have great burrito-type wraps for $5 or 6. In addition to a standard tex mex burrito, they have pesto chicken wraps, thai wraps, etc. It's a great value for the money.

And I definitely second Laura's suggestion about hiking outdoors - maybe up in the Blue Ridge if you'll have a car. Humpback Rock is a short hike you can do in 1-2 hours with a great view at the top. The weather is hit or miss that time of year - but if you have a warm coat and you're hear for more than a couple of days, you'll more than likely be able to do it. And it might be interesting for you to try the wine tasting in the area - it's not quite as good as Napa or Sonoma, but it's not quite as far behind it as you would think!

Charlottesville...
Level Contributor
317 posts
44 reviews
Save Reply
6. Re: Going to Charlottesville, VA: hotel, food, activity ideas?

No, Main St and India Drive are separate locations. The India Drive Hampton Inn is next to a mall with a grocery store, Marshalls, etc. The English Inn is very nice. They have an indoor pool and have recently remodeled. They are right behind a popular bagel restaurant. Zazu's has tasty, healthy food. It can get very crowded at times. You get in line and order your food , then find a table. Good to get there early for dinner. Enjoy!

Charlottesville
Level Contributor
331 posts
260 reviews
Save Reply
7. Re: Going to Charlottesville, VA: hotel, food, activity ideas?

i just saw Laura's post about the English Inn. to be fair, it was ten years ago that my parents stayed at the English Inn, so if they have renovated since then, it might be much nicer.

and yes, The Hook is a great source - I check that at least once or twice a week just to see what's going on in town!

Charlottesville
Level Contributor
331 posts
260 reviews
Save Reply
8. Re: Going to Charlottesville, VA: hotel, food, activity ideas?

sorry, just went back and read your original post again. i think i did misread it about which hampton inn you were talking about. for some reason i was assuming you were interested in switching to the one on main street. the hampton inn on india road isn't in a bad part of town, as long as you have a car and don't try to walk anywhere from there other than the shopping mall places right there during business hours.

Charlottesville...
Level Contributor
317 posts
44 reviews
Save Reply
9. Re: Going to Charlottesville, VA: hotel, food, activity ideas?

I think these posts don't always show up right when we post- I didn't see Yankee's post when I wrote my last one. The English Inn was quite shabby for a while until they got new management. They actually have an Olympic size indoor pool!

wsp
San Francisco
Level Contributor
11 posts
3 reviews
Save Reply
10. Re: Going to Charlottesville, VA: hotel, food, activity ideas?

Thank you to both of you! I will have a car, so I think I'll keep my reservation at the Hampton Inn on India Rd. I'll be interested, though, to take a look at the English Inn, for it does have a better rate, and it sounds as though they have good hot breakfasts (complimentary).

Humpback Rock was the very hike I was looking at. The Blue Ridge sounds like a great place to hike.

Because of your tip (the Hook), I was able to get half price deals at Zazu's. There was a link on that web page to the daily deal through LivingSocial.

Thank you to both of you!