The best thing about our road trip was that we were able to drive to places of interest on ‘our schedule’. We were now in Charlottesville Virginia and had Presidents to visit!
Eight U.S. Presidents: George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, James Monroe, William Henry Harrison, John Tyler, Zachary Taylor and Woodrow Wilson were born in Virginia, we had chosen to visit Jefferson’s Monticello and Madison’s Montpelier. Monticello built in 1772 was Thomas Jefferson plantation. Jefferson was the 3rd President of the U.S. and the author of the Declaration of Independence and founder of the University of Virginia. In 1987 Monticello and the nearby University of Virginia were together designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Monticello, Charlottesville, Virginia Jefferson and Alison at Monticello!
Having explored the house and museum, we joined a small group of Charlottesville-ites to hear Gabriele Rausse Director of Gardens and Grounds and a Virginia winemaker to hear about Monticello’s newest vineyard Montalto and enjoy a glass of wine or two! As a special treat the event was held at Kenwood, the Robert H Smith International Center for Jefferson Studies, where Roosevelt located his Camp David during his presidency. Kenwood the Robert H Smith International Center for Jefferson Studies
The next day we departed early in the rain to visit Montpelier, 2,650 acres of rolling hills, spacious horse pastures and spectacular views of the Blue Ridge Mountains, home to President James and Dolley Madison. It was overcast and drizzling as we arrived at the historic Montpelier Station located near the entrance.
James Madison, the 4th President is hailed as the Father of the Constitution for being instrumental in the drafting of the United States Constitution and as the key champion and author of the United States Bill of Rights.
Montpelier Mansion was undergoing a little restoration.
Monticello 931 Thomas Jefferson Parkway Charlottesville, VA 22902 Monticello is open every day of the year, including Sundays, except Christmas. http://www.monticello.org
Kenwood: Home of the Robert H. Smith International Center for Jefferson Studies http://www.monticello.org (Research & Collections)
Montpelier 11350 Constitution Highway, Montpelier Station, VA 22957 http://www.montpelier.org
Hotel: Hyatt Place 2100 Bond Street, Charlottesville, Virginia, USA, 22901 Tel: +1 434 995 5200 http://www.charlottesville.place.hyatt.com
Shopping and Restaurants: Stonefield centre next to the hotel (good): http://www.shopsatstonefield.com
Regal Stonefield Cinema and Imax
Parallel 38 (Mediterranean Restaurant) www.p38cville.com/
Travinia Italian Kitchen (Modern American Italian Restaurant)